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.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dominick Dunne approved of Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour

On a repeat episode of Power, Privilege and Justice that just aired on TV, in a segment about Robert Blake, host Dominick Dunne said, "When you are a celebrity in L.A. , you play by a different set of rules."

Dominick was an excellent investigative journalist whose articles and books offered insights into why celebrity criminal cases have often been treated differently by the judicial system. 

Dunne wrote several books and was a contributor for Vanity Fair. He covered many famous high-profile trials including the OJ Simpson, Claus von Bulow, Michael Skakel, William Kennedy Smith, and the Menendez brothers' trials. 
Dominick experienced life's greatest agony when his own young daughter was murdered by her boyfriend. He dedicated his life to justice.
As host of Power, Privilege, and Justice, in particular, he always discussed justice and injustice and their intersection with celebrities.

Dunne was a gifted True Crime writer and I always hoped for his opinion of Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour, but Dominick passed away on August 26, 2009, just days before its release. I learned later, however, that Dominick had been given a galley proof copy of Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour and said that he was relieved the truth about Natalie Wood's death was being published.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


A reader emailed me to ask why Coroner Noguchi has not come forward with a statement about Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour.

I've contacted Thomas Noguchi several times, but always get a polite response from his attorney claiming  Noguchi made a decision long ago to remain silent about the Wood case. I would hope this would change.

If you have any questions, please click on comments and I will answer in the comment thread.   

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Talk Forensics Show Scheduled for Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour


I will be a guest on the show Talk Forensics, Sunday February 14th @ 4pm Eastern. (Live Show)

About the show:
The purpose of the show is to educate and entertain the public on the various fields of forensic science, crime scene investigation, missing person searches and various aspects of the legal system as it relates to forensic science. My interview will focus on the investigation into Natalie Wood's death.

Talk Forensics is a one hour show that airs Live every Sunday at 4pm eastern on Blog Talk Radio. Some of the guests have been Dr. Michael Baden from HBO’s Autopsy, Todd Matthews, from the Doe Network/NamUs.Gov and David Lohr, ID Channel, Trooper Sarah Krebs, Kathy Reichs, of the Bones Series and Frank Bender Forensic Sculptor just to name a few.

Following an interview, callers will be able to ask questions. At this point the show is 60 minutes in length and will automatically become a pod cast on iTunes that listeners can download at a later time if they miss the live program. I will soon post the Call in Number for Guests to ask questions.
I look forward to this opportunity to answer questions.

Monday, January 18, 2010



I will be happy to answer questions and to discuss Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour at the above link forum. CLICK ON THE HEADING WORD "QUESTIONS?" TO GET TO THE FORUM.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A reader who gets Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour

There were no hidden motives, no agendas, nothing but an honest account offered when writing Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour, and it is so refreshing and appreciated to hear from readers who aren't looking for ulterior purposes when they read...they are reading the story knowing why it was written. It was written for Natalie. I hope it's not the only justice she will ever receive, but for now, I remain proud of giving her this much.
A reader, Marianne, recently emailed me and I asked if I might post her mail, and she responded:

I remain so haunted and saddened by Natalie's fate that I've had a nervous feeling and a stomachache at times when I think about it all...I've talked about it with my sisters and some friends that I recommended your book to. I have been looking regularly at your blog and the "death forum" that was mentioned in your book. There is this need to learn more and to hear from people who are also touched by Natalie's story and haven't forgotten her.
I just CAN'T get this out of my head! It's there every day, and I hope that more and more people care.


Hello, Marti:

I have felt compelled to write to you after reading GNGS. I received it as an unexpected Christmas gift from my sister, who knows I am a big fan of Natalie. I had NO idea the book was coming out, and I was stunned to get it. Then I was stunned again to realize that I hadn't seen or heard of any reviews, interviews, or references to it at all. WHY is that? It's disturbing to me. I always read book reviews in the Los Angeles Times--why has this story gone untouched?

Please forgive me for this long e-mail. But this book has haunted me in ways that I almost can't even describe, and I needed to contact you. I read it in less than two days, and it has kept me up at nights. It filled me with fascination, admiration, outrage, horror, and an achingly deep sadness that I simply cannot shake.

I've read other books on Natalie, but GNGS gave such a moving personal view of her and who she was--caring, loving, genuine, beautiful inside and out. She really deserved that, and you should be proud of having given it to her.

I was only 13 when Natalie died, and I vividly recall that Sunday morning when I heard the news. I grew up in the Los Angeles area, and I overheard my parents talking about the local news report of it when I was waking up in my bedroom. Even at that age, the circumstances didn't add up, and I NEVER heard an account that made any sense, including the different versions offered by Wagner and Walken. Your account is the only one that makes sense.

It continually struck me at how many points in that weekend was there an opportunity to avert what happened to her, by a number of people involved. Of course, in the first place, they shouldn't have gone on that trip, and the amount of alcohol consumed made me sick just to read about! There are so many "if onlys."

If only Marilyn Wayne and John Payne had had their dinghy inflated to go and get her. Their boats were so close! And what if they had called out to Natalie to acknowledge hearing her cries? Wagner would have then known that someone was listening, and he couldn't get away with what he was about to do--let her die.

If only the other invited guests had made it on the trip, that trip wouldn't have played out like that.
If only Natalie had managed to reach someone on the mainland to pick her up that Saturday...
If only she had been able to realize his wrath and scale back her defiance. Their emotions were so intense.
If only they were moored in Avalon--if he was going to pick a fight with her, he couldn't have gotten away with it in Avalon. Two Harbors is just too secluded.

There are many more, too. I wish Natalie had locked her stateroom doors to keep him out when she went to get ready for bed. They could've slept it off and headed home the next day. Also, I wish Dennis hadn't turned on that music. If he hadn't, he would've heard her in the water. I understand why he did, but he knew that Wagner had become maniacal. I am sure that really haunts him.

I posted on your blog this a.m. about Wagner's demand to her to get off "his" boat. I have been thinking about that myself. Combine that with his claim to Dennis that Natalie was going to get more than what she came for on the trip--WHAT did he mean by that? Was he actually planning something all along?

It seems that Natalie was destined for a huge comeback, and I think that is part of what set off Wagner. In your book and in his own, he really comes off as insecure, especially re: their respective careers. I recall someone in Hollywood speculating years ago that Natalie was going to enjoy a big comeback in the 1980s because that was the decade that many actresses in their 30s, 40s, and 50s did so in film and on t.v.--Linda Evans, Joan Collins, Linda Gray, etc. None of them had a fraction of the talent that Natalie did, so it is easy to think she would've triumphed. And that scared Wagner.

I was also struck, like you, by his bragging about "taking care of" the photographer who took pictures of an ailing David Niven. That comment was completely in line with the threats made to Dennis, Lana, and Marilyn. He made other callous, arrogant comments in his book, and they were extremely off-putting. He's almost admitting to some of the other stuff he's done!

It is telling that he did not mention Natalie in his book dedication. He dedicated it to their three daughters, his mother and sister, and Jill St. John-- to all "the wonderful women who have been the meaning of my life." What, no Natalie?

Then he has a two-page list of acknowledgements at the end (in very small print). He even manages to mention friends of his children (Jason Bateman and his wife, who I know is Courtney's best friend). But he doesn't mention Natalie. And he didn't pursue a supposed snafu by Westwood Cemetery. He said he bought two plots prior to Natalie's death, one for him and one for Natalie. But the cemetery "messed up," and he didn't pursue it--just gave up. Now he will be buried in Aspen with St. John. Guilt, perhaps?

My parents' new home is about 25 miles inland in Los Angeles County, but it is in some hills, and on clearer days, the entirety of Catalina, about 50 miles away, is starkly visible from their house. We spent New Year's Day there, and I sat there continually staring at the Isthmus, thinking, "That is where Natalie died." It haunted me.

Natalie's beauty was heartbreaking, and so was her death. She did not deserve to die that way. I keep imagining her in the water, thinking, "Why is RJ doing this to me?" and being terrified and dumbfounded over the whole scene.

I have been looking at various photos of her on the Internet, particuarly tributes on YouTube. I think she was the most stunning in the mid-70s, right up until her death. She actually grew more beautiful as she got older! Looking at those photos brings me to tears, realizing what was going to happen to her in just a few years and how unfair it was to take her away from us.

Marti, thank you for writing this book and wanting justice for dear Natalie. I don't think another book has ever affected me so! I signed the petition, and I hope others do, too.

I read something on YouTube last night that touched me. A commenter wrote that "Natalie had power over sensitive souls like us." She was terribly wronged, and we were robbed of her.

Thank you for letting me express my feelings and thoughts to you. They have been eating away at me.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Every little bit helps - Haiti


There is devastation in Haiti from the earthquake that hit in and near the city of Port-au-Prince.

The paternal grandmother of my young grandson travels to Haiti several times a year on missions to help the Haitian people, many who live in unimaginable poverty. Each time she sets out for her trip, her friends and relatives clean out closets and give her clothing and items that get shipped through her church hosting the  missions. I've always admired she offers her time, services, and her goodwill, yet I was glad she was not there at the time of this disaster.

But many were there. And those who live in Haiti are in a living hell right now. They need help, assistance, medical, water and food, and much of their city will need to be rebuilt. There are so many generous people who will take the time to actually go to Haiti to assit with all these immediate needs. There are never enough funds to support it.

Americans have big hearts, and even in these trying times, in our own down-economy, so many of us will give what we can. Many people, however, do not realize that even a few dollars can be a huge help. Even $2 is worth the effort!
Celebrities are planning benefits now, and that usually helps tremendously, but funds are needed now. Please donate what you can. Even if only $5, please go to the link and donate it. If 100,000 people donate only $5 each, that adds up to a half a million dollars! This request is being Twittered by many, and is posted at many private blogs. People always can make a difference. Every dollar helps. Please contribute. Here's the link again to CNN's site that explains what the various organizations handle and where you can donate.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No appeal for Jeffrey MacDonald

Jeffrey R. MacDonald - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An author I am acquainted with has asked a favor of me to post this message, and I am beyond willing to oblige. One of the very first True Crime cases I ever became involved with (by interest alone) was the MacDonald family massacre (this was a murder of the worst degree).
Pregnant Colette MacDonald and her two young daughters, Kim and Kristy, were slaughtered in their apartment home at Fort Bragg, NC.
Jeffrey MacDonald, Colette's husband and the girls' father was the only one in the apartment to survive.

This case received tons of media attention before becoming a bestselling book titled Fatal Vision by Joe McGinniss, and then was made into a TV Movie of the week.

This story is one of the worst in criminal history, yet the MacDonald case has been a roller coaster of appeals, releases, controversy, and acute pain for everyone involved, especilally for Colette's loved-ones. I've posted the Wiki link but these are numerous websites about this crime and the infamous murderer, Jeffrey MacDonald.
It's evolved into one of those DNA challenges, and lots of convoluted information surrounding it -- the good thing is that MacDonald has been in prison for over two decades, but with a sharp team of attorneys, he is being granted a hearing in an appeals court this March.

My friend believes that letters to the court will help: I'm not sure if it works that way, but I am writing a letter because I am willing to try anything to keep this man behind bars. If anyone would like to learn more about this horrific case, and to write a letter with your opinion, please do so.
One of the most notorious monsters alive may get a chance at freedom: Jeffrey MacDonald.
I believe his former conviction. I believe he did slaughter his pregnant wife and his two adorable baby girls. Some people tend to think he is innocent because it's difficult for anyone to wrap their brain around the fact that some husbands, especially those who seem like golden men, are capable of such inhuman acts.  

You may write to:  United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
                                         1100 East Main Street, Suite 501
                                          Richmond, VA    23219-3517

You might reference your contact with:
US vs Jeffrey MacDonald   3:75-cr-00026-F-1, 5:06-cv-00024-F
or see website for possible contact

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Charlie Sheen said "I will kill you" to his wife. Robert Wagner said, "Get off my f'ing boat"

According to the report filed by the arresting officer Rick Magnuson of the Aspen Police Department, Charlie Sheen became angry last week when his wife, Brooke Mueller, told him that she wanted to divorce him and take the children away.
Sheen allegedly straddled her on the bed and grabbed the upper part of her throat. He then allegedly put a knife to her throat and said, "You better be in fear. If you tell anybody, I'll kill you."
Mueller then alleged that Sheen told her, "Your mother's money means nothing, I have ex-police I can hire who know how to get the job done and they won't leave any trace."
Sheen's wife then told the officer that she feared for her life and that Sheen only let her up when she apologized, telling him, "You're right, you're right, you're right. I'm sorry, I love you."

This is a prime example of a celebrity marital argument going too far, and the celebrity was caught because his wife feared for her life and dialed 911. (Smart move to expose the threat!)

Compared to Natalie Wood's death night in 1981, the Aspen episode comes eerily close. Natalie was angry enough to mention "divorce" during the height of her argument. Had she? Was that what sent Wagner into a hellbent level of action so there was no chance for Natalie? Would Charlie have gone further had his wife not called for help?
Spousal abuse is not limited to non-celebrity relationships. This past year, we saw in the news how Rihanna was bloodied and beaten by boyfriend, Chris Brown. We've followed the disturbing Tiger Woods' case. How many of us believe that Tiger's wife smashed in the rear window of his vehicle to "save him"?  The Charlie Sheen case, however, is the epitome of celebrity arrogance, having telling Brooke that he has "ex-police he can hire to get the job done" -- TO KILL HER!

It's another classic example of celebrity ego gone haywire: Charlie is in the prime of his TV career...a hit show on the air, popularity, and a wife who is as financially rich if not potentionally richer than he is.

When Inside Edition aired the Charlie Sheen scandal, what followed was the Robert Wagner, Natalie Wood segment based on Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour.  Apparently, Inside Edition, of all the segments they could choose to re-air, chose Natalie's mystery death, because the Charlie Sheen episode is nothing more than a repeat history scenario of what can go wrong ...

What would have happened if Charlie had gone all the way and slashed Brooke's throat? Does she believe that is an impossibility? Perhaps Inside Edition segment intended to show her and all of us that, yes, she easily could have had her life ended that night. She must have sensed it, too, because she started apologizing and pleading and agreeing with Sheen, perhaps just as Natalie had done when she realized she was IN the water and desperately needed help.

Chances are, had Natalie been saved, she may have forgiven her husband, just as Brooke may forgive hers. Charlie Sheen is now exposed and will probably never be able to pull off another attempted or actual murder. What he did IS attempted murder, but no doubt it will be swept under the celebrity rug of exemption. Do I doubt he would've done something horribly tragic? No, I don't doubt it one bit. Look what happened to Natalie Wood.

Celebrities are NOT the characters they play on the screen. They are capable of  horrible things, and what they bank on is that the public won't disquinquish between their on screen personlities and their real personalities, or that the public will forgive them because they play a good guy on TV. Please, realize what's at stake. The "alcohol level" of the intended victim is not the issue. The issue is celebrity privilege. It has gone too far through the years. Charlie Sheen and Robert Wagner both are guilty of a terrible thing: abuse. It's that plain, simple, and clear.

Readers: Please Help Natalie Wood's Case Petition

FAVOR ASKED OF ALL WHO VIEW THIS BLOG: Start the new year off by being a part of something important and meaningful. Please take a moment to send the message below to your email list. Ask your list to please forward to their lists. You can use the following message and/or add information of your own, especially if you have read Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour and certain information frustrates you. There was, at best, a shoddy original investigation into Natalie Wood's death. It deserves a review! MESSAGE:

Although the authorities claimed to have investigated the death of the esteemed late actress, Natalie Wood, it is one of the worst death case investigations in American history.  At the scene of this woman pulled lifeless from the ocean (she was deathly afraid of deep water), dressed in a nightgown and a coat, with bruises all over her body, and a yacht from where she went missing full of physical evidence suggesting a struggle or argument, three surviving cruise members (Natalie's husband, actor Robert Wagner, her co-star, actor Christopher Walken, and her boat captain, Dennis Davern) were not physically checked or detained for questioning. They were all allowed to go home and hire lawyers who essentially wrote the history on this case.
We are asking that you sign a petition to have the Wood case reviewed by authorities. New evidence CONTINUES TO SURFACE and this case warrants a fresh look. It is no longer acceptable that celebrities live under a separate justice system where they can say, do, and act as they please with no repercussion. Law enforcement cannot be allowed to look the other way, and old cases are as important as the new. We can no longer tolerate the obvious use of two separate justice systems: one for celebrities and another for us. Please sign the petition. It obligates you to nothing more than agreeing that this celebrity case be reviewed properly. We all would deserve as much for a mysterious death. Thank you.
You may sign anonymously...visit http://www.martirulli.blogspot.com/ for more information or go directly to petition at http://www.gopetition.com/online/31812.html