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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.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Justice for Natalie Wood in California?

Dateline NBC: News stories about crime, celebrity and health- msnbc.com

(The show I'm referring to isn't posted yet)

I have had one of the busiest weeks ever, but tonight I sat down to relax and watch some TV. I love the new show "Who do you think you are" (Geneology...tonight Lionel Richie discovered a fascinating history). Then came Dateline and I am SO ENCOURAGED after seeing the possibilities that may lie ahead for Natalie.

Although tonight's Dateline was such a sad, tragic story, about a woman, Kit, with two young daughters and wanting a divorce from her wannabe photographer husband, it gave me a peek into what can happen when someone in authority CARES!

Kit had an interesting job. She arranged food for magazine photo shoots. Her husband was not yet up to speed for magazine shooting, so another photographer shot most of Kit's arrangements at a studio.  Kit fell in love with her co-worker.  This, after finding out her husband had drastically lied about his past before marrying her. He had never graduated college or fought in Nam, as he bragged. He kept a strange diary with weird ramblings about secret desires. Kit felt terrible about hurting him (as she wrote in a letter to him about their divorce, but never sent it) but knew she could not stay married to him. She was moving to be near her job. While packing her house, her husband arrived to pick up daughters to take to a party. After putting them in car seats, he said he had to go close the gate.

Same day, a few hours later, after being unable to contact Kit, Kit's brother and boyfriend drove couple of hours to her house to find her dead on the floor in a pool of blood, throat slit, with what seemed a staged "break-in". Her entire family suspected husband, but there was not enough evidence. Police questioned everyone, including husband. He said after he put the girls in car that morning, he never went back into the house. Coroner said Kit was killed in the PM, and husband had all day alibi at party with girls. So no one was ever arrested.

TWENTY SEVEN YEARS LATER IN 2009, the detective on that case was retired, but the case still bothered him. Califormia wasn't bankrupt enough to listen to what the detective had to say after pulling the old files and reviewing the case!

He noticed in the old interview that the husband had said he didn't go back in house, but that when he got in the car, his oldest daughter had asked him "What took you so long, Daddy?" He answered that he had to close the gate. RED FLAG. It was a contradiction never caught 27 years earlier (what would take so long to close a gate? the detective now wondered). So the detective dug deeper and decided to use DNA (unavailable in 1984) to test a few odd placed blood spots that didn't match victim, but did prove to match husband after DNA tests conducted in 2008. But, husband had lived in the house for 4 years, but not for the last 2 months before Kit was killed. (Hope you're following)

Point is, it would be so easy a defense to prove husband's blood could've been there long before the murder because he had lived in the house, so how could they get this guy? ONE LITTLE LIE. They kept pressing him in a 27-year later interview, over and over about whether or not he went back into the house. He slipped and said he had to get a present he forgot for the party he was taking the girls to. They arrested him on that! It was pure circumstantial evidence they took this 27-year old cold case to court with and they got a conviction based on ONE LITTLE LIE the husband had told! They used his diaries in custody, too, showing his personality quirks as evidence.

AND UNBELIEVABLY, the coroner was brought back in to admit he had made a mistake and it was very likely Kit could've been killed in the morning. A botched case made good.

In all legal likeihood, they weren't going to win this case, but people (and Kit's family), dedicated to justice for Kit, were willing to try. And they won. This man had raised his two daughters and no one really said he had been a bad father. In fact, he had been a good father (other than he had killed their mother!). Ironically, but I think we can all see the psychological aspects of this: it was the two daughters, now grown, who pleaded for mercy for their father in the courtroom. One said: "I miss my mother, but please don't take my father away, too."

He got 25 years to life.

I applaud the retired detective who never gave up. I'm glad there is justice for Kit. I would like to see justice for Natalie Wood. There's more than ONE LIE and ONE QUIRK to go on! Lots more!


  1. OMG Marti, just finished watching DL and thought of Natalie's cold case the entire time!!!! I felt the same hope you see in it. I was amazed the entire show (also watched Charlie Sheen second hour of DL and thought about when Wagner had the guest spot on Two and a Half Men.) I swear, this DL episode is insanely close to certain circumstances we've discussed of Natalie's case. I was shocked when the daughter cared more about her father than justice for her mother, but as you point out, odd as it is, we can't knock it. I was so glad they took that bushy-browed psychopath away in ankle cuffs for life. He disgusted me. My husband kept saying it would turn out to be the boyfriend. I knew better, mostly from things I learned in your book, and that's the truth! We had a bet going. I won. I know how to pick them out now. It's all in the eyes. "LDe"

  2. BTW, Jeopardy had a category tonight "ALL WALKEN" which had answers to all Walken movies. Brainstorm wasn't one of them.

  3. Marti, I watched DL too and thought of Natalie too and was hoping you had watched it also, I thought "OMG there is hope" if they did this case they have to do Natalie's. Pam

  4. depraved indifference murder fits the bill with Wagner.

  5. Pam, it wouldn't work the same way as I highly doubt Rasure or Salerno (the lead detectives in Natalie's case) are losing any sleep over the unanswered questions connected to Natalie's death the way Kit's detective was troubled by the unsolved case. When Rasure got to Natalie's death scene he instantly considered it an accidental death scene rather than a suspicious death scene. The coroner, Noguchi, actually announced there had been an argument aboard the Splendour, but the detectives immediately interfered in an attempt to settle the media down. That was what made the lingering difference in Natalie's case. Shoddy police work, uninterested in truth...to this day. There is tons more evidence in Natalie's case that points toward her case needing another look, but it all boils down to acquiring someone in authority who cares. We'll get there.

  6. Marti, Do you know if a movie will be made of your book? If so, who do you think could play Natalie?

  7. There has been movie interest as it's a fascinating true story, many parts of it difficult to accept. Some good people have recognized that much. Her part would be hard to fill but it would take someone with the heart and soul Natalie projected ... that's where her true beauty shone from!

  8. In response to the movie....I thought Katy Perry (she is dressed in 50'sand 60's style in some photos). Also, thought of Vanessa Hudgens.

  9. After reading your book and exchanging comments last night, I could not sleep. Something still bothered me about what Marilyn said but I couldn't put my finger on it. Then at about 3:30 a.m. it hit me.
    Marilyn said she was devastated they could do nothing to help because their dingy was deflated. She thought of swimming as the voice sounded about 40 feet away. She could hear the voice clear and concise say, "Someone please help me, I'm drowning, please help me". The next day she estimated Natalie had been between the two boats and about 10-30 feet from the Splendour.
    Here are my issues with Marilyn...
    1)THE BOAT: Marilyn is standing ON A BOAT. A 42-foot boat. If the dingy is deflated, she's still standing on a boat and estimating that the voice is 40 feet away from the 42-foot boat. Simply turn the boat around and she's there. At the most, move gently a few feet and throw a line. Marilyn was standing ON A BOAT! She didn't need the dingy.
    2)HER SILENCE: The voice was clear and concise and didn't seem to be moving away, yet Marilyn never yelled back. If she could hear Natalie, Natalie could hear her. Where are you? Who are you?! etc. Something to let Natalie know she was heard.
    Boats have horns, sirens, whistles, PA systems and flares. Marilyn didn't use any of these to draw attention to Natalie's plight. If nothing else, 4 voices are better than one. They would have yelled with Natalie: Woman Overboard! Help Her! etc. Any way I look at it, Marilyn's silence that night is suspicious.
    3)I'M DROWNING: I don't believe that a woman up to her neck in cold, dark ocean water(her greatest fear)and shark-infested too, will politely construct a long sentence. Natalie would yell someone's name also, like: Help! Dennis! But a long, polite sentence in a panic?
    4)EARSHOT: If she could hear Natalie clear and concise at 40 feet out and 15 high, with the music on, it seems Dennis could have heard Natalie at 10 feet (when he stepped out the side door and walked around the back). He didn't so was Natalie really yelling?
    5)CALLING FOR HELP: She said she called around 11:10 p.m. Dennis said they were never called until much later at 3:30 a.m.

    Maybe I'm looking for logic in an illogical sequence of events. I'm sure in hindsight Marilyn would change the response of that night which probably occurred from fear and panic. I think you were very smart to suggest that she take a poly because the above points may be why the police discounted her.
    You have met her and I haven't so I defer to your trust in her. Right now, her statements and the altered coroner report show Natalie drowning away from the Splendour and that has to be a relief for the last one to see her alive. Otherwise, she died on the boat.
    I am so glad you continue to work on this for Natalie. Marilyn told you she would take a hundred polygraphs but Natalie only needs one. I hope she does that for her.

  10. We all hear people yelling for help. I have never once responded to those calls because I assumed they were people fooling around or I heard someone respond to the person calling.

    Once Wayne heard someone respond to Natalie, she did what we all would do and went back to bed. She probably felt guilty in the morning. That is normal. She may have wanted it to appear that she tried to do more. That is mormal too.

    Sound travels differently on water and Davern was right on top of the music. Makes sense he wouldn't hear Natalie in the water.

  11. What do you mean by altered coroner report?

    Natalie drowned away from the Splendor because the currents moved her away quickly.

  12. "Susan", I suggest you re-read the book. Dennis did not say that the first call went out at 3:30AM. It's documented that Wagner made a random radio call at approx. 1:30AM and waited until approx 3:45AM to agree to call the Coast Guard. Marilyn called the Harbor Patrol office at 11:10PM, it was closed.
    Natalie screamed, "Help me, somebody help me." That's hardly a long sentence. And why would she scream for Dennis? Why didn't she scream for RJ?
    You are leaving out a very important point. Wayne said that she heard someone respond to Natalie's screams for help. She heard someone say "We're coming to get you." I recall that was reported on the news and in all the papers in the days following Natalie's death.
    As for the PA systems etc, my question would be why didn't RJ use any of this to draw attention to his missing wife. He would not even turn on a light! Rather than use the emergency equipment he had on board, he sat and drank and conjured up a story for the authorities as he waited close to 2 hours to make his "SOMEONE is missing from a boat" call and another 2 hours to agree to call the Coast Guard. I would not question Wayne's actions or words, I would question Wagner's actions and words.
    "Otherwise she died on the boat" Natalie died in the water, she drowned. Hypothermia set in and she drowned. That's an odd statement. The autopsy report clearly shows that her death was by drowning in what is called a "wet drowning". A dry drowning occurs when someone is killed and then thrown in the water. In a wet drowning the person dies as a result of suffocation. Evidence when she was found led them to that conclusion, that being the froth emitting from her nose. That is the main clue in a wet drowning. That does not occur in a dry drowning.

  13. It is amazing that she questions Marilyn Wayne but has no problem with the way Wagner did nothing for all of those hours his wife was missing.
    This really baffles me how people can do this.

  14. Wayne's word was ignored because it interfered with the preconceived notion of police that Natalie's death was an accident. It gave them more to investigate.
    You would think that Wagner would have attempted to contact Wayne to ask her the details of the cries she heard but rather than doing that, he had her threatened so that she would shut her mouth. HMMMM. but's it's Wayne's actions that are questioned?
    Yeah, right. Marilyn Wayne needs to take a polygraph to insure justice for Natalie. What about Wagner?

  15. This topic brings to mind that Robert Wagner's reluctance to commit, in print or a any interviews, the factor of time. It would be logical to assume that he would have been watching the clock more closely than anyone what with his beloved wife missing from a boat at night but he never has committed to the factor of time. Wayne has, Dennis has, Robert Wagner has not. You would think that he would not have been able to take his eyes off the clock. That's what one instinctively does when they are waiting for someone. That's another factor that detracts from his credibility. He does not seem to want to discuss a time frame and time is THE most important factor when someone is missing from a boat.

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  17. Wayne did not change her account. YOU may have read different accounts of what she said but she never changed her story of that night. I believe her, why on earth would she lie? She had nothing to gain just as Wagner had everything to lose.

    Robert Wagner was the person responsible for Natalie's death. He wears that badge.

  18. Thank you all for answering about Marilyn. Can't begin to describe how grateful I am for everyone who knows this story through and through. I not only explain and PROTECT Natalie here, but I will always do the same for the "messengers" -- that includes myself, Dennis, Roger Smith, and Marilyn Wayne.

    Back to scapegoats: Marilyn has been used over and over as one. I didn't request a polygraph of Marilyn...SHE volunteers to take as many as the law would require of her. That's because she is not lying.

    Saving Natalie was NOT Marilyn's responsibility because ahe knew nothing more of what was going on but the cries for help she heard. ANd when she heard those cries, what did she do? In a disturbing situation she did everything posssible she could do. She listened intently to identify the sound, she and John Payne called IMMEDIATELY for help but the immediate Island area was CLOSED...no answer! She called Avalon! Was told help would be sent... thing is, Avaoln would send a helicopter, but couldn't issue the search until daybreak. She wanted to dive into the ocean to help and was convinced by John it was too dangerous, she had a young son to think about, too. She also put on a light but it was a drizzly night and the light was virtually useless. All of this within MINUTES of hearing a cry for help! When she heard a man's voice respond to the cries shortly after, the cries subsided. Marilyn felt relief but still had a restless night.

    If the cries for help (estimated) were about 40 feet away and you are on a 42 foot boat, just turning the boat around could kill the person in the water. I asked Dennis about that because he told me he had wanted to use the Splendour to immediately to look for Natalie, too. Dennis said, YES, if a large boat ran into someone in the water, it could immediately kill them, but Dennis had been so frantic without a dinghy (and he thought she was probably in the dinghy) that he could use his radar and go slowly looking for her with Splendour.


    Marilyn did all she could and felt helpless and guilty over it. Dennis did all he could in the shadow of his boss who apparently didn't want anything done to find Natalie. And Roger Smith WISHED he had been called earlier because he believes he could've found Natalie quickly and spared her life. But he was told, by Wagner, "I didn't call for help right away because of my image and I thought Natalie was off screwing around because that's the kind of woman she is."

    No, NO, No, Marilyn, Dennis, and Roger won't be the fall guys at this blog. I'll keep this discussion visible because the answers to the questions about Marilyn are INTELLIGENT and LOGICAL, and reveal where the true blame of a woman not being saved lies. ("lies" with double meaning there!)

    The police NEVER questioned Marilyn and were too quick to close the case. Marilyn called the coroner's office ONLY after the estimated time of death was announced and Marilyn knew she had heard cries AFTER the time-of-death was announced. Marilyn was STILL trying to help! Roger Smith tried to help. He knew Natalie had spent a torturous night floating in the ocean but the police (and others) didn't want to hear from him, either. He was demoted and transferred.

    Susan, I appreciate your questions, as they are questions the police will ask too if the case is reopened. But, the answers are rather simple, and the authtorities would realize it if they'd give this case the attention it still deserves.

    Marilyn Wayne is not the reason Natalie Wood died. She holds vital information about the case, and the authorities ignore her to this day.

  19. Thank you, Marti. These people who pretend to be supportive out themselves. It does not take long. Wagner's empty handed supporters are always ready to place the blame on someone else. The fact is that Wayne did what Wagner should have done and in the same timely manner. She tried to report what she heard ASAP. Wagner knew that Natalie was "missing" and he waited and waited and waited and because of that, Natalie died.
    I suspect that "Susan" is the resident troll posting in the middle of the night as he is wont to do.

  20. Yes, I was surprised, also. If a person fully supports GNGS, he/she generally supports and sees the entire picture. Pinpointing Wayne is not a conclusion anyone who fully gets it would do. There are far better questions.

  21. Marti,

    Thank you for making people re-look at Natalie's suspicious death. Before the internet, I couldn't believe I didn't hear people in the media question it - considering so much was to question.

    After reading your book, I'm more convinced than ever Natalie's case should never have been closed.

    Other thoughts I walked away with after reading your book, just confirmations of what I've already known: Most in media will not question, don't do their jobs. And that Hollywood is a twisted society. Natalie, A beloved star - from childhood to death - can die in such a questionable way, yet her peers don't make waves as to not hurt their careers... just confirms what I've seen since moving to LA. When it comes to fame, people become soulless, without principles.

    I can't understand it.

    As a child I dreamed of working in the movie business. I even moved to LA just to do that. But after working as an extra and seeing how people prey upon one another and treat the famous as if better humans, I wanted nothing to do with it.

    Thank you for writing this book.

  22. Like WHY did Wagner really want Natalie to die?

  23. He lost his temper in the heat of the moment, he was very drunk and obviously not in control of himself given the bottle incident. He benefited financially from her death. He never earned big money and was rather careless with what he did have. Natalie, on the other hand, was very astute financially, invested wisely.
    IMO, he lost his temper. Maybe she said that she would tell some truths about him that he did not want told. Maybe she threatened to divorce him. He would lose the status of being married to Natalie Wood. Wagner is all about status. He was violent with her that night, he did not want that to known. I don't believe that he planned her death but he was certainly responsible for it. His grief period was very brief.

  24. I believe this involved more than just losing his temper. Wagner had many hours to calm down and to do the right thing He didn't.

    It appears to me that he wanted Natalie to die. He didn't call for help or help Natalie himself.
    There was nothing preventing Wagner from going in after Natalie. From the picture I saw of Wagner in the ocean, he looked like he could handle the water just fine.

    Wagner was more malevolent than the person that loses his temper.

  25. I agree with you Kevin. He wanted her to die AFTER his actions led to her being in water. I did not express myself clearly. He wanted her to die AFTER he calmed down, after his actions on the back deck lead to her death. He said "Get the f... off my boat" That was said by a man who was in a fit of rage but his reluctance to do anything at all to try to save her was the action of a man who had calmed down and thought about his next steps very carefully.
    Wagner was a good swimmer. He knew the danger she was in and did nothing to help her in any way. He wanted her to die rather than live to tell what happened between them in the stateroom and on the rear deck.

  26. Hello everyone. Sorry if my thoughts and questions caused such upset and anger. I was not defending R.J. and happen to agree with all of you on his actions and non actions. I believe he is responsible and never thought Marilyn was.

    Marti, as I told you before, I found your book riveting. I could not put it down. It is a good sign when a book stirs up discussion and debate. I loved it from cover to cover. Sorry to your readers but it did raise those questions in my mind. I didn't realize that sharing them was a bad idea.

    I will not return to your blog as I have no desire to be "the resident troll posting in the middle of the night" (?????)or to cause any animosity on your site. I am a writer and often work through the night. I'm sure you can relate to that (Don't worry readers, I will never write a book about Natalie as I write and illustrate books for children. This is no fairy tale and, sadly, no happily ever after).

    Through the years I have always thought Natalie died on the boat as a result of the fight. It all looked like a huge cover-up to me. I would love nothing more than for Marilyn's statements to be true. That means that Natalie had a fighting chance.

    Yes, I still have questions but I will not comment here. Instead, I will continue to pray that someday Natalie receives justice and R.J must answer. Meanwhile, I wish you continued success on the book and hope it opens an investigation.

    Sorry to upset everyone! Goodbye, Susan

  27. Susan, there were people who took the time to answer your questions giving rather detailed responses. Some of your statements were not correct indicating that you need to re-read the book. One read is not enough for a book was emotionally draining as GNGS. The first read is rather emotional, the second read is needed to absorb the specifics of the the book, the facts.

  28. Michele,

    Thank you for your post. I have never spent time in the company of a Hollywood crowd or know many people from that world, but through Dennis, whose brain I picked constantly for years, and through association with him during his time in CA, I can honestly say I have no regrets. I understand what you mean about it being a society where numero uno is what matters, and in this particular case, even at the expense of a life and justice for that life. I really appreciate your comment, especially because it is a world you have experienced. It also is a world you realized was not worth your soul. In my very first draft of GNGS I had done a lot of research on Hollywood people and dealings and I really didn't have much nice to say about it. Dennis always told me it was filled with superficial personalities, a lot of drugs, and egomaniacs. What surprised him in the midst of that world was someone as ultra-famous, yet humble and caring and REAL, as Natalie Wood was. He NEVER said that about Wagner. In fact, he always told me how fake and superficial Wagner was, who always had the perfect words for people he wanted to impress, and nasty words about them as they walked away.

    Again, thank you for your comment.

    We've had a lot of trouble in the past here and your comments about Marilyn Wayne sounded way too familiar for many. As I said, they are not bad or "wrong" comments: the police would ask the same if they ever delve deep enough into this case. We WANT those kind of questions asked by the authorities. We WANT the authorities to drill Marilyn, Roger, and Dennis. We can't wait for that. If it happened tomorrow, it would be 29 years too late, but we still hope it will happen. What we also want is for Walken and Wagner to be drilled. Natalie deserves this. But, as I said, though your comments are legitimate and, yes, open for discussion, our antennas go up when it's Dennis, Roger, and Marilyn, ALL who wanted nothing more than to help Natalie that night, whose motives are questioned. It's what diehard Wagner fans usually do, and many Natalie fans are always on guard for it (including myself). So, if you're a writer of childrens' books who works late at night, best wishes. If you truly want justice for Natalie, thank you. If you comprehend GNGS then you'll understand the defense here.

  29. It's a blog for GNGS and for justice for Natalie. If you have no interest in Natalie or if you dislike her or if you don't like the book, why would you want to be here. Maybe to stir up trouble or to defend Robert Wagner? There are many Wagner groups you could join if you admire him. I think it's safe to say that this is not a home for Robert Wagner admirers. You'd be happier at one of those sites where they build him up, where they believe what they want to believe.

  30. One person commented on "the troll" but the rest of the comments are courteous--they corrected the wrong information you (Susan) stated. Also, you left out some important (very important) information.
    You can't say people are upset or angry for correcting information you got wrong or misunderstood.
    I've gotten upset at things that were written here (some have been about myself), but that didn't stop me from coming back.
    If you are genuine and have questions that are valid, most people here would be more than happy to answer and help you with.
    However, focusing on Marilyn Wayne is focusing on an innocent bystander. Ms Wayne had nothing to do with causing Ms Wood's death. She was no more responsible than you or I.
    Why would you try to discredit Ms Wayne? That I do not understand. Especially since certain information she gives overlaps with information Mr Davern has given. That is very strong evidence.
    It's going to take a lot more than prayers to get Ms Wood's case looked at again.

  31. Courtney's birthday is coming up (March 9). She will be 37.

  32. Marti,
    In the event that it is not the resident troll and someone doing the copycat routine you have at your finger tips the exact tools to make this stop. You are a public person. Therefore, this can be turned over to Federal authorities and all the e mail header, IP, screen name falsifying won't amount to a hill of beans once they are involved. You have asked for this to stop several times and your requests have gone unheeded. Time to take action.

  33. I'm behind you Marti. Your our beacon and I thank you. Pam

  34. They won't stop until it's too late which may be sooner than they think as I have never seen Marti so upset. She does not deserve this as she is a kind, loving family woman who works very hard for a living. She should not be faulted for trying to find justice for Natalie. It's been an uphill battle for her yet she continues with it, never giving up on Natalie. She revealed Wagner's actions of that weekend. She can't be faulted for what he did. They should take their anger to him, not to Marti.
    Keep doing what you are doing, Marti. It's time to deal with these people and then turn the page.

  35. Marti,
    May I suggest that you ask your blog members to stop posting about these other people or person for the simple fact that many times a person will do more damage than good with their words although they certainly have your best interest and the interest of your blog and book at heart. You personal life as you are well aware has nothing to do with your authorship of your book or this blog.

  36. Marti was attacked on a personal level many times. The personal attacks on her and her character were plentiful and they were viscous attacks. Hopefully Marti and her supporters have these attacks on record.

  37. I've deleted several comments in this post thread. Thank you for continued support, but I believe the problem I was having is solved.

  38. Rebecca Howell

    The actress that springs to mind (if they make a Natalie Wood story) would Rachel McAdams. She has the same exuberance and beauty. she would need brown contacts but she has shown herself to be a very versatile actress.