New Evidence Uncovered in Natalie Wood Death Probe
Investigators continuing to explore the three-decades-long "whodunit?" concerning the drowning death of actress Natalie Wood may have come up with some new evidence and leads.
The scuttlebutt comes from "a law enforcement source" who spoke to the L.A. Times anonymously and revealed "detectives have found new witnesses and uncovered evidence that was missed by the original detectives on the case."
While Wood's official cause of death has been changed from its original "accidental drowning" to "drowning and other undetermined factors," what is unclear is if a crime even took place.
Though the source indicated investigators have a better sense of what happened aboard the Splendour yacht off Santa Catalina Island that fatal Thanksgiving in 1981, it remains unclear if Wood was the victim of a crime or a tragic accident.
It was, indeed, a tempestuous night on the boat that was occupied by its owners, Wood and her husband, actor Robert Wagner, and their friend, actor Christopher Walken. There were fights, drinking, and bottles thrown. The sobering end was when Wood fell into the water, and drowned, making true for her a lifetime of nightmares about death by drowning.
In 2011, as the 30th anniversary of Wood's death approached, a new update to a book about the incident spurred a renewed interest in the actress' demise--though the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department are quick to point out the case has never been closed.
Bruising on Wood's "right forearm, left wrist and right knee, along with a scratch on her neck and a superficial scrape on her forehead," as detailed in a new coroner's report, are what prompted the change of cause of death, and also "open the possibility that she was assaulted before drowning." The new findings also represent a rare instance of the L.A. County Coroner's office contradicting old findings by prior coroners with new information.
So did Wagner do it? Or Walken? Or was it simply an accident?
The investigation remains ongoing.