The captain of the Splendour spoke to The Today Show on Friday regarding the investigation of Natalie Wood’s death.
“We didn’t take any steps to see if we could locate her,” the captain said.
After 30 years, the LA County Sheriff’s Department is reopening the investigation on the mysterious case surrounding Natalie Wood’s death.
According to the former captain, Dennis Davern, there was an argument the night Wood died. Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood had gathered with friends to party. Christopher Walken was on the couple’s yacht, the Splendour, that night.
According to the book, “Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour”, Marti Rulli co-authored with Captain Dennis Davern, tells the story of what happened.
The story goes, Natalie and Walken were chatting. Wagner got angry and slammed a bottle of wine on the table. Witnesses present took cover from the shattering glass. Later that night, an argument broke out between Wagner and Wood. According to the former Captain, he heard the couple fighting. A short time later he went on the deck and Wagner told him, “Natalie is missing.”
He said he asked Wagner to search for her and turn on the rescue lights but Wagner refused. The book claims Wagner also refused to let the Captain call the Coast Guard.
Davern said he was trying to tell this story for years and now someone’s finally listening. He admitted not being forthcoming with the truth that night.
Wagner’s publicist issued this statement, “The actor’s family ‘fully supports 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”
Natalie Wood’s death was kept as low profile. The coroner ruled the death as an accidental drowning. Yet further questions remained. How did she end up in the water? Why was she found wearing her nightgown with a down jacket over it? The theory goes she was trying to tie up a dinghy that was hitting the yacht, fell into the dark waters and drowned.
Yet the mystery remains. Natalie Wood’s sister spoke out about this story for years. She said Wagner never gave her an honest answer. Last year, the actress’ sister, Lana Wood, and the Captain of the yacht asked the sheriff’s office to reopen the case.
On Thursday, L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Benjamin Grubb couldn’t say whether the sister and the yacht Captain have prompted the renewed investigation.
Wood’s death investigation raises many questions. Was Wagner responsible for Wood’s death? Why didn’t he search for her as the captain claims?
What really happened the night Natalie Wood died? Her body was found later floating about a mile away from the yacht. Investigators are reopening this cold case after 30 years with memories of Natalie Wood resurfacing.
CNN reported that Natalie Wood once said in a televised interview that her greatest fear was of dark seawater. On November 29, 1981 she drowned in the Pacific Ocean off the isthmus of Catalina Island.