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, July 31, 2010

Top 10 Reasons to Re-open the Natalie Wood Case

I have always called the Natalie Wood tragedy the "Natalie Wood Case." The official investigation into Natalie's death has been closed since approximately one week after her death, but I long ago started asking the question you've seen in some media: Natalie Wood's death: is it a closed case or a cold case?

Again, officially it's a CLOSED CASE. But, it should be considered a COLD CASE. A thorough investigation never transpired for Natalie. Regardless, Natalie's death remains "a case."  We still talk about it, we still examine it. It's a case.

Building on the hope to have the case reopened, I've been thinking hard about the details of the Natalie Wood Case, trying to reach the top ten most important elements that should be prominent and useful to get the case reopened. In other words: what top ten elements can help us to convince the media and authorities that the Natalie case should be re-examined? Some of the key points are obvious, but before I compose this important list, I want to be sure I've missed nothing. After I read suggestions, I will compose a final list to be used in the media. Thank you to all who will contribute.

I will greatly appreciate your help. This is something we can work on together. Two heads are better than one, and in this case, many heads are better than two. These key points can include "red flags" overlooked and anything relating to the investigation. Basically, it's a top ten list of


Here are some of my key points (not in any particular order of importance). I will edit and shorten these... I am simply just listing the key points in more detail for this blog as it may trigger other points.

1)  Key witnesses were ignored and./or not pursued and questioned properly (Dennis Davern, Christopher Walken, Marilyn Wayne, Roger Smith, and Robert Wagner). Had all of these witnesses been questioned and/or interrogated separately, inconsistencies that later surfaced may have been detected immediately.

2) The three survivors of the fateful cruise all told different stories in the media, and each of those stories differ from what each survivor told the authorities at the scene.

3) There was never an effort to pursue how Natalie Wood received over 25 body wounds and bruises.
Nor was there an effort to determine WHY Natalie left the yacht.
4) The lead coroner in the case was fired for offering too much information to the public and has since remained silent after offering the public a theory that does not mesh with new and current information.
Noguchi made terrible mistakes in his theories. He claimed Natalie's down jacket helped to drown her immediately by pulling her under and sapping her strength whereas her down jacket is obviously what served as a life preserver.

5) There was a drastic delay in calling for help from aboard the Splendour after Natalie was no longer aboard the yacht. The delay is completely the opposite of what maritime rules call for.

6) There now exists a certified polygraph test passed by the last person to witness the circumstances surrounding Natalie "disappearance" and in that test is a question passed: Robert Wagner was with Natalie Wood on the back deck of the yacht when she went missing. Wagner told the police he had no clue what happened to his wife. It took him over two decades to admit there was a main salon argument where he broke a wine bottle in anger (something he never told the authorities) but he lied about the details of the argument, claiming Natalie was not in the room. Natalie was in the room when he smashed the wine bottle, something also passed by Davern on a polygraph test. Christopher Walken is a living witness to the bottle smashing who could be questioned to settle the issue.

7) The person, Marilyn Wayne, to last hear Natalie Wood crying out for help was totally ignored by the detectives. They claim to have interviewed her but she insists they completely ignored her even though she volunteered her input. Marilyn Wayne is willing to take a polygraph test.

8) Roger Smith, the Coast Guard Lieutenant who retrieved Natalie's body from the ocean tried to offer startling information but was completely ignored by authorities, then later transferred and demoted in what he believes was an effort to silence him.

9) The "banging dinghy theory" has since been proven virtually impossible. The dinghy was tied securely AFT, not PORT, with two lines.

10) A crime scene was compromised. Detectives left the yacht under the supervision of a restaurant owner. The restaurant owner slept aboard the yacht and allowed one of his waitresses to sleep aboard what should have been considered a sealed-off crime scene area.

11) The master stateroom aboard the Splendour was a mess, indicative of trouble aboard the yacht.

12) Wagner's demeanor since the tragedy includes proven lies and different versions of what happened the night of Nov. 28, 1981.

I look forward to your comments, suggestions, and input...I will post the top list soon.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wagner called out on Chelsea Handler show "Chelsea Lately"

Chelsea Lately - Starring Chelsea Handler | E! Online

Several people have emailed me to let me know that Natalie Wood was part of a discussion on Chelsea's show. I didn't see it and am trying to look it up online. Apparently, Natalie's name came up and several  comedians were talking about how much they love and admire Natalie. One of the comedians addressed the camera and yelled out, "RJ, you know what you did!!"
Chelsea added that when she read Wagner's book "Pieces of My Heart" she felt that his version of the night Natalie died was BS.

It's about time some celebrities speak up. Last fall, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" made a few suggestive statements about the night Natalie died in one of their scenes. It was PLANNED for "Curb Your Enthusiasm" because I was notified more than a week prior to the show by our publicist that the reference related to "Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour."  Now, another comedian called-out RJ on Chelsea's show and hopefully people in the celebrity world will stop feeling too intimidated to talk about the atrocity of Natalie's death.

The comedians on Chelsea's show prove that there are people out there--including those in the celebrity world--who have come to the conclusion that RJ knows more about Natalie's death than he has ever let on. People don't need the influence of GNGS to know that something sinister occurred the night of Natalie's death. It's the circumstances of Natalie's death coupled with RJ's actions that creates doubt and suspicion in people's minds. GNGS only fills in all the blanks and answers the questions of exactly what transpired just before and after Natalie was no longer aboard the Splendour. Dennis Davern's account is the proof and his account was passed on a polygraph test administered by an experienced, certified Polygraphist. Dennis's account makes perfect sense as truth usually does.

Chelsea's show is on E! Channel.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Natalie Wood

Born July 20, 1938, Natalie Wood would have turned 72 today had she survived a November 1981 cruise she took with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, her Brainstorm co-star, Christopher Walken, and her yacht captain, Dennis Davern. All three of the surviving men of that cruise lied to the police during an investigation into why Natalie Wood was found in her nightgown, socks, and red down jacket, floating in the Pacific with over 25 bruises to her body.

In current times we turn to the Internet for information about famous people. We Google names and usually read the Wikipedia info on people and things we research. Here's what it says at Wikipedia about Natalie Wood's death: (a summary filled with inaccuracies).

In September and October 1981, Wood and Wagner stayed in Raleigh, North Carolina, while Wood did location work for the science-fiction film Brainstorm. Wood then spent most of November in California shooting interior scenes with Christopher Walken and other cast members on the MGM lot in Culver City.

The day after Thanksgiving, Wood, Wagner and Walken went to Catalina Island for the weekend and on the night of November 28 their yacht (Splendour) was anchored in Isthmus Cove. Also on board was the boat's skipper, Dennis Davern, who had worked for the couple for many years. Wood apparently either tried to leave the yacht or secure a dinghy from banging against the hull when she accidentally slipped and fell overboard. A woman on a nearby yacht said she heard calls for help at around midnight. The cries lasted for about 15 minutes and were answered by someone else who said, "Take it easy. We'll be over to get you". "It was laid back," the witness recalled. "There was no urgency or immediacy in their shouts". An investigation by Los Angeles County coroner Thomas Noguchi resulted in an official verdict of accidental drowning. Noguchi concluded Wood had drunk "seven or eight" glasses of wine and was intoxicated when she died. There were marks and bruises on her body which Noguchi speculated could have been received as a result of her fall. Noguchi later wrote that had Wood not been intoxicated, she likely would have realized her heavy down-filled coat and wool sweater were pulling her underwater and would have removed them. Noguchi also wrote that he found Wood's fingernail scratches on the side of the rubber dinghy indicating she was trying to get in. Wood was 43 at the time of her death and is buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

The only way to correct inaccuracies at Wikipedia is to keep trying, and sources must be cited for the new information you include. Anyone can try to update and correct info, and sometimes your corrections are maintained, and sometimes erased within a day. Many have tried to correct info at Natalie's Wiki page, only to see the info erased within 24 hours. Maybe we can all form a group and post the same facts at the same day. It's something to consider. In any case, maybe by Natalie's 75th birthday (hopefully sooner), the correct information about her death will be available at these Internet pages that should be accurate. Wouldn't it be nice to see a footnote stating that Noguchi had no idea it was the down jacket that kept Natalie afloat rather than the object he claims "dragged her under"? My down jacket test, indeed, is important!
We all wish Natalie had survived that fateful cruise. The world was robbed of one beautiful, decent woman that day in November 1981. She was robbed of the opportunity to have spent this day with her children, celebrating her legendary career and life. 
Some people will never be forgotten. Natalie Wood is one of them.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mel Gibson Tapes

Will Robyn (and Australia) Take Mel Gibson Back? | PopEater.com

What a mess Mel Gibson is experiencing at this time. I loved much of Mel Gibson's work and always admired him in the entertainment industry. Up until his wife filing for divorce, I also thought he was a rare exception in the business, too -- one who could maintain a normal family life while being a prominent figure in the industry, but then things started to happen: his DUIs, his prejudices surfacing, his drunken words.

It goes to show that we never know the true personalities behind the characters we see on the screen. In one of the Gibson tapes, he says he could put Oksana (his girlfriend who released the damaging tapes, and also mother of his daughter) "in the rose garden" and that he "knew how to do it." It reminds me of what Charlie Sheen had said to his wife in Aspen, about knowing cops who would help him to cover up killing her and making her disappear despite how much money her family had. Some celebrities become so incredibly arrogant it is disheartening.  

Celebrities are not the characters they play. They are human and prone to all human tendencies. Sometimes their fans make excuses for them based on a "nice character" they once played. We never really know their true personalities because all we see is what they want to be seen, but sometimes they cross a line they can never retreat to. This has happened in Mel's case. TV still seems to think we want to see Charlie Sheen.
I don't.
It's really time to bring the Natalie Wood case to where it belongs. I assure you, it will be our priority in the coming months.

The media sure is giving the entire Gibson case a lot of attention. It's a shame that Natalie Wood never received the same, that there was no credible in-depth look into the man who was last with her when she mysteriously ended up in the Pacific.
No, it's not too late. Please bear with us.   

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

News about "Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour" availability.

I have been very busy preparing the new information for “Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour” which will be available to everyone much sooner than November as stated at book-selling sites. In fact, the new version of "Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour” will be available in a few weeks.

Here’s what happened and an explanation for why GNGS is out of stock: Our book was purchased for publication in 2008 by Michael Viner, the president of Phoenix Books and Audio. Michael passed away just a few weeks before GNGS was released. Michael had so much planned for GNGS that never transpired, but now that we have acquired all rights of the book, we plan to continue the mission to bring Natalie Wood justice.

Phoenix was basically a “Michael Viner operation” but the owners of the independent publishing company decided to keep the company going after Michael passed. From what I’ve learned, Phoenix had made a few bad choices in book acquisitions and, coupled with the down-economy, the owners decided to close up shop. I was told that GNGS was their best selling book of all its fall 2009 releases and it has completely sold out. Unfortunately, no more hardbacks will be available, at least not at this time. There are only a few hardbacks left, available only from a few outside sellers (listed at Amazon). Because it’s now considered an out-of-print book, some are selling for more expensive amounts.

Kindle is also unavailable until we transfer to our new distributor, E-reads. E-Reads will be taking over all electronic downloads, and as the paperback has been cancelled by Phoenix, a printed version will be available for print-on-demand orders until further notice, and GNGS will soon be available in every format but hardback with the new information included.

I will make the exact date announcement soon.

Phoenix left many authors in a quandary after their sudden decision to close their doors. Some of the authors had just been published, therefore facing a mess in transferring to other sources. It was also a troublesome position for GNGS as the company had already put the paperback up for sale. For any who ordered the paperback, an email from the selling site should soon be coming to inform you of GNGS’s availability in all the new formats.

I may have a limited supply of hardbacks I intend to offer for sale (new and author-signed) at regular rates from this blog, and I will announce that at a later time. It depends on if there is any left-over stock, but it appears there is not. I will also have the option of purchasing the audio versions left over (the only leftover format) and I will offer them for sale at this blog, too, for the same price we might acquire them. More info to come on that.

But, as for the hardback, you may now consider it an out-of-print book.
So, that’s what’s been going on with the availability of GNGS. It has nothing to do with us: a publisher decided to go out of business after its company president passed away.

GNGS will be available for purchase in several formats within a few weeks. Thank you to all who purchased the hardback version. Dennis and I truly appreciate that you were interested in the truth about the death of Natalie Wood.

I will post the minute the availability is up and running with the new information included as a forward. Thank you!

Three Wise Girls Interview Rebroadcast at Noon 7/8/10

Debbie Barth of Three Wise Girls Blog Talk Radio Show has just informed me that they will be rebroadcasting the interview with Dennis and me that took place in March 2010.

ThreeWiseGirls | Internet Radio | Blog Talk Radio

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Review of Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour

Channeling Ricky: Miss Landers' Book Club

Following is a review written at the above link. Channeling Ricky is an interesting blog, and I truly appreciate this perceptive, insightful review of GNGS posted there.

I have been meaning to write a review of this book for awhile now and a few Channeling Ricky readers have asked me about it recently. I read Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour after (no, not before) I started writing The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood blogs. I took time to read the book again recently and I will tell you why in a moment.

The book recounts the death of actress Natalie Wood, who drowned near Catalina island in November, 1981. Wood was married to actor Robert Wagner who many have speculated to have been responsible for her early demise. Wood and Wagner owned the yacht Splendour, of which co-author Dennis Davern was the captain. These three individuals, along with actor Christopher Walken, traveled on the Splendour to Catalina for a Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Until the publication of the book, details about the weekend spent by the foursome were pretty sketchy. None of the survivors of the weekend ever said much publicly about the drowning. Deemed an unfortunate accident by the Los Angeles Coroner and the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department, the case was quickly closed.

Marti Rulli, who is the author of the book and a long time friend of Davern, tells Dennis' story for him. Her story is woven with Davern's as she recounts her efforts over the decades to get Davern to share the details of the weekend at Catalina. Davern was not forthcoming with his story, as he vacillated between loyalty to, and fear of Wagner, and suffered from depression, probable post-traumatic stress and alcoholism. Eventually, he told Rulli the whole story. Rulli arranged for Davern to take a lie detector test and undergo hypnosis to demonstrate his truthfulness and to further recall the events on the yacht prior to Wood's death.

Rulli's story is the reason why I read the book a second time. On the first go-round, I wasn't too interested in her component, believing that perhaps she should have left herself out of the narrative. But she is the one that Davern eventually opened up to, and she went through a lot of personal transformation while awaiting for this event to occur. After reading her book and following her blog, I believe Ms. Rulli is probably the foremost authority on the death of Natalie Wood, except for Mr. Wagner, of course and he isn't exactly giving us the real story.

The book is suspenseful. It is difficult not to read ahead to find out what did happen in November 1981. I felt a little sympathy for Davern, whom I view as dysfunctional at the time but not necessarily culpable. He could have saved Natalie Wood, but he did not. He had had too much to drink, he was afraid of Robert Wagner, he didn't know Natalie was in the water, he was instructed not to turn on the yacht's emergency lighting, he could not hear her over the radio, etc. Is he also guilty, as he believes Wagner is, by association and collusion with Wagner, and because he failed to act to save Ms. Wood when moments were critical? I believe he is also responsible for his failure to act, but the degree of responsibility is difficult to determine.

Davern demonstrates bravery now that he did not demonstrate at the time of Wood's drowning. He has finally told his story, when he could have left it untold and Wood's death mostly forgotten. Instead he chooses to lay the facts on the table, indicting Mr. Wagner for Wood's death and himself for cowardly behavior. Throughout the book Davern expresses remorse for not saving the life of his friend and employer Natalie Wood. He reminisces about her and her family, reminding us of her humanity. A fascinating read, Davern's story, and that of Natalie's, will continue to haunt this reader for years to come.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Wishing everyone a wonderful July Fourth weekend. The weather is beautiful here in New Jersey this weekend and the beaches are full, and we'll be under an umbrella of fireworks -- I think there are fireworks displays planned within every 25 mile radius! Have a safe and fun weekend!