Authorities Reopen Case of Natalie Wood's Death
Thirty years after the shocking death of Hollywood legend Natalie Wood, authorities have received new information that they feel is credible enough to reopen the case. INSIDE EDITION reports.
The mysterious death of Hollywood legend Natalie Wood has been and enduring mystery for thirty years. And now, the investigation into that tragedy is being reopened.
Stunning words came from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office as homicide investigators reveal they have new information about the drowning death of the superstar.
"We have several sources that have come forward with additional information. And as I said, we have found it to be credible enough to go ahead and take another look at the case," said a spokeman for the Sheriff's Office.
Until now, Natalie Wood's death had been ruled an accident. Her body was found floating in the Pacific Ocean waters off Catalina Island on November 29th, 1981, a mile from the yacht she owned with husband Robert Wagner.
Also on board that yacht were actor Christopher Walken, her co-star in her final movie, Brainstorm, and the boat's captain, Dennis Davern, whose new revelations about what happened that night have apparently lead to the reopening of the case.
INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney asked, "What specifically did you witness the last time you saw Natalie alive?"
"The last I saw Natalie alive was in the main salon of the boat. Christopher [Walken] and Natalie were sitting on the sofa and Robert Wagner picked up a bottle of wine and smashed right in front of them on the coffee table, saying, 'What are you trying to do, [blank] my wife?' "
Marti Rulli co-authored Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendor with Dennis Davern.
Rulli told INSIDE EDITION, "Robert Wagner was enraged that night. The bottle he broke shattered across the entire main salon."
Davern says Walken went straight to his stateroom after that outburst and that Wagner came to him later in the night to report that Wood was missing.
Davern said, "He told me the dinghy was gone. I said, 'We should turn on the searchlight?' He said 'We're not going to do that right now.' I said, 'Well, we should call someone,' he said, 'We're not going to do that right now.' "
"I just couldn't believe that she would have left the boat. But I was trying to convince myself that maybe she really did. But I was kidding msyelf because I knew she was so deathly afraid of water," said Davern.
Vanity Fair magazine Contributing Editor Sam Kashner investigated the case for 48 Hours Mystery airing Saturday. The show is revealing new information about that fateful night.
Kashner told INSIDE EDITION, "Moored nearby on a boat there was a woman named Marilyn Wayne. She is an ear witness to what happened. She insists that she heard voices that night and heard a woman's cry for help."
Robert Wagner broke his silence about the tragedy upon the publication of his book, Pieces of my Heart, three years ago.
Wagner said in a TV interview, "We had a dinghy that was tied up next to the boat and it was banging against the hull of the boat. And what we think is that she went outside and slipped on the swim step and hit her head and was knocked unconscious and fell into the water. And we never heard anything."
But Davern is saying the cops did not get the full story of what happened on that fateful night.
"It wasn't a very truthful statement that we gave them. We all agreed on the same story," said Davern.
McInerney asked, "Do you believe that Robert Wagner pushed Natalie overboard?"
"I can't say that because I don't know," replied Davern.
The Wagner family issued a statement saying they "fully support the efforts of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and trust they will evaluate whether any new information relating to the death of Natalie Wood Wagner is valid, and that it comes from a credible source or sources other than those simply trying to profit from the 30 year anniversary of her tragic death."
Police said Wagner is not a suspect.
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