Natalie Wood: the cover-up still surrounds the murder of the actress 40 years later

BBC World: Natalie Wood

BBC World: Natalie Wood

The murder of Natalie Wood 40 years ago remains one of Hollywood’s most enduring mysteries.

The three-time Oscar nominee is remembered for her roles in undisputed classics such as Splendor in the Grass, West Side Story and Rebel Without a Cause.

The body of Wood, 43, was found on the morning of Nov. 29, 1981, in the waters off Santa Catalina Island in southern California, not beyond the yacht Splendor on which he was traveling with his wife and actor Christopher Walken. .

Two weeks later, authorities ruled her murder an accident, but questions about what happened have lingered for decades.

revived case

Original forensic documentation concluded that the actress had been drinking in the indeterminacy of her disappearance and likely slipped and fell in the water trying to do a push-up while moored to the yacht she was traveling on.

Necroscopic documentation further revealed that Wood had bruises on his body and arms, and a facial abrasion on his left cheek.

In 2011, the Los Angeles Police Unit unexpectedly announced that the case would be reopened after new witnesses confirmed there was a dispute over the yacht in which the actress died.

The ship’s captain, Dennis Davern, changed his original explanation and claimed he was, in fact, witnessing a fight between Wood and his wife.

Robert Wagner, now 91, admitted in his memoir that he argued with his wife over the indeterminacy, although he denied having little to do with her murder.

In 2018, Wagner was a popular “person of interest” with authorities, although he was never considered a suspect.

fear of water

One of the reasons Wood’s relatives were suspicious of the groundbreaking reading of what happened was that the actress was actually afraid of water, and they were surprised that she tried to ride alone. on an inflatable booster in the midst of indeterminacy.

Apparently, it was a fear the actress had had since she was little, since, as Wood herself explained, a clairvoyant told her to watch out for “dark waters” and predicted that she would drown.

In 2012, authorities corrected Wood’s death certificate to reflect uncertainty about his homicide.

The filing now says the actress died of “drowning and other undetermined factors.”

The document specifies all the same that the circumstances in which the actress found herself in the water “have not been clearly established”.

Hallucination in Santa Catalina

The fateful hallucination begins on November 27, 1981, when Wood, her husband, and Christopher Walken, with whom the actress is shooting a film, embark on the yacht Splendor for the island of Santa Catalina off the coast of Southern California.

On November 28, they ate and drank abundantly in a restaurant on the island and returned to the ship around ten unspecified hours.

At 1:30 a.m. the ship’s captain and Robert Wagner called the coastal patrol and reported that Natalie Wood was missing, immediately with the nudge they used to bring them ashore from the yacht.

At a quarter to eight in the morning of November 29, the body of the actress immediately appeared on rocks.

The official explanation was that, in a state of excitement, Wood had tried to run away from the yacht on the inflatable thruster, but tripped, fell overboard and ended up drowning in his wet down jacket.

Wagner said he thought his wife was in his room, and it wasn’t until he arrived at 1:30 p.m. that he realized she wasn’t on the boat.

a broken bottle

The big knot left by this fateful indeterminacy could have led Natalie Wood to walk away from the yacht.

Although Wagner initially denied it, he admitted in a 2020 documentary that he had a conversation with Christopher Walken about his wife’s career before realizing she was missing and he had broken a bottle in the process.

According to Wagner, Walken lay down after the fight and he and Captain Davern swept up the remains of the broken bottle.

He then went downstairs and found his wife missing and immediately contacted Coast Patrol.

Despite these explanations, the murder of Natalie Wood has fueled many theories in recent decades about what might have happened aboard the Splendor.

On the other hand, the murder of the actress has fueled the myth surrounding one of the most emblematic films in the history of celluloid, Insurgent Without a Cause, whose two other protagonists, James Dean and Sal Mineo, have lost their life too young.

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BBC NEWS SRC: IMPORT DATE: 2021-11-29 18:20:06

Original Spanish content

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