Police Reopen the Investigation into the 1981 “Accidental Drowning” Death of Natalie Wood … Robert Wagner not a Suspect?


Back to the 80′s … The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office has announced that they are going to reopen the investigation into the death of Hollywood movie actress Natalie Wood.

She died in 1981 of what was called at the time, an accidental drowning while boating off Catalina Island near the California coast.  It was announced at a news conference Friday that new information is substantial enough to take another look at the case, although police are saying that Robert Wagner is not a suspect in the death of Natalie Woods.However, according to Dennis Davern, the man who captained the couple’s yacht when Wood drown, stated that that Wagner was responsible for the actress’ death. Although he has not given and specifics or details. Hmm.

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This morning on TODAY, the former captain of the boat from which Wood drowned alleged that Wagner was responsible for the actress’ death. Dennis Davern, who captained the couple’s yacht, Splendour, said he was urging homicide investigators to look into the case.

“I made some terrible decisions and mistakes,” Davern told NBC News’ David Gregory. “I did lie on a report several years ago.”

At the news conference, Corina was repeatedly asked if Davern could face charges for lying to police, but refused to talk about any possible arrests or even confirm if Davern had been questioned.

So what is the compelling evidence that police now have that has prompted the reopening of this case so many years later?  The information behind the compelling evidence is as much of a mystery as the death of Natalie Wood back in 1981.

More from CNN and accounts of Natalie Wood’s autopsy and comments from Natalie’s sister, Lana Wood.

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.

“My sister was not a swimmer and did not know how to swim, and she would never go to another boat or to shore dressed in a nightgown and socks,” said Lana Wood.

Although the county coroner’s office ruled that Wood’s death was an accident, others say the case hasn’t made sense.

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  • Comments

    3 Responses to “Police Reopen the Investigation into the 1981 “Accidental Drowning” Death of Natalie Wood … Robert Wagner not a Suspect?”

    1. Jayne on the Left Coast on November 19th, 2011 10:45 am

      Alcohol and walking on deck, never ends well. Happens all the time on cruise ships. I always heard she was wearing a full length mink coat, either way the weight of wet jacket would have taken her under water in seconds.

    2. Bill B on November 19th, 2011 1:31 pm

      I always wondered about this because of the show Hart to Hart. William Holden (Stefanie Powers boyfriend) and Natilie died within a couple weeks of each other. One died when she got drunk and fell off a boat and the other died when he got drunk and slipped on a rug (supposedly bled out from a cut before anybody found him). Kind of odd isn’t it? Just a little conspiracy theory.

    3. NGBoston on November 19th, 2011 4:13 pm

      Interesting case. She was actually wearing a down coat, but nonetheless~ I guess I am not quite sure why the case was re-opened.

      Also not convinced that after the 30-year anniversary of her death- the “Captain” of Splendor was simply not motivated by one thing only….MONEY.

      It is a fact that Wood and Wagner had an argument that evening in their cabin, and that all parties were drinking. I think it is true that Ms. Wood took the skiff to leave the vessel and ultimately drowned. The only thing about the story that never settled well with me was that it was a known fact Natalie could not swim and while she loved boating, actually feared the water.

      What gives?

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