Natalie Wood Death Investigation Reopened

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The Los Angeles Sheriff is reporting that the investigation into the mysterious death of Natalie Wood is being reopened. My mother, who I always thought looked a bit like Wood, had told me the story about her death over and over. Most interesting to me was that she was with Christopher Walken the night she died. Also her husband Robert Wagner.

Here’s a basic account:

Wood spent Thanksgiving at her Beverly Hills home with her husband, parents, sister Lana and secretary Mart Crowley. The next day, the Wagners and Christopher Walken went to Catalina Island for the weekend. On Saturday night, November 28, the Wagners’ yacht (Splendour) was anchored in Isthmus Cove. Also on board was the boat’s skipper, Dennis Davern, who had worked for the couple for many years. The official theory is that Wood either tried to leave the yacht or to secure a dinghy from banging against the hull when she accidentally slipped and fell overboard. When her body was found, she was wearing a down jacket, nightgown, and socks. A woman on a nearby yacht said she heard calls for help at around midnight. The cries lasted for about 15 minutes and were answered by someone else who said, “Take it easy. We’ll be over to get you.” “It was laid back,” the witness recalled. “There was no urgency or immediacy in their shouts.” There was much partying going on in the waters of Isthmus Cove, though, and while it has never been proven that the woman calling for help was, indeed, Natalie Wood, no other person has ever been identified or come forward as having called out for help on that night. An investigation by Los Angeles County coroner Thomas Noguchi resulted in an official verdict of accidental drowning. Noguchi concluded Wood had drunk “seven or eight” glasses of wine and was intoxicated when she died. Noguchi also wrote that he found Wood’s fingernail scratches on the side of the rubber dinghy indicating she was trying to get in. Wood was 43 at the time of her death

Of course the first thing I did upon hearing the news was call my mother.