Robert Wagner to Blame For Death of Natalie Wood?

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L.A. County Sherriff's Office investigators' decision to reopen the Natalie Wood case after three decades has raised suspicions of her husband, Robert Wagner.

The captain of the boat that Wood, a major movie star at the time, mysteriously vanished from in 1981 is now blaming veteran actor Wagner for her death.

The Tinseltown starlet died off of Santa Catalina Island in California after partying on a yacht one night with hubby Wagner and actor Christopher Walken.

At the time, police said Wood, 43, accidentally fell overboard and drowned. Now the boat's captain, Dennis Davern, is telling something of a different story.

Robert Wagner Picture

On Today, Davern said Robert Wagner, now 81, asked him not to take steps to find his wife. It was a matter of "We're not going to look too hard," he said.

"We're not going to turn on the search light, we're not going to notify anybody right at the moment," said Davern, who admitted that he lied at the time.

"I made some terrible decisions and mistakes," he said. "I did lie on a report years ago. I made mistakes by not telling the honest truth in a police report."

Asked if Wagner was "responsible" for Wood's death, Davern said, "Yes I would say so." Lana Wood, Natalie Wood's sister, also spoke out about the case:

Lana says she never believed Robert Wagner's version of the events that led to Natalie's death, and believes Robert wasn't honest with investigators.

She says she's not buying the original story that Natalie was trying to secure a dinghy and fell overboard because she was deathly afraid of water.

Natalie wouldn't even go in her own pool, according to her sister.

Lana Wood says Sheriff's detectives interviewed her and specifically wanted to know if the relationship between Natalie and Robert was "volatile."

And, Lana says, if Wagner or anyone else is found to be responsible for Natalie's death, they should be punished, despite the fact it's 30 years later.

Wood (1938-1981) and Wagner were married in 1957, divorced in 1962, then remarried in 1972. They have one daughter, Courtney, born in 1974.

Despite the accusations of the captain, it is not known specifically what caused officials to reopen the case, and Wagner has never been a suspect.

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

The actor, who has a recurring role on NCIS, "trusts they will evaluate whether any new information relating to the death of Natalie Wood Wagner is valid."

Nierob said no authorities have contacted Wagner about the case.

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