Welcome To My Book Blog

A place to update and discuss facts surrounding the controversial, tragic death of legendary Hollywood film actress, wife and mother, Natalie Wood who drowned mysteriously Nov. 29, 1981 off Catalina Island. Thank you for visiting.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Why is Retired Detective Duane Rasure Lying?

This is a subject discussed in comments here that bears more attention. Rasure had told me that he would help every way he could if I could convince him that Natalie Wood deserves justice. Well, if a passed polygraph by Dennis Davern, a proven time line, and Wagner's admitted initial lies aren't enough, what might Rasure require to finally admit he hadn't been thorough enough?

Robert Wagner told Rasure he had no clue what had happened to Natalie. Wagner and Walken claimed it had been a pleasant weekend. Neither one of them admitted that it had been a tension-filled weekend. Walken and Wagner were simply allowed to go home.

Rasure knew that Natalie had slept on the Island with her boat captain Friday night and accepted an excuse of "rolling seas" as an explanation, even though Dennis had at first lied to his face about everyone's whereabouts Friday night. Rasure was handed a report from Pam Eaker that claimed the Coast Guard had been called immediately, information he never checked. Natalie's body was filled with bruises and no inquest was ordered: the bruises were virtually ignored. It wasn't until after she was buried that the fabricated story of the "banging dinghy" came into play. Rasure did not perform a body check on any of the three men surviving the cruise.

Years later, when Wagner admitted to smashing a wine bottle, Rasure still defended the closed case. Years later, when told about the true details of jealousy and fighting aboard the yacht, Rasure still defended his flimsy investigation. In 2010 Rasure FABRICATED information, claiming the weekend had been intended to celebrate Natalie having learned to swim. Where did such blatant false information come from? Did Rasure create the lie, or is it something that came from someone he IS willing to listen to?

Rasure has had ample opportunity to admit his blunders in regards to the Wood case. It is because of Rasure's shortcuts that Natalie Wood has not received due justice. I had not questioned Rasure's ETHICS until just this year when his outright lie stunned me (the fabrication in regards to the purpose of the cruise). Natalie had not just learned to swim, nor had she been celebrating anything remotely close to such a thing. 

Yes, Dennis Davern has remained a continual, convenient scapegoat for Rasure. Rasure made sure he insulted Dennis in most all public interviews through the years, as if all of the other suspicious details about Natalie's death could be erased because Dennis had consumed alcohol during the cruise. What kind of an investigation is that? What kind of a person can stand behind such nonsense? Why is Rasure lying?


  1. All the official people involved seemed hell-bent on protecting Wagner: that could not possibly be a conspiracy. They ALL blundered their jobs. They were starstruck!

  2. I agree: I'm NOT conspiracy-minded in regards to this case. I simply want them to have another look at the case because of all of their initial mistakes. The case had been closed too quickly for all of the parties involved to have gotten together to create a deliberate conspiracy. Maybe one or two had persoanl agendas in mind (to be explored in new content) but you would think because NONE of them are being accused of "conspiracy" that they would be more willing to admit simple neglect. People in every profession make mistakes. Admit to them, CORRECT them, and allow justice to belong to a woman who deserves it. Ask Wagner some questions. He's still here. Just see what he has to say! Help us to reopen the case. With or without Rasure and Salerno's approval, we WILL proceed. They are not the end all to review this case!

  3. Let's look at this without the celebrity names.

    Rasure went out of his way to discredit the skipper but he does not say BOO when it's revealed by the HUSBAND that the HUSBAND lied.

    When husbands lie about their actions and various circumstances in relation to their wives deaths, red flags go up with trained homicide detectives. Who cares what the skipper lied about. THE HUSBAND LIED! who is the first suspect in the sudden, unexpected death of a woman? THE HUSBAND!

  4. I see a conspiracy to cover up her death. I see a few hands in the pot for various reasons.

    I would love to hear what Rasure has to say about Wagner's lies. I want to see him explain Wagner's lies. I want to hear him call Wagner a liar the same way he called Dennis a liar. Dennis told the story about the broken bottle, Rasure called him a liar. After enough time passed Wagner admitted that he broke the bottle. That would make Wagner a liar, wouldn't it? I want to hear Rasure call Robert Wagner a liar. I want Rasure to tell us how he feels about the fact that Robert Wagner lied to him about his about a very relevant fact.

  5. Marti, You said it all in the title. Why is he lying? He is lying. How much can a person trust Duane Rasure?

    Also, Why does he always focus on Dennis? I get the feeling he uses Dennis to distract people from the truth.

  6. Why this constant bashing of Dennis by Rasure if not to take the focus off someone else who was onboard the yacht?
    If he were bashing all three men, he would not be so transparent, but no.
    He zeros in on Dennis.
    Walken is a non-starter.
    Dennis is the 'easy target/scapegoat' for the entire nightmare.
    Wagner is the only one of the three who really needs protecting.
    Yes, all three could have been better people.
    Walken could have stayed and tried to help calm down the situation instead of retreating to his room. Yes, I know, it would not have been an easy thing to do under the circumstances, but a lot of things we have to do in life are not easy.
    Dennis could have stood up to Wagner. I also understand that Dennis was a 'little young' for his age at that time. I understand it because I too was a 'little young' for my age at the same age as Dennis was then.
    Thank you, Marti, for helping me to understand that in an older post.
    Wagner could have behaved like a mature individual. Controlled his drinking, his temper and his jealousy. He could have understood how much the movie she was making ment to Natalie. That Walken was a part of a new breed of actor that probably caught her attention the same way that James Dean had in Rebel Without a Cause.
    Another thing that has been on my mind since Marti's book is Wagner moving the yacht.
    When I first read about it, years ago, I considered it more or less a battle of wills between him and Natalie. Not uncommon in a marriage.
    But now, with all the new information, i.e. the fighting, the jealousy, Wagner's constant drinking, the bottle smashing, his being a little too determined to move the boat and most of all his comment about Natalie makes me very uneasy.
    As if Wagner started out in one mind-set that progressed over time into Natalie losing her life.
    If so, it called depraved indifference, among other things.....

  7. The unfortunate truth is, that no one can interfere in a domestic argument between a husband and a wife, as Walken stated. It is easy to say that Walken and/or Davern could have helped to calm the situation: Dennis in fact did knock on the stateroom door while they were yelling at each other and Wagner told him to go away. But the fact is, there is not much you can do when a married couple are arguing. I have been there myself. Neither Dennis nor Walken ever could have imagined that Natalie would end up in the ocean. It is not unusual for married couples to get into heating yelling matches. It is only AFTER Natalie was in the ocean, and Wagner KNEW she was in the ocean, and he REFUSED to do anything to help her, and he PREVENTED Dennis Davern from helping her, that their domestic fight turned into a horror movie.

  8. I agree, when a married couple is having a heated exchange it not easy to intervene. Most people wouldn't. Most people would not have done what Dennis did which was to knock on the door after hearing the yelling and banging. He probably wanted to see if they were both OK. I understand Walken's reluctance to get involved. He was not a close friend who had known them both for many years. He did what most people in the same situation would have done and that was to mind his own business, wait until it blew over. Neither Dennis or Walken had any way of knowing how this domestic squabble would end.

  9. I am the person who wrote the comments on 8/13 at 2:00.
    I think there is a misunderstanding here.
    Yes, I went down the 'should have' road for both Dennis and Walken.
    But, after each comment of that nature, I defended them both.
    I know what being immature for my age is like.
    I also know what it is like being around a married couple in the midst of an argument.
    Go back, read my statements again.
    We are on the same side.
    The only person I take to task is WAGNER.

  10. I understood what you were trying to say as meaning exactly what you said. I totally agree with you. You made an excellent point, one that has not been made here. I'm sorry if it came across that I was calling what you said into question. I am in total agreement with you. Sorry if I came across differently.

  11. I applaud Marti for all she has done to re-open the Natalie Wood case. Relevant to this post about Detective Rasure is this clear recollection of mine: In November 1981 I was 22 years old and living in Hollywood, on Whitley Ave. near Hollywood Blvd. On the Sunday of the Santa Claus Lane Parade, I was looking forward to seeing Natalie and Robert Wagner in the parade just two blocks from my apartment building. I had been listening to an oldies radio station for about two hours when about 1 pm the news announcer came on to state (and I am absolutely sure these were pretty much the exact words): "Authorities say no foul play was involved in the drowning death of actress Natalie Wood off Catalina Island last night." This had been the first news bulletin about Natalie's death I had heard in the time I had been listening to the radio; presumably it would have been announced on earlier breaks had it available on the news wires. I find it very troubling in retrospect that the very first announcement on Los Angeles radio (or at least on this particular station) about Natalie's death would state up front that authorities are certain that Natalie's death did not involve foul play. If there are tapes anywhere of Los Angeles news radio programs from 1981, perhaps they would have used the same source material and what I have said could be documented.

  12. That may have been the first radio announcement but it was not the case on television and in the newspapers.At that point they had not completed the autopsy yet. Maybe what they said was that they do no believe there was foul play involved.

  13. There was a rush to judgment in determining Natalie's death regardless of what was said immediately after. Why, after 29 years is the lead detective LYING? He will never tell Marti Rulli why so why doesn't the media go after the jerk?

  14. When I first read the book, I was struck by the fact that Rasure was raising Arabian horses at the same time as Wagner. In later interviews, Wagner said he gave up the hobby because it was too expensive. So, a "public servant" like Rasure has the means for these horses but Wagner doesn't? The coincidence and timing stinks. Marti was too polite to explore this in her book, but I'm not.

  15. I agree, how does a retired police detective afford such a pricey hobby?

  16. Theoretically, by looking the other way when his "favorite movie star" dies. IF, he did anything unethical for a silent benefactor it could explain the ridiculous lies still being manufactured today. Sounds like people are getting nervous. I can't wait for the day of reckoning.

  17. Yes, how does a retired detective afford such a pricey hobby and for that matter how did the late Tom Mankiewicz afford it also? One of RJ's closest associates and good old Tom was right there with a few stinging comments toward Natalie but never RJ.
    Strange that a retired detective and a moderately successful writer could afford this hobby but a major television actor who has been in the business for 60 years and still works had to give them up because the hobby was too expensive.
    Sounds like hush money pay offs kept both Rasure and Mankiewicz in oats and stables!

  18. Mankiewicz never married or had children. Jill St. John is listed as one of his few relationships. Small world.

  19. Tom Mankiewicz was Gay. He did not have a relationship with Jill or any other woman. They "dated". He "dated" a few women who needed "dates". He "dated" Stefanie Powers, also.
    Mankiewicz was a wealthy man. He wrote a few James Bond scripts. He was a consultant on the Superman films, he directed and wrote Dragnet. He invested in real estate in the LA area. His father was famed director Joseph Mankeiwicz.

  20. I guess I was too subtle. Yes, I know Mankiewicz was gay. Some women will settle for a pseudo relationship in exchange for other considerations. Perhaps Ms. St. John is one of these women. I'm sorry I brought it up. Back to the subject at hand.

  21. What does Mankiewicz being Gay have to do with his Arabian horse hobby? He was moderately successful as a writer. He was not some Oscar winning, much sought after Screen writer who could write his own ticket. What does his much more successful Father, the late Joe Mankiewicz have to do with any of this?
    I still say RJ paid off a lot of people to keep them quiet which brings me to this.
    When Natalie Wood was found, she was wearing a night gown, a down jacket and wool socks. Correct?
    If this is true as every publication and book written about her has stated then why did Noguchi make a statement that Wood was wearing a sweater? I am not saying that RJ threw her in the water and held her under but I sure as hell am saying there is a lot more to it than what we have read for the past 28 years and besides Wood who can't tell us what really happened the only two who can is Robert Wagner and Dennis Davern. I believe Dennis knows more than what he is saying and what was recorded in the book Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour and I think RJ should finally tell the world what really happened to his wife the night she lost her life.

  22. It has nothing to do with the Arabian horse hobby but it does have something to do with the statement about a relationship with St. John.
    I have ALWAYS believed there was a pay off but I don't think Mankewicz has anything to do with it.

    I think the sweater comment was another example of the sloppy investigation. Many statements were made that were not true. Wilson said, on national TV, that all of the men were checked for marks. They were not.
    Of course there was more to it. IMO, RJ knows and will never tell. The closest we will ever get to the truth is GNGS.

  23. Hi Marti, I've been a supporter of GNGS for a very long time. I see now though that the state of CA. is $19 Billion in the red with schools and social programs going unfunded. Given that financial debacle that CA finds itself in I don't believe that the funds to mount an investgation into this is feasible or practical. Who is to pay for it? The everyday expense and strain of running one of the largest cities in this country would seem to indicate the need for a solid plan B. I hope there is one.

  24. The LA County Sheriff's Department has the funds to look into any suspicious death, even if it is an old suspicious death that was originally poorly investigated. And, if they don't, yes, there is a plan B.

  25. Marti, the entire country is in dire debt. That doesn't mean people who kill can get away with it. I think when you present your evidence properly, the funds will be available to look into this horribly investigated case. My best to you in your pursuit.

  26. I agree. Do we let people walk who are criminals because we can't afford to prosecute them? That's ludicrous. I would say that investigating criminal activity and prosecuting those criminals takes priority over high school football. We are not talking about a business deal gone bad that was not investigated properly because the people involved had connections. We are talking about a massive cover up in death of a 43 year old woman.

  27. Interesting points. To say that money is of no consequence is, in my opinion rather short sighted. The state of California is currently paying debts by issuing IOUs. Money is a concern. But lets forget about money and look at a couple other points. First, where is the physical evidence? Where is Splendour today and how much of that vessel could be combed for clues? The Valiant? Long gone. No evidence to be gained from that. Is there any physical evidence that can be gleened from the body of Natalie Wood? Something incriminating under her fingernails? Only one way to find that out.

    Is this investigation to be mounted on the sole testimony of a single person who admittedly did not actually see Wagner do put Natalie in the water?

    The book was great, I love the book, I believe the book and I believe Dennis is a wholly credible eye and ear witness to alot of very damning and seemingly incriminating things. Is that enough to have a closed case re-opened or at least re-examined? Maybe. But as long as there are the kinds of everday , right here , right now problems facing California it seems like a stretch. Perhaps if Lana wasn't repreatedly on the record as saying she doesn't blame anyone things would have a bit better of a chance.

    Signed, a Critical thinking supporter of GNGS.

  28. Of course all of the evidence is gone. That's what happens in a successful cover up. That should be re-examined and made very public. Rasure should lose his pension. He allowed Robert Wagner to kill his wife and get away with it. Even when these law enforcement workers, LOL, knew that Wagner had lied because Wagner confirmed that he lied, no one said a word, no one suggested that Wagner be questioned about why he lied. The LACSD let him get way with it.
    I doubt that what Lana Wood has to say has anything to do with the decisions in this case. It shouldn't matter. She was not there. Wagner was there and Wagner lied. That should matter more than what Lana has to say.
    Robert Wagner lied to cover up his actions, that's what law enforcement should be looking at.

  29. Where should they begin?

  30. Personally, I would get as much satisfaction at seeing Wagner's reputation be destroyed. That would hurt him more than just about anything. In the meantime, Marti will give Natalie the only justice she will ever have. Even if it's the justice of having the public know what truly happened on that horrible night.

  31. I think if the D.A. office chose to look into the way this case was handled, they would know where to begin. They certainly would not need our advice.

  32. Brian Jones was dead for 40 years. His case was re-opened based on what the police were told by someone, based on things that were hidden from the police back in 1969, based on the discovery that lies were told back in 1969. There was no visible evidence, no forensic evidence but it was done. Brian Jones was murdered and it took the police 40 years prove it, based on what they were told by one person PLUS the lies that were told and the unprofessional investigation.

  33. Yes, that case does give hope that other reasonable law enforcement personnel will bravely step up and do the job that wasn't done before. I think Marti is keeping things pretty close to the vest. I am sure Wagner's people are aware of this site and may even monitor it. Why give the opposition a heads up on what your procedure will be. This case will probably be tried in the media for the most part. If they keep the heat on, it could certainly lead to the reopening of the case. There's nothing like the wrath of the public to get bureaucrats moving, money or not. When this does come to a head, I hope Christopher Walken does the right thing. He failed Natalie the first time, it would be nice if he would man up and tell the truth this time. He chose to protect his image along with all of the other guilty parties. I have never been able to watch his movies since Natalie died. There's just something sleazy and dark about him to me. It's one thing to stay silent, but he has bolstered the lies through the years and that is unforgivable.

  34. You are all wonderful. You give me such confidence as well as assistance, you have no idea. You are so intuitive and accurate and intelligent, and I do not have words to express how grateful I am for your support and your input. It is so valuable.

  35. I feel and agree so much with Anon, Aug. 20, 7:51 p.m.

  36. Anonymous poster of 8/17 at 2:57 a.m.: You are quite right. The radio announcer is more likely to have said, "Authorities believe no foul play was involved in the drowning death of Natalie Wood." I just remember that the first LA radio announcement I heard about Natalie's death was fairly definitive that authorities had swiftly determined Natalie could not have been murdered the night before.

  37. I seem to remember that the media was saying that it "appeared" to be accidental.
    Here in New York, my family got the news early that Sunday morning. We found out about noon--by way of my Aunt Ruth. She came to our house to spend the day and to have Sunday Dinner. I was standing at the top of the stairway when I heard my Aunt say to my Mother "Natalie Wood drowned in the Pacific Ocean last night."
    I went into my parents' bedroom and called the NY Daily News to confirm the story. The woman on the other end could only tell me that Natalie had indeeed died the night before.
    Accounting for the three hour difference--and the fact that Natalie wasn't found till early Sunday morning--the news got out fast.
    My Aunt did have cable tv at the time.

  38. They interrupted programming with the tragic news, it was on the radio etc. It was so damn sad, still is. Thank you to Marti for working so hard to give Natalie some degree of justice.

  39. When I heard about Natalie's death I immediately thought foul-play. I saw her in interviews talk about her intense fear of water and instinctively knew that no one that afraid of water, especially someone in Natalie's position in life, would be found floating in it the way she found with absolutely no explanation for anything offered. When I craved for more details, it all sounded suspicious or rang impossible, but because celebrity was involved I believed we would never hear the truth. I'm so glad to have lived to finally hear it, and I'm glad her widower will now always remain exposed for what he really is. Job well done, Marti, and I thank you too.

  40. I just saw an interview with the NCIS actors on the program The Insider. They were in "awe" over Wagner's guest appearance. The respect he held with them was painfully obvious. It reminded me of how much goodwill Wagner is accorded in Hollywood and with the general public. In made me really nervous for Marti and Dennis. There's nothing more dangerous than a cornered animal and the Wagner machine is going to go into overdrive when this thing actually gets started. I think (but hope I'm wrong) that round one will go to Wagner. People will cluck over why they don't leave the grieving widower alone - blah, blah, blah. HOWEVER, if the media will keep the story going and not let up, even the doubters will be curious why the story is still hanging on. The facts are disturbing and speak for themselves. Round two goes to Marti and Dennis. I wish them strength, safety and the fortitude to see this through. Thank you for Natalie and all of us who are following you on this journey.

  41. Sorry, it's supposed to read, IT made me really nervous. That's what I get for typing out of passion and not spellchecking!

  42. Duane Rasure said, "Wagner was really hurting. I had heard Natalie had fallen overboard and drowned, so I had no reason to suspect anything else...He was shook up, really in bad shape...He wanted to get home and I wanted to get to the island. It just worked out that way. He said she was gone, he didn't know how. He cried. I did what any decent person would do."

    This paragraph starts at the bottom of page 281.

    A homicide detective has "no reason to suspect anything else?" It sounds to me like Duane had his mind made up before he even looked into the case. He did realize that he was dealing with a professional actor, didn't he?

  43. Kevin, yes, that's exactly what Rasure said to me.
    Rasure figured Natalie's death was accidental before he even saw Wagner's tears. The tears concluded it for him. Rasure became irratated with Dennis because Dennis was an emotional mess at the scene. In Rasure's eyes, it seemed Dennis was making an easy case hard. Rasure was in no mood for a diffcult case -- he was short-handed! He didn't want to look beyond "Jonathan Hart" - A TV CHARACTER!
    An actor so full of himself with a history to become enraged whenever his wife worked with a handsome leading man was the last thing Rasure wanted to consider looking into.
    Even with the shattered glass in clear view as evidence that a personality disorder might have surfaced at some point aboard that yacht, Rasure chalked it up to "rolling seas" and stuck with the excuse for decades (even after the calm seas had been verified, and even after Wagner never denied the bottle smashing after Dennis told about it in 1984.)

    Then, after Wagner ADMITTED the bottle snashing, Rasure still does nothing but LIE. Only ONE media person, a dedicated CNN producer, has contacted Rasure since GNGS. And Rasure continues to lie. What I'm trying to find out is where did the story come from that Natalie was celebrating having learned to swim? I WILL find out! Maybe we'll all find out together, because I cannot let this go.

    ANSWERS! WHY are they still so elusive?

  44. Marti, In everything I have read since the years Natalie died, I have never read one word about Natalie having learned how to swim and celebrating it over that fatal weekend. Obviously, she didn't learn very well or she probably would have been able to save herself.

    I recently listened to Walter Grauman, the director of "The Memory of Eva Ryker," talk about Natalie asking him that she please not have to do the scene where she runs from the beach into the ocean and swims away. He said Natalie came to him and said, "Walter, I have to ask you a favor. I am deathly afraid of deep water...particulalry deep, black water." Grauman used a double for the scene. This would have been within 2 years of her death.

    It is from a video of an interview with Walter Grauman on The Archive of American Television, and it was filmed in April of 2009. It is on chapter three and starts at around 4 minutes into the chapter.

    His timeline of events is off, and he repeats the official version of how Ms Wood died. However, he clearly states Natalie saying "Pleaese don't make me do that."

  45. and no one knew of her fears more so than her husband, yet he waited 4 hours to call the CG. That makes sense!

  46. Could be that Rasure had his mind made up before he saw the tears. His wife was a big Natalie fan. She may have been one of the "oh, he loved her so much" fans who could not see beyond that great love bull shit. She probably talked to him, fed him the BS. Rasure was totally unprofessional in the way he handled the case. When homicide detective investigates a case, he assumes that there was a homicide and works from there. He does not go into it assuming an accident occurred. He was pathetic. He should be ashamed of himself. He was starstruck and more!

  47. Rasure was ridiculous. Whether it was an accident or some sort of foul play involved a detective must cover all the bases first.
    To all the people saying he did, I say bull! No detective worth his badge enters any case with their mind already made up. That is what Rasure did.
    RJ's tears sure as hell must be worth their weight in gold.

  48. It was rather stupid of him to admit that he was influenced by RJ's tears. I doubt that he graduated at the top of his class at the Academy. That was a dumb thing to say.

  49. wasn't wagner a professioal actor. when dos acting stop? what is differance between O.J. Simpsomn ANd wagner? wagner still making comercials.