Yeah. Even she's saying it. Seriously?

Via NPR: L.A. Detectives Reopen Natalie Wood Death Inquiry

Homicide detectives have reopened their investigation of Natalie Wood's death nearly 30 years after the actress drowned in the waters off Southern California.

The renewed look at Wood's Nov. 29, 1981, death comes after detectives received new information about the case, Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said Thursday.

No additional details were provided, but a detective planned to hold a news conference Friday, and anyone with information about the case was being asked to contact sheriff's officials.

Wood drowned after a night of partying with husband Robert Wagner and Brainstorm co-star Christopher Walken on the couple's yacht anchored off Santa Catalina Island. Her death was ruled an accident and it was determined that she had been drinking before her death.

A dinghy that had been attached to the couple's yacht, Splendor, was found in a Catalina cove.

Wood, a three-time Oscar nominee famous for roles in West Side Story, Rebel Without a Cause and other Hollywood hits, was 43 when she died.

The case has become one of Hollywood's most alluring mysteries. Wood's drowning sparked tabloid speculation that foul play was involved, but Wagner and Wood's sister have dismissed any suggestion there was foul play.

Laura Wood wrote in a biography on her sister, "What happened is that Natalie drank too much that night."

Wagner wrote in a 2009 autobiography that he blamed himself for his wife's death.

Phone and email messages to Wagner and Walken's publicists were not immediately returned.


thegayte-keeper said…
Yeah this is like huh? for me
JamTheCat said…
Someone must be running for office.
Tim said…
The rationale given for reopening the case is that the the boat's captain is now recanting information given in 1981.

At that time, the captain of the "Splendour" (Robert Wagner's yacht) said he had music in the ship's bridge turned up very loud so he wouldn't hear the arguments going on down on deck. Thus, he could not have heard anything when she allegedly fell into the water two hours later. Now he's saying that Wagner's attorney "forced" him to say that. He is also saying "at that point in my life, I wasn't thinking straight." (Which makes you wonder: If that is true, how can we trust anything he says about that time?)

The ship captain also claims that Wagner was still on deck when Wood went into the water. Wagner, he claims, yelled at Wood "Hold on, we're coming" -- and then told the captain to do nothing, because it would teach Wood a lesson. The captain did nothing.

The captain's story is quite inconsistent on this point. He also claims that, at 1:30 AM, Wagner came up to the bridge and said, "Natalie is missing." He says this was the first indication he had that Wood might have gone overboard. If that were true, then how can the other story be true?

The captain also now alleges that Wagner told him not to call the Harbor Patrol or police, and that two hours passed before that was done.

A woman on a nearby yacht also told police in 1981 that she heard Wood fall into the water, and heard her cries for help. She has been re-interviewed by police due to the ship captain's testimony.

In 1981, the coroner reported that Wood had a large amount of alcohol in her body, as well as Quaaludes (a sleeping pill). This matches with the large amount of alcohol drunk on shore during and after dinner, and reports and evidence of even more heavy drinking aboard ship for almost four hours after the party returned to the yacht around 8 PM. Wood had bruises on her arms and shoulders, and an abrasion on her face.

The coroner believed that, for the bruises to show up, Wood would have had to have been grabbed hard several hours before her death. The much lighter bruise on her face, as well as the lack of scabbing, led the coroner to conclude that Wood may have been trying to tie up a dinghy that was bumping against the wall of the ship near her cabin. She fell, hit her face, and went into the water. She could not swim, and her down jacket would not have served as a lifejacket but rather become quickly soaked and pulled her under. (There is conflicting evidence as to whether that point about the jacket is true or not.)

Wagner, the police say, is not a suspect. NOT A SUSPECT. But he is a "person of interest," as he and Christopher Walken (Wood's lover) were the only ones aboard the yacht that night (other than crew).
Writer said…
Exactly, gayte-keeper, exactly.
Writer said…
I agree, Tim, the captain doesn't seem at all trustworthy. =/
Anonymous said…
I love Natalie Wood....But really who cares anymore...
Writer said…
Gaspatcho, I agree. :)

Popular Posts