INVESTIGATOR CALLS ROBERT WAGNER A "PERSON OF INTEREST" IN NATALIE WOOD DROWNING DEATH | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


INVESTIGATOR CALLS ROBERT WAGNER A "PERSON OF INTEREST" IN NATALIE WOOD DROWNING DEATH

Wood drowned off the coast of Catalina Island in California in November 1981 after she went missing from the Splendour, her family's yacht. Also aboard that night were Captain Dennis Davern, Wagner, and Wood's friend and fellow actor, Christopher Walken. The next day, the actress was found floating in the water wearing a red down jacket and flannel nightgown. After a two-week investigation, the death was ruled an accident. But, in 2011, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reopened the death investigation. And in 2012 the Los Angeles Coroner's Office amended the death certificate, changing the manner of death from an accidental drowning to "drowning and other undetermined factors."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, this has come back again.

Natalie Wood was an amazing person, very talented, very intelligent, spoke several languages. She was on production break from "Brainstorm" when she died. The film was a story about scientists who figure out how to record sensations from the brain so that others can experience them. Directed by Douglas Trumbull, the film was meant to introduce Trumbull's "Showscan" 60 fps system. I got to see a demo of Showscan and it was everything Trumbull claimed it could be, but because of Natalie Wood's death, MGM balked at the costly distribution plan of adding 60 fps projectors to theaters and the brain recording sequences were released in conventional 24 fps format.

At the time of Natalie Wood's death, I was working at Fox on the TV movie remake of "Valley of the Dolls." Our sound stage was right next door to the one used for "Hart to Hart" which starred Robert Wagner (Natalie Wood's then husband) and Stephanie Powers, and the buzz on the lot was that Wagner and Powers were having an affair. Following Natalie Wood's death, the buzz was that Natalie was having an affair with her "Brainstorm" co-star Chris Walken, which was tolerated by Wagner, but that while all three of them were at Catalina, Wagner lost his temper and beat Natalie Wood. This part was confirmed in the autopsy report, which reported Natalie Wood had multiple upper-body bruises and an abrasion on her left cheek, and again in 2011 when the captain of their yacht, Dennis Davern, admitted that he had lied to police during the initial investigation and alleged Wagner was responsible for Wood's death.

The specific part of Catalina where this all took place is known as "Two harbors", or "The Isthmus" towards the north of the island. Back in those days, the tourist ferry from the mainland only went to Avalon, so Two Harbors was very private, accessible only to those who had access to their own boats, and favored by those who wanted privacy. During my rag-setting days (Claire and I were married on a sailboat owned by a friend) we often anchored in Isthmus cove, the same place where Natalie Wood's yacht had anchored on the night of her death.

Comments

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA