The Oscar-nominated actress drowned 30 years ago this month after spending the day on Catalina Island and a yacht with husband Robert Wagner and her “Brainstorm” co-star, Christopher Walken.
Wood, best known for her roles in “West Side Story,” “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Splendor in the Grass,” had been drinking on the day of her death, which was officially ruled an accident. The circumstances surrounding that day have been considered a mystery.
A detective from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department will speak to the press Friday about why the case has been reopened, according to the AP. “Recently Sheriff’s Homicide Investigators were contacted by persons who stated they had additional information about the Natalie Wood Wagner drowning,” the department said in a statement
TMZ reports the reason for the reinvestigation might be the 2009 book, “Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour,” written by Marti Rulli with the boat’s captain, Dennis Davern. The book suggests foul play, according to TMZ.
Wagner and Wood’s sister, Lana Wood, have both denied this in the past.
In an interview with “Today,” Davern said he “did lie on a [police] report several years ago.” He told David Gregory he thought Wagner intentionally kept the case low profile. When asked if he thought Wagner was “responsible” for Wood’s death, Davern responded, “Yes, I would say so.”
“We didn't take any steps to see if we could locate her,” Davern said. “I think it was a matter of, 'We're not going to look too hard, we're not going to turn on the searchlight, we're not going to notify anybody right now.’ ”
The Wagner family said in a statement, “Although no one in the Wagner family has heard from the LA County Sheriff’s department about this matter, they fully support the efforts of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. 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.”