Actress Natalie Wood (Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story) died 30 years ago under mysterious circumstances - drowning off a yacht in the Pacific. Her husband at the time, actor Robert Wagner, was aboard as well as actor Christopher Walkenand the boat's captain, Dennis Davern. The Los Angeles County Sherrif's Department announced today they are re-opening the case due to new evidence.
In 1981, Wood's body was found wearing a coat, nightgown and slippers. She was known to fear the ocean and did not know how to swim; a small dinghy had gone missing at the same time and was found a mile from her body. There were many questions regarding when her husband called shore for help and whether Wood yelled for rescue. The coroner at the time ruled it an accidental drowning.
The boat captain claims Wood fought with Wagner shortly before she went missing on board, and it was a jealous quarrel over Walken - information he did not give the police in 1981. Last year, Wood's sister Lana Wood asked for the case to be re-opened, too.
Today in a press conference, Lt John Corina said there was new substantial evidence to re-open the case, but that Wagner was not a suspect. The investigation will start with an interview of the yacht captain. [via Sun-Times]
Wagner's family has no issue with the case being re-opened, and Walken gave an interview with radio station ESPN980 today saying he went to bed that night and he didn't learn about her death until he woke up. [via CNN, Chron]
Many people (including myself) are wondering what this so-called "new evidence" is, as it would seem to be pretty significant to re-open a 30-year-old case. It's also interesting that all the people aboard the boat at the time are still alive, and will most likely have to work with police to close it again.
Do you remember Natalie Wood, Lovelies?