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.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour (authors Marti Rulli and Dennis Davern)
Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour (GNGS) is now available for pre-order at Barnesandnoble.com and at Amazon.com (publisher, Phoenix Books and Audio) and due in bookstores early fall 2009. You may search by title or author.
I am creating this blog to help control rumors about this book, to help readers understand our purpose, and to answer questions honestly. We promise you a compelling, truthful account of Dennis Davern's Splendour years from the moment he was employed as the Splendour Captain to the day GNGS was slated for publication.
Please know that there are some things I will not be able to answer in depth until the book is published, in which most cases, the question will probably already have been satisfied by the content in GNGS. Thank you for your interest in GNGS. Sincerely, Marti Rulli


  1. All of us are waiting to hear the real story, Marti--for years we've been waiting. I'm sure the book will be insightful and will open a lot of eyes.

  2. Greetings, Marti,

    Prior to Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour, we have seen Lana Wood's Natalie, Suzanne Finstad's Natasha and Gavin Lambert's Natalie Wood. Which of these three books is most "compatible" with the facts that we will encounter in Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour?

  3. Those of us who have been waiting for the truth are looking forward to your book. There are so many unanswered questions, so many missing pieces...So much of what we have read about her death does not make sense and when something does not make sense, it is usually not true...We have heard from everyone on this topic, everyone except Natalie. As a life long fan I look forward to you giving her a voice with your book.

  4. GNGS is also like Lana's book in the sense that Dennis knew Natalie. This is not a biographer's story. This is the story of a friendship, and more.

  5. There are many people who took this long journey with me, and I thank you. You all know who you are. Thank you to all who have new interest in this story, too. Soon, I will post the first review I received. An excerpt will soon follow. Thank you.

  6. Thanks for that explanation, Marti. As you know, we are all very anxious to read Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour.

    One question regarding life and activities aboard the Splendour. Several years ago I submitted Natalie's recipe for Huevos Rancheros for a company cookbook that was raising money for the fight against breast cancer. Will there be any recollections in Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour about the everyday sort of things like Natalie cooking her Huevos Rancheros, any fishing stories, etc.?

  7. Tom, that was a nice idea to submit her recipe. I do mention a few tidbits about Natalie in the Splendour galley...it was her favorite place to cook even though she had an eight ranger at home in the kitchen. Breakfast was her specialty and she always made the Huevos Rancheros. It was Dennis, in interviews, who first shared this particular anecdote, and then, I saw it mentioned everywhere...I'm glad it's so associated with Natalie. Many people know so little about what the Splendour outings were like. It was a very private part of the Wagners' lives, and I respect that and do not exploit it, but there's plenty of info about those fun getaways. Dennis's Splendour years were full of great times. Readers should like the Olivier cruise. He had such respect for Natalie.

  8. Marti,

    I would never make a blanket statement that I've read every word printed on the life and death of Natalie Wood but I've certainly read my fair share on the fairest of ladies since I was a young child.

    In the 27+ years since her death I've read literally hundreds of articles, several books and watched many interviews on this subject. One conclusion has always appeared to me which is, not one of them offer conclusive evidence. No matter how it is presented 2+2 must always equal 4. Every one of these articles, books and interviews always come up short.

    People directly related and people in no way connected to Miss Wood have been allowed to voice their own opinions and conjectures in print and interviews and we are supposed to acknowledge their hap hazard fabrications as fact? Are we that naive? Are we that stupid? I like to think not.

    I, like many have wondered why the man who was there and has first hand knowledge of the facts has been stifled all these years? What does Dennis Davern known that the public does not?

    I must tell you that I have waited many years for his story and the truth to be revealed and I eagerly await the release of Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour .

    Hopefully with Mr. Davern's voice we will also hear the voice of a woman, a wife and Mother, a fine actress and a friend to many. Hopefully we will hear the voice of Natalie Wood...finally.

  9. Joe, thank you for your comments. A wonderful and wise attorney once told me "truth is its own defense" -- and that statement meant more to me than anything else while working on GNGS. I expect that some people will turn pages looking for sensationalism, but it doesn't exist. I expect negative as well as positive feedback, but no one will be able to rightfully claim that I didn't respect their thoughts or ideas. GNGS goes beyond "Hellman Syndrome" and hearsay. Truth is more than its own defense. It's the only thing that exists. When we know we're being shortchanged, it's insulting. I don't want to get too philosophical here, but damn, this story has seen far too many scenarios. But legends go that way. The legendary Natalie Wood DOES have a voice in GNGS!

  10. Marti,

    I so glad about GNGS next release. I want to read what really happened the night Natalie died. Dennis was a witness and i'm sure that the truth will come out

  11. So many people say that Dennis will be lying because he may not tell them what they want to hear. For years people have said the same words "you were not there, were you?"....well, Dennis was there. He is the only person on that boat who is willing to go out on a limb to tell the truth. Wagner and Walken made a few politically correct statements to protect themselves. I look forward to hearing from the only one in the bunch who is NOT looking out for number 1...and yes, Dennis may make some money on this book BUT he could have made a lot more way back in 1985 but he was clearly stifled. By the way, Robert Wagner made money when he sold the memories he swore he would never sell. He played the Natalie Card in his book, BIGTIME!....

  12. Yes, Gabbott, Dennis was THERE. For the people who say "well he has changed his story so many times"- they will see that he hasn't. I want to stress that Dennis didn't give many of those tabloid stories that flooded the stands in the 80's and early 90's. He did an interview with the Star in 1985, and many other publications quoted from that article and some quoted wrong. Many tabloid articles came from a private investigator (Milo Speriglio, and others) that Dennis never knew. He DID interview with Sam Kashner for Vanity Fair (March 2000), and his story has never changed. As years went by, Dennis revealed more of his story, but his story has never changed. People hold the story in Suzanne Finstad's NATASHA against Dennis, but Dennis NEVER interviewed with Suzanne. Too many writers have had a field day "quoting" Dennis or using Den's story for their own purposes and their own agendas. This is Dennis's story that he finally has the opportunity to tell without being misconstrued, misquoted, or misunderstood. And, yes, HE WAS THERE! He experienced that dreadful night. I'm glad you look forward to hearing about it.

  13. they say that his story has changed but cannot be specific about the changes he allegedly made. I think that comes from what was said in Finstad's book....that was the only public statement that was made that was inconsistent with anything he said before or since and he did not give that interview to Finstad....

  14. Marti, there is one person who has not exactly changed his story, but who does admit he would have done things differently in 1981, and that is Detective Rasure (now retired). Did you have an opportunity to speak with him, or is he mentioned in your book?

  15. Thomas, yes I did have the opportunity to talk with Rasure, and that conversation is presented. Although he is retired, he assured me he will read GNGS and we'll talk again. I hope he does read, and I do look forward to talking with him again.

  16. I hope that he follows through with what he told you. The investigation into Natalie's death is not a shining moment in Rasure's career.

  17. Marti,
    I was wondering if you had any word on when the audio book of GNGS will be released and if a decision has been made on who will be doing the narrative?
    I did notice in the past, on She Writes you didn't have a date yet and on Audio Editions it is listed but again there isn't a set date.
    Anything current you can tell us?
    Much thanks,

  18. Marti,
    It has recently been brought to my attention that someone might be stealing my identity and posting style and using it on a blog called Natalie Wood: Speak Easy and on a site called Morbidly Hollywood Discussion Forum.
    Their posts are very negative toward Natalie Wood, Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour and you and Dennis.
    I certainly can't stop people from commenting about me within the slander laws of our country but I can stop them from Identity Theft.
    I am sure anyone that knows me knows I am a life long fan of Natalie Wood and a supporter of your book as my name in the book's acknowledgements can surely attest too.
    I was going to send you a private note on this matter but my attorney's para legal associate advised me to make it public before proceeding further with this matter.

  19. Marti..the book seemed to come in and out
    of reality..the skipper was (is ) an alchohoic
    & you give so many versions of what could have
    happened..I never came away from the book
    feeling like I really knew any real truth, confusing and unfocused at times, real at others.
    sorry but just finished it 20 min ago , Rose

  20. Rose, I'm sorry you did not grasp the underlining purpose of GNGS. There was a shoddy investigation into Natalie's death, and her case deserves the attention of professionals. As I said in GNGS, I am but an amatuer and was able to point out all of the mistakes in the investigation -- 1) not retaining the boat survivors and asking many more questions 2) not checking Walken, Wagner, and Davern for bruises 3)not digging to find out why the main salon was filled with glass and the master stateroom a mess 4) why Natalie was floating 5) why the coroner was fired, and so forth ...

    But... as for the book coming in and out of reality, sorry, but the book was written with only fact and I presented one version and one version only: the captain's polygraphed information and story.
    What happened that night is that Wagner went into a jealous rage, fought with Natalie, and she ended up in the water she deathly feared pleading for her life, and there is more than one witness to those facts. Marilyn Wayne's account fits perfectly with Dennis's account.

    I may have explored the theories out there in GNGS, but basically only one version is scrutinized, all the way to polygraph test and hypnosis: the captain's.
    Also, Dennis did drink heavily after Natalie died as he truly was distressed and depressed. His entire life had been turned upside down, and he held in such a deep, dark secret that he wished he had told the authorities. He lives with that guilt, but Dennis is not an alcoholic. He is quite a successful businessman, owns two homes (one in a luxury gated community), boats, and has a wonderful family life. When he left California in 1985, his life turned around and he has been fine since, and never, never, did he accomplish his success through opportunist money. He's a hard worker and made his own life. The one time he did receive payment for an interview, he took the money and left the country because of death threats for having done so.
    Thank you for reading GNGS, and thank you for approaching me with your concerns. I'll be happy to answer any of your questions.
    Sincerely, Marti