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November 18, 2011

Oh Dear: Boat Captain Says He Lied In 1981 and That He Believes Actor Robert Wagner Was Actually Responsible For His Wife Natalie Wood's Death

This isn't pop culturally relevant to Meghan McCain, but I remember this story, and some thick suspicions about Natalie Wood's drowning. Ultimately cops ruled it an accidental drowning and closed the file.

The boat captain, aboard with Wood, Wagner, and Christopher Walken (!! -- please don't be involved in this!), now says he lied to homicide cops back in 1981.

A boat captain said Friday that he lied to authorities about the case and that Wood's husband, Wagner, was to blame for her death.

Police said Wagner was not a suspect and that they had new information that warranted a reopening the case.

Walken says he went to bed and then woke up to be told (imagine the WalkenVoice) "there was a tragedy."

The boat captain doesn't say Wagner murdered her, leaving open the possibility that his (claimed) story is that Wagner caused her death in an accidental fashion.

CNN has more details:

Actor Robert Wagner waited hours to call the Coast Guard after his wife, actress Natalie Wood, went missing from a yacht in 1981, the vessel's captain said Friday.

Wagner also told those on board the boat what to say to authorities about the incident, the captain said. Wood was later found drowned.

Dennis Davern, the former captain of the yacht Splendour, said he first searched the boat to check whether Natalie was anywhere on board. He said he then wanted to turn on the searchlight to see whether she was in the water, but that Wagner told him not to.

"We don't want to do that right now," Wagner allegedly told Davern.

Wood's sister says she heard a loud fight between Wagner and Wood before she drowned. The sister also says Wood was not a swimmer, and would not have gone swimming on her own, especially not, as Wood apparently was, dressed in a nightshirt and socks (!!!).

Plus... bruises on the body.

Actually, I think that CNN article is just worth reading in full.

There's a hint that maybe Walken and Wood were... well, doing something that Wagner was jealous about. Walken and Wood had costarred in a sci-fi thriller called Brainstorm. I think she died before shooting wrapped, resulting in her disappearing out of the movie, and probably some Rescue Editing that didn't wind up rescuing it. (I have a dim recollection of the end of the film not making much sense, and feeling incomplete.)

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posted by Ace at 03:16 PM

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