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Entertainment, Music & Sports Discuss 'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate at the General Discussion; 'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate Los Angeles (CNN) -- Information gathered by a renewed investigation into actress Natalie ...

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Old 08-23-2012, 10:42 AM
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Default 'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate

'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate



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Los Angeles (CNN) -- Information gathered by a renewed investigation into actress Natalie Wood's 1981 drowning death has persuaded the Los Angeles coroner to remove "accidental" from her death certificate, a detective said.

The death certificate was amended on August 7 to list her death as caused by "drowning and other undetermined factors" rather than "accidental drowning," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Detective Kevin Lowe said Wednesday.

Lowe and a partner are still working the case, which is an open and active investigation, Lowe said.

Last November, homicide investigators decided to take a new look at one of Hollywood's most enduring mysteries after they were contacted by people who said they had additional information about the actress's drowning, the sheriff's department said.

Police pursue 'intriguing' information in Natalie Wood case

"This new information is substantial enough to make us want to take a new look at the case," Lt. John Corina said at the time.

The announcement persuaded tipsters to come forward with additional "intriguing" information, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore told CNN last January.

Investigators did not comment directly on statements made in news reports in November by Dennis Davern, the captain of a yacht owned by Wood and her husband, actor Robert Wagner.

Davern offered a new account of how Wood's death was reported, saying that Wagner waited hours to call the Coast Guard after Wood went missing off Catalina Island, near the California coast, following an argument the couple had.

Authorities haven't gone into specifics about who has been interviewed, but they did say when they reopened the case that Wagner wasn't a suspect.

Wood drowned in the Pacific Ocean on November 29, 1981, off the isthmus of Catalina Island. She once said in a televised interview that her greatest fear was of dark seawater.

Her body was found floating in the water about a mile away from the yacht, in a long nightgown, socks and a down jacket, according to police reports.

The autopsy report showed the actress had two dozen bruises on her body, including a facial abrasion on her left cheek and bruises on her arms.


"My sister was not a swimmer and did not know how to swim, and she would never go to another boat or to shore dressed in a nightgown and socks," said Lana Wood, referring to theories that the actress voluntarily jumped from the boat.

Although the county coroner's office ruled at the time that Wood's death was an accident, others say the case hasn't made sense.

In 2010, Lana Wood told CNN she believes a highly charged argument between her sister and Wagner on the yacht's back deck preceded Wood's drowning. She told CNN last year she does not suspect foul play.

"I just want the truth to come out, the real story," she said.

Davern, the former captain of the yacht Splendour, broke his long silence with a detailed account of that day in "Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour," a book he wrote with his friend Marti Rulli. It was published in September 2009.

Davern has said he believes Wood's death was a direct result of a fight with Wagner.

Natalie Wood's star power lasted for decades

In a lengthy interview with CNN in 2010, Davern said he now believes the investigation of Wood's death was incompetent and suggested there was a cover-up. He said he regrets misleading investigators by keeping quiet at Wagner's request.

Wood and Wagner married in 1957, divorced in 1962, then remarried in 1972. They often sailed their yacht off the coast of California, and they invited Wood's "Brainstorm" co-star, Christopher Walken, to join them on a sail on Thanksgiving weekend in 1981.

The Hollywood rumor mill was abuzz with speculation that Wagner was jealous of Walken, but authorities have said Walken witnessed only the events leading up to an argument between the couple.

Wagner admitted his jealousy in his book "Pieces of My Heart," also published in September 2009. He acknowledged that there had been a fight with Wood, writing that he smashed a wine bottle on a table.

After Wagner argued with Walken and broke the wine bottle, Wood left in disgust and went to her stateroom, Davern told CNN. Walken also retired to a guest room, Davern added, and Wagner followed his wife to their room. A few minutes later, Davern said, he could hear the couple fighting.

Embarrassed, Davern said, he turned up the volume on his stereo. At one point, Davern recalled, he glanced out of the pilot house window and saw Wagner and Wood on the yacht's aft deck. "They'd moved their fight outside ... you could tell from their animated gestures they were still arguing," he said.

A short time later, Wagner, appearing to be distraught, told Davern he couldn't find Wood. Davern searched the boat but couldn't find her. He noticed the rubber dinghy also was missing.

Wagner shrugged and poured them both drinks, Davern said. He suggested his wife had probably gone off in a temper.

Wagner's story, as told in his book, differs from Davern's. He maintains that after the argument with Walken, Wood went to her room and prepared for bed while he and Walken sat on the deck, cooling off.

Wagner writes that he went to check on Wood, but she wasn't there. He maintains that he and Davern searched the boat and noticed the dinghy was missing. Wagner assumed his wife had gone ashore on her own, he wrote.

He radioed the restaurant on shore where they'd had dinner and called the harbor master to see if anyone had seen Wood.

The dinghy was found about a mile away from the yacht, and a mile from where Wood's body was found.

Wood's first starring role was as a child in "Miracle on 34th Street" in 1947, and she played alongside some of Hollywood's top leading men -- James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" and Warren Beatty in "Splendor in the Grass." She was nominated for Oscars in both of those films, as well as for "Love with the Proper Stranger" (1963), according to IMDb. One of her more memorable roles was as Maria in "West Side Story."

Wagner's striking good looks landed him roles in dozens of films in the 1950s and '60s before he hit it big in television. He starred in two popular series, "It Takes a Thief" (1968-70) and "Hart to Hart" (1979-84), and more recently as Number Two in the "Austin Powers" spy spoofs.

'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate - CNN.com
We may never come to know all of the dynamics of Natalie Wood's death. I know that I miss her and her wonderful talent.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: 'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate

I always assumed he killed her whether by accident or design.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: 'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate

Bruises cited in amending Natalie Wood's death certificate



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(CNN) -- Questions about bruises on the body of actress Natalie Wood, whose body was found floating off Catalina Island in 1981, led the Los Angeles County coroner's office to change the cause of death from "accidental drowning" to "drowning and other undetermined factors."

"With the presence of fresh bruises in the upper extremities in the right forearm/left wrist area and a small scratch in the anterior neck, this examiner is unable to exclude non-accidental mechanism causing these injuries," wrote Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, the chief medical examiner.

"The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising support bruising having occurred prior to entry in the water. Since there are unanswered questions and limited additional evidence available for evaluation, it is opined by this medical examiner that the manner of death should be left as undetermined."

Based on a number of factors, including the lack of a life jacket, lack of a suicide note, "this Medical Examiner is unable to exclude non-volitional, unplanned entry into the water," the report says.
Natalie Wood's sister speaks out

"How injury occurred will be listed as found floating in the ocean," it adds. "Circumstances not clearly established."

The change in the cause of death was made public last year, but the report outlining the reasons -- which was dated June 15, 2012 -- was not made public until Monday.

The case is "open and ongoing; nothing definitive has closed it," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.

He said that Wood's widower, actor Robert Wagner, is not a suspect.


A security hold was placed on the report when it came out because of concern "that the frenzy that's surrounding this could contaminate the investigation," Whitmore said.

The hold was lifted last week and the report made public Monday after next of kin were notified.

Homicide investigators decided to take a new look at one of Hollywood's most enduring mysteries in November 2011 after they were contacted by people who said they had additional information about the actress's death, the sheriff's department said last summer.

The announcement persuaded tipsters to come forward with additional "intriguing" information, sheriff's spokesman Whitmore told CNN last January.

Investigators did not comment directly on statements made in news reports in November by Dennis Davern, the captain of a yacht owned by Wood and her husband.

Davern offered a previously unreported account of how Wood's death was reported, saying that Wagner waited hours to call the Coast Guard after Wood went missing off Catalina Island following an argument between the couple.

Wood died on November 29, 1981, off the isthmus of Catalina Island. Dressed in a flannel nightgown, socks and a down jacket, her body was found floating about a mile from the yacht, according to police reports.

The autopsy report showed the 43-year-old actress had two dozen bruises on her body, including a facial abrasion on her left cheek and bruises on her arms.

"My sister was not a swimmer and did not know how to swim, and she would never go to another boat or to shore dressed in a nightgown and socks," said Lana Wood, referring to theories that the actress may have voluntarily jumped from the boat, last year.

Although the county coroner's office ruled at the time that Wood's death was an accident, others said then that that made no sense.

Continued below....

Bruises cited in amending Natalie Wood's death certificate - CNN.com
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: 'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate

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Originally Posted by Spencer Collins View Post
Bruises cited in amending Natalie Wood's death certificate



Update
Wagner killed her, Walken helped cover it up or was too drunk to remember.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: 'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate

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Wagner killed her, Walken helped cover it up or was too drunk to remember.
That's what I believe but I doubt charges will ever be brought against them.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: 'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate

We lost a wonderfully talented person when she died. I would loved to have seen what other forms of movies she went on to play in had she lived. What a shame.

I hope the truth will come out and if it's what I suspect I hope one or both get the just desserts they deserve.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: 'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate

I've always suspected that all the evidence was not looked at or that her death was covered up. She was terrified of the water and no way would she have tried to get in a row boat and row to shore.

I hope some day the truth will come out.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: 'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate


We will never forget you Natalie,we love you and we pray for justice!
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: 'Accidental' removed from Natalie Wood's death certificate

I adored her and always believed she was murdered.
I think back shortly after it happened, the tabloids jumped on that too.
Her sister Lana even expressed she thought there was foul play on that show Gary Collins used to host, Hour Magazine.
She was so beautiful and talented.
It'll never make sense to me how Robert Wagner could have something to do with it after all these years of watching his success on television etc.., but I think he did.
Sad.
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