Welcome To My Book Blog

A place to update and discuss facts surrounding the controversial, tragic death of legendary Hollywood film actress, wife and mother, Natalie Wood who drowned mysteriously Nov. 29, 1981 off Catalina Island. Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Tonight on REELZ

http://www.reelz.com/hollywoodscandals/

Tonight Asylum's production about Untimely Hollywood Deaths, including a segment on Natalie Wood her sis, Lana Wood, and I interviewed for, will air on REELZ. While being interviewed, both Lana and I talked about the scientific evidence of her new autopsy review that indicates Natalie Wood was not alive before being in the ocean, which leads to the question: Then how did her dead body get into the water?" Hope you can watch this important segment.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 1981, Thanksgiving 2013


Wishing Everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I'm grateful for so many things, but mostly for all the good people I know and have in my life. This time of year holds so many fond memories for me, and is also, of course, a bitter-sweet occasion as the anniversary weekend of Natalie Wood's shocking death in 1981, which was also the beginning of a long and winding journey for me in an effort to give such a wonderful woman the truth she deserves attached to her legacy.

I chose this photo of Natalie because she was a sweet young girl driven by a stage mom who loved her dearly but also applied a pressure no young girl should have to endure. Natalie was a normal teen who sought her independence early because by her late teens, she was already so accomplished.
She was kind and generous, and if you were her friend, or a family member, you were safe. She harbored many lost souls and she gave her all to her relationships. She loved her baby sister with all her heart. She held her own in a business that can swallow up the giants as easily as the unknowns. She crossed from old Hollywood to new Hollywood with grace and dignity with a trail of classic films behind her our great-great grandchildren will one day watch.

She was fair. She was beautiful. She is timeless for the right reasons, not for the mystery of her final night. There is no longer a mystery. For decades I knew what happened to Natalie, and now a homicide department knows, too. The journey continues because, with this knowledge, we all want something to be done about what Natalie suffered, as no one should have to lose life the way Natalie lost hers. An expert department has spent two years piecing it together. They know.
This is the start of the holiday season, and I debated whether to post another sad reminder of what happened 32 years ago, but it's still important. It consumes me every Thanksgiving. Natalie was so happy to be home to start the holiday season that year. Her hard work on the set of Brainstorm was finished, she was ready to kick-off the holiday season with some Christmas shopping, and she was happy to invite a new co-star for a social cruise. She had done nothing wrong or more than have excitement and promise in her heart that long ago weekend. Her stage debut was next. And she was smiling when that bottle came crashing down in front of her, shocking and mortifying her with embarrassment.

Natalie was not only a victim the night she lost her life at the hands of another ... she remained a victim for decades later because key people were more willing to believe a sociopath than take the time to consider the truth of the matter. That finally changed but it took far too long. The deepest part of the story has yet been told, but it will be told. And soon. That's something I am especially thankful for this Thanksgiving. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A 75th tribute to Natalie Wood, Born July 20, 1938

Collage created by Teresa Krajco

July 20, 2013: Natalie Wood would have turned 75 this day. My birthday tribute to her.

Friends: Dennis Davern and Natalie Wood aboard the Splendour.
July 20, 2013: Natalie would've been 75. I hope you will read this and maybe share it for Natalie. Maybe someone who does not know a lot about her will learn a little more, and for those who do know her, they will appreciate it.

As I told in "Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour," I didn't really know much about Natalie Wood before I saw her in her classic movie "Gypsy." After I had applied eyeliner and lipstick, teased my hair, and dressed in tight Capri pants and ruffled blouse in hopes of looking a little older so I could buy a ticket along with my young teenage friends, this 10 year-old at the time was thrilled when no one asked questions at the Cherry Hill Mall ticket box office. When Natalie made "Gypsy," ratings weren’t yet attached to films, but theaters rarely allowed kids to see grown-up themed movies, and "Gypsy" was considered one of them. But I was in! I was going to see a powerful movie--my first "adult movie" and it was my first chance to see Natalie on the big screen. My knees shook and I dropped popcorn all the way to my seat! I wouldn't see other classics Natalie had already made, like "Rebel Without a Cause" and "West Side Story" until after seeing "Gypsy."

My older sister-in-law, Marcia, who lived in our home at the time was a huge Liz Taylor fan and Marcia subscribed to all the Hollywood fan magazines. I had seen photographs of Natalie in one of Marcia's magazines and had remarked just about a month before "Gypsy" of how stunningly beautiful Natalie Wood is, and I told Marcia I never thought I would ever see a more beautiful face for all of my time. I haven't.

Marcia and I would debate: who is prettier, Liz or Natalie? Liz's violet eyes and pretty face aside, in my opinion there is still no contest. Natalie wins. Although Marilyn Monroe was beautiful, too, no one mesmerized me as Natalie did. Of course I was very young and impressionable but there was something more involved, something unexplainable, but palpable as if I was somehow, someway connected to this beautiful actress on the magazine pages and up on that huge screen acting her heart out in "Gypsy." Best way to explain it is to say I felt an instant sisterhood with Natalie that I absolutely realized was a wishful-thinking figment of my imagination, yet it existed. I'm sure it existed for other Natalie fans as well.

Thus, after "Gypsy," I left the movie theater hooked. Hooked on Natalie Wood.

I then elected Natalie my favorite actress for all time, and that has never changed, although I think there are many wonderful actresses since, but there has yet to be another "Natalie Wood" and there never will be. I still hadn't had a favorite actor when I saw "Gypsy." That choice wouldn't come until three years later when I was finally a real teenager and saw "Sweet Bird of Youth" starring Paul Newman. From that movie on, I also never thought I'd see a more handsome face as Paul's, and same as with Natalie, I haven't. He could also act. Guess I'm fairly loyal to choices I make like that.

I did my best to see all Natalie Wood movies after "Gypsy." "Sex and the Single Girl" wowed me but "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" in 1969 proved that Natalie was a trendsetter and an actress for all time. But, that was also a time in her personal life when things were changing. I LOVED Natalie's movies simply because Natalie starred in them, but also because she seemed real up there on the screen. Her talent not only prevailed, but her very existence somehow transfixed you.

I rarely read fan magazines back in the day, but whenever I saw an article or something in the papers about Natalie Wood, I read every word. It was as if I was rooting for her, and I didn't even know why. I had always hoped to read a fan article telling of the marriage between Natalie Wood and Paul Newman (you can call that childhood match-making I guess). Of course they never marry each other but I hadn't even known at the time of "Gypsy" that Natalie had been married to actor Robert Wagner, known as RJ, and was divorcing him. I had never heard of him. Their marriage and divorce had occurred before I was old enough to care much about Hollywood lore.

I had occasionally followed news about Natalie's personal life (her relationship with Warren Beatty, her marriage and divorce to Richard Gregson, etc.) but never in an obsessed way...just in a continuing rooting sort of way. I remember feeling happy for her when she gave birth to her first daughter, Natasha. Natalie lived abroad then, and I simply felt happy for her. Then, I didn't really hear much about Natalie for several years before seeing her radiant face on the cover of a magazine holding her second daughter, Courtney. It was then, in that article, that I had learned Natalie remarried Robert Wagner in 1972 and was looking forward to living happily ever after. That was pretty much the gist of the article. Wagner looked like a wholesome, likeable guy in the photos I saw of him with Natalie after that. I still felt happy for her. What I would later learn about Wagner taught that a picture doesn't necessarily tell a true story

There are no other celebrities I had ever felt such a "connection" with other than Natalie, let alone to take the time to root for them in their personal lives, but I'd always found myself rooting for Natalie. Natalie had many adoring fans...fans who knew a lot more about her than I did, yet I felt that palpable feeling that went beyond details and factoids about the actress. Destiny is one of those superstitious things many people don't even believe in, but on the morning of November 29, 1981, fate would bring Natalie and me together forever.

By that time, I had learned so much more about Natalie. I had learned of how superstitious she was, how diviner things meant something to her. I had known about her fear of water and of drowning, and I had known her in a way I'd never thought possible. When my close friend, Dennis Davern, started working for Natalie and RJ in 1975 as their yacht caretaker ("Captain") I asked him a lot of questions. I was stunned he was working for my childhood idolized actress. I still adored Natalie and to hear all of Dennis's anecdotes about spending weekend after weekend with her, she as his "sidekick" (or he as hers) aboard their yacht, I realized how homogenized the world must be becoming, yet I admit, I was still somewhat star struck. As real as Natalie had always seemed to me, she became even more real in the mid-70's. I had even been planning a trip to California to meet her.

Dennis had traveled from the East Coast to CA and had told Natalie about his family and friends back East, and many traveled to L.A. and had met the Wagners through Dennis. Dennis had given me the yacht phone number and the Wagner home phone number in case I ever needed to call him, as that's where he spent most of his time while working for the Wagners. I admit, there were several times I wanted to dial the Wagner home in hopes Natalie might answer and chat with me for a few minutes. But, I knew better to bother anyone out of pure fan-hood. One night, when I absolutely really did have to call, it was RJ who answered. He pleasantly told me I could reach Dennis at the yacht. They had trusted Dennis that much. He had become like a family member to the Wagner family. When he had worked some charters for various other stars, I hardly asked a question, but I liked hearing about Natalie, and was always happy to hear reports of her happy life. Sometimes she got mad at Dennis, too, but she would get happy with him again fast enough. Dennis always said she was the most spectacular, professional, and most beautiful woman he could ever meet, because none other existed like her.

But I started learning some things about Natalie's family (blood family, that is) that I thought was strange. For instance, how RJ didn't want Natalie's relatives aboard the boat. I wondered if it was all as "happy ever after" as I wanted to believe for Natalie. I heard about how RJ drank heavily, and about how it concerned Dennis, but all in all, the Wagner family seemed to be living the dream life with their three daughters (Natasha from Natalie's previous marriage, Katie from Wagner's previous marriage, and their daughter together, Courtney).

On the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend of 1981 when I heard that Natalie had been found dead in a cove off Catalina Island, my stomach twisted into a ball of pain for all involved. My sympathy was tenfold for her loved ones, and my heart ached for Dennis because I knew firsthand how fond Dennis was of Natalie. My first thought was that a boating accident had occurred, and without immediate details being aired, I could only wait to hear more with the rest of the world. When I didn't hear from Dennis within 48 hours, and learned that neither had his mother or brother heard from him (yes, we were and are that close that a phone call was totally expected in the wake of such a tragedy), I knew immediately that something "was not right."

Now, a person at that point and time, out of respect, probably should not come out and say, "Something isn't right here," but I remember that I did say it. It wouldn't be until decades later that I would learn many of Natalie's fans had felt and said the same thing, and they weren't in the position of expecting a phone call from Dennis, so many things about Natalie's death glared suspicious from day one, for many people. How professionally trained detectives did not see what so many other average people "saw" will forever escape my comprehension, but that's a story for another day.

It's strange, but from the day Natalie was found lifeless, I felt something that can only be described as a "blanket of obligation" that had fallen over me. Even back in 1981, I knew it was not only for Natalie but for all of her fans who knew her as I had "known her." Natalie had that magical quality only few people possess. Sure, maybe some younger people from newer generations may not understand it, but for all of us from back in the day when Natalie lit up the world (she did!) well, we do understand it.

For the people who told me I could never accomplish anything for Natalie, and/or who had negative comments about my book, asking questions such as, What gives her the right to write a bio about a woman she never knew?... I respond only by saying that I had every right to write about Natalie, and I had every right to investigate her death. I did not write a bio. I wrote a journal. Not only did I have the right to do so, I also knew that I was the ONLY PERSON who could give the story the truth and comprehension it deserved, and I felt OBLIGATED to do so. That is NOT a pompous statement: it is a fact. Dennis was going to take his witness account of what led to Natalie's death to his grave because he was such a torn man after Natalie's death. The right thing to do had eaten away at him, destroying him in a way many people would never be able to understand, but I was there--helping to bring my friend Dennis "back to life." I didn't think he would ever make it. So, not only was I in a position to help Natalie, I was in a position to help my friend. I wanted to accomplish BOTH.

As for "knowing Natalie," well, I knew her well. Natalie possessed what's known today, and very scarce still, as the "X-factor" -- her glorious talent aside, she transcended time: she looked at YOU when she worked, not at a camera. She saw YOU while you were watching her. It's in her films and in her photographs. Thus, you saw her, too...you "knew" Natalie. Her emotion spoke to YOU. In interviews and in public, no one has ever appeared more honest and giving of herself than actress Natalie Wood. She WANTED you to KNOW HER. She invited you to KNOW HER. Thus, we KNEW HER. Within Natalie's inner circle, many who deserted her memory after death, no one was ever more understanding and giving than Natalie was to those she respected and loved. As a mother, she loved her children with the truest mother-heart ever. As a daughter, she honored her parents. As a sister, she wanted nothing but the best of happiness and ease for her family. She was one of the most unaffected female stars ever, despite she is at the top of that heap. And her life was not easy. She worked since leaving toddlerhood. She WORKED. Being an actress in films is not an easy job. It's before-sunrise hours to burning the midnight oil on most scheduled days to stay within a film's budget, and Natalie was pure professional, not one of those conceited, needy actresses we've all heard about. Natalie worked her entire life. At one point, she could have given it all up. Her desire was to be a wife and mother, yes, as she loved her home life, but her creative side also tugged at her and she wanted to explore her talents. She was dedicated to her fans. She was to debut on stage in Anastasia but she had been robbed of that opportunity after inviting her co-star in "Brainstorm," Christopher Waken, for a cruise upon the family yacht. She had been robbed of motherhood. She had been stolen from her loving family and circle of friends, and from her fans. Stolen by a jealous rage.

I have no doubt that Natalie would still be starring in movies to this day, and that she would be an Academy Award winner. Acting was her life within her wonderful life.

So, for anyone who ever wants to say I didn't know Natalie, or that her fans, didn't "really know" Natalie, they are wrong. Natalie did not personally know her fans, but she sure gave her all for them. She was always caring and appreciative of her fans but maybe she didn't know how much we all really cared about her. We ALL wanted the truth of Natalie's legacy to be known. We ALL wanted Natalie to receive justice. So many of us signed the petition started by attorney Vincent DeLuca, who also "knew" Natalie. The petition and my "appeal package" went together and ended up in the hands of two VERY WORTHY and DEDICATED homicide detectives. Natalie's death is classified no longer as an accident because of all the dedication for Natalie. She may never have believed how many people were rooting for her, but I'm sure she would be honored and pleased.

There were times my agent or business people would tell me to not mention how much I admired Natalie Wood, that I might come off as an obsessed fan, as if my search for her justice wasn't related to the big issue of how celebrities are handled with kid gloves in scenarios that would put everyday, ordinary people away for life. I was never "obsessed" with Natalie, but I sure was obsessed with justice for her, and I was completely objective when preparing the package for the reopening of her case plea. I included people that I otherwise preferred to not include, but I also wanted and needed for the professionals to weed them as well, so I was THAT objective! And, the professionals DID weed them!

That's how I felt when that "blanket" had covered me... a blanket of obligation to get to the truth about Natalie's death. I was never going to buy that she had drunk too much and fell off a yacht. I knew her too well!!!! I also knew my friend Dennis too well. I knew he would tell me what he knew as soon as he could. Even if it had taken decades, I knew I would learn the truth about Natalie's death, and believe me, I worked for that truth as well. I worked from before sunrise to after midnight on many nights of many years, just as Natalie had in her many films she left for our enjoyment. When I had watched Natalie up on that movie screen in "Gypsy," who would've ever thought that I would one day be the person to uncover the truth about her mysterious death? It took a long time, but I got there. I got there for Natalie, for Dennis, and for every average person who would not have been saved by celebrity privilege the way it went down the weekend Natalie lost her life. After GNGS was published, there was still more work to be done, but by that time there was a vigor I could not escape. For those who ever asked "why bother?" I simply suggest they consider how they would feel if such a bizarre death happened in their own family: would they then be so cavalier about someone who wanted to help get to the truth? In my endeavors, thankfully, after GNGS was published, finally there was a lot of help. Thank you to all of Natalie's fans who have helped me. Your support for truth and justice for Natalie's legacy, as her case continues, is always and forever appreciated by this person who fought hard for her, with NO regrets.

I wish Natalie had survived the sinister weekend of November 1981 to be able to celebrate her 75th.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Natalie's Death NOT Classified as accidental. Announcers Need to UPDATE!

This afternoon I happened across "Rebel Without a Cause" on TCM and stopped to watch the second half of it. It was Natalie's "breakout" movie, the one that brought her to "adulthood" on screen. Frankly, I think she had reached "adulthood" long before in real life, but in any case, at the end of the movie an announcer talked briefly about the early deaths of the movie's lead actors, and when he got to mentioning Natalie he said she had drowned accidentally. So when will this idle and IGNORANT claim about Natalie's death STOP? Natalie did NOT die accidentally and even her death certificate has been OFFICIALLY changed to indicate so. ACCIDENT HAS BEEN REMOVED!!!! NO "accident" -- it's UNDETERMINED now because a legal medical review questions "accident" and now a homicide division continues to investigate MURDER, so maybe announcers should get with the program and start to call Natalie's death what it really is: AN ONGOING HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION. Natalie needs her fans more than ever.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

KNBC News Report on updates for Natalie Wood's death investigation.

Excellent report to watch and read:

Robert Wagner Was a ''Shocked Man'' After Natalie Wood's Death, Then-Assistant Sheriff Recalls | NBC Southern California

Yes, it was a scattered, tragic, confusing scene the morning of Natalie Wood's death, and it is understandable that everyone (including Edmonds and Rasure) would sympathize with Wagner for his loss. Given what we know through all the years since, however, is sympathy a defense for all the oversights? I would like to hear Rasure say, "I'm sorry I overlooked so many things," instead of "I still think I did a good job." My comment to Rasure, "No, Duane, you didn't. And it's not okay!" because....

Natalie Wood -- this iconic, beautiful, talented actress who dearly loved her daughters and tried to balance a life that would make everyone in her surroundings a happy being -- has become known over the years as "the actress who flirted and got drunk and fell off a boat."

THAT, is NOT what happened the night Natalie died, nor a correct portrayal of Natalie Wood who deserves the truth  attached to her legacy. Dennis Davern and Natalie's sister, Lana Wood, have also been written and talked about in a derogatory manner as the scapegoats for the complete neglect surrounding the weekend Natalie died, and Lana Wood was not even aboard the ill-fated cruise!  Robert Wagner has certainly done his number on Lana. How convenient to smear the only relative of Natalie's who cares about what REALLY happened!

Duane Rasure has followed Dennis -- to this day -- in the media (the ONLY resource we ever had to get the truth known) calling him a "drunken liar." Why? Why smear Dennis and slander him when Wagner was just as drunk? (had things been done by the book and testing completed, Rasure would've known that) and why, after learning years later how the wine bottle REALLY ended up on the main salon's floor, does Rasure not come out and say, "I was lied to by ALL?"

As for Dennis, Wagner has said little about him over the years (don't poke the bear?) until the case was reopened in Nov. 2011...then, he had his spokesperson claim he "welcomed the case reopening" but in an aside accused Dennis of exploiting the tragedy. My comment to Wagner: if that's what you really believe, RJ, then put your money where your mouth is instead of giving it to a criminal defense attorney, and tell the investigating detectives what you know, or even what you DON'T know, about the night your wife died!"

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Natalie Wood Case Interview, Sat. Feb 9, 10 AM est.

I will be the guest at On The Grid Internet Talk Radio, Sat., Feb. 9, 2013 at 10:00 am EST.

I was told by host & producer, Debbie Barth, the title of this show is “Marti Rulli Shares Updates on The Natalie Wood Case” as we will talk about the latest developments in the ongoing investigation of the death of Natalie Wood.

This show's approach is conversational and listeners are highly encouraged to call in and join the conversation.  The call-in number is (323) 792-3071.  There is always someone in the chat room interacting with guests. 

The show is a one-hour show, starting at 10:00 am E.ST. and ending at 11:00 am EST. 

website: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/onthegrid.

Hope you can listen in and/or participate

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Goodbye Natalie - Goodbye Splendour - What Really Happened? 11/26 by OnTheGrid | Blog Talk Radio

Goodbye Natalie - Goodbye Splendour - What Really Happened? 11/26 by OnTheGrid | Blog Talk Radio

This is the interview with Debbie Barth just after the Wood case was reopened in Nov. 2011. I will be Debbie Barth's guest once again on Feb. 9th, 2013 at 10 AM est. (link to be posted) to talk about the most recent developments in the Natalie Wood homicide case.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Excellent ABC News video

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/robert-wagner-refuses-speak-police-natalie-wood-case-18257386

Natalie Wood case to be discussed tonight on "Geraldo at Large"

NOTE FOR BELOW: My segment was canceled due to the breaking news in Algeria I was told: if rescheduled, will post details. 


I'm looking forward to appearing on "Geraldo At Large" tonight at 10PM, est., Fox News, to discuss the facts of the Natalie Wood case and all that has transpired this past week regarding the case. Hope you'll tune-in.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Natalie Wood article: Robert Wagner's response to news release he has not cooperated with new investigation

http://www.eonline.com/news/379814/natalie-wood-death-investigation-robert-wagner-won-t-be-interviewed-again-new-leads-being-pursued


In this article Wagner's attorney claims Wagner has cooperated for the past 31 years concerning Natalie Wood's death. Attorney claims the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept efforts are based on those who want to sensationalize and exploit Natalie's death.

Fact is, Wagner went through two brief interviews during the initial investigation in 1981. Since then, he has only talked about Natalie's death publicly when he chose to, which I observed happened only when he wanted to promote his book release in 2008. In his book and during his book tour he hardly broached the pressing questions in the mystery of his late wife's tragedy.

I spent over 25 years trying to get the Wood case reopened. When it finally happened in Nov. 2011, Wagner's released statement was that he 'welcomed the investigation' -- as long as it wasn't based on those trying to profit. Now, after NOT cooperating with the authorities he lamely still blames Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour for the reason he is being called out in the press. This author is not responsible for the multiple bruises on Natalie Wood's body that the current L.A. Coroner has determined curious enough to change the status of Natalie's death certificate from accident to undetermined so that the LASD can continue with their investigation.

Wagner has NOT cooperated with the NEW investigation, and in this article claims he has been fielding questions for decades. Fielding is an appropriate word. He has not only dodged questions in interviews and in his book, he has dodged the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

My goal had always been to get Natalie's case into competent, professional hands. When that happened, I was gratified the authorities took over. What is in the news now comes from the professionals. They are not exploiting, nor sensationlizing. They want answers. This article makes it clear, none will come from Wagner.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Robert Wagner Refuses to Co-operate in Natalie Wood Investigation: Associated Press Article

Robert Wagner Not Interviewed In New Wood Inquiry


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert Wagner has declined to be interviewed by detectives in a renewed inquiry into the drowning death of his wife Natalie Wood three decades ago, an investigator said Thursday.
Wagner was interviewed by authorities soon after Wood's drowning in 1981, but the actor is the only person who was on the yacht the night Wood died who has not spoken to detectives as part of the latest inquiry, despite repeated requests and attempts, sheriff's Lt. John Corina said.
Blair Berk, an attorney for Wagner and his family, said the actor had cooperated with authorities since his wife died.
Detectives began re-investigating the case in November 2011. Since then investigators have interviewed more than 100 people, but Wagner has refused and Corina said the actor's representatives have not given any reason for his silence.
The detective's remarks provided new insight into the case that has remained one of Hollywood's enduring mysteries. Earlier this week, coroner's officials released an updated autopsy report that had been under a security hold. It detailed why Wood's death had been reclassified from an accidental drowning to a drowning caused by "undetermined factors."
"Mr. Wagner has fully cooperated over the last 30 years in the investigation of the accidental drowning of his wife in 1981," Berk said in a prepared statement. "Mr. Wagner has been interviewed on multiple occasions by the Los Angeles sheriff's department and answered every single question asked of him by detectives during those interviews."
After 30 years, Berk said, neither Wagner nor his daughters have any new information to add. She said the latest investigation was prompted by people seeking to exploit and sensationalize the 30th anniversary of the death.
The renewed inquiry came after the yacht's captain Dennis Davern told "48 Hours" and the "Today" show that he heard Wagner and Wood arguing the night of her disappearance and believed Wagner was to blame for her death.
Authorities have not identified any suspects in the case.
Wood, 43, was on a yacht with Wagner, Christopher Walken and the boat captain on Thanksgiving weekend of 1981 before she somehow ended up in the water.
Corina said Walken gave a prepared statement and spoke to detectives for an hour.
Detectives have also interviewed other actors who knew both Wagner and Wood to learn more about their relationship.
Corina said detectives have tried at least 10 times to interview Wagner but have been refused. He said some of the refusals have come from the actor's attorney, and that detectives at one point traveled to Colorado to try to speak with Wagner but were unsuccessful.
Corina said the latest inquiry had turned up new evidence.
"Most of the people we've talked to were never talked to 30 years ago," he said. "We've got a lot of new information."
Asked if the information might lead to criminal charges, Corina said that would be up to prosecutors if they are presented a case.
"All we can do is collect the facts," he said. "We're still trying to collect all the facts."
Corina said new people have emerged with information each time the case is in the news. Detectives would like to interview other people who haven't agreed to talk, he said.
Coroner's officials released an update autopsy report on Monday that detailed the reasons Wood's death certificate was changed last year from a drowning death to "drowning and other undetermined factors."
The updated report states the change was made in part because investigators couldn't rule out that some of the bruises and marks on Wood's body happened before she went into 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," Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran wrote in the report completed in June.
Officials also considered that Wood wasn't wearing a life jacket, had no history of suicide attempts and didn't leave a note as reasons to amend the death certificate.
Wood was famous for roles in films such as "West Side Story" and "Rebel Without a Cause" and was nominated for three Academy Awards.
Conflicting versions of what happened on the yacht have contributed to the mystery of her death. Wood, Wagner and Walken had all been drinking heavily in the hours before the actress disappeared.
Wagner wrote in a 2008 memoir that he and Walken argued that night. He wrote that Walken went to bed and he stayed up for a while, but when he went to bed, he noticed that his wife and a dinghy that had been attached to the yacht were missing.
"Nobody knows," he wrote. "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."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Natalie Wood, 31 Years Gone Today, But Not Forgotten

All Natalie Wood fans have their memories of when they discovered her and how they've never forgotten her. I have been one of them since I fell in awe of her when I was 10 years old. How ironic that many years later, I would become the person spending every spare moment for decades trying to give Natalie her rightful place in her own Hollywood history. Natalie Wood did not abuse her social evening 31 years ago and accidentally fall off a boat while attending to a dinghy late at night. For 31 years only one person in Natalie's family cared about learning the truth of how Natalie ended up floating in a cove on Sunday morning, Nov. 29, 1981, and that person is Natalie's sister, Lana. Natalie's other family members cling to 'accident' maybe because that's all they can handle emotionally. Finally, after 30 years, as the facts and truth are being investigated, I think of Natalie, as always. She is the person who was robbed of life.

She left behind a cherished family and lost being able to share in their lives. She left behind her good health, which her autopsy report indicated could have been a long, naturally healthy life. She left behind virtually all of her hard-earned, acquired belongings and wealth, bequeathed in a will to her husband who did nothing to help save her from drowning, and would begin dating another woman within weeks after Natalie's death. She left behind a career and millions of fans who had hoped to be entertained by Natalie for decades to come. She left behind a death case that was not investigated properly, and then became a subject matter almost a burden to keep hearing about. But people will keep hearing about it, I'm sure, for as long as a Natalie Wood fan remains, which will most likely be far, far into the future, for, most of all, Natalie left behind a name her fans will never let be forgotten. She was that special, that captivating, that legendary.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Natalie Wood's Reopened Case: A Year's Review

It was a year ago tonight I was rushed off to New York to open the Today Show the next morning with Dennis Davern and then to answer questions for the next 36 hours in various interviews (with no sleep) regarding the reopening of the Natalie Wood case. Today is a year since the night the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released its announcement that the 30-year old Wood case would officially be reopened. Their news conference followed the next day while a media frenzy ensued. No one was more enthused than I was over the possibility, the opportunity, for Natalie Wood to finally get what she deserved: a thorough investigation. ....................................................................................................................................................................................... Through the years as I pursued the case, many peripheral “experts” had suggested my efforts for Natalie were in vain. Maybe on my part it was naivety causing me to always turn a deaf ear to the unconvinced, but my basic sense of the meaning of justice prevailed. Maybe it was pure stubbornness. In any case, close to three decades of trying finally brought the amazing day of November 17, 2011 to an outcome Natalie deserved since November 29, 1981 when she was found floating facedown in a Catalina Island cove. Many pundits became as equally enthused as I was on November 17th last year, but that’s not to say there was no obstinacy from the get-go. ................................................................................................................................................................................................ Interest in Natalie’s case faded fast by January 2012 upon a heedless comment released by LASD spokesperson, Steve Whitmore, who publicly suggested the Wood case status had been based upon a book publicity stunt. Whitmore’s statement made no sense whatsoever. Why would a financially-struggling sheriff’s department reopen a high profile closed case in cahoots with a publishing company and/or its authors? It was obvious Whitmore's statement was some sort of maneuver, and the lead detectives on the case were not associated, nor impressed with him. Valid evidence existed, and it was enough to bring the sheriff to order a reexamination of Natalie's case. And further, the book, my book, at the forefront of Whitmore’s insulting comment, had been published two years before the decision to reopen the case. I had put in a lot of work post GNGS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ................................................................................................................................... Uninformed media comments were exasperating to hear and read about while I remained completely confident about what was really transpiring within the LASD: a true investigation for Natalie Wood. The Whitmore fiasco, however, seemed to become the prevailing consensus of the Wood case status. Despite LASD Chief of Detectives, William McSweeney, having retracted Whitmore’s comment within days, and claiming the case would remain open, media and public perception changed. For those who believed the case reopening had been contrived and all but closed again, they were in for a stunning surprise come July 2012 when news leaked that Natalie’s death certificate was to be officially changed from accidental to undetermined by the authority of the L.A. Medical Examiner’s office. I gave a brief interview on July 7, 2012 for Good Morning America and stated the death certificate change was huge for the Wood investigation. I also interviewed with FishbowlLA, but that was the extent of my media participation on the matter of the death certificate change. Renewed interest continued into September 2012 when 48 Hours repeated part of their interview with Dennis Davern that had aired in November 2011. This month of November marks the 31st anniversary of Natalie’s death and all is quiet. Other authors who’ve previously written about Natalie’s demise, then moved on to other ventures, usually resurface when news about Natalie’s case is released. Yet, the truest experts on the Wood case these days are the new detectives assigned to the case. I've met them. They are mission-minded. ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... Upon hearing that Natalie’s case was no longer labeled accidental, many consultants finally caught on and started saying, “there must be something to this.” Well, yes, of course, there is “something to this!” Natalie’s case reopening was and is based on a serious effort to understand what went wrong that long-ago, fateful weekend. ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... Since the Wood case reopened, several developments have been reported, and most of the reports are true if not confirmed. New witnesses have come forward. The Wagner family has not been as cooperative as their initial statement suggested they would be. The statement Robert Wagner’s spokesperson released immediately following the LASD press conference last year turned out to be a thinly-veiled criticism of Dennis Davern and our book, and little else. Spokesman, Alan Nierob, had claimed: "They (Wagner family) fully support the efforts of the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. and trust they will evaluate whether any new information relating to the death of Natalie Wood Wagner is valid, and that it comes from a credible source or sources other than those simply trying to profit from the 30 year anniversary of her tragic death." Natalie’s only family member known thus far to welcome the new investigation is Natalie’s sister, Lana Wood, but Lana was not present the night her sister died. Robert Wagner was. For all the years he has claimed to not know how his late wife died, one would think he would offer all the knowledge he could about the tragic night in question. He has tapped his recall and memory to write two books now, one on the market and one in the wings, yet has contributed nothing beyond his statement to the investigation he claimed to “fully support?” ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... Dennis Davern has volunteered his support and assistance by cooperating with authorities this entire past year, whenever called upon. Although it was not supposed to be revealed publicly, a private citizen had filmed Dennis as he boarded the Splendour with case detectives in Honolulu this past summer, and 48 Hours Mystery used the footage on their September 2012 repeat of an interview with Dennis from last year. Dennis had traveled to Hawaii to support Natalie’s case, to offer all he possibly could, to show he was willing to “relive” the long-ago tragic night in an effort to recall anything he may have missed. Dennis has defined the true meaning of the words cooperation and support. .................................................................................................................................................................................................... The information I’ve mentioned in this summary thus far is nothing that hasn’t already been suggested and reported throughout this past year, although most of the reports gathered little attention, as if Natalie’s death-review is something that was meant to go away again. It will never go away until answers are provided, but the LASD is not obligated to answer to anyone but Natalie’s immediate family. Since the only person within Natalie’s family interested in answers is Lana Wood, she may be the only person to learn about the many things the public will be deprived of unless there is a major breakthrough in the case. ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... Yet to be explained is the answer to why Natalie’s death certificate was changed a few months ago. The change is a major development in the case, although it may seem like a small feat for an entire year’s work. There is nothing small, however, about eliminating the word “accidental” from Natalie’s death certificate. Natalie’s bruises should have been thoroughly investigated from the start, as all of the previous theories such as “clinging to a dinghy” or “bumping against rocks” have obviously been deemed unlikely. After much research and studying Natalie’s autopsy report, I explained in Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour (with the help of Dr. Lyndon Taylor), Natalie’s bruises appeared to be of classic domestic violence nature. The bruises on the backs of her legs appear to be combat bruising. The small circular bruises at her ankles appear to be fingerprints. The scratch at her neck and the numerous other bruising indicates a possible altercation. There were over two dozen bruises on Natalie's body when she was pulled from the ocean: bruises not logically accounted for in 1981. A large four-inch bruise on Natalie’s arm reeks of a defensive wound. Her facial abrasion had to derive from a semi-rough surface, such as a rug, or a deck recently coated with non-skid? My research led me to believe Natalie’s bruises occurred while still aboard her yacht, and it’s apparent the new medical examiner agrees her bruises are of a suspicious nature – enough to change a death certificate. And what also comes into question within this new investigation is Natalie’s time of death. I suppose the new medical examiner has a strong professional opinion concerning Natalie’s estimated time of death, which had not been explored previously. Natalie deserved this new, professional evaluation. The authorities are much more knowledge now concerning Natalie's mystery death. Although Natalie’s death is now officially labeled undetermined, which is a huge step in the process, there is more information to be determined. A 30-year old case full of speculation, lies, and deceit is not solved overnight. This lingering mystery case is still being investigated. Yes, there's "something to this." Otherwise, this case would have been filed closed again. It remains open. ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... For now, the most important thing is that Natalie is getting what she long ago and always deserved: a dedicated, thorough investigation, and I for one, am willing to be patient awaiting the final results. I had pleaded with the initial investigators on Natalie’s case to take another look at the details, and when they refused, I released Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour in an effort to bring attention to Natalie’s quickly closed case. When my book failed to arouse official interest, I spent the next two years condensing the vital information I had gathered and then provided it to the LASD along with a petition through the attorney who had started the petition. Within a month, Natalie’s case was reopened, and officially announced one year ago today. The case has come a long way, and is still open, and being worked. The LASD, as far as I know, is still interested in solving the mystery of Natalie Wood’s death.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lana Wood to honor sister Natalie at Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.

http://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/Lana-Wood-reminisces-about-Natalie-Bond-4001462.phpething Lana has been through it all in regard to her sister's career, life and "mysterious" death. Although the interviewer of this article has it wrong about WHEN the case reopened, overall, most of the questions asked are interesting. It has been a year since the Wood case was reopened (which started a few weeks before the official announcement) and, as each case is different, this one carries 30 years of misconceptions with it. This case is taking so much time for good reason. Natalie is getting what she deserved all along.