Entries in Natalie Wood (8)


Natalie Wood’s Death Certificate Amended

Ron Galella/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Natalie Wood‘s death certificate has been changed to reflect the lingering questions surrounding her drowning death 30 years ago.

An amended copy, signed on July 26, 2012, but recorded with the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office on Aug. 1, changes the manner of her death from accidental to undetermined, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore confirmed to ABC News.

Whitmore said the case remains an “open and active investigation.”

The cause of Wood’s death was changed from drowning to drowning with undetermined factors. The amended document also notes that the actress’ body was found “floating on the ocean” under circumstances that were never “clearly established.”

Wood died on Nov. 29, 1981, following a party on a boat off California’s Santa Catalina Island. Actors Robert Wagner, her husband, and Christopher Walken, her Brainstorm co-star, were also aboard the boat.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reopened its investigation shortly before the 30th anniversary of Wood’s death. Nearly eight months later, authorities amended her death certificate.

Members of Wood’s family told TMZ in July that the cause of death was revised because some of the bruises on Wood’s body were inconsistent with an accidental death by drowning. They said Wood definitely died by drowning, but how she got into the water remains a mystery.

Authorities have said Wagner is not considered a suspect in the case.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Still a Mystery: Coroner Changes Natalie Wood's Death Certificate

Ron Galella/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- The death certificate of actress Natalie Wood has been changed from "accident" to "undetermined," TMZ reports. The change was filed late last month by the Los Angeles County Coroner.

Family members of Wood said L.A. County detectives made them aware of the change Friday morning.  They told TMZ that law enforcement officials involved with the investigation, which has been reopened, can't prove whether Wood's death was accidental or the result of foul play.  Investigators also said, according to TMZ, that Wood's death was the result of drowning, but they are uncertain of how she ended up in the water.

Wood's death on November 29, 1981 after partying on a boat with actors Robert Wagner and Christoper Walken was initially ruled as an accident.  Now detectives say some of the bruises on her body are inconsistent with drowning.

Wood's death is still under investigation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Natalie Wood's Daughter Arrested on Drug Charges

Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images for In Style(LOS ANGELES) -- Courtney Wagner, the 38-year-old daughter of Robert Wagner and the late Natalie Wood, was apparently arrested last Sunday after a shot rang out in a domestic dispute.

TMZ reports cops were called to Ms. Wagner's Malibu, California residence after a gunshot was heard during an argument.  In the course of their investigation, officers reportedly found cocaine and heroin, according to the gossip site.

While an unidentified male was arrested for illegally discharging a firearm, Wagner arrested on suspicion of felony drug possession. She subsequently posted ten thousand dollar's bail, TMZ reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


No Evidence of Foul Play in Natalie Wood Case, Says Sheriff's Dept.

Ron Galella/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- The drowning death of actress Natalie Wood is still considered an accident, two months after her 30-year-old case was re-opened.

William McSweeney of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says the renewed investigation has not uncovered any evidence to indicate foul play was involved in Wood's death off California's Santa Catalina Island in 1981.

He tells the Los Angeles Times, “At this point, it is an accidental death.  Nothing has been discovered to suggest changing that at this time."

However, McSweeney says cold cases such as the one involving Wood are never really closed.

The case was re-opened in November based on new information that the sheriff's department said had come to light.  It's believed that the 43-year-old Wood drowned while trying to secure a dinghy on a yacht also occupied by her husband Robert Wagner and her Brainstorm co-star Christopher Walken.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Natalie Wood Mystery: Captain of Yacht Passes Polygraph Test

Ron Galella/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- The recently reopened case of actress Natalie Wood’s drowning death focuses on new information that may implicate those on board the boat the actress fell from 30 years ago, including the boat’s captain, who has passed a lie detector test.

Dennis Davern, the captain of the Splendour, the yacht on which the actors were staying, said that he heard Wood and husband Robert Wagner arguing moments before she disappeared.  Davern has said that he believes Wagner had a role in Wood’s death.

Davern had a lie detector test performed on him by examiner Howard Temple, who says that the results of the polygraph “indicated he was telling the truth.”

In an exclusive interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, Temple said Davern told him that after Wood’s death, Wagner instructed him to not speak about the drowning.

In an NBC interview last week, Davern said, “Yes I would say so,” when asked about Wagner’s responsibility. 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 also said that he lied to officials in the initial police report. It is unclear whether he could face charges if that’s true.

Davern’s motives in revealing this new information regarding the night of Wood’s death have been called into question after he co-authored a book about the actress’s death. He and Marti Rulli wrote 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 re-open the case last year.

Wood, the star of film classics like West Side Story and Rebel Without a Cause, apparently drowned while boating with Wagner and actor Christopher Walken, with whom she was filming what would be her last role in the movie Brainstorm.

The official cause of Wood’s death was determined to be accidental drowning, but because there has been little concrete information about the circumstances surrounding the events of that night, speculation has been rife and the case remains one of Hollywood’s longest-running mysteries.

Wagner was not charged in Wood’s death, and police plan to reach out to him as part of the re-opened investigation. They say he is not a suspect.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Woman Claims She Heard Natalie Wood’s Cries for Help

Ron Galella/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- 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.

Wood died on Nov. 29, 1981 while she was boating with her husband, Robert Wagner, and actor Christopher Walken, off Catalina Island in California. Wood reportedly could not swim.

Even though the couple had reportedly argued that night, there was no determination of foul play following Wood’s death.  The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said the actress could have slipped and fallen into the water while trying to secure a dinghy to the boat.

The official cause of death was determined to be accidental drowning, but because there has been little concrete information about the circumstances surrounding the events of that night, speculation has been rife and the case remains one of Hollywood’s longest-running mysteries.

But now, California resident 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 Wayne's sailboat 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.

Wagner has never been charged, and police plan to reach out to him as part of the re-opened investigation, but they say he is not a suspect.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Natalie Wood's Sister Comments on Cold Case

Ron Galella/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Now that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has reopened the file on Natalie Wood's mysterious death 30 years ago, Wood's sister is talking to TMZ.

Lana Wood says that her sister's then husband, Robert Wagner, and the boat's captain, Dennis Davern, left her sister in the water on the night she drowned.

"'He said, and this is a direct quote from what Dennis said to me, 'Leave her there, teach her a lesson,'" Wood told TMZ.

Davern has implicated Robert Wagner in the accidental drowning, although officials say that Wagner is not a suspect.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Natalie Wood: Investigators Re-Open Actress’ 30-Year-Old Death Case

Ron Galella/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau is re-opening the investigation into the 1981 death of actress Natalie Wood.

The sheriff’s department and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office initially ruled Wood’s death an accidental drowning after she went boating with her husband, Robert Wagner, and Brainstorm co-star Christopher Walken off Catalina Island, Calif., on Nov. 29, 1981.

“Recently sheriff’s homicide investigators were contacted by persons who stated they had additional information about the Natalie Wood Wagner drowning,” a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department news release said. “Due to the additional information, Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau has decided to take another look at the case.”

More details are expected to be announced at a news conference Friday.

Wood appeared in more than 56 films, notably playing James Dean’s love interest in Rebel Without a Cause.

She was married to Wagner twice. They married in 1957, divorced five years later and remarried in 1972.

Wood’s death has been a long-running mystery in Hollywood.

In 1981, Wood was with Wagner and Walken during Thanksgiving weekend on the couple’s boat, the Splendour, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Wagner and Walken reportedly got into an argument after they returned from drinks at a local restaurant.

Wood went to the master cabin bathroom, but Wagner noted as he was going to bed that he noticed Wood wasn’t there, the Times reported.

“It is believed that the dinghy had gotten loose and Wood came up on deck to tie it up,” where she fell and drowned, the Times reported.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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