The enigmatic case of the death of Natalie Wood took a new twist on Thursday.
The police investigating the mysterious death of the American actress reported that her husband, also actor Robert Wagner, was declared a “person of interest” in the case.
Researchers from Los Angeles, California, justified the decision in the fact that Wagner “has constantly changed his version” about the death of his wife and his account of the events is not congruent.
The body of Wood, 43, was found floating in the waters of Santa Catalina Island, in southern California, one night in November 1981, not far from the Splendor yacht on which she was traveling with her husband and actor Christopher. Walken.
Two weeks later, the authorities classified his death as an accident, but doubts were not cleared and the case was reopened in 2011.
“With the progress of the investigation over the last six years, I think Wagner is more of a person of interest now,” explained John Corina, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
“We know that she was the last person who was with Natalie before she disappeared,” he added. “His details do not match those of the other witnesses.”
Death surrounded by mystery
The mystery of Wood’s death has been kept alive for more than 35 years by the contradictory accounts of those who were close to her that night.
The coroner’s initial investigation concluded that, on the night of her disappearance, the actress had been drinking and that she may have slipped while trying to get on an inflatable boat.
But according to police, two new witnesses confirmed that there was an argument between Wagner and Wood that night.
There are also indications of assault: the autopsy report revealed that Wood had bruises on his body and arms as well as a facial abrasion on his left cheek.
In 2011, the captain of the ship, Dennis Davern, changed his initial testimony and declared that there was indeed a fight that caused the death of the actress.
The 87-year-old Wagner has refused to speak to investigators since the case was reopened, but admitted in his memoir that he argued with his wife prior to her disappearance.
Terror of water
One of the reasons that led Wood’s family to mistrust the original version is that the actress had a real panic of the water, so they do not believe that she alone had gone in an inflatable boat.
Apparently, she had been afraid since she was little, when, as the actress herself explained, a psychic told her mother to take care of “the dark waters” and predicted that Natalie would die by drowning.
In 2012, authorities corrected Wood’s death certificate to reflect the uncertainty surrounding his death.
The minutes now say that the actress died as a result of “drowning and other factors not determined”. The document also indicates that the circumstances of how it ended up in the water “are not clearly established.”
Natalie Wood had prominent roles in West Side Story and “Rebel without a cause”, the latter film for which she opted for an Oscar as best supporting actress.
She was later nominated for Best Actress for “Splendor in the Grass” and Love with the Proper Stranger, but it did not obtain any statuette.
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