Natalie Wood Investigation Reopened

Homicide cops taking fresh look at star's 1981 drowning

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 18, 2011 12:02 AM CST | Updated Nov 18, 2011 7:40 AM CST

(Newser) – Los Angeles County homicide detectives have reopened an investigation into the 30-year-old mystery of actress Natalie Wood's death. The star's 1981 drowning was ruled an accident. But her last evening, which she spent on a yacht with husband Robert Wagner and movie co-star Christopher Walken, has long been the subject of speculation. Law enforcement officials have now decided to take another look at the case after receiving fresh information, and they plan to interview the boat's captain about comments he made about the case recently, the Los Angeles Times reports.

In the captain's book Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour, he recalls that on the night she drowned, Wood was drinking and taking Quaaludes with Wagner and Walken. An argument erupted between the two men, apparently over Wood, followed by shouting between the couple in their room—and thumps, according to the captain. He says he was later told "Natalie is missing" by Wagner, who allegedly refused to let him call the Coast Guard. The captain's co-author, Marti Rulli, has been in touch for months with police, reports TMZ. An investigation at the time determined that Wood apparently fell into the sea after attempting to climb into the yacht's dingy or trying to secure it. Wagner has issued a statement saying he supports the new investigation.

Actress Natalie Wood is shown at the 51st Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles in 1979.
Actress Natalie Wood is shown at the 51st Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles in 1979.   (AP Photo, file)
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