Friday, November 18, 2011

Natalie Wood Case Reopened

It was shocking news yesterday when it was announced that the Los Angeles Sheriff's Dept reopened the investigation into the death of Natalie Wood. Wood died November 29, 1981, almost 30 years ago. A news conference on the subject just ended, and the man at the focus of the new investigation is the captain of the Splendour, the boat owned by Robert Wagner, Wood's husband.

This morning, I watched two interviews with Dennis Davern, the captain. On The Today Show, he was extremely evasive. On CNN, he was much more forthcoming. Also with him was the co-author of his book, Marti Rulli. What was extremely interesting to me was that Davern and Rulli both kept saying their push for this was not at all because of their book from 2009. Yet, they continually kept answering questions with "it's all in the book." Hmmm.

Davern admitted he lied to police 30 years ago. Okay, that's against the law. Let's see him get arrested for that.

Robert Wagner released a statement quickly saying he and his family support the investigation, but that they hoped the source for it was credible and not just out to cash in on the anniversary of Wood's death.

Hmmm: "It's all in the book."

I remember Wood's death vividly. I recall the news stories and the tabloid headlines. I remember well the scuttlebutt over the big fight between Wagner, Wood, and their guest on the boat, Christopher Walken. Walken has been like a zombie on the Wood death from the moment it happened. I have no clue what happened on the Splendour.

A combination of fact and conjecture says that the verbal fight was intense. Everyone had been drinking and was at the least, legally drunk. Nat was a little flirty, RJ was a little jealous. Walken was in the middle and probably enjoying the attention from the beautiful Wood. Walken went to bed and from there, who knows.

The death was ruled an accidental drowning. The debate is whether or not Wood really went to bed, was disturbed by the dingy banging against the boat, and went to tie it down and fell overboard. Or, was she attempting to leave the Splendour after all the fighting and fell in. Davern intimates that there is another 'or' in play.

I have not read his book in which all of this information is supposed to be, but in his interviews today, he asserted that it was a case of Wagner not doing all that he could. He stopped short of accusing him of murder.

No one really knows but Natalie and RJ. To me, it's just a huge tragedy. I don't know that there is anything to be gained by anything that is happening now. I have a hard time believing Wagner killed Wood, as some people do think (just read the book reviews over on Amazon). Davern insists Wood wouldn't have gone near the dingy at night because of her fear of dark water. I don't know. When people have been drinking, they aren't thinking right.

The Sheriff's Dept. says they are investigating, but that Wagner is not a suspect. They just want to talk to people to follow up on what they've learned. They may or may not go aboard the Splendour, now docked in Hawaii, and they may or may not exhume the body.

I think my biggest beef is with the uneducated media. Some of those asking questions don't even realize that Davern's book has been out for 2 years. Several of them, including some of the CNN reporters, are acting like it's a book just coming out. I noticed other discrepancies as well. It's frustrating because ten minutes on the internet could get them the real story. It's bad storytelling.

Right now, it's a tragic memory. I think they were all intoxicated, they fought, and everyone made bad choices. I firmly believe Wagner was devastated by the ordeal, and if his involvement was more than what we already know, it's a parasite that has probably eaten away at his insides for three decades.

I just want Natalie to rest in peace.

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