Home Entertainment Natalie Wood’s death case re-opened as a homicide

Natalie Wood’s death case re-opened as a homicide


Natalie Wood’s death case will be re-opened as a homicide, as investigators received “additional information” on her drowning 30 years ago.

Thirty years ago Natalie Wood was found drowned in the waters off Southern California after a night of partying on the yacht she owned with actor husband Robert Wagner.

“Additional information” is now said to have come to light prompting homicide detectives yesterday to re-open their investigation into the 43-year-old actress’s death on November 29, 1981.

Up to now Natalie Wood is believed to have fallen off the yacht “Splendor” after drinking and dining with her husband and “Brainstorm” co-star Christopher Walken.

Police reports said Natalie wood’s body was found floating in a cove on Catalina Island about a mile away from the yacht. The actress was wearing a long nightgown, socks, and a down jacket.

According to an autopsy report, Natalie Wood had two dozen bruises on her body, including a facial abrasion on her left cheek, and bruises on her arms, according to CNN.

Natalie Wood's death case will be re-opened as a homicide, as investigators received "additional information" on her drowning 30 years ago

Natalie Wood's death case will be re-opened as a homicide, as investigators received "additional information" on her drowning 30 years ago

Natalie Wood’s drowning at the age of 43 sparked tabloid speculation that foul play was involved, but Robert Wagner and her sister Lana have dismissed such a suggestion.

Los Angeles Times has reported that detectives were prompted to look at the case again after comments by the ship’s captain, Dennis Davern.

Dennis Davern has said he believes Natalie Wood’s death is directly connected to an argument she had earlier in the evening with Robert Wagner.

It comes after Natalie Wood’s sister told CNN in 2010 she believes an argument between her sister and Robert Wagner preceded the drowning. But she ruled out foul play.

She wrote in a biography on her sister: “What happened is that Natalie drank too much that night.”

Robert Wagner wrote in a 2009 autobiography, Pieces Of My Heart, that he blamed himself for his wife’s death.

At the time, Natalie Wood’s death was ruled an accident and it was determined she had been drinking that night.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office wrote that Natalie Wood was “possibly attempting to board the dinghy and had fallen into the water, striking her face”.

A dinghy that had been attached to the couple’s yacht “Splendor” was found in a Catalina cove.

Detectives plan to hold a news conference today and anyone with information about the case is being asked to contact sheriff’s officials or an anonymous tip line.

Natalie Wood, a three-time Oscar nominee famous for roles in classics such as West Side Story and Rebel Without A Cause, was twice married to Robert Wagner.

Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner first wed in 1957 before divorcing six years later. They remarried in 1972.

Questions over the circumstances surrounding Natalie Wood’s untimely death have lingered for 30 years, and family members have previously asked for authorities to re-examine the original findings.

A spokesman for Robert Wagner, said the family trusts the sheriff’s department will take appropriate action but has not been contacted about the case being re-opened.

Natalie Wood was twice married to Robert Wagner

Natalie Wood was twice married to Robert Wagner

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement: “Recently sheriff’s homicide investigators were contacted by persons who stated they had additional information about the Natalie Wood Wagner drowning.”

“Due to the additional information, sheriff’s homicide bureau has decided to take another look at the case,” the statement said.

A sheriff’s spokesman declined to elaborate on the additional information pending a news conference scheduled for today at 2:00 p.m. EST.

The Los Angeles Times, citing anonymous sources, said detectives have decided to reopen the case after hearing Dennis Davern’s claim.

Last year, Dennis Davern asked investigators, along with Natalie Wood’s sister, to re-open the case.

The issue was revisited when Dennis Davern was recently interviewed for a collaboration between the magazine Vanity Fair and the television series “48 Hours Mystery” that focuses on Natalie Wood’s death.

The interviews followed his detailed account of the evening in a book co-authored by Marti Rulli entitled, “Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour”, which was published in September, 2009.

Dennis Davern has said he believes Natalie Wood’s death is directly connected to an argument she had earlier in the evening with Robert Wagner.

Reports also suggest Marti Rulli has been in direct contact recently with the LA County sheriff’s office.

Robert Wagner’s spokesman Alan Nierob wrote in a statement: “Although no one in the Wagner family has heard from the LA County Sheriff’s department about this matter, they fully support the efforts of the LA 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.”

Natalie Wood, who was born Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko to Russian immigrant parents in San Francisco, appeared as a child in such films as the Christmas classic “Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”.