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Arts and Entertainment

Natalie Wood's 1981 Drowning Case Re-Opened

Natalie Wood
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Nearly 30 years ago, actress Natalie Wood, wife of actor Robert Wagner, drowned while boating with her husband and actor Christopher Walken. The Wagners' yacht, Splendour, was anchored in Isthmus Cove off Catalina. Though Wood's death was ruled accidental, today the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced they have re-opened the case."Recently Sheriff’s Homicide Investigators were contacted by persons who stated they had additional information about the Natalie Wood Wagner drowning. Due to the additional information, Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau has decided to take another look at the case," explains the LASD.

Details from the incident, via Wikipedia:

The official theory is that Wood either tried to leave the yacht or to secure a dinghy from banging against the hull when she accidentally slipped and fell overboard. When her body was found, she was wearing a down jacket, nightgown, and socks. A woman on a nearby yacht said she heard calls for help at around midnight. The cries lasted for about 15 minutes and were answered by someone else who said, "Take it easy. We'll be over to get you." "It was laid back," the witness recalled. "There was no urgency or immediacy in their shouts." There was much partying going on in the waters of Isthmus Cove, though, and while it has never been proven that the woman calling for help was, indeed, Natalie Wood, no other person has ever been identified or come forward as having called out for help on that night.

Wood had consumed an estimated seven or eight glasses of wine the night of her death, and was deemed intoxicated when she died. Fingernail scratches left on the rubber dingy led investigators to believe she was scrambling to get out of the water.

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"It was not a homicide . . . not a suicide. It was an accident. The only important thing . . . is that . Natalie is gone. All the rest is ghoulish nonsense," said Wood's lawyer after the actress' death.

Three decades later, that may change.