It seems like just yesterday that Catherine Zeta-Jones was rolling out the withered husk of Kirk Douglas on stage at the Golden Globes, much to the dismay of many who either weren’t ready to see the ravages 100 years takes on the human body in high def, and/or didn’t want to see a man suspected of raping a 16-year-old Natalie Wood heralded as a hero. According to The Guardian, Natalie’s sister Lana Wood has completed her memoir, Little Sister, and with its publication, “one of Hollywood’s darkest rumors” has been corroborated. Lana says that since Kirk has died, she feels like she’s not betraying her sister by revealing that he was Natalie’s alleged rapist. Poor Lana probably woke up every morning for the last 20 years checking her Google alerts going “damn, how this bitch is STILL ALIVE?”
One of the biggest unsolved mysteries in Hollywood is what happened on the night Natalie Wood drowned off the coast of Catalina Island in 1981. Everyone has their own theory, but it’s not too much of a stretch to say that a whole lot of theories involve Natalie’s husband Robert Wagner, and a heavy dose of side-eye. In 2011, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reopened their investigation into Natalie’s death. Two years ago, Robert Wagner (who just turned 90), was named a person of interest in Natalie’s death. Which was news that no doubt made a bunch of people look at their watches and scream, “FINALLY.” However, Natalie Wood’s daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner obviously wasn’t one of them, because Natasha believes her stepdad is innocent.
36 Years After Natalie Wood’s Drowning, Robert Wagner Has Been Named A Person Of Interest In Her Death
If watching hundreds of episodes of 48 Hours, Dateline NBC, Unsolved Mysteries and Forensic Files taught me anything, it’s that the husband ALWAYS did it and that the victim is always a wonderful, caring person who “lit up” any room they walked into. (If my death ever ends up on 48 Hours, my friends and family will probably keep it real by saying I was a bitchy and bitter person who brought a black cloud with me into every room I walked into.) I’ve also learned that sometimes it takes a younger, hungrier detective with “fresh eyes” to move an old case forward. Now, I don’t know if a younger, hungrier detective with “fresh eyes” was brought on to look at the Natalie Wood case, but there’s been a little movement. CBS has learned that Robert Wagner has been named a person of interest.
Nearly 30 years after Natalie Wood (allegedly…DUN DUN DUN!) fell off of a boat and drowned to death in the middle of the night, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office has stared at the sunset twinkling in the ocean, felt the unsettling breeze of an unsolved mystery touching their ginger locks and slipped on their sunglasses right after saying that maybe just maybe she was MURDERED! (Obligatory justice scream here.)
The story goes that on November 29, 1981, Natalie Wood, her husband Robert Wagner and her Brainstorm co-star Christopher Walken were going wild and guzzling the sweet nectar on her yacht Splendour, which was docked at Catalina Island. Christopher and Robert started fighting over Natalie’s career (Robert claimed Christopher argued that she should focus on making movies instead of her family) sometime before she tried to secure a dinghy boat that was knocking against the hull. Natalie slipped and went overboard. Natalie, who was 43 at the time, was found dead about a mile away from the yacht. It was officially ruled as an accident, but there’s always been whispers about what really happened, because a witness claims she heard a woman screaming for help for 15 minutes straight. Robert told police that he never heard her screaming that night, but the witness claims she heard a male voice calmly saying “Take it easy, we’ll be over to get you.”
Natalie’s sister Lana has always had a side-eye on Robert Wagner, because she doesn’t believe his side of the story. Lana says Natalie would’ve never tried to mess with that dinghy boat, because water scared the fuck out of her and she never even went near a swimming pool. Lana has tried for years to get the Sheriff’s Office to reopen the case as a homicide investigation, but she’s been unsuccessful every time. TMZ says that a book about that night co-written by the boat’s captain is the reason why the Sheriff’s Office is taking a closer look at the case. The book came out in 2009, but its co-author Marti Rulli has been in touch with the Sheriff’s Office ever since and has been giving them evidence to support the claims made in the book.
Splendour’s captain, Dennis Davern, writes in the book that Natalie, Christopher and Robert were high on Quaaludes and several glasses of wine that night. The fun was killed when Robert blew up into a tornado of rage after seeing Natalie and Christopher talking closely. Robert smashed a bottle and screamed at Christopher, “What do you want to do, fuck my wife? Is that what you want?” Captain Davern says that Christopher went to his cabin and Natalie and Robert went to theirs. Captain Davern heard screaming coming from Natalie’s cabin followed by a BOOM! Then the boat went silent. A few minutes later, Captain Davern went to the deck and Robert told him that Natalie was missing. Robert didn’t want Captain Davern to call the Coast Guard and you know what happened next.
Captain Davern went on Today this morning and admitted to lying to police that night. Then he straight-up pointed at Robert Wagner as being responsible for Natalie’s death.
A rep for Robert Wagner issued this statement about the captain’s claims this morning:
“Although no one in the Wagner family has heard from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department about this matter, they fully support the efforts of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and trust they will evaluate whether any new information relating to the death of Natalie Wood Wagner is valid, and that it comes from a credible source or sources other than those simply trying to profit from the 30-year anniversary of her tragic death.”
WHAT TO BELIEVE?! Do we believe Christopher Walken who has eyes that look like they’ve seen a thousand murders and a face that looks like it’s been scratched at by victims letting out their last breath? (I mean, you don’t go through life as Christopher Walken without seeing at least one murder.) Do we believe Robert Wagner who got with Jill St. John shortly after his wife died? Or do we believe a boat captain who was played by Ernest P. Worrell on Today this morning? It’s times like this that I wish the late great Robert Stack was here to narrate all of this and tell us how to feel.