The 1981 drowning death of iconic Hollywood star Natalie Wood is coming under renewed scrutiny following the launch of a new 12-part investigative podcast, Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood.
The show is generating headlines with claims made by a homicide detective and a plea from Natalie’s sister for the late actress’s husband to “come clean” with what he knows.
Natalie Wood died on November 29, 1981, after falling overboard from a yacht she had been on with her husband, actor Robert Wagner; her Brainstorm costar Christopher Walken; and the ship’s Captain, Dennis Davern.
On the first episode of Fatal Voyage, Ralph Hernandez, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide detective, states that Natalie’s injuries before she fell were consistent with her being a “victim of assault.”
This statement contradicts the original 1981 report that indicated Natalie injured herself while struggling to get back onboard the yacht. Hernandez says:
“We have someone who died under very suspicious circumstances … The fact is that we have a lot of information as to the events of what occurred that evening. We have a lot of evidence that tends to point to a very suspicious death and would certainly indicate the possibility of foul play.”
In 2011, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office reopened the Natalie Wood investigation. In February 2018, the agency officially announced Robert Wagner as a “person of interest” in Natalie’s “suspicious” demise.
Also on Fatal Voyage, Lana Wood, Natalie’s actress sister who has long campaigned for the truth to come out, addresses Robert Wagner more frankly than ever. Lana says:
“I believe that there was a horrible fight onboard the Splendour … I think it escalated to a point where she was either struck or pushed. I don’t believe that it was planned. I don’t believe in any of those bizarre stories, but I do know she would not have ended up somewhere where she would completely never, ever go in a million years or certainly not go out not dressed. There’s just too much that doesn’t add up to who Natalie is.”
Robert Wagner has not commented on the podcast. In his 2008 memoir, Pieces of My Heart, the actor states that he and Wood argued shortly before she fell overboard, and he smashed a wine bottle on a table, but that he made no physical contact with his wife.
Watch Investigation Discovery’s Natalie Wood: An American Murder Mystery on ID GO now!
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Main photo: Natalie Wood [Wikipedia]