It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office is reopening its investigation into the death of movie star Natalie Wood, who drowned in 1981 while boating off Catalina Island near the California coast, authorities said Thursday.
Last year, the actress' sister, Lana Wood, and the captain of the yacht on which Wood sailed with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, had asked the sheriff's office to reopen the case.
Natalie Wood once said in a televised interview that her greatest fear was of dark seawater. On November 29, 1981, she drowned in the Pacific Ocean off the isthmus of Catalina Island.
Wood's body was found floating in the water about a mile away from the yacht.
According to police reports, Wood was found wearing a long nightgown, socks, and a down jacket.
The autopsy report shows Wood had two dozen bruises on her body, including a facial abrasion on her left cheek, and bruises on her arms.
A yacht captain said on national TV Friday that he lied to investigators about Natalie Wood's mysterious death 30 years ago and blames the actress' husband at the time, Robert Wagner, for her drowning in the ocean off Southern California.
"Was the fight between Natalie Wood and her husband Robert Wagner what ultimately led to her death?" show host David Gregory asked.
"Yes," Davern replied.
"Like I said, that's going to be up to the investigators to decide," the captain said after a long pause.
The former captain of the boat from which actress Natalie Wood drowned in 1981 alleged on TODAY Friday that her husband, actor Robert Wagner, was responsible for her death.
"I made some terrible decisions and mistakes," Davern told NBC News' David Gregory. "I did lie on a report several years ago."
He added, "I made mistakes by not telling the honest truth in a police report."
When pressed by Gregory, Davern said he believed Wagner had intentionally kept the investigation into her death low-profile. And when asked if he thought Wagner was "responsible" for Wood's death, Davern said, "yes, I would say so. Yes."
"We didn't take any steps to see if we could locate her," Davern added. "I think it was a matter of, 'We're not going to look too hard, we're not going to turn on the searchlight, we're not going to notify anybody right now.'"
Why now is because I've been trying to tell information about this for many, many years, but there wasn't really anyone listening until now," he said. "I've been trying to get somebody to listen for a long time and now somebody is listening and they're going to carry on with this investigation. I'm not saying anything different. All the information that I've revealed in the past, it's all in that book, and now it's just up to the investigators to do an investigation."
The coroner's report from the time of her death indicated that she may have slipped and hit her head after she lost balance from drinking several glasses of wine.
"The rest is just ghoulish nonsense," Wood's attorney, Paul Ziffren, said at the time about speculation that Wood's death was not accidental.
Originally posted by silo13
reply to post by supine
The articles and the 'old news' says Christopher Walken cleared out and went to his cabin after Wagner broke a wine bottle against a table in anger. From there Wood was mortified' and the argument continued.
So, time to go digging and see what else C.W said now - and then!
One crucial protagonist in the Natalie Wood story refused to break his silence. Christopher Walken, with whom Wood may or may not have been having an affair when she died, and who, along with Robert Wagner, was with her the night she drowned, or drowned herself, at the age of 43. Towards the end of her life she took a regular cocktail of drugs - pain medication, sleeping pills - and a fair bit of drink. But many people who saw her around that time felt she was upbeat. She was very close to her two young daughters and maintained a dry sense of humour.
One crucial protagonist in the Natalie Wood story refused to break his silence. Christopher Walken, with whom Wood may or may not have been having an affair when she died, and who, along with Robert Wagner, was with her the night she drowned, or drowned herself, at the age of 43.
And there’s this: can you imagine if an event akin to Natalie Wood’s death happened today instead of 1981? Would the prosecutor’s office have any choice other than to file charges against, well, someone? The public pressure — the media blitz, the Twitter feeds, the internet-fed conspiracy theories — might simply be too hard for A DA’s office to ignore.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced in a Friday morning press conference that they were reopening the investigation into Natalie Wood’s 1981 death. Her drowning 30 years ago was ruled an accident, but the case has always been shrouded in mystery. Today, Lt. John Corina said that his office had “received credible and substantial [new] information” from multiple sources that now compels them to take another look.
Investigators plan to interview Dennis Davern, the captain of the boat Wood was on with her husband, Robert Wagner, and co-star, Christopher Walken, at the time of her death. On the Today show, Davern admitted that he had initially lied to authorities about important details regarding Wood’s death and he holds Wagner “responsible” for delaying search-and-rescue efforts at the time Wood went missing on the boat. Corina, however, said that Wagner is not a suspect.
Police have reopened the investigation into the drowning death of actress Natalie Wood, and a witness has now come forward to say she heard the actress screaming for help on the night she died.
Marilyn Wayne, who was boating in the same area that night — approximately 40 yards away from the Splendour, the yacht upon which the actors were staying — said she heard a woman’s cries for help.
In a sworn statement to investigators, Wayne said she and her boyfriend, John Payne, were sleeping aboard a sailboat, the Capricorn, on Nov. 28, 1981. The window of the cabin was open.
“A woman’s voice, crying for help from drowning awakened John, and he awakened me. ‘Help me, someone please help me, I’m drowning’ we heard repeatedly. Alarmed, I called out to my son, who also heard the cries, and looked at his new digital watch: it was just minutes after 11:00 P.M.,” she said in her statement.
According to Wayne’s statement, Payne turned on the sailboat’s beam light and played it over the area while she went up onto the deck, though it was dark and damp and she says that she was unable to see anything.
“While listening to the cries, we called the harbor patrol but no one answered. Then we called the sheriff’s office in Avalon, 12 miles away, and whoever answered told us a helicopter would be sent, but it did not come. We heard loud music coming from somewhere, so thought there was a party on a nearby boat,” the statement said. “Then I heard a man’s voice, slurred, and in aggravated tone, say something to the effect of, “Oh, hold on, we’re coming to get you,” and not long after, the cries for help subsided, but we heard the cries for up to 15 minutes. We returned to bed, terribly disturbed.”
When she woke up the next morning, she says, she saw police at the boat located near the Capricorn, and learned that Wood, a passenger on that board, had drowned.
Wayne, a former stockbroker, said in the statement that she doesn’t believe the initial investigation was thorough enough, that police never interviewed her and that she received a threatening note cautioning her to keep quiet about what she knew.
“After all I’ve learned since my own direct experience with the death of Natalie, I am stunned that Robert Wagner has never been properly interrogated in regards to Natalie Wood’s death. In my opinion, Natalie Wood’s case is one of the top most botched cases of the 20th century, and I am still willing to offer my assistance should you finally realize that this case needs what every death case deserves: a full and proper investigation,” her statement said.
The captain of the Splendour, Dennis Davern, said that he believes that Wagner is to blame for Woods’ death.
“Yes I would say so,” Davern said on NBC’s “Today” last week when he was asked if Wagner was responsible. He admitted that he may have been at fault as well, saying, “We didn’t take any steps to see if we could locate her. It was a matter of don’t look too hard, don’t turn on search light, don’t call anyone.”
Davern and Marti Rulli co-authored the 2009 book “Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour,” about the circumstances surrounding the actress’ death. He and Lana Wood, Natalie Wood’s sister, asked authorities to reopen the case last year.
Nearly 31 years after actress Natalie Wood drowned while on a boat cruise off Catalina, the LA County Coroner has changed her death certificate from "accident" to "undetermined," reports TMZ. The investigation was re-opened last November after the boat's captain made comments that raised doubts about how she died. Authorities still believe Wood drowned, but the issue is how she ended up in the water, and detectives are saying that some of the bruising on Wood is inconsistent with drowning. Also on the boat were husband Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken.