Natalie Wood’s 1981 death has been reopened as a homicide investigation. The reason for this is a book written by the captain of the boat where Natalie Wood spent her last minutes. The book suggests Wood’s death was a homicide. But who was the murderer?
The book was written in 2008 but Marti Rulli, co-author of the book, has been in regular touch with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. over the last few months. She has shared her book research with them and staff there were so compelled by the homicide argument that they have assigned two full-time homicide detectives to the case.
Rulli and Dennis Davern, the boat’s captain at the time of Natalie Woods’ death, wrote the book, Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour about the night Natalie drowned. (Splendour is the boat.) They say that before Natalie disappeared from the boat, she was drinking and taking Quaaludes with her husband, Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken.
According to the book, Wagner became was angry when he saw Wood and Walken speaking, and smashed a wine bottle, yelling at Walken,
“What do you want to do, f— my wife? Is that what you want?”
Walken returned to his cabin and left Natalie and Robert to go to their state room, where the Captain then heard a loud argument between the couple and thumping sounds, and eventually silence.
A little later, the Captain went on deck and Wagner told him that Natalie was missing. He refused to let the Captain call the Coast Guard, though, according to the book, as the dinghy was gone and Natalie had probably just left. But the rest of the party were sceptical as Natalie was afraid of the water in the dark.
The death was ruled an accident, but Rulli has kept up pressure on the police to investigate since the book was written in 2008.
Now, homicide investigators have traveled to Catalina, and to New Jersey to interview Rulli, to Augustine, Florida to interview the Captain, and now they’re going to Hawaii to look at the Splendour.
No one has yet been named as a suspect in Natalie Woods’ death and no interview with Robert Wagner has yet been requested. His rep did release a statement, though, saying he fully supported the LA County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation and hope it is not just the authors’ attempts to cash in on the 30th anniversary of Natalie Woods’ death.