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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, June 4, 2010

2002 Wagner Interview with Larry King

Robert Wagner was interviewed on Larry King Live July 16, 2002—here are some EXCERPTS
(this is not full interview) (when referring to "book" they are talking about Finstad's Natasha):

(VIDEO CLIP OF WAGNER RECEIVING STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME WITH SOME CONVERSATION ABOUT IT STARTED THE INTERVIEW)

WAGNER: There's a lot of people that are not with us today that were my mentors, and they meant a great deal to me and to all of us. And so I'd like to thank all of my friends who are here today, all of you, the fans who have made this possible, and all of those people who have left us but I know are here today and with me in spirit.

KING: It was an honor to be part of that presentation along with Mike Myers. Who were you referring to?

ROBERT WAGNER, ACTOR: You were wonderful. Thank you for today.

KING: Who were you referring to? Who are those mentors?

WAGNER: Well, there's so many. You know, so many of my heroes are gone, Larry, you know. Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck.

KING: Knew them all? Worked with them.

WAGNER: Oh, yes. Knew them all.

KING: Spencer was your mentor, right?

WAGNER: Yes, he was. But, you know, I have a lot of loved ones that have left me, and we all have. You don't get a tribute like that, receive an honor like that without having a lot of people touch that and be a part of it and make it possible.

 . . .

WAGNER: And I've been so lucky in my career.

KING: You've always worked, right?

WAGNER: Yes, I have.

KING: And 50 years in it, right?

WAGNER: Yes.

KING: You're 72.

WAGNER: I am 72.

KING: That's hard to believe. I mean, you don't look 72.

WAGNER: It's great, isn't it? I love it.

KING: You like being older.

WAGNER: Well, it's such a privilege.

KING: Meaning?

WAGNER: Well, fortunately I'm healthy. I've met so many people. I've been blessed in my career, and I've had a chance to really, you know, it's better. It gets better all the time, you know. Really.

KING: You're a happy guy.

WAGNER: I'm doing all right, right now.

KING: Marriage is good with Jill St. John?

WAGNER: Very good with...

KING: How long has that been now?

WAGNER: That's been 12 years. That's amazing, isn't it? Twelve years.

KING: As Hollywood goes, that is amazing.

WAGNER: Yes, and then I have three wonderful daughters.

KING: All were there today. No, two -- one's away.

WAGNER: Yes, one's away. My middle one is working in London. I said thank God somebody in the family is working. It helps, you know. But she's very successful, Natasha. And Katie is on the -- she's a journalist, and she works for the TV Guide Channel. And my youngest daughter, Courtney, she's an artist and she's designing jewelry and she's doing great.

KING: Did your looks, did you ever think that they got in the way, in a sense? That you were -- I mean, let's be obvious, you were a very handsome guy. Do you think that sometimes when someone is really handsome, it curtails people looking at how well they act?

WAGNER: Well, you know, Larry, I was dealt a great card, I was really dealt a great card with my looks. And, you know, when I was young I had a lot of hair and I was a good looking kid, but there was a dozen guys like us. There was a dozen guys...

KING: Look at that, though. Yes, there were a lot out there like you, right?

WAGNER: Oh, yes. And what really kind of took me out of that, you know I just had a lot of hair on my head and was trying to get as many girls as I could, you know. And when I met Spencer Tracy, you know, Spence put his arm around me and he said, you know, you really got it. You could really go someplace in this business. That's when I did "Broken Lance" with him. And then he asked for me. There I am in "The Mountain." He asked for me to co-star with him in "The Mountain" and he gave me co-star billing above the title, which...

KING: Unheard of.

WAGNER: Unheard of. Which elevated me into a whole different kind of position. And there I was, you know? I was in the movies and I was with Spencer Tracy and it was terrific.

KING: What was he like?

WAGNER: He was a marvelous man. He was a marvelous...

KING: Would he have come on this show?

WAGNER: Oh, yes. He would have liked you.

KING: Thank you. But he would have come?

WAGNER: Yes, he would have, definitely. Yes, he would have. But, you know, when he was doing movies, there wasn't a show like this.

KING: Yes. He drank a lot, though, right?

WAGNER: He didn't -- I don't know whether he drank a lot, but when he drank, it ... was a different person.

KING: Oh, yeah?

WAGNER: He became a different -- he was one of those what they refer to as shanty Irish.

KING: Was he a kind guy?

WAGNER: Yes, he was. He was a very kind man and he was very generous to me, very much so.

KING: Robert Wagner in the...

WAGNER: Blake Edwards. Half a scene, what a wonderful girl. Did you ever meet her?

KING: No.

WAGNER: Oh, she was a wonderful lady. She suffered terribly from depression, you know.

KING: Really?

WAGNER: Oh, yes. She took her life.

KING: Really?

WAGNER: Yes. At a young age, too. And all of us who knew her, she was...

KING: Speaking of lost life, the Natalie Wood episode. I can't talk to you without asking about it. What did you make of that book that came out and the story in "Vanity Fair?" And I know the police -- the chief investigator said it was all distorted. Did you read it?

WAGNER: You know, Larry, I didn't read it. I didn't read the book. The woman had approached me on doing the book. I'm sorry, she did not approach me on doing the book or my representatives. And the problem with this today is, as you know, they can write anything they want about anyone and you don't really have any recourse, particularly about somebody who's gone. They can write anything about anyone that's said, that's gone. Isn't that extraordinary?

KING: How long is she gone now?

WAGNER: She died 21 years ago. Yes, 21 years ago.

KING: Do memories recur?

WAGNER: Oh, always. Oh, of course. You know, we were young together and I took her out the first time when she was 18 years old. As a matter of fact, I took her to see The Mountain, the clips that you saw there. Spence loved her. You know, people...

KING: What a talent she was.

WAGNER: She was a major -- she was such a gifted woman. She was so gifted, you know. And she did so many wonderful, wonderful pictures. And she was a marvelous...

KING: How did you emotionally deal with that tragedy that night, the drowning?

WAGNER: Oh, my God, Larry. I mean, I was in shock, you know, total shock. What really, really saved me were my children, you know? I went to a doctor, an analyst that I know, that I'd been with and I said, “What do I do?” You know, tell me what I do. And he said don't minimize it. Don't minimize it. Don't do anything like that, just it's what it is. And together, we stuck with each other. I think if I'd had been alone and didn't have that responsibility to my daughters and my family, I don't think I would have made it, you know. And then Jill came into my life, which was a very fortunate thing.

KING: You've had some great women.

WAGNER: Yes, I've been involved with some wonderful ladies in my lifetime, yes.

KING: Wasn't it doubly tough that not only had you lost her, but then the tabloids are making hay of how did you lose her, what happened, was there murder involved? How did you deal with all -- it's one thing to have a loss, and then it's a loss that's a public loss, and then it's a loss with rumors.

WAGNER: You know what happened for me, Larry, I was involved and had a very, very dear friend that was very close to both Natalie and myself whose name was Paul Zifferin (ph). And he was our adviser and our lawyer. He came to my house and he sat there, and he said, I'm not going to leave here until you promise me one thing. I said, what is that? He said, that you will not read these things and that you will not answer them and I'm not leaving until you give me that promise.
And I said, Paul -- he said, believe me, I want that -- that's what I want you to do, and I want you to promise me. And I loved Paul and I respected him so very, very much. And he was so meaningful in my life. And so I said, all right. And I think it saved me.

KING: You had to gut it out. Once you make that decision, no comment is what?

WAGNER: Yes. So I just -- I never, you know, I mean -- you know, it's all conjecture. And, you know, the thing is, Larry, it's not what if, it's what is. You know, she was gone like that. In an instant, our lives changed. Amazing.

KING: Why did he give you that advice, by the way?

WAGNER: I think that he felt that it was just a futile thing to try to answer those things.

KING: No win?

WAGNER: It's an absolutely no-win situation. It's an absolutely no-win situation because you're explaining, you know, what these people are -- and they can take and do whatever they want to with it, you know. And they have.

KING: What do you make that they still write -- that a book would come out 20 years later.

WAGNER: Well, this is another situation. This book is -- you know, this woman has fabricated, you know, those things that are all these things that she talks to these different people and she says she knows this and that. You know, it's -- there have been other books written besides that one, you know. And there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

KING: How well does Jill deal with the fact of how much you loved Natalie?

WAGNER: Well, you know, Jill and Natalie knew each other. Their mothers knew each other. They were all kids together. You know, there's a famous, famous picture of Stephanie Powers and Jill and Natalie all taking ballet class.

KING: I didn't know that.

WAGNER: Yes. And they all knew each other. All the mothers were sitting there, you know, clicking the needles and watching the kids do their stuff, you know. And Jill, by being in our work and knowing was very sensitive to my situation. She had been married before to Lance Reventlow. And Lance Reventlow was...

KING: A football player.

WAGNER: No, no, the race car driver, the son of Barbara Hutton. And he was lost in an airplane accident. So Jill had, you know...

KING: Death around both of you.

WAGNER: ... felt a lot of the pain that (UNINTELLIGIBLE). But she's been absolutely wonderful to me. And it was a great break that she came into my life, believe me.

KING: Finality is hard to deal with, isn't it? And, therefore, death, the ultimate finality.

WAGNER: Yes, it's -- I think when all of our friends, which you and I have had many together, they leave you, it definitely takes something away. I mean, it's gone. You know, but they're in your heart. They're in your soul and I know that they're around somewhere.

KING: You hope or you know.

WAGNER: I got a great feeling that they're around.

KING: Yes? I hope Lou Wasserman (ph) is around.

(VIEWER CALLS ARE TAKEN)

KING: From Augusta, Georgia, hello.

CALLER: The question is: What role did you do that most reflects the person you?

KING: Was there ever a role you played that most reflected you, or that you felt the closest to in character?

WAGNER: You know, that's a very interesting question. I think that when you do a television series like I did with "Hart to Hart" and with "It Takes a Thief," you see a lot of yourself. Because I never felt, for instance, with the character Jonathan Hart or Alexander Mundy, that I would ever be playing a part that long in my life. You know, I played Jonathan Hart for five years. So a lot of my behavior and a lot of my personality came -- I used in that. And I think that that -- in that case I would say it would be Jonathan Hart, yes.

KING: So it wasn't Prince Valiant?

WAGNER: Larry, it wasn't Prince Valiant.

KING: Next, a call from Eldorado Springs, Missouri, hello.

CALLER: I was wanting to -- it's such a thrill -- I just love Robert Wagner. I'd stop everything for him.

WAGNER: Oh, thank you.

CALLER: I want to ask him, first of all, what is his most prized winning achievement, or pride of his life. And also, does he have any advice for young people growing up in a world that's so different from what he grew up in?

WAGNER: Well, the first part about what do I have that I have such great pride in, obviously, are my three daughters. That's my family. I have great pride in that.

What advice would I give to young people growing up? I think that anything you can do to help your self-esteem and create an inner life for yourself and create a confidence within yourself, that is the most important thing.  And maybe it's also a good idea to look around and you'll find that you'll have a mentor in your life. And if you pick the right one, it can help a great deal.

KING: What would you say to a young kid walking down Hollywood Boulevard today, walking past your getting your star, he's 17, wants to be a movie star? He's a young RJ

WAGNER: Well, I would tell him to get up there and do it, and try it out, and try...

KING: Knock on all the doors?

WAGNER: Absolutely. Just get up there and stand up there and do it, and keep trying and keep trying and keep trying, because somewhere along the way something's going to happen. I mean, you know, we were talking about this before. Look what happened in my career with me now. Mike Myers writes this character for me, Number Two, and I'm talking to this 6-year-old kid on the phone -- huh?

You never know what's going to happen. You just never know what's going to happen in this work.

KING: Another call from Cincinnati, Ohio for Robert Wagner, RJ, hello.

CALLER: Robert, I love you. I love everything you do.

WAGNER: Oh, thank you. How sweet.

CALLER: The question I have for you is, if you could go back to any point in your life and relive it again, what would it be?

WAGNER: Go back at any point of my life and relive it again? I don't know. If I'd -- I don't know. I don't know what it would be, if I could relive...

KING: Well, one obvious is you wouldn't go out on the boat that night.

WAGNER: Well, yes, but...

KING: But that's obvious. But is there a career thing?

WAGNER: Yes, and I think that's what you're referring to, is it a career situation?
You know, I think that if I had listened a little bit more to a few people at different times in my life, I may not have made some of the mistakes that I made that seemed to cause me to stop living my life -- you know, that got in the way of me. And, you know, that can happen very easily. You know, sometimes you can speak to someone and they can kind of get you straightened out. And at other times can you get completely -- you can take too much time on something that isn't that important. And does that answer your question at all?

Next a clip from Hart to Hart.

KING: A lot of people thought you were married to Stefanie, right?

WAGNER: Yes, the relationship worked great, didn't it?

KING: It did.

WAGNER: You know, I'd worked with her before. She worked with me on a series I did, "Switch."

KING: I remember "Switch."

WAGNER: Yes, I was crazy about her.
And when this came around to the casting, you know, I said -- and the man who really, you know, directed the first one and kind of created "Hart to Hart" was Tom Mankiewicz. And Tom and I both said, got to have her. She's the one.

KING: Why did that show work?

WAGNER: I think because of the relationship and the chemistry between Stefanie and myself and Lionel Stander, who was absolutely wonderful. Oh, he was wonderful. He polished our luster and made us look great.

KING: But -- I mean, it's hard to associate with two rich people with their own airplane chasing criminals.

WAGNER: You know one of the things about this show, Larry, that always fascinates me? We never played kitchen-sink drama. We never got involved with another -- I never looked at another woman, she never looked at another man.

There was never any sense of jealousy. We were in love with each other. And we went to all of these different places, and we took the audience with us.

Another caller from San Antonio, Texas, says:

CALLER: Hi. Mr. Wagner, first, I've got two things for you. First, I think you're very sexy and have a great voice.

WAGNER: Thank you. I like you right off the bat. You're terrific.

CALLER: Thanks. I wondered if you have any hobbies, and I wonder what it was like to work with Fred Astaire on "It Takes a Thief," which you were very sexy in that as well.

WAGNER: Thanks.

KING: Hobbies are horses. I'll talk about that in a second, because we have some
pictures I want to show.   But tell me about Astaire.

WAGNER: He was the best. Fred Astaire -- first of all, I knew Fred Astaire from the time I was a little boy because I went to school with his son.

And I always looked up to Fred. I never knew that Fred Astaire was Fred Astaire. I never knew he was a dancer; I never knew anything about him. I just loved him.

KING: As the father of your friend?

WAGNER: Yes. I mean, and he was always great to me. He was always terrific to me. When it came up for the time for someone to play my father, I said, the only man in the world that can do that is Fred. So I went to him and asked him, and he said, I'd love to do that, I'd love to be in that with you. And we had a great time.   And I spent a lot of time with him, you know, personally. I went to the racetrack with him a lot.

KING: Bet a lot?

WAGNER: Yes. And then he, you know, he played a lot of pool. You know, we played a lot of pool together, we played a lot of golf together. So I had a chance to be with him on a one-to-one basis in areas that were very, you know, personal and...

KING: He was class.

WAGNER: Oh, believe me.

KING: Did he walk like he danced? Did he sort of float?

WAGNER: Yes, he moved along great. He moved along great. I had the privilege of dancing with him. I'm one of his dancing partners. In "It Takes a Thief." We did a number. We were dressed up as clowns. And I'm telling...

KING: Tell me about the horses.

WAGNER: The horses. Well, like a lot of horse people, I've gone through many manifestations with horses.

KING: You love them.

WAGNER: I do. I got away from them at one time, and then I got back into it because of my daughter Natasha and now my wife Jill. She rides all the time. She really rides a lot now.

KING: My daughter rides and owns horses. Can't get them away -- girls and horses. How many do you have?

WAGNER: I now have four. I used to have about 40. But you know, they eat when you're asleep, Larry.

KING: It's costly.

WAGNER: Yes, but I really loved it. I got into it and I was breeding. I had a good mare band (ph) and I was really going pretty good. And I loved it a lot.

And then I just -- I was in the thoroughbred racing business, too, for a while.

KING: Owned horses...

WAGNER: Yes, that was fun. That was fun.

And one last quick caller from Baltimore…FROM NATALIE.

CALLER: Mr. Wagner, my name is actually Natalie (ph) and I've been a huge fan of your late wife's for many years, and I just wanted to say, first of all, congratulations on getting your star today.

WAGNER: Thank you very much.

CALLER: And on a personal note, could you just share with me maybe one of your favorite memories of being married to Natalie and raising your three daughters together?

WAGNER: Well, you know, Natalie, she was a wonderful mother, I can tell you that. I mean, she was just an absolutely marvelous mother to our girls. And do you know, I could share so many moments with you but, as I was saying to Larry before, you know, I took her out -- I was very much involved with her in her younger life, when she was like 18, and to see her evolve into this wonderful woman and this wonderful actress and this -- such a wonderful, kind-spirited person, that was, you can imagine, a big joy.

KING: Are you, at 72 and all of the things you have gone through and gone up and at, are you a happy guy today?

WAGNER: I am, Larry. I'm very happy. And, you know, today was -- I never -- I never expected that.

KING: We only got less than a minute.

WAGNER: Oh, trying to live in the moment, Larry. Just trying to live in the moment, and I've met so many great people and I've had so much -- such a ride in this -- in my life, it's been great. And I want to thank you.

KING: You deserve it.

WAGNER: Wait a minute, I want to thank you very much for today, because you made that so special for me, and I really do appreciate it.

KING: Oh, my honor.

WAGNER: Thanks.

KING: R.J., Robert Wagner.

79 comments:

  1. What a bedtime story! As I was turning off computer, checked your blog, and couldn't stop reading this EXPOSE. OMG, how transparent is this man? Yeh, Wagner, the viewer caller meant your career. Why on earth would you want to change the moment you could've saved your wife's life when you could change a moment that might have brought you a better acting part? OMG, I gotta go to sleep on this? Thanks! (just joking) Actually, thank you for posting this. It's revealing and should have been in your book.

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  2. You have to see this interview. RJ falls all over himself at the mention of Natalie's death. Mr. Smooth can't complete a sentence without a hesitation, an "UM" or an "AH". His eyes dart from side to side. He has lying eyes. His fans will say that is because it was painful for him. PLEASE! It was not too painful when he began seeing another woman within weeks of her death. In his book he claimed it was 6 months. LOL Another is a long list of lies.

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  3. I never saw the interview, but reading it is enough. I always thought he was very handsome and smooth and that they had the perfect marriage. Although, men like that can still have tempers and become abusive. I read his book before yours and didn't have a clue about Natalie's death other than the dingy story. Now your book explains many things that happened. I agree...when he had the chance to respond to the caller...why would he not mention Natalie instead of his career. He dodges every time. Also, I noted he never said...she was a wonderful wife? I really hope this case gets re-opened. A lot of my friends have not heard anything about your book. Are the entertainment shows afraid to mention it? That is where you would get the exposure.

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  4. Marti,
    His statments always strike me as rehearsed. You know, I bought his book when it came out hoping for more information about what happened to Natalie that terrible night. It struck me as odd that Natalie was not included in the dedication. Wasn't she the love of his life?
    I have never believed the official story of Natalie's death.
    Thanks for telling the truth, Marti and Dennis.

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  5. check out my first and third comments on the GMA Diane Sawyer interview for me my fellow Rulli/Davern followers. If we keep circling Wagner's Jericho walls, they are bound to come down,keep up the pressure everyone!!!!

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  6. what a narcissistic jerk he is! He talks about how good looking he is.

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  7. why did you write "we're not accusing wagner of anything" ?

    simone has made her own blog and is using that against you. can you please clarify?

    Natalie was murdered by Robert Wagner and he acted alone. There's no mystery at all, except that the police refuse to investigate further.

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  8. this has nothing to do with this subject we're commenting on but another Wood/Wagner performance thats enjoyable to watch and I've only seen through my Netflix subscription is the play "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", I believe it originally aired on TV in the mid 70's...saw it but can apreciate it better now that I'm older.

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  9. To Anonymous (who asked me to clarify "accuse")

    To accuse and to suspect are two different things. While others "accuse" us of "accusing," in actuality we do not accuse anyone of anything. In Goodbye Natalie we've told Dennis Davern's experience of Natalie Wood's last weekend, and of my personal interviews and journal through the years I was involved with this story.

    It is a book filled with information I would think (hope) the authorities would be interested in, but we do not accuse. What we suspect, however, is what we hope the authorities will suspect too, and use the information we present to officially accuse if they deem it necessary.

    We are not the CA authorities, therefore we don't want to accuse, convict, and judge. That is the responsibility of the legal system, which sadly often fails us.

    Based on Dennis's personal experience, he does suspect certain things, but to accuse is not our place. What we suspect is based on facts, actual events, and a shoddy investigation that probably could've uncovered the truth had officials done their jobs with a bit more effort and interest for true justice.

    Hope that explains this little play-on-words others are having their little field day with.
    Oddly, it's those people who throw around the "m" word constantly. If that's what Dennis's polygraphed account means to them, I have no idea why they resist it.

    Thank you for asking.

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  10. Hi, Marti:

    This interview is so typical of Wagner--all the unfinished sentences, "ummmms," "you knows," and other filler. It doesn't help that King constantly interrupts him and helps finish his sentences.

    Wagner didn't directly answer the question about what it was like being married to Natalie. Instead, he hems and haws and comments that he first took her out at 18 years of age and saw her grow into an accomplished woman. He is always dodging.

    And as I have pointed out before, he tries to make it sound like Natalie and St. John were dear, lifelong friends, whose mothers were even close friends. This is NOT TRUE. But it is another attempt by Wagner to make himself look better--after all, who could object to a "grieving widower" marrying his late wife's dear, lifelong friend? Isn't that TOUCHING? Who would find suspicion or fault in THAT?

    Nice try, Wagner--another lie which is easily exposed.

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  11. I understand celebrities wanting to maintain a private life and keeping some information personal, but he outright lies to create ideas and images and excuses for things that just don't exist! It is widespread thru-out his book.

    Marti, keep your chin up, you've done something wonderful and don't ever forget it.

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  12. That's so true about the "ums" and "you knows". He falls all over himself when he talks about Natalie's death. It's like he is thinking about what he will say while he is saying it.
    I've noticed that he never praises her as a wife, only as a mother or an actress. I've never heard him say, "She was a wonderful wife, I was so happy with her, I loved her so much". He never said any of that in any of these televised interviews. In fact, he never said that she was the love of his life. The fans and the press have said that. In one of his book promo interviews he was asked if Natalie was the life of his life and he said that it was a difficult question to answer. He did not answer, he changed the subject.

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  13. That's because HE is the love of his life. Natalie was someone who took him further and I hate when he alludes to the lie that he was part of the "greats" and he introduced her to "the greats" -- she was and IS a "great" -- he was a big fat nothing without her and he resented her for it. He took care of her, didn't he?

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  14. OH PLEASE! She was working with "the greats" when he was still dreaming of it. She had more respect as an actress when she was 9 than he has ever had.

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  15. He is a classic narcissist--he always talks about himself in reference to OTHERS. "Oh, I had wonderful friends. They were so good to me. They were the 'great ones.' They were fabulous to me." He finds his satisfaction in the fact that talented performers would choose to hang around with him. He managed to charm them with that smile and "all of that hair" of his. How superficial.

    And yes, it is true that I have not heard him say that she was a wonderful wife. "It's a difficult question." WHY is that difficult to answer? Well, we can figure it's because he knows that she was about to dump him, and he made sure that wouldn't happen again.

    Natalie saved his butt from bankruptcy. He only got invited to award shows and to act with Olivier because of Natalie. Who would've cared if he had shown up at these shows alone? Natalie graced ALL of those events with her beauty and elegance, and Wagner was just along for the ride.

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  16. In all the years that they were apart, RJ was not invited to present at the Oscars. They got back together, there he was on stage with her. Nothing but a tag along, as Marianne put it, "along for the ride". He wishes that he had one tenth the respect that Natalie had. Natalie did not have to drop names to gain attention. RJ Wagner was and will always be nothing more than a second rater who kissed the ass of old Hollywood because he wanted to be part of something that his lack of true talent would not let him be a part of. In interviews he is never asked about the classic films that he was part of because he was not part of any or his role was small small that it was not considered an important part of the film. He has not one film that is considered a true classic because of him. Yeah, he introduced her the the greats...She IS one of the greats and he is her husband.

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  17. That's exactly as I see it. She was the great, he was the tag-along. As self-absorbed as he has always been, I'm sure that was motive enough for what he did to her in the long run. The people who are out there defending him, they are hooked on his image only, because in reality, if they really knew him, they'd know exactly what a shallow, inconsiderate, angry man he is. Anyone with any psychological training can clearly recognize this in his book, and many laypersons can, too. He should be a real case study one day, that's what will be his legacy. He will be notorious, not remembered as great. I hated hearing Diane Sawyer call him legendary. Why don't these interviewers do their prework any more?

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  18. They have to say that crap. It's written for them. He is nothing more that a professional charmer.

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  19. Yes, what I should've said is that he wouldn't have been to any of those award shows alone because he wouldn't have been invited if it weren't for Natalie in the first place.

    He "introduced her to the greats." What a crock. The only people he is fooling are himself and those who cannot and will not fathom that the man who played Jonathan Hart caused his wife's death. And that was because she had endured his act long enough and told him so.

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  20. Wagner's obtuse fans will never recognize it. What else would they do with their lives? I can see them being upset with Dennis Davern for his mistakes but they have no idea how they would react in his shoes at a scene like he experienced, but to be upset and ridicule you Marti, is obscene. I'm sorry for the things I've read about you. There are sick-minded people out there who don't know how to construct a clear thought, let alone make sense of your efforts.

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  21. They go after Marti because she had the guts to tell the truth. The slaughter her character because she what she wrote is a threat to the Robert Wagner that they have built up in their minds. They don't want to hear anything negative about him. There was a fan who told them of his meeting with Wagner. He was very disappointed in the RJ that he met. This person was kicked out of their group. I know a woman who met him on several occasions. When the cameras are not there, when the people he tries to impress are not there, his dark side becomes visible. There was a coldness about him. His fans see him as "Oh Jonathan"! He's not Jonathan, not by any stretch of the imagination.

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  22. I signed the petition back in 11/09, does Marti or anyone else know how many signatures it will take to have any impact or results...thanks, Deb

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  23. Deborah,
    The petition will remain available as there's no set amount of signatures needed, and the comments will be very important when the LACSD is officially contacted, hopefully not too far down the road now. As the petition was started after GNGS's release it has received very little publicity, and many readers may not even know about it.

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  24. Marti, (I posted this in the wrong post first, so am posting it here too where talking about his book)
    The part in his book that had me shaking my head in deisbelief is the "my cock is frozen" chapter where David Niven thaws his penis in a glass of brandy while Wagner watches and laughs. No two men go to the rest room together for one to dip his penis in brandy while the other watches and laughs. Brandy would not thaw or warm a penis to begin with, and there's only one other reason I can think of for flavoring-up your penis. (ugh!)
    Celebrities or not, it's too weird. I can't understand it. Something like that doesn't happen between two men even if drunk, and if it does, you don't go telling about it. It's not funny, it's definitely a "you had to be there" thing and it's completely bizarre. Who does this guy think he is? I thought his book was tolerable up until that that little icky story. It made me realize how sickening his entire book is.

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  25. I agree, a very strange, very unfunny story. I also found it odd that so many gay men hit on him. Gay guys don't hit on straight guys. In Hollywood, there were enough hot gay guys. Why would a gay man come on to a straight man?
    He outed everyone who had rumors about their sexuality but he said that he was not sure if his friend Watson Webb was gay. Yeah, OK. Webb was a very wealthy gay man who was in love with Wagner. He was heir to the Vanderbilt fortune and RJ kept him around.

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  26. I must admit that I thought it strange that several pages were devoted to the Freddy guy with the 12-incher who used to show it off on the studio set. Okay, funny little anecdote but isn't it a strange one for a "legendary actor" to be telling right off the bat in an autobiography? Does he really think that's what people wanted to read about? A good majority of his readers were looking for some closure on Natalie's death and they didn't get it. They want it from HIM, not from Dennis. I totally understand that. But if Dennis was the only way to get closure, I wasn't going to let it go. I felt compelled for decades to tell about what I knew about Natalie's death. I'm so glad GNGS was published. I have no interest in Wagner's personal life beyond how it relates to how Natalie really "left us."

    A person can work in a thousand films and be bad in every one, but the person who works in just one that becomes a classic is what truly makes a career difference. Natalie's classics will keep her alive forever.

    When Hart to Hart was on TV, I watched every Tuesday night. I loved the show because I felt a connection to the lead actor, as that's when Dennis was really the closest to the Wagner family. I remember talking to Dennis on the phone once (aboard Splendour) and Wagner was in the background laughing. Dennis said that RJ had the day off from the studio and came down to the boat with a few friends to go fishing. He said RJ was so happy to be able to get away on the spur of the moment like that and he told me about how much RJ loved to fish. I really pictured RJ as such a nice man, a happy man, an overall "good guy" and I just really liked him. Dennis's mother always raved about RJ and Natalie. She was totally in love with them as a couple. That was Dennis's opinion too and he loved both of them.
    Dennis really looked up to RJ. So, I liked watching a show that featured him, and I liked Stefanie Powers in H2H, too, but it was light entertainment.

    When I heard Natalie was found in the ocean, I can't even begin to describe how I felt. I automatically knew something was terribly wrong with that kind of scene, and I don't know why I didn't even think about RJ. Call it instinct, whatever it was, I only thought about Natalie's daughters, her mother and sisters. Weird, but it's true. I admit I was automatically suspicious, and then when I finally talked with Dennis a few weeks afterward, I definitely knew there was more involved. Dennis is not an actor and he did a terrible job of trying to conceal his secret. That made me even more suspicious.

    But the one thing that bothers me most about RJ's book, his interviews, before his book and while he did his book tour: it's always as if only RJ, Chris Walken and Natalie were on that fateful cruise. No one mentions Dennis on either side of the interviews. Wouldn't you think an interviewer should ask something like, "Well, there were four of you on that cruise, where was the captain and why didn't he put on the searchlight?"

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  27. Marti-
    I was just wondering has Christopher Walken ever approached Dennis about the night Natalie died? Has Dennis tried to approach him? If so, what was Walkens' reaction? I simply have always found it hard to believe that Walken heard nothing with the racket that was going on. I just keeping thinking about the comment Walken made about not inserting yourself in an argument between a husband and wife. Walken knew, from his comment, that there were problems during that cruise. In that situation, most people would have been hyper aware of what was going on around them. The Splendour is not the QE11, not so enormous that Walken could escape all the noise, including the music Dennis turned on to give Natalie and Wagner privacy while they argued.

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  28. Only Walken knows what he heard. Dennis only knows what he saw and heard, and he does believe Chris was in a deep, passed-out kind of sleep when he opened Walken's cabin door. Dennis wishes he had tried to awaken Walken, but made the decision to not bother him because the bottle smashing had set that tone.

    Dennis told me the carpet in Walken's cabin was very thick, that you had to really force the door open, in other words, even the small opening at the bottom of his door where sound could travel in was padded with carpeting...it's possible Walken heard nothing, and it's possible he heard something but chose to remain neutral, especially after the bottle smashing episode.

    Walken was on the brink of his career when this weekend transpired. Who would want their career marred by the death of a legendary actress such as Natalie was? We have no clue why Walken doesn't speak up but we have no doubt he knows what a terrible weekend it was. We can only hope that there's still a possibility Walken will one day be truthful. It would be the right thing to do. But it's in his favor to leave it all alone, isn't it? But I suppose he wants to be remembered well, too. I think he'd be remembered more respectably if he would come clean.

    I believe Dennis is the only one who will go to his grave with not so much a completely clear conscience, but at least as the only one of the survivors who had the courage to be truthful.

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  29. Bottomline is: NO ONE suspected to wake up to a DEATH. Not even Dennis after all that was said and done: he STILL was SHOCKED at the end result.

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  30. Marti -
    Thank you for answering my question. This is a very hard situation for all of us who care about Natalie and the way she died.
    I realize that only Walken and Dennis know what they each heard.
    I do not think ANYONE thought a death would occur during the trip.
    My question was only a vain attempt to place another piece of the puzzle that you and Dennis have begun to put together for the rest of us in your excellent book.
    You answered more questions than you may realize in GNGS. The book fills in so many holes because the answers we were given before just never made any sense. Nothing added up. We, the public, were told outright lies about what happened that night.
    I have great respect for Dennis coming forth and telling what he knows about that night.
    The truth never gets old.
    Natalie died nearly 30 years ago and the fact that you have stayed with this, to put it mildly, 'difficult' project all these years speaks volumes about the kind of person you are.
    I, among many who have read GNGS and this blog, am relieved to finally hear the truth.

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  31. Thank you for your comment. My character has been attacked and my motives have been questioned, but the truth can't be changed by what a few Internet people have to say. I'd be lying if I said some things said don't bother me but I assure you, it's only because those things reflect on the mission of truth for Natalie's legacy, not for my own. My family and friends know and love me and I won't ever lose them.
    And obviously, based on the numerous emails I get and the ratio of postitive reviews vs. the negative, (and so much behind-the-scenes activity) the majority grasp what this is all about (including the media).
    It's amazing what some people can think they know when in reality, they don't have a clue. There is no "redhead brigade" or personal fame and gain at stake here, and there are no lies, and I'm not racking in evil profit. I'm about as average as they come, and I'm perfectly happy and grateful for that status.

    REAL PEOPLE are involved in this story and the events we talk about are REAL. A REAL mother died after a REAL fight transpired, and two REAL people wrote GNGS, and we don't forget that Natalie's family is REAL. Her fans are REAL. But what is also REAL is that Natalie Wood deserves justice, as would any one of us.

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  32. Marti, I emailed you a few times and you always responded (which at first surprised me) with such sensible answers to my questions. I think you have been amazing thru-out this internet fiasco your book has been subject to. The information you have given us is like you say: hard to believe, but truth nonetheless. Even YOU understand how hard it is to believe but yet it is thee most believable thing in existence about Natalie's death. I don't care what anyone says about the polygraph: kudos for having included it. It makes a WORLD of difference.

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  33. What astounds me that the people who don't want to believe in GNGS repeatedly say that they can't understand how a anyone can believe what is told in GNGS. My feeling is and has always been, and this was long before GNGS, how can anyone believe Robert Wagner's differing versions of what happened that night. One has to be very new to this or a Wagner fan not to see that he is lying and has always lied. His stories differ, in one version Natalie was present when he broke the bottle, in another Natalie had left the salon when in broke the bottle. Either she was there or she wasn't. He needs to make up his mind. When he told the police be said that rough seas broke the bottle. One of the Wagner cheerleaders keeps mentioning how Rasure labeled Dennis as a filthy drunk, a liar. HMMMMM, if Dennis was such a filthy drunken liar they why did Rasure believe him when his answers to the questions Rasure asked matched Wagner's answers. You would think that his lowly opinion of Dennis would have given him cause to interrogate him further. If a trained homicide detective labels a witness as a liar it would make sense to question him further and be tougher rather than close the case based, in part, on what he told him. If he felt that Dennis was a liar then he must have felt that RJ was a liar also. They told Rasure the same story. But RJ was a liar with a nicer wardrobe and a thicker wallet. IMO, Rasure was on the take. I recall that when Rasure first questioned him Dennis told Rasure that he wanted to talk to RJ first. That would have been a big red flag to a rookie. RJ's been a proven liar. Why does Rasure not label him as a liar? I guess it reverts back to that thick wallet. Maybe the people at LACSD know that Rasure was on the take, maybe that's why no one says boo about this case.

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  34. I've received a few emails letting me know about things continuing to be said about me at Natalie Wood IMDB boards. With my blog post about libel I am only attempting to alert that there is only so much more I will tolerate. I will NOT be called a liar because I am NOT liar. Again, I have endured being called a pig, a profiteer, an opportunist and more. I don't care if readers don't like or believe my book, but the personal atttacks couched in "opinions" will NOT be tolerated and if I must take legal action to prevent it, make no mistake about it that I will go that route.

    It is not MY fault what Natalie's daughters must endure because of TRUTH. I am sorry if truth causes them added pain, but I believe their mother's legacy is important, too. She didn't get drunk and fall off a boat. Other circumstances put her in a dire position, and she DIED. As the previous poster points out: what about all of Wagner's lies?

    Are all true crime authors considered opportunists? Of course not. Dominick Dunne read my book and was relieved it was published, and he was a Wagner family friend.

    Ann Rule recommends my book at her website!

    I believe most true crime authors, including myself, are motivated by justice or for reasons to warn others that sometimes the people you least expect may bring you harm sometimes do.
    Would anyone think Charlie Sheen would've threatened to slit his wife's neck and have cops cover it up?

    So why am I singled out as an author "on the take?" I did my research, I paid CASH to have all things verified to my satisfaction, I remained objective and truthful with everything I presented in my book, and I wrote my book for every right reason. Yet, I am still being called a liar and Dennis is still being called a druggie and drunk, neither of which he is. He was drunk the morning Natalie Wood was found because his boss asked him to stay awake and drink all night. He was drunk the first night he called me to tell me true details about Natalie's death because he was trying to cover his emotional pain with scotch. Those were isolated incidents, all explained clearly in GNGS. Dennis went through a few rough years. Since 1985, his life has been quite normal and respectable. It was 25 years ago when he was in emotional distress when he may have over-drank. He was never a drug addict. NEVER. He took a few recreational pills and smoked a little pot while working as the Splendour captain because many celebrities offered pills when partying. The Splendour was NOT an obscene party boat. It was mostly a family boat. Can't people tell the difference? It's incomprehensible to me the way the DETAILED words in GNGS are completely misused by some readers. I really wrote a comprehensible book. What does it take?

    My book is far more authentic than many true crime books where authors did NOT take the substantiating measures I took. Mackenzie Phillips did NOT take a polygraph. Dennis Davern DID take one: A CERTIFIED POLYGRAPH! Yet, he is still being called a liar.

    I'd like to know EXACTLY what it is that I lied about: did I lie about the fight Dennis passed on a polygraph? Did I lie about the couple being together on the back deck at the time Natalie went missing? Did Marilyn Wayne lie and Dr. Lyndon Taylor lie? Is Roger Smith with new information lying? Did I lie about an inept investigation? Did I lie about down jackets keeping a person afloat? Have I lied about the color of the Wagner dining room wall? This is absurd! What, IN DETAIL, have I lied about? I've lied about NOTHING.

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  35. All of the information in GNGS comes from reports and interviews with people who were involved and/or witnesses and PRESENT at the scene of Natalie's death. I reported MY findings! I wasn't there and I did my best to substaniate the information I gathered. I would call that fair and decent reporting. I would also call my input worthy of presentation based on the information I gathered. What is obnoxious about THAT? Are the people making these inane accusations about me willing to talk directly with me? No, they are not. They flit around the Internet trying to gather a posse. I'm right here and I'm willing to answer legitimate questions, and my email address is martirulli@gmail.com posted right here at this blog. I never presented one unsubstanitated claim and I won't apolgize for trying to bring Natalie justice. Most people believe there is something sinister attached to her death. They have every right to believe it. I'm not the one who created the suspicion, I'm just the one to present evidence that the suspicions are justified.

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  36. My feeling has always been that Robert Wagner created the suspicion by waiting 4 hours to call the Coast Guard when his wife who was petrified of deep, dark water, his wife that could not swim, his wife who NEVER left the boat at night, alone in a dinghy, was missing from The Splendour. It didn't make sense 28 years ago and it does not make sense today.

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  37. Exactly, Anonymous, and I didn't lie about that timeframe either. There was a deliberate decision to NOT seek help. There was a deliberate decision to NOT allow Dennis to attempt to help Natalie and I was a CONSCIENTIOUS author in telling all about it.

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  38. There are still Wagner fans out there who insist that he called the CG in a timely manner. They know it's not true but they say it to defend him. Most of the newbies think YOU invented the time frame for your book. The fact is that it was known for many years that Robert Wagner waited 4 hours to call the CG, long before people knew that there was a Marti Rulli. The people who have been waving Wagner's flag are so obviously new to this. They have no background on this. If they did they would know that Wagner, himself, has said that he was not immediately concerned. How he could not be is beyond me. His wife who was afraid of deep water, unable to swim, wearing a nightgown, was missing from the boat and he is not concerned? This was something she had never done before but he was not immediately concerned. OK.
    In his book he makes no reference to the time he made the general radio call and the time he called the CG. He avoided discussing the time frame in both his book and in Lambert's book. Interesting.

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  39. Here are Robert Wagner's own words:

    "The last time I saw my wife she was fixing her hair in the bathroom while I was arguing with Chris. I saw her shut the door. She was going to bed.
    About 15 minutes later, Chris and I moved up to the deck. Things were threatening to get physical, but the fresh air calmed us and we went back into the salon.
    Chris then went to bed and I sat for a while with Dennis Davern, who looked after the Splendor for us, before going below.
    Natalie wasn't there. Strange.
    I noticed the dinghy, usually attached to the side, had gone. Even stranger. I wondered if she'd taken it. But she was terrified of dark water and the dinghy's motor fired up so loudly we would have heard it.
    I radioed for the shore boat and went back to the restaurant. Natalie wasn't there. Neither was the dinghy.
    It was about 1.30am. I was scared and confused. The Coast Guard started the search and rescue, crisscrossing the ocean surface with helicopters. Hour after hour - nothing."

    How many inconsistencies and lies can you identify in the above?

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  40. First of all, that story about seeing her doing her hair was never told before. It was not told to the police, it was not told to Gavin Lambert when RJ told that version of the night Natalie died. However, when he was asked by the CG what she was wearing the last time he saw her, he told them she was wearing flannel nightgown. How would he have known that if she was missing when he went to the stateroom? After 27 years we hear this story about seeing her in front of a mirror.
    In Lambert's book RJ said that he was not immediately concerned. He was scared and confused? In Lambert's book he said that after he did the radio call he sat back and drank Scotch with Dennis. That was the point at which he said that he was not immediately concerned. That does not sound like a man who is scared and confused. Also, it was a general radio call. It was not a call for a Shore Boat. It was at 1:30 that RJ did the radio call and immediately following that he poured the Scotch according to Lambert's book. Why would he sit and drink while waiting for a shore boat. Also, there is documentation that states that the people who took part in the amateur search had come back and forth a few times before RJ went to shore.
    It was no where near 1:30 that the CG began searching as they had not been called until 3:45AM.
    This is all based on what RJ has said in the past not on what Dennis has said. Many of the newbies have read GNGS and RJ's auto-biography. I recommend that they read Gavin Lambert's Natalie-A Life. They will see a huge difference in what RJ tells in his book. His attitude toward Natalie, toward Chris Walken, his version of the night Natalie died differs vastly from what he wrote in his book. He was all tender and loving in his memories of his late wife. In Lambert's book you would never know he was talking about the same woman. Wagner's biggest concern in Natalie-A Life was that everyone believe that he is heterosexual. Wagner asked Lambert to write Natalie-A Life. Together, along with a few of Natalie's "friends", they tore her to shreds. No, not quite the same recollection that appeared in Pieces Of My Heart.

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  41. It is so obvious that he made up this entire scenario. He saw her in the bathroom WHILE he was heatedly arguing with Walken? Huh? While "things were threatening to get physical" he peeked in on Natalie in the bathroom? What did he do, call a time out? For 15 minutes, "things were threatening to get physical?" Can you picture Walken, confronting Wagner about his wife, and continuing to argue with Wagner for 15 minutes, to the point of physicality? Utter lie. In such an embarrassing situation Walken would have retreated to his stateroom, just as he did. Also, the Coast Guard did not "crisscross" the ocean with helicopters for "hour after hour." They could not use helicopters until daybreak. Wagner sure wants people to believe that the instant he noticed Natalie and the dinghy missing, he immediately radioed for help. He KNEW she did not leave in the dinghy because he did not hear the loud start up that he knows he WOULD have heard IF she left in the dinghy. Yet, this is not what he did. He did NOTHING for hours, AFTER he knew that Natalie was gone and he never heard the dinghy's loud start up.

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  42. Anonymous, you are right on target. Your sensibility is refreshing...based on an intelligent review of all the true details, the FACTS! How anyone can not comprehend the heavy implications of these facts, especially the authorities, is beyond me. And, there's a lot more coming!

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  43. And another point about Wagner's claim to "not have been immediately concerned." Would he NOT think that the bottle smashing episode factored into her being "missing?" We know from HIM that the bottle smashing is real. But Dennis was called a liar about the bottle smashing up until Wagner admitted it. Wouldn't--or SHOULDN'T-- Wagner have been concerned that possibly the bottle smashing had angered her? His story is as lame as the next lie he told. And the next and the next.

    No loving, caring husband waits over 4 hours to call for capable help to search for a missing wife who is deathly afraid of water, especially after having caused a scene such as the wine bottle smashing. Sensible people recognize this naked truth, and others are contrary for personal reasons or quirks. One cannot deny the absurdness of Wagner's constantly changing stories.

    I saw one comment from a Wagner fan asserting that "the general public is gullible" (in regards to those who believe Dennis's polygraphed account). I assure you that it is certainly not the "general gullible public" fighting for justice for Natalie.
    What another lame way to defend that 4 hour wait! There is NO EXCUSE for a four hour wait to notify the Coast Guard. None. You can't defend it, you can't change the factual timeline, and you can't justify it. It can't be done. You embarrass yourself if you try.

    The problem was that the detectives never established a timeline. It was done by other concerned individuals, all based on actual phone records, legal reports, witnesses who responded and by people who care that a woman lost her life under suspicious circumstances. I present the timeline, I did not create it, and it happens to mesh with every detail of Dennis's, Marilyn's, Lyn Taylor's and Roger Smith's accounts. Only the detectives didn't know what went down that night! Amazing! Astounding!

    I happen to believe the general public is rather astute with a keen sense of when they are being taken for a ride, and it's Wagner and the official Wood investigation that took them for a long ride, not GNGS, and the general public, believe it or not, DOES recognize it. I have complete faith in the "general public." They are not stifled by lofty images of a character's grin in long ago TV show. The majority are realists.

    Now, I'll be done with my venting because there's still a lot of work to do for Natalie's legacy and it's not only myself who will be involved in getting the job done to prove that the investigation into Natalie's death is a travesty of justice.

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  44. Good point, Marti. In his book, RJ claimed that Natalie was not there when he smashed the bottle so her absence was a big mystery to him. In Lambert's book, he claimed that Natalie was there but made no connection between her absence and the bottle smashing. When he was questioned by the police he left out the bottle smashing all together. I'm sure he did as such to protect himself from any suspicion that might arise if the police knew the true reason for the broken glass. He's been playing with the truth from day one. More lies and more contradiction of those lies.

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  45. I don't recall any point in the book at which anyone accused Robert Wagner of killing his wife. What he was accused of it hiding the true circumstances of her final moments, hiding the fact that he was with her until the very end, hiding what led up to her death. No one claims that they saw or heard Robert Wagner push Natalie into the water. If Wagner's fans translate it in that way, then perhaps they have some common sense after all, perhaps they are as blind as they appear?

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  46. Marti, now they are saying that your book is comprised of hate, lies and deceit. I saw no hate, no lies and no deceit. I did, however, see plenty of lies and deceit in Wagner's book but these people who are obsessed with you and your book have not been fans of Wagner long enough to recognize his truths from his lies.
    They seem to be obsessed with your book and with you in a very hateful, vengeful way. Most people are totally bored with their rants but they go on and on. They seem to be trying to impress someone.

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  47. Well they better be prepared to back up their claims because we can back up our claims that the book includes nothing reckless, spiteful, or deceitful, and they are walking a fine line between opinion and libel.

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  48. Hi Marti,

    We all know that your book includes the truth about what happened to dear Natalie and we thank you for your sensitivity in handling the shocking truth. One of the obsessed said somewhere that you showed little warmth toward Natalie in your book. That is the most absurd thing and shows the lack of objectivity in their unprocessed comments. On the other side of the coin, if that's what they choose to see, it makes no sense that they accuse you of not being objective. They talk in circles because they are trapped in the circle of truth and say stupid things because there's no way to escape the truth. I would forget about them. They are surrounded by truth and instead of accepting it, they make feeble attempts to create their own stories and it is amazingly pathetic to watch. They don't know many facts about the history of Natalie and RJ, and they obviously know nothing about the facts of Natalie's last weekend. Coroner Noguchi was fired and he asked you for help! I remember when I read that paragraph in your book I sat back and paused. I allowed that information to sink in, and before I continued on, everything fell into place for me. You did a good job, and I hope you do keep going. G

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  49. Marti, quick question for you that maybe has been addressed somewhere else in one of your blogs, when the Wayne/Payne party heard cries from a woman in the water, did they or did they not train the spotlight from their boat in her direction???

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  50. Yes, they used their searchlight but it was very dark and also there was a relection from the mist, and they called out to the voice but no one answered, and they immediately called the harbor office at the Isthmus (no answer) and then called the Harbor office in Avalon and were told help would be sent, but no help arrived. They have no clue why not. After they heard the male voice say "We're coming to get you," the cries for help soon stopped so the Payne boat hoped that it was all over with and the person had been saved. They also thought there was a party on another boat, and figured it was all related to another boat, but they were certain in the morning that the cries had come from the same direction where the Splendour was moored. They jotted down the name of the Splendour.

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  51. Just like to mention this interview with Wagner and Larry King has received a lot of comments. Maybe it has struck a nerve with some people. Mr. Wagner mentions that he never reads any books on Natalie's death. Do you know if he has read your book? I am sure if he has not then someone is telling him about it.

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  52. I'm sure his lawyers have read it.

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  53. I understand what you mean by the search light reflecting off the mist, almost deflected in a way. I was born in the Canadian maritimes and grew up in a family that enjoyed boating. My grandfather had a 40 ft. motor yacht so I understand the layout somewhat of these vessels and can therefore relate to Dennis' description of the events and where they occured. If Valiant was tied at the stern by two ropes at either end, more than likely, Natalie went over the side, the last place Dennis saw her. The sides of the interior cockpit must be at least 3 to 3.5 feet high, you would not just fall over on your own!!

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  54. To answer the question about if Wagner has read GNGS: I don't know and would have no way of finding out, but I would imagine he has been told about its contents. It is probably a strange thing for him and his people to see his book and GNGS selling side by side at Amazon but that's the way Amazon and other book selling sites work it: what sells together is promoted together. I have nothing to do with that. I hope people are comparing the two books as I believe it's clear which one contains the deception and which contains the truth.

    Yes the mist in the area of Two Harbors that night would have deflected the beams of light, but Dennis told me the Splendour searchlight was a high-powered circular light that would have lit up the entire area. Having put the light on and making a call right away would have alerted everyone to help in the search for Natalie. And according to Coast Guard Lieutenant Roger Smith, there was ample time to rescue her. Even with her jacket completely saturated and water-logged by morning, it is what still held her up in the ocean, in a near standing position by the time she was discovered. Noguchi claimed the jacket would have dragged her down immediately. That's why I wore a down jacket in water: only to see if it dragged me down immediately. Down jackets are immediately buoyant and the one I wore stayed 100% buoyant for hours. I don't understand why some people consider my test meaningless. I proved the coroner's information in this case to be erroneous. I think that's an important discovery and helps to prove had immediate action been taken, Natalie probably would have been saved. All the guessing about what time of night she succumbed to the ocean is very important.

    And, yes, the boat walls surrounding the Splendour deck are at a height virtually impossible to fall over, and the thickness of the walls would prevent an accidental fall. And the dinghy was tied to the rear with two lines, so the likelihood of falling off the boat accidentally is about nil. Splendour isn't a huge yacht, but it's a big and very safe size. On smaller yachts it's very possible to lose balance and fall overboard, but the Splendour was big enough to protect against losing one's balance and falling, and remember, there was never a need to use the swim step to re-adjust a dinghy, wherever the dinghy was tied. If it was tied port as Wagner claims, there isn't even a swim step on the port side of the boat so that doesn't make a bit of sense. As a boater, he would be the first to know how impossible his scenario actually is, but he always leaves his explanations very vague, and nothing he explains about that night is explained thoroughly or comprehensively. That speaks volumes, too.

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  55. Marti,

    Has any media treated you as badly as some of these internet RJ fans do? I'm asking if the media has ever told you they don't believe you and Mr. Dennis. KM

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  56. Dear Marti, I'm kinda new to this blog stuff, I had been previously commenting on Amazon's website under GNGS's review until a CREED directed me here. I have a question and a comment, if I post a question on this current blog or an older one, do you know we do so immediatley and when you were testing the down coat yourself, you were not sure of what brand name her original red one was, but a very popular one in the early 80's was Woolrich...and believe me, because I had one, they were very sustantial in the amount of feather stuffing, they were quality.(probably doesn't matter maybe)

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  57. The media has generally been very receptive to us.

    Deborah, I usually look at the posts and see if there are comments and then I respond. AS for the down jackets, I know of several makes tested (I tested 2 makes, one expensive, one very inexpensive). Down jackets are 100% buoyant. It matters because the coroner in Natalie's case claims it weighed her down and dragged her under fast. That's a terrible mistake to have made in such a high-profile case, but there's very little the authorities got right.

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  58. Marti, I have to say too how bad I feel for Dennis, how he has had to live with the "if's" all these years. IF only he hadn't listened to RJ and put on that search light...IF only he hadn't put the music on to drown out the sound of their arguing, he would have heard Natalie's cries, IF he only didn't demand that they turn back to the mainland or pretend there was a problem with Splendour that needed to cut their trip short...those terrible "if's" most all of us have to grapple with in our lives. Shame on Dr. Noghuchi, (spelling?) and his handling of autopsy, I read his book hoping to find out more about what really happened but it was almost as though he tailored his findings to fit RJ's feeble account of what he said happened.

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  59. Marti,
    Do you think 48hrs.,Dateline or Geraldo have any intentions of doing a program on your news
    regarding Natalie's death?
    Thanks again for all you have done.

    Pam

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  60. Noguchi's scenario used in his book is nothing more than a scenario Paul Miller (moored near Splendour the night of, and commissioned by Noguchi to develop a theory) came up with.

    Although Paul Miller long ago retracted his theory, claiming it was based on creative thinking and not actual facts, it made no difference to those who already closed the Wood case. This case is a travesty of justice, and yes, there will be media investigations into the case in the near future.

    The information in GNGS is far too complicated and convoluted to present to the public in a standard 4-minute segment (the going attention-span TV has established) so we are working with a very prominent source intending to present this story the way it deserves: with close attention to all detail. I will update and announce soon.

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  61. thats great news about the impending media attention Marti, thats exactly what is needed now, you and Dennis have been though so much so this must be encouraging for you both. Thank you for your prompt replies to our sometimes repititious questions,(at least from me as I'm new to your blog), and for your perseverance over these many years to reveal the truth about what really happen to Natalie Wood that tragic night!

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  62. Deborah, I completely agree about all of the terrible "what ifs." There are SO many of them. They struck me throughout reading the book and LONG afterward. I read "GNGS" six months ago, and I am still haunted by it and all of the circumstances that led to Natalie's death, not just the ones immediately surrounding that weekend, but others.

    If only others hadn't bowed out of going on the boat trip. The presence of just ONE more person likely would've changed the dynamics. Perhaps Natalie would've been more willing to return home on Saturday if she had a companion to go with her. I think she did not want to return alone (by plane OR by boat), so she decided to stay.

    If only production on "Brainstorm" hadn't run over so long (thanks, in large part, to Walken's shenanigans and the director's inability to take charge). Production should've ended a while before that Thanksgiving weekend, and Walken's sorry arse wouldn't have been in town to be invited on that trip. He lived in NY, so he should've been home by then.

    IMO, Walken is a creepy, dishonorable person, and he did not deserve Natalie's friendship. I hate that she lost her life because she wanted to show him a good time on that boat.

    I posted in another thread on Robert Redford and his apparent guilt over not letting Natalie have a chance at "Ordinary People." I think she would've been outstanding in it (Mary Tyler Moore certainly was very good). I think it would've been a springboard to her career revival, and she wouldn't have had to accept such a vehicle as "Brainstorm," her involvement in which ultimately led to her death. If she hadn't been involved with that movie, she would very likely be here today.

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  63. I did see your thread Maryanne after I wrote my above comment so thats why I apologized to Marti about repetition. You brought up alot of interesting 'what if' scenarios to add to the list! I didn't care for "Ordinary People because I didn't like Mary Tyler Moore in that role, I can only picture her as Laura Petrie...I would have rather seen Natalie do it. I'm not a fan of Walken either, I think unfortunatley for Natalie, she gravitated towards him only because he reminded her of Jimmy Dean.

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  64. I agree that Walken should come forward. Walken should clarify....was he arguing with Wagner on deck as Wagner has stated (Marti correct me if I am wrong, but I am sure I read that) or did he go directly to bed after the bottle smashing? I know Dennis said that he went directly to bed. Yes, it is all unfortunate the way fate played out. I am glad there will be media investigations soon. My friends have never heard of GNGS and hopefully trying to re-open the case.

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  65. The media picked up on the "arguing on deck" I think because it once came from Wagner. Wagner uses lots of confusing terms when describing exact locations of the boat. On deck can mean inside the boat, too, but nothing specific ever comes from either Wagner or Walken. Read ANY of their interviews when talking about that night and they sound like they suddenly fell victim to a mild stroke or something as not one coherent or detailed sentence ever comes from them.

    Wagner smashed the bottle in the main salon (the little centered living room of the boat) and afterward, Walkend stepped outside from a side door right in the salon to the outside "walking deck" -- he immediately re-entered the salon and went directly to his cabin, just a few steps down and FORWARD, and Natalie hissed at RJ and stepped one step DOWN to the BACK of the boat to go into her stateroom. It was all pretty close quarters. Waken's room was about 25 to 30 feet away from Natalie's... it's VERY POSSIBLE he heard the fight unless he immediately fell asleep. But when Dennis checked on him about 45 minutes after the bottle smashing, he appeared sound asleep.

    Walken KNOWS that he, RJ, Natalie and Dennis were all in the salon when Wagner screamed and smashed the bottle. Yes, Walken should help clear up all the lies in Natalie's memory. It's what any decent human being should do.

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  66. I doubt that we'll hear from Walken. I don't think he gives a damn what happened as long as his reputation remains in tact. Both Wagner and Walken were most concerned about their reputations and their careers. This was especially true of Wagner but Walken was concerned with his PR also. He statement to the police was a joke. He told them what a wonderful weekend they had.

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  67. Marti -
    I was wondering if you had ever considered, if indeed it is possible, of going to the Splendour with Dennis? I had written you right after I read GNGS about a comment that Dennis had made to you, 'He put her coat on her.' It chills me just as much to write this now as it did when I first read it. At the time, you agreed with me that the memory was so painful for Dennis that his mind had more or less closed off concerning that comment. But I thought that with you, a close friend who obviously cares about him and his welfare, feeling safe in your presence, Dennis might remember. Perhaps that and even more than his mind has allowed him to.
    One more thing. The ONLY site I ever go to for news about this case is your site. Dennis has given us first-hand information as to what he knows about that night. No hearsay, not a guess. Dennis was there the night Natalie died, on board, a fact no one can change.
    You remind me of a doctor who has to give a patient bad test results. You weren't there, none of this is your fault. You are ONLY giving us THE FACTS that you have so carefully researched. Nothing more, nothing less. That is one of the reasons GNGS is such a powerful book.
    Those who choose not to believe a first-person account and ACTUAL FACTS are deluding themselves.

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  68. The night Dennis said those words to me "he put her coat on her" I was completely gripped by the implication of it. Dennis said it so matter-of-factly with such emotion and regret, and I couldn't even handle it. The statement is what always made me believe Dennis might know more in the recesses of his mind, and that's why we tried the hypnosis, but I think the one session wasn't enough. But right after the session, Dennis had no problem clearly recalling that he saw Natalie on the back deck first in only her nightgown.
    We had to be very careful for GNGS to not confuse facts with theory, but when an eye and ear witness comes up with a conclusion, it's usually based on processing all of what they experienced. In Dennis's case, despite a blank spot (and I do mean SPOT...a bare MOMENT!) here or there, he knows exactly how and why that night turned out the way it did.

    As for those who resist what I report, and call me a liar, based on their ignorant and absurd accusations that I spent half my life in this for fame and gain, I can only feel sorry for their inability to comprehend the compelling components of this entire, tragic story. Yes, there's Dennis's firsthand account, but there are so many other valid points and separate details that produce a 'body of evidence' that cannot be overlooked unless a person chooses to overlook it. There's more than sufficient evidence to reopen the Wood case. There's AMPLE evidence to reopen it.

    Yes, it's very possible that Dennis and I might be visiting the Splendour later this year.

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  69. In response to the post immediately above, I agree--that is a great analogy. Marti has delivered painful news, objectively, that needs to be heard.

    As for Walken, I have no regard for him. Before Nov. 29, 1981, I thought he was a creep. After that date, he became more of a creep to me. He even had the gall to call Dr. Noguchi an a-hole. What was the purpose of THAT? He should look in the mirror. I regret that Natalie invited him. He was not worth it.

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  70. Yes--"He put her coat on her" made me stop reading for a minute, and my heart sank. There were so many points in "GNGS" when I had a strong emotional reaction and had to stop briefly and vividly picture the scene--this was definitely one of them. There are many scenes in the book that I have pictured REPEATEDLY in my head, like this one.

    I am wondering if at that moment, Natalie had actually agreed, at Wagner's furious insistence, to get off the boat but planned to do so with Dennis (and after she had changed clothes). This, of course, had happened the night before, although she was still dresed at the time.

    Perhaps Natalie planned to go in to ask Dennis to take her off the boat, but Wagner instead said, "No, you're going NOW!" And overboard she went.

    There is one hotel in Two Harbors--Banning House Lodge, which I believe has 11 rooms. It was built over 100 years ago, but I am not sure if it was operating as a lodge in 1981. Marti, could you ask Dennis about this? There certainly was nowhere else in Two Harbors to go, and they couldn't have made it back to Avalon in that dinghy. This is just a thought I have had for a while.

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  71. when news of Natalie's death broke I purchased several of the tabloid papers and I remember seeing in one of them a floor-plan of Splendour that was helpful to understand her layout. It would be helpful to see that again especially for those who are not familiar with boats. If Marti and Dennis are able to get the coverage on TV this horrible tragedy deserves, I think it would also be a good idea to be able to 'see' what happened on that back deck, what I mean to say but don't know the terminology is a 3D annimation of RJ and Natalie as it may have occured...just a thought.

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  72. Where exactly is Splendour now?

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  73. "you made that so special for me." He's such a phony. He probably said the same words to everyone. He's a fake

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  74. I was just watching some of Natalie's movies on TCM. I noticed she was wearing a gold bracelet. I read that apparently she never went out in public without it due to an injury to her wrist. So, I don't think she was planning to go anywhere in the dinghy that night. It gave me chills about the coat incident.

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  75. There were no lodges operating at Two Harbors that anyone I've talked with knows about. There was just the restaurant that closed about 10 PM. That part of the Island in 1981 had nothing but a small general store & Doug's.

    It's possible Natalie was going to ask Dennis to take her ashore, but unlikely because she knew there was no where on the Island to go. I wish she had gone to Dennis to let him know she wanted to use one of the forward cabins, or Dennis's stateroom... and he could've stayed in the main salon. If only she had called out for Dennis when he knocked on their door ... but odd thing is, only Wagner stood in the door opening and told Dennis to go away. Dennis didn't see or hear Natalie ... maybe she was so terribly embarrassed that she didn't even want Dennis to be involved.

    Splendour was donated to the Sea Scouts by Wagner, then a family bought it from the Sea Scouts and named it the "Graceful Lady" in honor of Natalie, then a few years later someone in Hawaii bought it and renamed it Splendour, again in honor of Natalie. I believe it is still docked at a Hawaiian marina, and still named Splendour. I have the owner's name somewhere in a file. Some media wants to contact him again.

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  76. Marti, last night I watched a video I recorded in 1996 from the Lifetime network entitled, Intimate Portrait: Natalie Wood. It was hosted and narrated by Wagner's daughter Katie and featured interviews with Wagner himself, Natasha, Courtney, Lana and Mart Crowley. When it came to the night of the tragedy, it was described by Katie as follows, "Sometime after midnight on Saturday, Natalie said goodnight to my dad and left him talking with Walken on the main deck. That was the last time my father would kiss her goodnight. Somehow Natalie accidentally slipped and fell overboard. When my dad discovered Natalie was missing, he called the authorities to help him search for her. The next morning in the first hours of light, Natalie's body was found, she had drowned"....What a crock of SH--!!! Crowley goes on to say how he believed it was just a tragic accident and she fell off of the swim step trying to adjust the dinghy because it was banging against the side of the boat where her bed was. It was very sad to see footage from the day of her funeral, Natasha walking beside Kate, Courtney behind with Willie Mae...(Strange now that I think about it, I'm surprised that Lana was included in the program and another unrelated thought, is it just me, or has Walken aged poorly??

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  77. aged poorly? You are being far too kind. He looks terrible, almost frightening.

    Yes, Katie spoke a line of BS on The Intimate Portrait. All lies meant to keep her Daddy nice and clean.
    Mart Crowley was on Wagner's payroll.

    The people behind The Intimate Portrait wanted Lana to take part in the show. They asked her, she said yes, knowing that Katie was the hostess and that Natalie's husband and kids would he involved. I doubt that she and RJ came in contact with each other.

    If Katie Wagner was not involved RJ would not have taken part in the show. He was asked to participate in other documentaries about Natalie and he refused. He did The Intimate Portrait for Katie, not for Natalie. The same holds true for Natalie's daughters. They refused all other invitations to discuss their mother. Robert Wagner has done nothing to perpetuate Natalie's legacy. Nothing!

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  78. Hi, Marti:

    I also wish Natalie had asked Dennis for assistance--it is curious that she did not make a sound when Dennis knocked on the door, but when I read that part in "GNGS," I also figured that she must've been too embarrassed and/or furious to say anything then. I wish she had or that Dennis had insisted on speaking with her.

    It sure seemed that Wagner didn't want Dennis to see her at all , however. Did Natalie already show evidence of an assault then? I have to think so.

    It sounds, then, that Banning House Lodge was not open for business at that time, as a place of possible escape. Then again, like you mentioned, Marti, Natalie could've gone to one of the other cabins. It is so sad to think of the "if onlys."

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