Nearly forty years after movie star Natalie Wood‘s mysterious drowning, her widower Robert Wagner is being called “a person of interest” by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office.
“As we’ve investigated the case over the last six years, I think he’s more of a person of interest now,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant John Corina said in an upcoming interview with CBS’ 48 Hours. “I mean, we know now that he was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared.”
For those of you to young to remember: On the night of Nov. 29, 1981, the dazzling Wood was sailing with her equally dazzling hubby and actor Christopher Walken off the coast of Catalina Island when she possibly, maybe, accidentally slipped and fell into the water. Her body was found the next morning.
In Wagner’s 2008 memoir, Pieces of My Heart, he wrote that after a night of drinking, he got into an argument with Walken over Wood’s career.
At one point, the now 87-year-old actor wrote, “I picked up a wine bottle, slammed it on the table and broke it into pieces.”
As for what caused her to fall off the boat, Wagner wrote it was “all conjecture. Nobody knows. There are only two possibilities: either she was trying to get away from the argument, or she was trying to tie the dinghy. But the bottom line is that nobody knows exactly what happened.”
Although her death was classified as an accident, there has always been speculation that sooooooooomething seems a bit hinky about it all.
“She looked like a victim of an assault,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Detective Ralph Hernandez.
When asked if Wood’s death was a murder rather than a tragic accident, Corina said, “I think it’s suspicious enough to make us think that something happened.”
Since investigators have reopened the case, Wagner has refused to speak with them
“I haven’t seen him tell the details that match all the other witnesses in this case,” Corina said of Wagner. “I think he’s constantly changed his story a little bit. And his version of events just don’t add up.”
Dun dun DUN.
Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Water will air Saturday, Feb. 3, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
The 48 Hours report includes the latest information from interviews with the detectives and Wood’s sister Lana, as well as archival interviews with Wagner, Davern and others. The show’s efforts to get comment from Wagner and Walken were unsuccessful.
(via EW; Photos: Pacific Coast News and MediaPunch)