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Natalie Wood case re-opened

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In case people need more back story :D



TMZ

Natalie Wood's death has been reopened as a homicide investigation, primarily because of a book written by the captain of the boat where Natalie Wood spent her last minutes ... a book suggesting foul play ... this according to sources close to the investigation.

We've learned Marti Rulli -- who co-authored the book -- has been in regular touch with the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. over the last few months. She has given Sheriff's investigators documents supporting material in her book, and we're told the Sheriff is so impressed he has assigned 2 full-time homicide detectives to the case.

In the book -- "Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour" -- Rulli and Splendour Captain Dennis Davern write about the night Natalie drowned. They say before Natalie disappeared from the boat, she was drinking and taking Quaaludes with her husband, Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken.

According to the book, Wagner became enraged when he saw Wood and Walken speaking, and smashed a wine bottle, yelling at Walken, "What do you want to do, f**k my wife? Is that what you want?"

At that point, Walken returned to his cabin and Natalie and Robert went to their state room. According to the Captain, he heard a loud argument between the couple and thumping sounds, and eventually silence.

A short time later, the Captain went to the deck and was told by Wagner, "Natalie is missing."

The book claims Wagner refused to let the Captain call the Coast Guard.

Wagner told the Capt. the dinghy was gone, along with Natalie, but some doubted that because she was deathly afraid of dark water.

The death was ruled an accident, but Rulli was like a pit bull since the book was written in 2008.

We're told the homicide investigators have already traveled to Catalina, as well as New Jersey to interview Rulli. They've also gone to Augustine, Florida to interview the Captain, and they're going to Hawaii to look at the Splendour.

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Nothing is going to come of this.

This is all information that she should have been given 30 years ago -- to have stories change now smacks of opportunism.

The classic question on cross examination:

"Are you lying now or were you lying then?"

Follow up question:

"And did you receive any money as a result of your testimoney here today or for the interviews that you have given. . . .?'

The book claims Wagner refused to let the Captain call the Coast Guard.



Seriously? You don't think that that CG/police were all over that boat when it came to shore and that the captain (or other crew member) would not have said something?

An easy claim to make now -- as I am guessing the captain is no longer around.


Walken and Wagner's reactions will prove interesting. Edited by tyler

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The book claims Wagner refused to let the Captain call the Coast Guard.




An easy claim to make now -- as I am guessing the captain is no longer around.


Actually, the Captain is the one that wrote the book. I think it's odd that enough new "evidence" must have appeared for them to re-open the case....

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I will never forget when this happened. I was shocked. I grew up watching Natalie Wood and I thought she was more beautiful than Elizabeth Taylor. I was also a fan of Robert Wagner from It Takes a Thief and Hart to Hart. I just wanted to believe it was an accident, but I think we all suspected something more sinister happened on that yacht than what was said at the time. I will be watching this story unfold closely.

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The book claims Wagner refused to let the Captain call the Coast Guard.




An easy claim to make now -- as I am guessing the captain is no longer around.


Actually, the Captain is the one that wrote the book. I think it's odd that enough new "evidence" must have appeared for them to re-open the case....



That's what I get for not reading more carefully.

Definitely opportunism if the captain is looking to cash in now.

I just heard on HLN that Walken seems to have lawyered up.

I still don't think anything will come of this, and my opening question still holds especially since this information seems to have come from the captain. :rolleyes: Edited by tyler

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But the captain's book came out in 2009. Why two years later? The police just announced this afternoon there was quite a bit of new evidence? (can't remember the exact wording I heard....) Other gawker commenters (so funny) saying that maybe people today are thinking it was more sinister than it was because no one remembers/knows what qualuudes did to people. And to mix with alcohol....Whereas at the time - sure, it wasn't that odd that someone could have fallen off a yacht and drowned and no one could do anything about it.....

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But the captain's book came out in 2009. Why two years later? The police just announced this afternoon there was quite a bit of new evidence? (can't remember the exact wording I heard....)

Other gawker commenters (so funny) saying that maybe people today are thinking it was more sinister than it was because no one remembers/knows what qualuudes did to people. And to mix with alcohol....Whereas at the time - sure, it wasn't that odd that someone could have fallen off a yacht and drowned and no one could do anything about it.....



I don't know. How did the book do in 2009 --are they trying to shop it now?

I just don't think anything will come of this. Just because LAPD has reopened doesn't mean that the prosecutor's office will have enough to prosecute anybody and even though 2 detectives have been assigned to this matter doesn't really mean anything -- they could be part of a cold case squad and they might have moved the case just to keep her from harping on them.


LAPD has issued a statement indicating that Wagner is not a person of interest. If what happened above is true, and "RJ" was pissed because he thought was something was going on between Walken and Natalie, then RJ should be the first suspect.

Interesting twist on the Gawker speculation: If Wagner and Walken had a thing going, maybe Natalie went off the deep end (excuse the pun) because SHE was upset.

I remember thinking that this story was pretty questionable at the time too -- everybody loves a conspiracy -- especially when it involves the rich and famous.

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This would be a pretty difficult cold case to prove unless someone confesses, and even then I doubt it would go to a trial. But if the book is making claims that something untoward occurred to cause the demise of Natalie Wood, then Sheriff Lee Baca has an ethical duty to investigate that (and that could be done without talking to the press, but apparently his mind doesn't work that way). Now, if only Sheriff Baca would find it ethical to keep Lindsey Lohan in the clink...

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For some reason, I've always been really drawn to Natalie Wood - even though I was only about 6 or 7 when she died. I even wanted to name my daughter Natalie, but got vetoed :(

I hope this leads to some answers, but doubt it will for the reasons mentioned above.

On a side note, there is a local sports-talk radio station here that has a Christopher Walken impersonator that calls in once a week for fantasy football picks. Anyway, he gave a fake interview the other day regarding this story and the AP picked it up and had to do a retraction. LOL! (great investigative reporting!) The guy that does the impression is a producer for a couple of the shows on the station and is a fraternity buddy of my boss.

*****

AP Kills Natalie Wood Story From WTEM Sourcing - 11/18 - DCRTV hears that the Associated Press has withdrawn versions of its story about the Natalie Wood investigation, and how it might be allegedly reopened. The story quoted Christopher Walken telling sports talker ESPN 980, WTEM, about his recollections from the 1981 night that Wood fell off a boat and drowned, while Walken and another actor, Robert Wagner, were on the boat. The station now says that it was a comedy bit involving a WTEM employee who was impersonating Walken. A DCRTVer tells us that the Walken comment that AP picked up originated with a jestful bit on Tony Kornheiser's Friday show that was clearly intended to be an impression. The word is that it was voiced by Marc "Nigel" Sterne, a sidekick on Kornheiser's show. The Walken impersonation is a regular Friday football pick feature of the show, we hear. "And frankly, it didn't sound much like Walken. Bad impression and worse reporting by the AP," we're told by a listener who heard it. Update: We're told that Sterne's impersonation of Walken actually took place during WTEM's "The Sports Fix" show, which follows Kornheiser at noon. And once again, the Washington Post's Paul Farhi does a piece at washingtonpost.com without crediting DCRTV for breaking the story.....

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To open a case over thirty years old is a little overboard!


Was that pun intended? :4biggrin:

I do wonder why the police are making such a big deal of this....

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To open a case over thirty years old is a little overboard!


Was that pun intended? :4biggrin:

I do wonder why the police are making such a big deal of this....


They probably arent - the press is.

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To open a case over thirty years old is a little overboard!


Was that pun intended? :4biggrin:

I do wonder why the police are making such a big deal of this....


They probably arent - the press is.

I agree the press is going to make more of it then the police.

While I agree everyone felt something was hinky when this happened, you can't help but wonder why the captain took so long to speak up.

If they exhume her body, will it be like NCIS and ducky will solve the mystery?

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NATIONAL ENQUIRER 12/12 1. WHAT late ’70s, early ’80s sitcom star went to his grave with a huge secret surrounding the mystery of Natalie Wood’s death? The legendary character actor didn’t want to get involved in the case, but he wasn’t shy about sharing what he knew about that fateful night Natalie drowned off the coast of Catalina Island!

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NATIONAL ENQUIRER 12/12
1. WHAT late ’70s, early ’80s sitcom star went to his grave with a huge secret surrounding the mystery of Natalie Wood’s death? The legendary character actor didn’t want to get involved in the case, but he wasn’t shy about sharing what he knew about that fateful night Natalie drowned off the coast of Catalina Island!


Well, if he wasn't shy about sharing what he knew, then somebody must have heard it. And truthfully, unless he was there, he only knows what someone told him.

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Natalie Wood

Death Certificate Changed

"Undetermined"

Exclusive

TMZ

 

Natalie Wood's death certificate has been changed from "Accident" to "Undetermined" ... TMZ has learned.

 

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the L.A. County Coroner filed documents making the change late last month.

 

Members of Wood's family tell TMZ ... detectives from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department -- which has reopened the death investigation -- paid them a visit earlier today informing them of the change. They tell us ... detectives told them the change was made in part because some of the bruises on Wood's body were inconsistent with death by accident.

 

Family members add ... they were told at this point authorities can't prove definitively Wood's death was accidental or the result of foul play. Detectives did tell family members Wood's death was definitely from drowning, but the way she ended up in the water is unclear.

 

Law enforcement sources tell us their investigation is still active.

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Posted Image

 

Natalie Wood

Wagner NOT a Suspect

Because of Death Change

TMZ

 

Robert Wagner is NOT a suspect in Natalie Wood's death, TMZ has learned ... this in the wake of a change in her death certificate.

 

We broke the story ... the L.A. County Coroner has changed Wood's cause of death from "Accident" to "Undetermined."

 

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ the reason for the change is that there was bruising on Wood's body that is not NECESSARILY consistent with an accident ... but it doesn't prove foul play.

 

Here's the real reason for the change. After Wood's died in 1981, then L.A. County Coroner Thomas Noguchi jumped to a conclusion -- something he was prone to do -- that Wood's death was an accident.

 

Noguchi did not follow protocol by accounting for ALL possibilities for the bruises -- possibilities which could include foul play, but could just as easily come down to Wood's hitting the side of the boat or the dinghy as she fell in the water.

 

We're told protocol all along should have been to call Wood's death "undetermined."

 

Our sources say the investigation is still officially "active" but in fact it's been at a dead end and detectives have unearthed no new evidence to lead them to a conclusion there was foul play. We're told there is "certainly no evidence" leading detectives to a suspect.

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Actually, this is alot of bullshit.

 

The Coroner's office knows exactly how she died -- she drowned. Death is not undetermined.

 

The razor's edge they are pinning "undetermined" on is the assertion that that they do not know how she got in the water -- she could have fallen over the side of the boat drunk, she could have jumped, she could have been pushed. Whatever.

 

As an interesting question if Wagner is not a "person of interest" does that mean that Walken is -- I mean by process of elimination he would have to be, wouldn't he?

 

Again, this a whole lot of bullshit and a monumental waste of LAPD's resources. If they did not have enough to file and prosecute charges back then, they sure as hell won't now--

 

of course, this is all MOHO

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Actually, this is alot of bullshit.

 

The Coroner's office knows exactly how she died -- she drowned. Death is not undetermined.

 

The razor's edge they are pinning "undetermined" on is the assertion that that they do not know how she got in the water -- she could have fallen over the side of the boat drunk, she could have jumped, she could have been pushed. Whatever.

 

As an interesting question if Wagner is not a "person of interest" does that mean that Walken is -- I mean by process of elimination he would have to be, wouldn't he?

 

Again, this a whole lot of bullshit and a monumental waste of LAPD's resources. If they did not have enough to file and prosecute charges back then, they sure as hell won't now--

 

of course, this is all MOHO

dahling that is not how it works. when someone dies because they have "cancer" they dont die from cancer. The presence of cancer and its growth leads to the terminal event. They die from the cancer leading to some acute life threatening event (pneumonia, bleed, embolus etc). That is what the coroner is looking into. They are not interested in sematics. they are looking into the chain of events. simple as that.

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Actually, as an attorney who has practiced criminal law, I do have a pretty good idea how it works.

 

Cause of death is drowning, how she got in the water is "undetermined." As a said, "razor's edge" or as you put it, "semantics." (A rose by another name would smell. . . ) As someone who experienced a father in law dying of cancer, I can assure you that the death certificate did not read that he died as a result of complications, such as pneumonia, as result of that cancer. Having said that, I do recognize that people die from complications of illness -- e.g. dying from a staff infection while in the hospital after surgery or suffering a stroke while having that surgery.

 

Regardless, dahling, I stand by my opinion that this is a monumental waste of time and resources and changing the death certificate this many years when the chances that the District Attorney's office will prosecute someone practically nil. It was done to placate someone's agenda.

Edited by tyler

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Actually, as an attorney who has practiced criminal law, I do have a pretty good idea how it works.

 

Cause of death is drowning, how she got in the water is "undetermined." As a said, "razor's edge" or as you put it, "semantics." (A rose by another name would smell. . . ) As someone who experienced a father in law dying of cancer, I can assure you that the death certificate did not read that he died as a result of complications, such as pneumonia, as result of that cancer. Having said that, I do recognize that people die from complications of illness -- e.g. dying from a staff infection while in the hospital after surgery or suffering a stroke while having that surgery.

 

Regardless, dahling, I stand by my opinion that this is a monumental waste of time and resources and changing the death certificate this many years when the chances that the District Attorney's office will prosecute someone practically nil. It was done to placate someone's agenda.

like fish in a barrel.

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Actually, this is alot of bullshit.

 

The Coroner's office knows exactly how she died -- she drowned. Death is not undetermined.

 

The razor's edge they are pinning "undetermined" on is the assertion that that they do not know how she got in the water -- she could have fallen over the side of the boat drunk, she could have jumped, she could have been pushed. Whatever.

 

As an interesting question if Wagner is not a "person of interest" does that mean that Walken is -- I mean by process of elimination he would have to be, wouldn't he?

 

Again, this a whole lot of bullshit and a monumental waste of LAPD's resources. If they did not have enough to file and prosecute charges back then, they sure as hell won't now--

 

of course, this is all MOHO

It's the "manner of death" that is (now) undetermined. Changing the box on the dc from "accidental" to "undetermined" or even "pending" this late in the game is certainly not the norm. I suppose the case could have been reopened by a new detective to the unit, hence the change of the manner of death, but it's still kind of odd.

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