Natalie Wood's Body Bruised Before She Drowned: Coroner
But new report leaves cause of death 'undetermined'
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2013 2:49 PM CST
In this 1980 file photo, actor Robert Wagner appears with actress Natalie Wood.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – Natalie Wood's body had bruises and scratches that she likely suffered before drowning in the Pacific Ocean on a November night in 1981, according to a new coroner's report. "The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising support bruising having occurred prior to the entry into the water," wrote Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran in his report. He refused to rule out "non-volitional, unplanned entry into the water" but left her cause of death "undetermined," the LA Times reports.

The actor's drowning was considered accidental until Dennis Davern, the pilot of the boat she shared with actor-husband Robert Wagner, gave a TV interview blaming Wagner for her death, CBS reports. The LA County Sheriff's Department reopened the investigation in 2011, which led to today's report. But a lack of evidence leaves open the chance that Wood was hurt trying to tie a dinghy to the boat. Her actual injuries: superficial abrasions to the face, a scratch on her neck, and bruises on her arms, reports the AP. (According to unearthed audiotapes, Wagner actually pushed Wood off the boat.)

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Showing 3 of 21 comments
eatthebankers
Jan 29, 2013 11:28 AM CST
She was always scared of the water. When Wagner dies, maybe Christopher Walken will finally come forward with the truth. It was murder.
1492
Jan 18, 2013 5:33 PM CST
Natalie Wood. Just to hear the name gives me goose bumps. Mr. Robert Wagner has the right to remain silent. Anything he sez may be held against him. He knows what he did. He is another OJ....he knew what he did and was let go. With Wagner, quiet mum is the word... he never went to trial... The pilot of the boat, the Captain, called Natalie's sister as soon as it happened. Why she chose to keep it quiet is a haunting question. Who is she? This is an going investigation because of the Captain's insistence. The Coroners findings corroborate the Captain's word. Wagner is almost getting away with the perfect Crime. Another actor with whom Natalie had become involved with in the boat...Christopher Walken, who was in Deer Hunter...had a sexual laison with Natalie while Wagner was on the boat....Christopher is the one who began the new evidence..he divulged this information about a year or two ago. Remember Wagner used to star in the Episodes of "It takes a thief". He knows the law. This opens up more questions: Did Natalie's sister have something going on with Wagner? Why else would she keep it quiet. Could she have been part of it? ....Wagner, surely has been advised that Murder has no statue of Limitations. 1942
joanie
Jan 18, 2013 12:37 PM CST
ever since natalie woods death, i have though all along that robert wagner killed her .the picture just don't add up,them fighting like they did so many times again and again. its like the old saying,"if i can't have you, nobody will"therefore, robert killed her. it just takes times for the truth to come out. i don't know how he can live with it as long as he has, knowing that he pushed natalie off the boat like he did. i'm waiting for the day when he get murder charges for killing such a beautiful lady as natalie was.