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.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Author Kathleen McKenna "The Wedding Gift" release

Amazon.com: The Wedding Gift (9781453701973): Kathleen McKenna:…

My friend, Kathleen, is author of "The Wedding Gift". I haven't read it yet, but I've read a lot of Kathleen's work nearing publication. Kathleen did amazing research on Natalie Wood for a future project, and through Kathleen I was introduced to Roger Smith, the Coast Guard Lieutenent who retrieved Natalie's body and  offered me information for the new release of "Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour."

I'm looking forward to receiving Kathleen's new book "The Wedding Gift" in a few days, and I will review it at Amazon. I thought I'd mention it here for interested readers. Kathleen is a fascinating writer, that much I do know, and her research ability for non-fiction cases and people, and her dedication to justice, is remarkable. Read the reviews about "The Wedding Gift" and maybe you might want to order and enjoy.  


  1. Thanks Marti, I just commented about the Catalina drowning and saw this. I'll order Kathleen's book tonight. I've been thinking lately that I want a good book to sit on the beach with next week and this sounds perfect!

  2. Oh she's good, see she writes this sweet wonderful blurb about my book, thinking this will get me off her back about the next book, but she's wrong, Marti is waaaay too good a writer not to give us another one, still appreciate the heads up.

  3. :-) The five manuscripts of Kathleen's I've read blew me away: fiction and non-fiction based on real life, and I can honestly say that each astounded me (of course, I'm partial, but the one that includes a scenario about Natalie resonates). I couldn't even choose which manuscript is best, though, as each belongs to the characters and subject matter beyond what a reader can expect from an author. Kathleen grabs your attention within the first paragraph and keeps it long after the last page, and I do not say this lightly. When her manuscripts-in-waiting become books and are on the market, which I have no doubt will happen, you can see for yourself. And, yes, Kath bugs me to produce more, but understands why I chose to stay-the-course with Natalie for now.
    Kathleen helped me tremendously in acquiring new information as her research skills are utterly amazing. I can't thank her enough for her help. She's made a huge difference for Natalie, and in my new acknowledgment page, she is duly thanked.

  4. Marti, In the new release of GNGS, are you adding new infomation and insight? If so it's a must read for me.

  5. Yes, I made a few slight corrections (no changing of facts!) and re-wrote the very last part because I wanted a more apt description of what Natalie endured, as Carol Lallier and I both felt that hadn't been captured adequately. Carol is a superb editor (professional) who has been a vital part of GNGS for many years, and I thank her. Carol and I have discussed a screenplay. In the meantime, editorial corrections have been completed for GNGS, and there is an added Foreword offering the new information about the Wood case I've gathered in the past year. I will soon be discussing that information here at the blog.

  6. What do you mean by "slight corrections"?

  7. Marti -

    I was just wondering if you have gotten any new information from Paul Wintler? Now, with some time and thought gone by, if Paul noticed anything odd about Wagner's behavior or something he did or didn't say during that boat ride?
    I just cannot wait for the new release of GNGS. I bought the first edition immediately and half-way through began hoping for you to write another book about Natalie.
    Always remember one thing:
    If you did not have factual information, Wagner would not spend the time or money to hire lawyers to try and silence you, Dennis and Marilyn.
    That is the action of a man trying to hide something.
    If he did not fear all of you, fear the REAL TRUTH, he would just ignore you.

  8. I've said from day one, long before GNGS, that Wagner's actions are his worst enemy. His actions show his guilt.

  9. By slight corrections, I mean editorial corrections. Past tense verbs, run on sentences, the use of whom and who, etc...all academic corrections. The new information is in its own complete section. BUT, for the very last few paragraphs, the ONLY part of the book with a creative license used (but based on fact), I wanted a more accurate explanation of what it's like to be floating in an ocean. So I made a few changes with it. It's the new foreword that will mention the Roger Smith information and a few new things, basically a beginning summary of where the mission is headed. As for Paul Wintler, he has already said he thought Wagner "over-acted" while he took him ashore. While Dennis was with Wagner for 3 hours before Paul showed up, Wagner had refused to allow Dennis to search, and never said anything like he had cried out to Paul. "Find her, where is she?" he kept crying to Paul, in an annoying manner. Why hadn't he allowed Dennis to try to find her then? Why hadn't he said those words to Dennis? The only person who bought into Wagner's bad acting was Rasure. Roger Smith saw right through it, but then again, Wagner hadn't "acted" with Roger. He was himself and insulted Natalie--his MISSING wife--and admitted his image meant more to him than finding her.

  10. Hi, Marti:

    Wagner makes me sick. When I think of him, I think of evil, pure and simple.

    Marti, your dedication and resolve to help Natalie never cease to amaze and inspire me. You are heroic.


  11. Marti, When I read that part of the book where you talked to Rasure, I was very dissapointed. I thought he would have welcomed the new information you were giving him. I thought, what is missing here? What does he see that I don't?
    Now, I'm thinking, could it be that Rasure dosen't want this case reopened because it was a lousy investigation? Does the investigation into Ms Wood's death border on negligence? Could a homicide detective make a career out of investigations like the one he did on Natalie's death? Was something else going on there?
    I understand that the three men lied to him, but aren't detectives supposed to assume that they are being lied to, and aren't they supposed to investigate the crime scene to backup or refute what he or she was told by the parties involved?
    Did he question other people to find out Natalie's habits when she was on the Splendour? If he did, didn't he discover that she never took the dinghy out alone? Maybe he did know that, but the entire investigation leaves a lot to be desired...Think of Marilyn Wayne.
    Noguchi getting fired is another strange event. What was going on? Did he really get fired because of Sinatra's letter? That dosen't say much for the L.A. County Coroner's Office.
    I wish a homicide detective, or two, would let us know what he or she thinks of Rasure's handling of the case. I could be way off, and I don't mean to make the man look foolish.
    However, this is not Monday morning quarterbacking. I knew this from the moment I heard that Natalie died so late at night trying to board a dinghy...-Then the story was changed to Natalie trying to tie the dinghy tight.
    I don't think I'm alone in feeling that neither story rings true. I knew about Natalie's fear of water since I was 11 years old. Everything I read about her mentioned it. Didn't Rasure know?

  12. He did not get fired because of Sinatra's letter. He was reprimanded and demoted because he sensationalized in both Natalie's death and that of William Holden.
    Rasure handled this case like a Mayberry sheriff who never dealt with a homicide. He did not investigate this case as one investigates a homicide and that is how it should have been investigated.
    Rasure ignored Marti because he does not want his inept investigation to be examined.
    You would have thought that her husband would have been the FIRST person to tell the CG lifeguards and the police that his wife was petrified of deep, dark water.
    Rasure makes himself look foolish. As time goes on, he only contributes to it. IMO, he is hiding something along with the rest of the clowns who have given interviews about this case. Didn't these people find it odd that Wagner waited 4 hours to call the CG? That's a long time for a person who CAN swim who is missing from a boat at night without a note or any notification of any kind. Did Rasure ask Wagner why he waited so long to call the CG?
    My feeling has always been that Wagner was at fault for the huge cover up but Rasure is standing right behind him.

  13. Rasure didn't know that there had been a four hour wait to call the Coast Guard. Pam Eaker's report had been passed on to him early that morning which stated that proper help had been called immediately. Rasure's biggest blunder is that he never established a time line. A time line in Natalie's death was not established until Suzanne Finstad's book "Natasha." I DID cooperate and help Suzanne to establish it, but she actually checked all phone records and interviewed hundreds of people. The information I did give Suzanne was in correspondence with every documented phone record she uncovered. It also corresponded with the accounts she received from those she interviewed.

    Not until 2001, when Suzanne's book was released did the public have any clue about the time line surrounding Natalie's diappearance.
    So, no, a proper investigation never transpired! I personally knew the time line from Dennis but the one thing I made sure of is that Suzanne knew (from me) that her hardwork was CORRECT! The only thing Suzanne didn't know was WHY those calls for help were so delayed, and I would've cooperated with that too had I not been worried she would implicate Dennis (which she did regardless) and we at that time had not arranged for polygraph testing yet. Suzanne also insinuated that I would never be able to bring Natalie true justice, and suggested that I provide her with all that I had discovered through my own hard work. I admit, that annoyed me. At that time, I had already near 20 years of blood, sweat and tears into trying to bring Natalie justice, and although I was thrilled to have Suzanne scrutinizing the case, I was also certain that I needed to handle my own knowledge in my own way. It took me another 5 years to get my material ready for submission, but it was necessary for us to do all we could to substansiate Dennis's account. Suzanne used second-hand information in regards to Dennis, and that ended up distorting the truth even more. Other than a few flaws, however, Suzanne definitely paved the way and I will be forever grateful for that.

    Rasure did not do a thorough job. The media frenzy factored in, Noguchi's agenda factored in (the celebrity community had been complaining about what they considered his loose tongue), and all involved wanted this case closed up fast -- so fast that true justice was no one's concern. Those who were concerned about justice got fired (Noguchi and Roger Smith) and those who tried to cooperate were ignored (Marilyn Wayne) and not one effort was made to cross-examine the three survivors, something Dennis was sure would happen.

    Wagner was popular at the time of Natalie's death, and he made sure he did and said nothing to correct all of the rumors and misconceptions that spread like wildfire. His excuse, to this day, when you would think he should be most vocal, has been that his attorney made him promise to NEVER address the "stories out there" -- well, how about addressing a POLYGRAPH test and the fact that he has now admited he lied to authorities? We're far beyond "stories out there" --

    I can't even write about this without the anger consuming me to the point of wanting to burst! I get infuriated with Pam Eaker, Rasure, Salerno, Noguchi, those involved, the system, again, and again, and again...

  14. The public was fed so much bull shit in the days following Natalie's death. I recall the press going wild over Noguchi's revelation that there was am argument on board, between Wagner and Walken. Everyone became protective and defensive. I recall Det. Richard Wilson saying they there was no record of any argument, that both men were checked for marks. Then he said that there may have been a non-violent argument between the 2 men and that it was "not over her." All of that is BS. No one was checked for marks. There WAS a violent argument that WAS over her. Smashing a bottle in a drunken rage is a violent act.
    It was the revelation of the argument that caused trouble for Noguchi. He fed the press exactly what they were looking for.

  15. In his book, Wagner goes out of his way NOT to establish a time line which he could have, very easily, as he was there. I recall Gavin Lambert going out of his way NOT to establish a time line. A true time line is a threat to Wagner.

    It was Rasure's duty to find out EXACTLY what time every call was made. He should have interviewed the CG lifeguard in relation to the TIME that they received notification that Natalie was missing. "Immediately" should not have been good enough for him. Rasure botched this case, BADLY! Perhaps he goes out of his way to discredit Dennis so much because that is his way of taking the focus off himself and his own lack of credibility.

  16. In Lambert's book he resorted To "Hellman Syndrome" for a time line (that when you're drunk you can't recall what actually happened!).
    Wagner was drunk according to Lambert, but not according to Rasure?

    And, yes, if everyone can keep Dennis "monitored" and under control, the truth will not leak. Even Finstad worried me in that respect. I offered her everything about Dennis but explained that she couldn't use things in "part" and she had explained that she didn't have space to explain all of Dennis's account. Therefore, that's why I decided to pursue the truth on my own. For example, a waitress Suzanne had interviewed told her something that WAS NOT TRUE. Suzanne was not going to allow Dennis to clarify it. Those ommissions would have compromised the TRUTH. Dennis's account needed substantiation and Suzanne wasn't willing to give it to him. I was. More misinformation would only have hurt the truth. Dennis would've been accused of changing his story as he always was. What's in GNGS is Dennis's accurate account.

  17. Marti, I agree with all you say, but want to mention that I ordered Kathleen's book. She has 9 Amazon reviews and every one is 5-star. I look forward to reading this book you recommended (lol--without having read it yourself yet--I'll look forward to your review too). Have a good day, Marti. "The Missus"

  18. To Marti---it seemed to me that Suzanne told a few stories ,based on what SHE was allegedly told, that were questionable. I wonder if she deliberately misquoted her sources or altered what they did tell her.

    I wish you had been the first person to write about Natalie's death. Because your book was not heavily promoted, there are people out there who believe that what was written by Finstad in the "Dark Water" chapter of her book is what actually happened.
    She did do an excellent job of establishing a time line but you could have done that and more.

    Have you considered writing a biography of Natalie?

  19. The "Dark Water" Finstad version, ironically, is based on Dennis telling Lana in the early 90's about the fighting and arguing aboard the Splendour. It got twisted. It was twice removed information and distortion can easily happen with retold information. That's why it was so important that Dennis have HIS opportunity to tell HIS story without reporters twisting his motives, without interview editing, and without interpretation.

    As for writing a biography about Natalie, I would love to because I'd like to see Natalie portrayed as a person rather than as a screen personality. Finstad's bio took us through Natalie's career primarily, and Lambert hacked her up to make Wagner look good. Lana wrote about a sister, and Warren Harris slapped out what's equivalent to a magazine article.

    Natalie was a real-life person more than she was a perpetual screen personality...a woman with all the issues and emotions and heart of most women. She LOVED life and so many see her as the the kind of person with little control over her self because she saw a therapist almost daily. To the contray, she saw her therapist in order to HAVE control, which she did. She was a strong, confident woman who deserves to be portrayed accurately -- not as a sister, not as child star of Hollywood with carry-over baggage, not as a wife, and not as a movie star, but as a PERSON: a person as remarkable as her legendary career. She LOVED life! She WAS happy!

    I would love to capture the essence of Natalie in a book. I had little room in GNGS because I focused more on the inept investigation into her death, but I portrayed as REAL. One thing I know for sure: I'm not the last person who will write about Natalie. She truly IS forever!

  20. Rasure appears to have done very little investigating into the death of Ms Wood. What I don't understand is why?
    His experience had to tell him that something was wrong. A woman dressed in her nightgown, found dead and floating in the water. A woman who had many bruises on her body. I feel he looked the other way...but why?
    He made Dennis the scapegoat.

  21. Out of the 3 men, Rasure attacks only Dennis. It's been established that both Wagner and Walken lied to him but he labels only Dennis as a liar.
    Maybe Rasure is more threatened by Dennis' truth than Wagner's "truth". Something does not smell right with Rasure, never has. Why hasn't he spoken out about the fact that Wagner lied to him? Not a word about Wagner's lying but all ready to attack Dennis. WHY? Why did he make up that ridiculous story about Natalie celebrating on that weekend that she learned to swim. WHY?
    Mr. Rasure is part of the conspiracy, the cover up.

  22. Please see my new post about Rasure to comment.

  23. Hey guys, dear A, thanks so much for ordering my book, hope it makes you laugh, it was my get happy book after writing about Jonestown-Ugh lol, anyway soon Marti will start blogging about her new get happy book, which covers both some famous murders (Phil Hartman)for one. Sorry Mart but you know I double as friend and publicist for you! (she will hunt me down and kill me for this, I'll write more from the witness protection program!)