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.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Robert Redford on Natalie Wood

Most of you have probably seen this but it has always been interesting to me that Redford makes a point of mentioning Natalie's fear of water and her playfulness on the set while filming (something some people like to think only happened when starring with Walken).

Many celebrities have used various means to let us know they suspect something more than the official answer to Natalie's death. One comedian yelled out on the Chelsea Chandler Show "We know what you did, RJ." Seinfeld and Larry David wrote in a little part about Walken's part on the Splendour in "Curb Your Enthusiasm." A Tony award-winning director is presenting a NY play based on GNGS in 2011. There are many things people in show business do and will continue to do for Natalie's memory, a true memory.
Most of these little signs of support are discreet for now, but I have a feeling that will change drastically.

On the other side of the story, many work hard to keep the propaganda going, too. How did Robert Wagner get the part on NCIS playing the father of the actor (Michael Weatherly) who portrayed him in "The Mystery of Natalie Wood" the TV movie based on Suzanne Finstad's book? Sure makes it appear as if Finstad's
movie was more a memoir than a search for truth. Wagner's attorneys constantly bothered the execs when the movie was being filmed. They were constantly threatened by Wagner's legal team. Finstad was reduced to telling very little about her accurate timeline in her movie, and ended up having to stick with the bogus "banging dinghy" theory. Did Wagner go after the part of Tony's father in NCIS? He claims he was chosen because of the resemblence between he and Weatherly. In any case, subliminal suggestion exists with the choice. Actors care about the next role they will acquire, understandably so. It's more to their advangtage to remain neutral. It's a tough business.

Some people often advise me to "Come out and SAY IT!" I suppose we have to be as careful and discreet as the figures in Hollywood who also want to "say it" or "twist it" but still have to respect the official version until proven otherwise. That's the huge task in front of us: to get the authorities involved. It's sad that "game playing" exists in such a serious, tragic death such as Natalie Wood's. There should be no hestitation whatsoever in reopening this neglected case. One good detective, one decent department, is all it would take.


  1. Marti,
    I don't know if you saw it or not, but last night on 48 Hours, there was a story about a young girl murdered 17 years ago and a hotdog sheriff wanted the case closed fast. He created evidence and arrested an innocent man. It took a new decent sheriff over 10 years later to review evidence to get the innocent man out of prison. They still haven't solved the case but two major players are key suspects. In reviewing the case, the new sheriff of this small town actually sent the evidence left behind (clothing) to a lab overseas for intricate DNA evaluation. I believe everyone deserves justice, but I couldn't help but think they would do this for an everyday person, but not for Natalie Wood?
    The old saying 'there's a new sheriff in town' came to mind. Maybe you would have some luck with the new sheriff?

  2. Interesting points, Marti. Even if people who knew Natalie won't say anything publicly about their suspicions, they talk of her great fear of water. As to Wagner costarring as Michael Weatherly's father, I wondered about that too since the latter portrayed him in "The Mystery Of Natalie Wood" which was based on Finstad's book. But the night of Natalie's death portrayed had to end with the banging dingy rather than the accounts that Finstad had in her book. I don't get why people tiptoe around Wagner as if he's some grieving widower all these years later when his behavior has been anything but respectful toward her memory. He wants to cover his own behind, hence the hiding behind his celebrity status. A "new sheriff" would maybe be a blessing in this case - someone who doesn't have anything to hide and has nothing to prevent them from reopening the case.

  3. This is just my opinion, but anyone who advises you to just "come out and say it" doesn't seem to realize the repercussions for you. Right now, Wagner can only make threatening noises because the truth is irrefutable. Any inflammatory comment about his guilt will give his lawyers something to work with and cause people to take sides before his guilt is formally laid out. You have tons of believers based on your book and people's intelligence at connecting the dots. A misstep based on the natural desire to call him out will only undo years of hard work. Excuse my preaching, I am confident you know all of this based on your high road behavior, it's mostly directed at those who would recklessly give that advice. I feel like the truth has Wagner in the crosshairs, let him make the foolish moves.

  4. No one who cares about the truth in this case would advise Marti to "come out and say it". People who have made the suggestion want nothing more than to see Marti fall on her face. She's too smart and cares too much for that to happen.

  5. I know how irresponsible it would be to be "judge and jury" in this case, so I refuse to be, although there are moments I feel as Dennis felt when he first call me: "ready to burst."

    As frustrating as it is that Natalie's case is not receiving the attention it deserves, I am confident that soon it will. I understand the frustrating part more than anyone, and I understand the advice about what the "news" really is. I think most people do. However, it's important to follow proper procedure, something yet to be done in this case.

  6. Marti,
    Can you tell us why Larry King didn't invite you and Dennis on his show? I remember you saying it was because of Haiti earthquake, but before that, didn't you say he was friends with your first publisher?

  7. Larry King did not invite people on his show. That was handled by the publicists and the show's production staff.

  8. Our original publisher, Michael Viner, Phoenix's president, was very well known in the celebrity world, and very well like by many. He knew Natalie Wood. He took GNGS in on a Friday, and said by Monday he wanted to be its publisher. He was known for never being afraid of truth.

    Michael Viner was very good friends with Cindy Adams and Larry King. They were given "first media rights" by Michael. Michael was especially close with Larry King and we were definitely planned to be on King's show. Michael was Larry King's best man. King is known to also be friendly with Wagner but there isn't anything King wouldn't have done for Michael, so if Michael wanted us on his show (which he did) we would be there.

    Then Michael Viner passed away two weeks before GNGS's release. Cindy still wrote about the book in an August 2009 column, and King was still planning to interview us, but after Michael's death, King seemed to have a change of heart. We came close, even had a booking date in the works, when the Haiti earthquake hit and King devoted his show to the disaster for close to a month. When I saw he was squeezing in other guests, I realized that he must have changed his mind. It was easier for King to leave this topic alone. Cindy Adams had a change of heart, too. Suddenly, she saw no need to seek truth in Natalie's death after Michael died. We've talked about the bastardizing of true journalism, and I've seen it face-to-face.

    There are so many "favors" in this business that makes a huge difference, and unfortunately, loyalty goes only so far. GNGS was the last book Michael signed. It was Phoenix's best seller in 2009. His friends deserted what Michael felt strongly about. But, that's okay, because I would want only sincere people involved in helping this story along. I will always be grateful for Michael Viner's courage.

  9. Also, it is true that publicists and producers handle the initial bookings, but Michael had asked Larry to discuss GNGS on a show.

  10. What a great post, Marti. And the follow-up about the Larry King show was really interesting. You are doing things the right way. You have presented the facts and the testimony, and it's up to the reader to decide how he or she feels.

    from KB

  11. Marti, I'm not sure if you knew about this but on an episode of QUEER AS FOLK a character had a line about wanting to meet Natalie Wood in heaven when he dies so that he can asked her "What really happened that night?".

  12. Sorry, I meant "ask" not "asked".

  13. No, I didn't know about that episode. I wonder if they are aware of GNGS. Thanks for letting me know. Was it a new episode? I haven't seen the show since last year.

  14. A Jane Doe case from 1968 is being opened in Huntington Beach, California. Proves there are still law enforcement officers that care about justice. It also proves to the critics that California will pursue long ago cases despite it's financial woes.

  15. Many old cold-cases are reopened and reviewed. The problem with Natalie's case is that the department closed it and sealed it. It took many years before anyone could view the police report on Natalie's case. We've got to convinve the department that the case was closed on bogus information. You'd think any decent detective would be interested in new evidence, or a witness willing to admit he withheld information. Wouldn't you?

  16. It was a QAF episode from season one. I don't know the title of the episode but I'll see if I can find out for you.

  17. It was the fourth episode from the first season.

  18. The Devil Gets His Due: Michael Viner, RIP

    You shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but I’m going to anyway: Michael Viner is finally dead. He was maybe the worst person who ever toiled in book publishing or Hollywood, and that’s hard to say.

    But Viner was special. He filed for bankruptcy several times, refused to pay royalties, cheated authors, cheated on his wife with a hooker, published books by hookers (not that they were bad people), and sued just about everyone. And lost.

    Viner started out with audio books, making Dove Books famous. He was married for a while to actress Deborah Raffiin, and was best friends with writer Sidney Sheldon, the man who also, gloriously, invented “Gilligan’s Island.”

    But in 1994 Viner seized on the idea of publishing a memoir ‘ so to speak, with apologies to Edmund Wilson” by Nicole Brown Simpson’s rat fink friend, Faye Resnick. The “Author” claimed that the women were lovers, did drugs together, the whole shebang. The book was so trashy and it was a turning point for Viner, who at that point descended into a quagmire of pond scum.

    What followed was “You’ll Never Make Love in This Town Again,” a collection of reminscinces by party girls. Viner wound up suing one of them, and losing that suit, too.

    Some of the people who called with the news of Viner’s death quipped yesterday that the funeral would be popular because so many would be checking to make sure he was dead.

    My favorite Viner anecdote, just so you get the flavor of the man: he had his rep call a hotel and lie about being from the accounting department of New York Magazine to get a journalist’s itemized phone bill. They wanted a list of the writer’s calls so they could figure out who his sources were. They got the list and called the sources!

    Some other great moments: he sued Heidi Fleiss for libel, and lost. During the trial he admitted on the stand to having an affair with a hooker. Nice.

    More recently, he published a book by Jayson Blair, the kid who worked for the New York Times and made up all his stories.’ He was also sued by Dennis Kucinich, whose autobiography he published. Part of the case was dismissed because it turned out that Viner recently filed for bankruptcy again.

    Well, I will miss Michael Viner. He was great to write about, a colorful figure, a shady guy, someone who obviously didn’t care what people thought about him or what his final reward would be. My guess is, wherever he is, it’s very, very hot.