Honolulu, Hawaii – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. has reopened the investigation into the 1981 death of Natalie Wood and will be heading to Hawaii to examine the yacht that was a part of the infamous incident, according to the craft’s current owner.
Oscar-winning actress Wood, 43, drowned almost 30 years ago after partying on Thanksgiving weekend with her husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken, with whom she starred in the film ‘Brainstorm.’ The three, along with the boat’s captain, were on the celebrity couple’s yacht named ‘Splendour,’ anchored off of Catalina Island.
To see photos of Natalie Wood over the years, click here.
At the time, the coroner ruled Wood’s death an accident, saying she was drunk and trying to secure a dinghy that was hitting the hull when she slipped and fell into the water – dressed only in a jacket and nightgown. The autopsy report also indicated Woods had 24 bruises on her body, including an abrasion on her left cheek.
At a news conference last week, sheriff’s department spokesperson Lt. John Corina said, “We’re going to follow up on the leads we have. We are going to re-interview some people, interview some new people, talk to people and re-evaluate the evidence.”
To watch a Nov. 18, 2011, sheriff’s department news conference regarding the reopening of the investigation into Natalie Wood’s death, click here.
HawaiiNewsNow.com spoke to Ron Nelson, the current owner of the Splendour, who bought the yacht at a boat show in Calif. In 1986.
“There’s not that many pictures of the inside of the boat around so they want to see what the boat looks like so they can talk intelligently to the people they’re interviewing,” Nelson said.
He added that he has been speaking to investigators for several weeks and said he believes the initial investigation into Wood’s death was not thorough.
“Just a lot of unusual things. All the t’s weren’t crossed and the i’s dotted, so I think that’s what they’re trying to do now,” he surmised.
Marti Rulli, who co-authored a book with Dennis Davern, the former captain of Wood’s yacht – the Splendour – said during an interview that he told her the night Wood died, a terrible fight took place between Wagner and Walken on the boat. Davern claims that Wagner believed Walken was attracted to Wood.
To hear author Marti Rulli’s interview with TMZ’s Harvey Levin regarding Natalie Wood’s death, click here.
Davern also told NBC News Friday that he lied “on a report several years ago,” adding, “I made mistakes by not telling the honest truth in a police report.”
Anyone with information regarding the case is urged to call Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Lt. Corina at 323-890-5641.
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