Oh shoot. I read the original article and didn't post. Then when I saw it on HP - I posted it thinking it was the same info. I apologize. But why did HP put an old article on their front page? Thanks for posting the new one.
Another article from this AM:
Natalie Wood death probe found new evidence, sources say
January 17, 2013 | 10:38 am
While the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department probe of Natalie Wood's death is far from complete, sources said this week that detectives have developed some new leads.
A law enforcement source with knowledge of the case said the detectives have found new witnesses and uncovered evidence that was missed by the original detectives on the case.
The source said officials now have a much clearer sense of what happened in the hours before Wood drowned off Santa Catalina Island. But he and other sources stressed that they have not determined whether a crime occurred.
On Monday, the L.A. County coroner questioned the original 1981 findings and changed Wood's cause of death from "accidental drowning" to "drowning and other undetermined factors."
The coroner's report cited unexplained fresh bruising on the actress' right forearm, left wrist and right knee, along with a scratch on her neck and a superficial scrape on her forehead. Officials said the wounds open the possibility that she was assaulted before drowning.
"This examiner is unable to exclude non-accidental mechanism causing these injuries," the report said, adding that evidence suggested the bruising occurred before Wood entered the water.
Several law enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, have said the case has been hampered by a lack of forensic evidence.
“We have known about this information for a long time. Nothing has changed with this public release. This remains an ongoing investigation,” said Steve Whitmore, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman.
Experts said it was highly unusual for coroners to contradict the autopsy findings performed by their own office. Michael Baden, a former New York examiner and noted trial expert witness, said that although both examinations looked at the same evidence, the new report found the bruising to be far more significant — enough to change the cause of death.
L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner Lakshmanan "Sathyavagiswaran knows by issuing this opinion that he will unleash criticism on his predecessor and questions over how it handled a celebrity death three decades ago," Baden said. "He knows in saying this he has criticized [former coroner] Dr. [Thomas] Noguchi and the office back in 1981."
Noguchi did not return calls for comment.
Why and how is the coroner discovering these bruises and scratches on Natalie now? How could he not have seen them years ago?
Am I missing something?
Yes you are, r7. The new report clearly stipulates that it is completely based on the old autopsy. In other words it's not like they've discovered something new on what nowadays would be nothing more than a skeleton with implants.
It's just that the autopsy was studied differently (the always present bruises were a product of an assault and not a struggle to climb into a boat as previously concluded) and new testimony backs up its probability
But why is the autopsy suddenly being "studied differently" when it's been around for decades?
I think the captain of The Splendour has changed his story, and now says that Wagner had pressured him to keep quiet about violent drunken argument during which Wood was pushed or fell off the deck, and that Wagner refused to help her, and told the captain to leave her in the water to teach her a lesson, while pouring more alcohol for the two of them.
Nothing has changed and R10 - in case anyone is naive - is being funny.
I've always believed that Robert Wagner was responsible for her death.
Robert Wagner makes a special appearance at the very beginning of his (1st) marriage to Natalie Wood.
What a shame he never had a chance to be this funny in any of his movies.
If it's true, she should've realized he was unstable considered they original broke-up because he was jealous that she was more successful. Someone who truly loves you celebrates your success, they aren't bitter and resentful about it.
It isn't like Wagner never had a chance to be funny in film. He was adequatly funny in The Pink Panther.
It looks like they are wanting it changed to a domestic violence homicide. Who could blame Natalie for wanting a young and hot Chris Walken, hellooo? What could RJ say at this point though? " I'm really sorry I threw her overboard and then passed out for 3 hours, but she's still dead and all. Somebody had to raise the kids."
Robert Wagner better hurry up and die because he's going to be a murder suspect pretty soon.
Why would Wagner kill her? It makes no sense.
Further, simply because there is a new interpretaiton of bruises means very little. If the skipper chnages his story this much tim elater then his credibility is shot.
All her bruises make sense if she fell off a boat and then struggled frantically to get back onto the boat or to get out of the water somehow.
[quote]Why would Wagner kill her? It makes no sense.
His behavior after her death raised many questions. He was almost contemptuous of her.
How can they tell what may have (or may not have) caused the bruises, etc.?
I remember he hooked up with Jill st John very soon. Seems she was Wagner's date for the funeral...
r24 thinks murder is only committed when there is a sensible reason. How sweet.
No, R28. I am looking for any reason that would make a man kill her. So far I haven't heard any.
All I've heard is a bunch of drama and speculation.
So let's hear some reason that Wagner would even think of killing his wife and risk destroying his life and the life of his family.
R24 Sane and living on planet earth
Since when do men need a reason to kill anyone? Often they just snap in the heat of the moment.
Innocent r30, just off the top of my head - Wagner was drunk - a mean drunk. He and NW had been arguing and things got physical as they sometimes do. She wound up overboard, either by accidentorduring a struggle, and in his drunken stupor laughed at her, didn't take her cries for help seriously, or likely was pissed at her from the fight and was trying to teach her a lesson so he didn't come to her aid. When the screams stopped, it was too late. He probably sobered up pretty fast at that point. That, or he passed out.
r30 A possible affair between Natalie and Christopher Walken. Both men admit to having had an argument that night. Wagner also admitted that he and Natalie had a fight before she died.
He claimed to have gone to bed and she wasn't there. Those bruises may mean nothing, but I'd rather the investigator did more digging.
r30 I'm inferring from your posts that you're assuming intent. All of them were drinking heavily, and weren't thinking logically.
RW and NW got into a nasty fight and RW pushed her overboard in a drunken rage.
It is possible he was too intoxicated to think clearly, i.e. she wouldn't be able to swim back aboard.
The motive to at least push her off was the subject of the argument. (I read that NW allegedly caught RW with Walken, but who knows.)
R24, R30, I have never heard or read any accusation, or even speculation, that it was pre-meditated murder. I am actually more suspicious of Walken that Wagner. I'm quite sure that young successful actors don't spend their time off from production being a third wheel with a non-swinger happily married couple. There was also a reason that Wagner and Wood were spending the holiday away from their daughters. If anybody can't deduce that this was a menage-a-trois, then they don't have any deductive reasoning ability at all. There was alcohol intoxication, perhaps there was use of other drugs, there were three egocentric actors, and an argument go out of hand resulting in the drowning death of Natalie Wood. The three surviving members of that party have never been forthcoming about what happened.
[quote] He and NW had been arguing and things got physical as they sometimes do. She wound up overboard, either by accidentorduring a struggle
Maybe the first part is possible but the rest is lunacy. The minute she went overboard any fight - would have been over and they would have tried to help her or get help whether they were drunk or not.
Wagner trying to teach her a lesson by letting her stay in the water? The mother of his child? See, this is the kind of stupid speculation that doesn't even deserve a discussion.
People seem determined to turn Wagner into some monster for some odd reason. I'm not buying it. Now some of you have even created some fiction as to why their children were not aboard as if they wwere abandaoned for the holiday when this was not the holiday but the weekend after the holiday.
There is a naivete in thinking that it has to be murder/manslaughter or the result of wrongdoing just because there is a body is the problem. I'm pretty sure it wasn't malfeasance and I'm still not buying that it was even nonfeasance.
There is just no new evidence new except an amended version of some of the night's events by someone who seems less than a credible witness at this point.
Sorry for the poor grammar above - too late and tired.
[quote]I read that NW allegedly caught RW with Walken
I've heard that many times over the years, even before DataLounge was invented.
Walken went back to his stateroom. Natalie and RJ were arguing on the back deck, both drunk, RJ probably in blackout. They had all been drinking heavily all weekend. Natalie came at Wagner and he pushed her away, she stumbled, fell over the transom, and that was that. It wasn't premeditated murder. It was more like negligent homicide.
[quote]If it's true, she should've realized he was unstable considered they original broke-up because he was jealous that she was more successful.
The first time RJ and Natalie broke up, it was over a man. The man Natalie caught RJ with when she walked in on them.
My favorite part of the Huffington piece is this:
"CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly named Robert Wagner as Richard Wagner in the text and photo caption."
Perhaps she was just playing a Rhine Maiden that night. Not a very good role for her.
[quote]Wagner trying to teach her a lesson by letting her stay in the water? The mother of his child? See, this is the kind of stupid speculation that doesn't even deserve a discussion.
People killing the father/mother of their children unfortunately happens quite frequently, especially if they're impaired by alcohol and/or drugs and in the heat of an argument. I'm not saying it did happen, but it isn't unfathomable (it may be to most people, but not in terms of what we know occurs every day).
Authorities want to question Robert Wagner in Natalie Wood death
January 18, 2013 | 9:19 am
Will actor Robert Wagner ever speak again about the investigation into the death of his wife, Natalie Wood?
That seems doubtful after investigators said Thursday that the actor has refused several requests for interviews. More than 13 months ago, detectives reopened the investigation into Wood's death, and Wagner is the person they are most interested in talking to.
Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina said Wagner is the only person who was on the boat at the time Wood drowned off Catalina Island in 1981 not to speak to detectives assigned to the new inquiry.
I wouldn't speak to them either. I can see no advantage to him in doing so. If they reclassify it as a murder, they can bring him in for questioning whether he likes it or not.
I don't understand.
Does Wagner actually have a choice as to whether or not to be questioned by police at this point?
The Ghost of Clifton Webb
I guess he does have choice unless suppenia
But that's what I don't understand. What would keep the police from subpoenaing him? Is there a statute of limitations at play at this point in time?
Don't you know the basics of US criminal law r44? Of course Robert Wagner has a choice whether or not to talk to the police. He's not a suspect. He can't be compelled to make a statement when, at this point, the police have nothing on him.
RJ will not agree to give police a new interview.
But it sounds like they have new witnesses. The comment that RJ can now be placed with just minutes before she entered the water -and then the statement that she was dead shortly after entering the water.
So is it enough to charge him?
[quote]Perhaps she was just playing a Rhine Maiden that night. Not a very good role for her.
I believe that role calls for a good swimmer.
R44, if he (or anyone) doesn't want to answer questions posed by cops, he doesn't have to. He hasn't even been charged with anything -- & if he were to be charged with something, he'd have a right to remain silent (& a right to have legal counsel present during any interrogation he might consent to).
As the Miranda warning states: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you."
The facts can get pretty mushy when all involved were plenty drunk-n-high
Not to harp on it (and obviously I DON'T know how these things work) but if the police want to question Wagner, couldn't it be more as a witness to the evening?
Why does questioning him have to necessarily mean they are accusing him of anything?
Wouldn't his testimony as a witness to the evening's events be pertinent in reference to the new information about the bruises?
Can he refuse to cooperate as a witness?
Being realistic, what are the chances that they will find enough evidence to charge him after all this time?
r30, let's say you were to fall against the edge of dresser, hit your head and start bleeding profusely. You'd call for help, right? Right.
But let's add alcohol -- lots of it -- to the mix. Then you might think, oh, I'll be all right, let me just rest for a moment....
William Holden, less than a month before Natalie
[quote]Why does questioning him have to necessarily mean they are accusing him of anything?
It doesn't, R54. The point is, as R51 pointed out, he doesn't have to answer questions by the cops in any capacity if he doesn't want to. The police can't subpoena people, only the court can do that.
The cops are doing the "we just want to find the truth," but then slyly let it be known the RJ has changed his story several times over the years.
I think you're right, R58. At this point I think the LAPD just want him to know that they believe he's responsible and they want Wood's death certificate to reflect the ambiguity of the incident. But at this point I can't imagine there's any way they can muster up enough evidence to arrest and charge him. I also wonder if Natalie's sister Lana has been pressing for answers behind the scenes over all these years.
r59 I heard on the radio just last week that it was an author who wrote a book about Natalie's death who has been pushing for a new investigation. She didn't flat out say it was Bob Wagner, but she said his statement to the police at the time was ridiculous. He claimed that Natalie fell into the water when she was trying to secure a dinghy. Natalie couldn't swim. I believe her sister Lana also said that Natalie couldn't swim and wouldn't jeopardize her life because she had 2 young children.
Was Natalie buried? Could they get new evidence from her body or is this a lost cause?
Can someone tell me why the incredibly interesting Kirk Douglas thread got deleted?
There was discussion of him being a rapist and the women he may have killed; Jean Spangler, some woman who had a small spot in one of his films and who was found raped and strangled, etc...
I don't understand. Do his people google alert his name even after his death and troll the Internet shutting down and suppressing this stuff.
Why is that topic taboo? It didn't violate any TOS that I know of.
How does anybody know that Natalie was trying to secure a dinghy?
Why would she bother to do that in the middle of the night?
Who was watching her and why weren't they helping her do the securing?
RJ's lawyer said that RJ has fully cooperated over the past 30 years, but I just heard on the TV news that he only spoke briefly with police once, on the day NW's body was found. Since then, he has told several different stories, none talking about the fight where Walken saw RJ bust a wine bottle against a table and then heard RJ and NW screaming at eachother on the back of the boat.
Then, Walken said, there was silence.
Therein lies the mystery, R63. Wagner said that sometime in the night he noticed Natalie wasn't there. The dinghy was also gone. A couple of theories are that 1)Natalie was trying to sleep and the noise of the dinghy bumping the side of the boat was keeping her awake, so she attempted to tighten the rope and in the process fell off the boat; or 2)she was angry due to an argument she'd been having with Wagner and drunkenly attempted to board the dinghy to escape and fell off the boat.
Either scenario is odd considering she couldn't swim and was deathly afraid of water.
She was deathly afraid of water as R65 states but given the drinking and possible pill popping, how hard would it be to sleep despite a banging dinghy? I can sleep through a hurricane after a few glasses of wine but sober, I can hear a mouse in the next room.
I'm guessing if there was so much drinking, pills weren't out of the question for those folks.
On some tabloid show, Insider or something, it was said that RJ has chosen not to cooperate with this new round of investigation.
r62, Kirk Douglas is still very much alive.
I know the truth
If Jill doesn't actually know the truth, doesn't she suspect, or at least wonder, what might have happened? How could a woman marry a widower whose wife had died so mysteriously?
I wish Dominick Dunne had turned this story into a roman à clef.
I have actually moored a small boat near Avalon for a week. When you officially moor, the authorities pour blue dye in the boat's toilet to prevent anyone from flushing the toilet without being caught. People use the dinghy at all hours of the day and night to go a short distance into Avalon to use the bathrooms. It's not unusual to wake up during the night, and notice that someone is missed, as strange as it seems.
I have always been surprised that no one has mentioned this before...
RJ Wagner is bi at a minimum.
There isn't a bi bone in that man's body!
Regarding the captain changing his story - it's not new. He actually changed it years ago, blaming RJ for keeping him silent when it happened. He thinks RJ had something to do with Natalie's death and that Walken knows more than he has ever said about it.
R31 I'm sure you meant to say "women" instead of men. Don't worry we all makes mistakes.
wow, I thought he'd died. Guess it kinda makes more sense for my theory that his people got the thread deleted, or webmaster deleted preemptive my because he'd gotten complaints before. Sucks though.
[quote]Natalie was trying to sleep and the noise of the dinghy bumping the side of the boat was keeping her awake, so she attempted to tighten the rope and in the process fell off the boat
That's the one that makes the least amount of sense to me. There was staff at the boat, and retying was just a short order away.
Please don't give Jill more intelligence and perception than she deserves.
R62- yes to Kirk being the rapist of a tween age Natalie Wood. I am sure there are others. Chasing pussy like a boozey hound dog runs in that family.
R77, Jill St. John is reported to have an IQ of 162. And she's been married 4 times & dated Frank Sinatra, Sean Connery, & Henry Kissinger -- which doesn't show intelligence, just worldliness.
So why does she want to be married to a guy like Wagner, who may have murdered his wife & (perhaps more important) seems boring?
There was a rumor Walken and Wagner were having an affair...
r79, don't believe everything you read about Jill St. John's IQ. Frankly, it sounds like just the kind of PR bullshit that was invented for starlets circa 1962.
I hope you didn't think St. John was really her last name??
And dating Frank Sinatra and Sean Connery shows worldliness? LOL, my oh my!