Natalie Wood Yacht Captain Says Robert Wagner Responsible For Wife's Death
The captain of a yacht carrying Natalie Wood says her husband Robert Wagner was responsible for her death in 1981.
Dennis Davern, speaking on the Today show, said he was urging a fresh investigation. Asked if an argument that included bottle smashing between the couple led to her death he responded: "Yes."
Davern said, "I made some terrible decisions and mistakes. I did lie on a report several years ago." He added, "We didn't take any steps to see if we could locate her," Davern added.
"I think it was a matter of, 'We're not going to look too hard, we're not going to turn on the searchlight, we're not going to notify anybody right now.'"
Davern helped write a book in 2009 that included the information he was providing now, he said. The Los Angeles Times first reported the investigation was being reopened. The newspaper said sheriff's investigators have received new information on comments the yacht's captain made about the case and are reopening it.
Few actresses were more popular than the woman of Russian ancestry. Only 43, she had made 56 movies with the likes of Steve McQueen, Orson Welles, James Dean, Gene Tierney, James Stewart, Maureen O'Hara, Bette Davis, Laurence Olivier and Bing Crosby. She was taking the Thanksgiving weekend off at Isthmus Cove near Santa Catalina while making "Brainstorm" with Wagner, whom she had remarried after they divorced, and Christopher Walken.
"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," Wikipedia reports.