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Friday, November 18, 2011

Natalie's Drowning Reopened

Well, it's happened: they've reopened the case of Natalie's death.

For those who may not know, Natalie Wood (one of my favorite actresses), drowned off the coast of Santa Catalina Island in November 1981 (the 29th, to be precise). She also had an extreme fear of water her whole life, too. She was "overcoming" this fear by often going boating with her husband, Robert Wagner, on their yacht The Splendour (named after her 1961 movie with Warren Beatty, "Splendor in the Grass"), usually sailing out to her favorite vacation spot: Catalina. That November she was boating with Wagner and Christopher Walken, who she was then making a movie with, and she drowned. There have been a lot of speculations about this suspicious and quite mysterious drowning, but that same year the case was closed and the L.A County Sheriff's department ruled it an "accidental drowning." People assumed she had been drunk that night, had been trying to tie up a dinghy that was noisily banging against the boat, and fell into the water, hitting her head and going on unconscious.

Still: there are a lot of holes in there, etc., and Natalie fans (like me) thought there was more to the story and that justice hadn't been given. I won't get more into the holes because I plan to do a post on the actual 29th, and I'll get more into it then. The only reason I'm doing this post right now is because her death case has been reopened, and the news is HOT. It was on Today, CNN, even my local news and get this: on the sports radio this morning.

The captain of the boat, Dennis Davern, is saying something along the lines of he lied to investigators thirty years ago; he's giving some more details about the nasty Natalie/Wagner/Walken fight that took place the night she died, and he's putting Wagner in responsibility for Natalie's death. I'm really glad he did the latter. I don't actually like Robert Wagner that much (I think I once wrote a rant about it on this blog...) and I have always personally he was responsible for her death. He did some really stupid things that night, stupid things I'll get into when I do a more thorough (and less confusing) post on the 29th. (But here's an example: he waited hours after he noticed his hydrophobic wife was missing from the boat to call the Coast Guard.)

A press conference was held today with the L.A County Sheriff's office, that I watched on CNN. The man did not give much more information though. Only that the case is being reopened (as Natalie fans and classic movie fans, etc., have wanted for a while), and that it is due to the things Dennis Davern was admitting to, as well as some other sources that have thus spoken up. The L.A County Sheriff's office must find these sources credible, because an analyst on CNN was saying that it's very unusual for a case to be reopened a whole three decades afterwards.

And though in the press conference it was said that Wagner is not a suspect, this is not yet. As of yet, it is still an accidental drowning but hopefully by looking into it, they're going to discover new things and bring some justice to Natalie.

The analyst on CNN said that say for example it's discovered that Wagner pushed her off the boat or stuck her head in the water (not that he did, just for example), that he will still be charged with murder and etc.- despite how old this case is and how old he is.

Do I want Robert Wagner to land up in jail? No, because I try not to wish ill will upon people. :/ I just hope this reopening, you know, brings some justice to Natalie and the tragedy of her death. This news story, as I said, is getting a lot of coverage. In a way I'm glad it is, because it's reminding people of Natalie. She is often forgotten; I can't explain it but it seems that people usually forget her. Now people are remembering. But not for the sweet person she was or the good actress, either -- for something quite sour. 

If you want some more information on this delivered to you in a less confusing way, google her name and you ought to find a lot. If you have any questions or something about the way she died (because I know I kind of was vague about it) you can ask me and I'll try to it explain it more. I've read a book about it and I plan on actually reading another once I finish Vivien Leigh's book; it is a book written with the help of the captain, Davern (I do think he is also having a new one coming out). I'm not saying I side with his thoughts or Wagner's or anyone's; because let's be fair, only one person knows what really and truly happened that night, and that's Natalie and she's gone. And you know, it wasn't right for her to die that young. 

[this morning on the Today show]

"Was the fight between Natalie Wood and her husband Robert Wagner what ultimately led to her death?"


What do you make of it?

[PS - Speaking of Natalie, this is a little late but thank you to everyone who voted in the poll! I'll be doing a post about it quite soon, only I have a couple other planned posts before it.]


Dani said...

I almost didn't believe when I saw the news today and I'm really glad the police are giving the case a second look. At the time they did a poor job, as they closed the case less than a month after her death (I believe). And if it turns out Wagner is guilty in some way, I do hope he goes to prison. I don't see how would Natalie be given justice if that didn't happen. What do you see as justice being brought to her?
Well, Natalie is my favorite actress and it makes me mad that she died when she did. I wish she were alive and that she could be with us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of West Side Story alongside the other actors. It's a shame that's not possible.

Rianna said...

Right, when I first saw this last night - I saw her name "trending" on Yahoo! and I went WHAT? -I was really glad. And I can't actually fathom when I turn on CNN or something and there is her face. It's a good thing, though - I love it when classic actors make the news.

And I am really glad they're giving this a second look. I think Lana wanted this reopened a couple of years ago and made a plea, and there was also a petition running as well. I just found this on Youtube: ; this was published today.

If what Lana says is true, about "leave her in the water, teach her a lesson" that Robert Wagner OUGHT to be in jail right now. Truthfully, I have always thought that he, as her husband, knowing how afraid she was of water should have done something right the instant she disappeared from the boat. I mean really, I think that would be the natural human instinct. I'm not saying I want him to be found guilty, but I've always been suspicious and therefore should definitely be in prison if he's found guilty. If he is guilty, he has gotten away with it for 30 years... and like Lana says in the video, ALWAYS neglects to talk about it. So if I were him and he did something, I'd be extremely nervous right now....

think about it. Natalie was so afraid of water, so why would she leave the boat in the middle of the night? And go out in a tiny boat, in dark waters - what she feared the most since she was a little girl and her mom told her she was going to drown? Even if he didn't "murder" her, charges should be made against him for negligence at the least. (Waiting 4 hours to call the Coast Guard). Why did that never happen?

For me I think justice would be brought to her if some closure came to this case. I'm glad they're reopening it because hopefully it will bring just that: closure. It's such a mystery what happened that night, and you have so many different opinions from so many people. I think if one, true truth came out neatly, and then Natalie could be remembered for who she was instead of this tragedy, that would make me the happiest. After all: no matter what we can say or do, we can't bring back Natalie. And chances are she would still be with us, and if I had it my way, she would be a four time Oscar winner too. :D

Elisa said...

I was surprised when I heard about this too, this time around I hope they find out what really happened.

Rianna said...

Yeah, me too. I don't think she was given justice the first time, so I'm real happy it's been reopened.

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