Natalie Wood Case Reopened After 30 Years

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The L.A. County Sheriff's Office is reopening its investigation into the death of movie star Natalie Wood, who drowned in 1981 while boating off the California coast.

Homicide investigators are reexamining one of Hollywood's most enduring mysteries after someone with "additional information" about the drowning contacted them.

Authorities didn't provide further details late Thursday, but more information will surely be made available soon as the case is reopened and actively pursued.

Natalie Wood Picture

Last year, the star's sister, Lana Wood, and the captain of the yacht on which Wood sailed with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, asked officials to reopen the case.

On Thursday, L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Benjamin Grubb couldn't say whether the sister and the yacht captain have prompted the renewed investigation.

Natalie Wood's body was found floating in the water about a mile away from the yacht, near Catalina Island, in a long nightgown, socks, and a down jacket.

The autopsy report showed that Wood had suffered two dozen bruises on her body, including a facial abrasion on her left cheek, and bruises on her arms.

In 2010, Lana Wood said she believes a heated argument between her sister and Wagner, who can be seen on next week's NCIS, preceded Wood's drowning.

She told CNN last year she does not suspect foul play, however.

"I just want the truth to come out, the real story," she said.

Dennis Davern, the former captain of the yacht Splendour, broke his long silence with a detailed account in "Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour," a book he wrote with his friend Marti Rulli. It was published in September 2009.

Davern also believes Wood's death was the result of a fight with Wagner.

In a lengthy interview with CNN in 2010, Davern said the investigation of Wood's death was incompetent and suggested there was a cover-up. He said he regrets misleading investigators by keeping quiet at Wagner's request.

Wagner's publicist, Alan Nierob, issued a statement saying the actor's family "fully support the efforts of the LA County Sheriff's Dept. 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."

Nierob said no authorities have contacted Wagner.

Wood and Wagner married in 1957, divorced in 1962, then remarried in 1972. They often sailed their yacht and invited Wood's Brainstorm co-star, Christopher Walken, to join them on a sail on Thanksgiving weekend in 1981.

Walken and Wood were filming Brainstorm and the rumor mill was abuzz with speculation that Wagner was jealous of Walken, but authorities have said Walken witnessed only the events leading up to an argument between the couple.

Walken couldn't be reached immediately for comment.

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Why did they call a news conference and then refuse to tell reporters any of the new disclosures? They have to have a reason for re-opening the case but didn't give even one new detail on what has prompted the new investigation. The only new piece I can see that is damaging is that the Captain has changed his story somewhat and the delay in calling the police he now puts at four hours. Wagner will have to be interviewed if the police believe this discrepancy in the story he told police. But since the Captain's reputation is not entirely credible due to alcoholic haze, I wonder if anything new will come of this.

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This is a day late and a dollar short, Hollywood marriages end every day, but seldom in one party's death. So it comes to the fact that people lied to protect the movie star's image. Whatever the truth is, I doubt it will actually come out, or any other outcome will be revealed. Guess it makes for a good story!

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what i dont understand is how everyone says she had a fear of water. If that is true then why would she have been on the boat in the first place?

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YEAH, RANDAL, I'M THE CAPTAIN'S BROTHER. HE TOLD ME THAT HE TRIED TO HAVE SEX WITH THE VICTIM, SHE WAS DRUNK, AND MAD AT HER HUSBAND. SHE TOLD HIM NO WAY. AFRAID OF LOSING HIS JOB, HE DROWNED HER. THIS B.S. POST MAKES MORE SENSE THAN WHAT THE CAPTAIN IS IMPLYING.

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ALLSAINTS45 ...I TAKE IT YOU'RE A PERSONAL FRIEND OF "THE CAPTAIN" ???

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I have always loved Natalie Wood. I was 20 years old when I heard of her death. When I heard the circumstances of her death, my immidiate thought was Robert Wagner killed her. It was well known that she had a fear of water. It must have been his idea to own a yacht. She had bruises on her arms and face, probably defence wounds. When ever I see Robert Wagner on the commercials he does now, my first thought is murderer, before I turn the channel. After 30 years I still believe he did it. Justice is slow, if it comes at all.

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A WASTE OF TIME AND RESOURCES. OPENING THIS CASE BASED ON A HAS BEEN YACHT CAPTAIN'S RANTS. THIS CLOWN MISSES THE SPOTLIGHT. WORTHLESS DRUNKARD.

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It has taken many years for this to finally have a break.
Tommy Garrett of Highlight Hollywoo.com has spearheaded this case from the start. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this.
R.I.P. Natalie.

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Natalie Wood Sister Lana Wood Interview about Natalie's Case Reopen. Lana Wood speaks audio Here (November 17, 2011) http://ow.ly/7xXgW

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May God rest her soul!The truth always comes out,sooner or later!I am so touched by this,because I lost my mom when I was 7 years old&she was only 31 years old.Her name was Patricia Alves Charbonneau&she died in February of 1976.Her birthday was February 5,1945.She died at the ledge/quarry of North Datmouth,Mass.Her body was found in the water,in her blue Nova,3 weeks after her birthday.Death certificate shows,accidental drowning,due to asphyxiation,but is still an unsolved mystery to this day!It is believed either suicide,murder or car accident.I feel for Natalie Wood&her family,because it so reminds me of my mom!God does Not sleep!What goes around,will come around!May God bless these 2 wonderful ladies&all who suffer,especially with unsolved mysteries!