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.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Natalie Wood in her perch

Natalie in her "perch" working on her relaxing needlepoint. Photo taken by Dennis Davern

I've posted this photo of Natalie several times at this blog. It is also included in "Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour" and if I had had my way, it would've been the cover of GNGS. Those in the publishing world didn't think it was a glamorous enough or recognizable photo of Natalie. I appreciated the business end of publishing, so I deferred. It takes a lot to produce, distribute, and market books. You have to allow publishers their expertise in such matters, but this is the Natalie I had hoped to portray, right up front.

This is the Natalie only a select few got to see. This is the Natalie content with life's simpler pleasures. This is Natalie, the woman, enjoying her day creating something she would later proudly display when finished: perhaps a pillow cover, a wall hanging, a scarf. This is the Natalie who would sit in the wheelhouse, upon what came to be known as "Natalie's Perch" and for hours on end her expression of "all's right with the world" would be prominent. Her girls would be off jet-skiing, or swimming, or playing in the main salon, and Natalie would later take them ashore for dinner and shopping, then spend the quality time with them she so loved.

This is the matronly Natalie, the one the public might not recognize, but this is the real Natalie, the one who was content with being a wife and mother, but also there existed Natalie, the legendary actress, the one who loved the entertainment industry and knew she had a lot more to offer. That's the Natalie we see in compelling, classic films, and the Natalie who ended up paying with her life for being nothing more than who she is: a wonderful, true-to-life mixture of reality and ambition.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Salt Water Drowning

When I researched salt water drowning when writing "Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour" I learned a lot of information about drowning. Of course, I researched online, and I also read a few library books, and I contacted a couple of doctors, and interviewed people who know about salt water vs fresh water. I recall learning that salt water is a more painful death by drowning than is cold water. Here's an article about salt water drowning, and also, if you google salt water drowning, I learned today that a reference to my research for GNGS appears at Google. I tried to be as factual as I could, and I hope one day the true answers for Natalie's case will be researched by professionals.

Salt Water Drowning/Near Drowning

and here's the link to Google's link on the subject in GNGS

Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour - Marti Rulli, Dennis Davern - Google Books

Natalie Wood's fear of water

When a person has an unfounded fear of something...such as "dark water" which was Natalie Wood's greatest lifelong fear, it's usually because they fear the unknown. Natalie didn't fear the "unknown" -- Natalie feared what any cautious person should respect: the forces of nature.

She knew about the dangers of ocean currents, she knew dangerous species lurk beneath the surface of the Pacific, and although she did know how to swim, she realized she was not a good swimmer, a strong swimmer against the strength of an ocean. That's why Natalie, although she appreciated the beauty of being ON the water, did not like the idea of being IN the water, or close to it (such as cruising in the dinghy).

She told about her fear to almost everyone she knew, and also admitted it in several interviews throughout the years. Her husband definitely knew about her fear. She was also a tad superstitious, esepcially because she knew about her mother's lifelong superstitious nature, and her mother had definitely shared the "deep dark water" premonition story, told to her by a gypsy before Natalie was born. The gypsy had also told Natalie's mother she would give brith to a "rising star."  

Are the Catalina Island waters shark infested? Yes, they are, and here's a link to an encounter with a Great White that happened in 2008. Sharks have always circulated Catalina Island. As difficult as it is to think about, imagine how that may have factored into Natalie's fear, while floating in the dark of the night, and cold of the ocean.

Shark attacks woman on kayak at Catalina. Poll: Are you scared of sharks...

Here's an excerpt from the 2008 article (above link):
Shark expert Ralph Collier this morning weighed in on what he thinks happened on the backside of Catalina this weekend, when a woman was knocked off her kayak by a great white shark, a bump that sent her flying into the water screaming while her family and other anglers watched helplessly from a boat.

Bettina Pereira survived the encounter with out a bite, and just sore muscles. When she flew into the air, Pereira actually stepped on the shark at one point, then pushed off in the opposite direction, her husband Andrew said in an interview Monday.

Collier, who runs the Shark Research Committee, contacted Andrew and confirmed it was a great white they encountered, based on the description and behavior of the shark.

“They’ve been at the island for millions of years,” Collier said. “So the fact that something has finally happened over there does not surprise me. I’m surprised it’s taken this long. ”

Collier said that it was an “investigation attack.”

“The shark was not interested at all in eating her, otherwise it would have stayed in the area and eaten her,” he said.

It was unusual behavior, however, for the shark to come back and ram the kayak, which knocked her into the air and flipped the kayak over.

Why I especially thought about Natalie this past weekend

The weather is crisp and getting colder during the nights here in New Jersey. The leaves are falling, and the holidays are approaching, and after Halloween, well, we're in the holiday season then. I already saw a few Christmas commercials this weekend. Yesterday, as any usual Sunday, I had my son and his family over for dinner: he and his wife, and their two kids, a son age 5 and a daughter almost 3.

Natalie's daughters have not had children yet, and I wondered if that may have been different had Natalie lived. In any case, she missed out on one of life's greatest joys: grandchildren. From all I've learned about Natalie, I think she was the type of mother who prioritized, and realized that the simple things in life, such as being a mom, were most gratifying. I bet she would've made a spectacular grandmother. Yet, she loved her work and pursued it. She was a well-rounded, feet-on-the-ground woman.

My other grandson, my daughter's son, 5, who we call "the Gooch" is in Kindergarten, and he spent the night last night. I took him to school this morning, and his mom will pick him up this afternoon, and she will see him dressed odd: It's school spirit week and each day calls for a certain odd dress: today was "backwards mix-match day" -- tomorrow is "Hippie Day" (can't wait to see him Tuesday!) so I put two different socks on him and his shirt went with the design in the back. He was laughing so hard when I accidentally put the right shoe on his left foot and he said, "We don't have to take it that far."  I started laughing because the shoes were a total mistake on my part, and we laughed all the way to school. The simple things.

It sometimes strikes me how "the simple things" make me think about Natalie Wood. Sometimes, I think some of my friends and family get a little tired of me talking about Natalie. I don't do it on purpose, it just happens. I am certainly not obsessed, and I bow to so many of her fans who know so much more about her career than I do, but I simply think of her because not only was she my favorite actress, but my friend worked for her, and I always thought that was such a special thing, but most of all, as I mentioned to someone last night, I can't reconcile with the manner in which she likely suffered the night she floated in the ocean. It eats away at me sometimes. It does not consume my life, but I've spent a good portion of my life seeking answers for her. It's a position that happened because I am friends with a member of the Wagner party that long ago night, and I care about the woman who suffered through that long ago night. There was no way I could let the memory of Natalie Wood be buried in the cemetery with her, and it was refreshing to meet so many others who felt the same way along this past 30 year journey. 

Thirty years ago, around this very time, I had called Dennis in L.A., and asked if he might consider visiting home (NJ) for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend that year. I said that we (friends and family) all missed him, and said too many years had gone by, and I remember him saying he might be able to, that it was not a busy time in November for his job of taking the Wagner family on weekend cruises. He had said he would get back to me. I got busy with the season, and didn't hear from him, figured it wasn't going to work out. The 1981 Thanksgiving weekend came and I'll never forget the phone call I did receive early Sunday afternoon of that weekend, from my brother Dave, when he asked, "Have you heard the news?"

Friday, October 21, 2011

"On The Grid"


In 2010, I did an interview with the blogtalkradio show "Three Wise Girls" and I felt completely comfortable with the interviewers of the show. (The link to the interview is on this blog's sidebar). Debbie Barth of "Three Wise Girls" also participates in a blogtalkradio show called "On The Grid" and I have scheduled with her for an interview on the morning of Nov. 26th, 2011 at 10 AM EST. That same evening, CBS's special segment on Natalie Wood will air on 48 Hours Mystery. I will post a link to the interview at the blog if you can't listen in that particular morning. Following is the link to On The Grid you can download now. You might want to check it out for some interesting shows that have already aired, especially one from last Saturday as Patricia Booth-Julius shared memories of Dean Martin.

On The Grid Online Radio by OnTheGrid | Blog Talk Radio


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Copyrighted Blog

Someone emailed me to ask if my blog is copyrighted. Indeed, it IS copyrighted. Of course, many bloggers use photos from the Internet, post links, etc, and that's generally considered acceptable or the copyright offices would go insane trying to follow who uses what. It's okay to "rewrite" or discuss a subject matter from a blog, but MANY blogs are copyrighted, just as most websites are. I use a service that instantly OFFICIALLY copyrights my every post. I won't get the notification for this particular post until after I post it, but here's the certification for one of my previous posts "Interesting Conversation with Dennis Davern" that was emailed to me immediately after my post (in case anyone questions my claim here). My posts are legally protected, and I would appreciate them not be copied and reposted elsewhere without my permission, which in most cases I will give. If I catch any of my posts copied and pasted elsewhere, all I need do is notifiy the service if I disapprove, and they let me know the information about the person reprinting my work.

Copyright :: All Rights Reserved

Registered :: Sat Oct 15 02:26:42 UTC 2011
Title :: Interesting conversation With Dennis Davern
Category :: Blog
Fingerprint :: afb9a62c5f648a3e22b69a4b5a091c28a25ee3b3d010af4863c69abf197352c6

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Please consider signing this petition for justice

Some of you may remember when I told the story about the horrid summer my family endured. I got a call one morning that my daughter-in-law's brother had been shot (while sitting in his living room watching TV). Sadly, he did not make it. A young couple had been out in their backyard in the middle of the night and were shooting a gun. The bullet carried into Joe's apartment and hit him in the back of the head while he watched TV. He had been married for just a few short weeks.

This was traumatic, impossible-to-accept tragedy for my daughter-in-law's family in Illinois. They are trying to get as many signatures on a petition before the sentencing of the couple responsible for Joe's death. It was a reckless act the couple should serve at least some time for and be held accountable for their reckless actions. They took away a young man's life, a young man who loved his life.

Please, take a moment to sign this petition. The story is posted at the petition site on the front page. I will appreciate your support, and so will Joe's immediate family. Thank you. Here is the link:


Unpublished Natalie Wood Photos

Someone send me this wonderful file of Life's unpublished photos of Natalie. I'm sure many of you may have already seen it, but here id the link to a nice tribute.


Tommy Garrett interviewed Marilyn Wayne - Canyon News Article

The beautiful Natalie Wood
Tommy Garrett interviewed Marilyn Wayne for his latest article in a series of Natalie Wood reports to lead up to the 30th anniversary of her tragic death on Thanksgiving Weekend 1981.

Marilyn will also appear on CBS's special segment of 48 Hours Mystery to air on Novemebr 26, 2001, on the Saturday night of this Thanksgiving weekend, the Saturday night 30 years ago Natalie went missing from the Splendour.

I appreciate Tommy Garrett's interest in the compelling tragic story of Natalie's death, and he is independently interviewing those of us who had submitted testimonial statements to LA County Sheriff's Department. We are looking forward to the results of the department's decision on those statements.

Soon, information will be revealed on the progress of the collaborative appeal to the LACSD to reopen Natalie's case. Here's the link to Tommy Garrett's latest article on his interview with Marilyn Wayne.

 Canyon News - 'I Heard Natalie Wood's Cries,' An Exclusive

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Petition still grows

Reopen Investigation of Natalie Wood's death Petition

Thank you to everyone who has signed the petition. It now has 801 signatures and will remain open for new signatures. The petition comments are compelling, and so many people offered their reasons and feelings about Natalie Wood's case. Each and every signature and comment is so important. Thank you, and please keep the petition circulating! It's never too late. 

The marina in St. Augustine

I took this photo is St. Augustine when interviewing with 48 Hours. The marina we visited seemed huge to me, but Dennis said it wasn't even 10% the size of Marina Del Rey in California, wehre Splendour docked. I spoke with Dennis tonight and he said he's really feeling so much better since being able to talk about his experience of the Thanksgiving weekend of 1981.

The 800th signer of the petition "gets it"

I hope you are taking the request to reopen this case seriously. A lot of work has gone into researching the events of the night and the fatal flaws of what amounts to a non-investigation. Surely, you can admire and respect witnesses who still care and want to testify 30 years later. The case your detectives didn't investigate has virtually been laid out for you in testimony and witnesses. I can't imagine why there would be any further delay in pursuing justice. Can you?

Monday, October 17, 2011

A vent

Horace and Concetta Carter, parents of Marti Carter (Rulli)

This is a photo of my parents. My mother passed away (ruptured ulcer) on Oct. 17 when I was just a few days away from turning 12 years old. She was only 52. In this photo is also my father who passed away (Cancer) when I was four. For the eight years my mother was a widow, she worked like crazy but also really enjoyed her life. She was adventurous, liked to travel with her sisters, and she threw the best parties ever, especially in the summer when the entire field on our small farm would be covered with friends and family and every type of food "station" you can imagine. 

On my 12th birthday I attended my mother's funeral. I've been able to enjoy birthdays since, as I know it would only anger my mom if I didn't celebrate her life instead of mourning her death. I remember little about my father, but clearly recall the day he taught me how to properly put on socks. I was not exactly "fatherless" because my Uncle Jim lived with us and he was an awesome father figure. He graduated Girard College and instilled in me the will to learn and to be a decent person. He taught me the importance of morals. He also taught me to never back down from what I believe is meaningful. My mom taught me how to enjoy the simple things in life, and to never forget that the simple things are usually the most gratifying in the entire scheme of things.   

Anniversaries of losing loved ones are sometimes difficult. I rarely talk about those anniversaries, but today was different. It was the exact weather today of the morning I awakened and went to school to my 6th grade classroom and told a fellow student that my mom was home and in pain. I worried about her all day. After school, walking down the street from the bus stop with my twin brother, I was hoping my mom would be feeling better by the time I'd walk in the door. Then I saw the ambulance in the driveway. My mom was already inside of it so I didn't get to see her or to say anything to her. My last recall was of her lying on the sofa in the living room in the morning, and she was moaning. She died that night at 11:10 pm. After her funeral, I hoped to be able to live in the home I'd grown up in, and that we'd go on as best we could without her, but just two weeks later, my Uncle Jim also passed away. My twin, Jimmy, and I were truly orphaned. My oldest half brother took us in.

Life did go on, but I've always been aware of Oct. 17 being a day that was so damn hard. Losing a mother is the hardest thing at ANY age, and sometimes even harder on adults who lose parents because there is so much more to remember, so much more time to miss. But losing a mother at a tender age makes you cling to the short time you did have, and you try harder to remember every morsel you can.

My father was a carpenter, and my mother was a waitress who bought into owning a restaurant shortly before she died. They were not stars or celebrities. They were Mom and Dad.

We, as fans of Natalie Wood, miss her celebrity and talent. She was so much fun to watch -- she was an interesting, shining star. And most of us who "talk" here also have the capability to transcend fanhood. We see Natalie as a woman, a person, a mother of two birth daughters she never got to see grow up and become women. They missed having their mother for all those special and important events and pinnacles in life.

This is a public blog all of my personal friends and family as well as strangers can see (hard to not be truthful when you face people daily), but for people who do not know me, there may exist doubt of how I feel about Natalie's daughters. I was in their position. I know how they felt losing their mother at such young ages. I know how painful moments in life must have been for them. I also strongly feel that had a proper investigation been conducted into Natalie's death, they possibly would feel more free to celebrate their mother's life. I know they miss her. I know it must be hell to have their mother's final hours talked about to this day, but I'm not the only one who has talked about it. Sam Kashner, who broke the stateroom argument in the news was not condemned. Suzanne Finstad, who established a valid timeline and brought so many questions to light was not condemned, but I take more heat. It's okay. I realize it's probably that way because the truth is sometimes unbearable, but the truth is also the only thing that will ease pain in the long run. I've embarrassed the authorities. They deserve it. They could admit they made mistakes: who doesn't make mistakes in a job?

I have not hurt Natalie's family. The tragic happenings on Thanksgiving weekend of 1981 is what hurt them, and I feel complete sympathy for them. The controversy, the lies, and the "mystery" are what cause added turmoil. After the way I was brought up, those lies are something I could never ignore. I posted this at 11:10 exactly because, well, I really felt my mother's presence all day today. RIP, Mom.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yesterday's Angel, Natalie Wood

In the summer of 2009, Lincoln Center in NY City paid a tribute to Natalie Wood, calling her "Yesterday's Angel." When I was in St. Augstine a few weeks ago interviewing for the upcoming 48 Hours November special, I saw this sculpture in the hotel window where I stayed. I took a picture of it because it reminded me of Natalie, of "Yesterday's Angel."

Natalie Wood was a godsend to many people in her life. She helped so many people, and was a kind and thoughtful person. Her death affected so many people near and far. Fans loved her for her heartfelt performances, and her family and friends loved her because she was an honest, no-nonsense, straightforward woman who CARED about people. She will always be remembered as "yesterday's angel" because she was such a genuine person.

Many people still care about Natalie, as it should be. Natalie deserves all of us who still care about her. I am proud to have attached truth to her legend, and make no mistake about it, Natalie Wood IS a legendary figure, no matter who tries to bury her name along with her. Natalie Wood was the spark of Hollywood for several decades. She was also the spark of life for so many who loved and cared about her.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Canyon News & San Francisco News articles about "Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour"

Canyon News - 'Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour'

San Francisco News 'Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour'

Tommy Garrett's latest article gave me an opportunity to let new potential readers learn more about GNGS, and I appreciate his interest and all of his tremendous help. GNGS is such an involved book with so many aspects of a convoluted case to cover, and Tommy allowed me the time and space to answer more thoroughly that most venues do. In my opinion, he's one of the last journalists to still concentrate on important information, and he gives shape and form to comments: that's a rare breed many readers miss these days.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Interesting conversation With Dennis Davern

Dennis and I were just talking on the phone about when he identified Natalie's body. I asked him if he remembers the blanket Roger Smith claims to have covered Natalie with. Dennis does not recall the blanket. He said there may have been a blanket over Natalie, but what he recalls is Natalie in her cotton nightgown, with shorter sleeves, and the red down jacket lying across her. He saw her arm, he saw her lower legs and saw her blue wool socks. He saw the abrasion on her face. When Dennis saw her, she was that much exposed and he is SURE of it. It took only moments.  

Dennis and I have no way to answer for anyone else who claims to know more about what Dennis saw than Dennis himself does, but Dennis is adamant that he saw several bruises and he described Natalie's nightgown as a "light colored cotton nightie with small flowers on it about the size of an eraser."

Sorry, but I think that's pretty good recall compared to someone who doesn't even remember Natalie's socks or over 25 bruises strewn across her body. I am simply making a point that people have their versions, their recall, and what one person does NOT notice, another may never forget it, especially in the type of hell Dennis was experiencing.

In another example of whose recall is accurate, Marilyn Wayne recalls a party on a boat moored near her boat and the Splendour. Dr. Lyndon Taylor was on his back deck from 10:30 PM to midnight and swears there were no parties on the beach or on any other nearby boat. These type of differences are things I cannot explain; these are the things I can only surmise about, and I believe Marilyn heard enough noise to believe there was a party, but I am as equally sure Dr. Lyndon Taylor is as accurate. These are snags, but snags that do not detract from Dennis's polygraphed account that Wagner was with his wife when she went missing, and these slight differences also enhance the need for a proper investigation into Natalie's death.

When Roger Smith arrived on the scene, Wagner told him he did not call for help because he figured Natalie was off fooling around somewhere, and he wanted to protect his image from bad publicity. This prompted Roger to coin his phrase: "So the rich must die to avoid bad publicity?" Roger's information never made it to the detectives, because the detectives ignored key witnesses, and I still hold fast that although Roger Smith doesn't remember things Dennis DOES remember, Roger Smith is definitely a crucial witness to Wagner's cavalier, snide attitude about a wife lost at sea.

Here's my summary: Roger Smith, Lana Wood, Marilyn Wayne, and Dennis Davern are ALL victims of the tragic Thanksgiving weekend of 1981. I respect each and every one of these victims who have suffered from another's evil intentions: Roger, Lana, Marilyn, and my friend Dennis are the victims, the messengers, and should never be used as the scapegoats for a deed they had nothing to do with.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Interesting blog with reviews of Natalie Wood books

Following is a link to Muirmaiden's blog with a list of the Natalie books and Muirmaiden's opinions of them. I especially appreciate her review of Lambert's Natalie biography that I believe was pure agenda, and, of course, I appreciate how she gets "Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour" -- you may be interested in following her blog.

Muirmaiden's Corner


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

People DO still care about Natalie!

Tommy Garrett emailed to inform me that his online articles on Natalie have received millions of hits, and of 11,000 (11 THOUSAND!) emails received about the articles, only 2 (TWO!) of them were negative - from Wagner fans!!!  Jacksonville TV News is  interested in interviewing Dennis this week, TV Guide has expressed interest in the articles, and AOL is picking up Tommy's informative, honest, and caring articles, as well as many other media outlets. Natalie, 30 years later, is being heard loud and clear! Thirty years later, she still deserves it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tommy Garrett's Excellent Article on Natalie Wood Case also published in San Francisco News!


San Francisco News Natalie Wood Witness Takes Polygraph, Exclusive

Tommy Garrett is a journalist who cares about details that matter in Natalie Wood's death!


Canyon News - Natalie Wood Witness Polygraph, Exclusive

Tommy Garrett has taken a true interest in Natalie Wood's death case and presents IMPORTANT details that matter to the case in his article reports. In this day and age of quick visual teaser scenes on TV, and short, non-specific articles in popular magazines, Tommy Garrett remembers the significance of a series of articles, the only way to explain major convoluted stories that grow with rumor and innuendo over the years, and in Natalie's case, decades.

When we were interviewed for 48 Hours, the producer had first taken the time to read every article and book available on Natalie's life and death, and for that, I was so appreciative. She knew what she wanted to ask, and she knew why she wanted to ask her questions, which were pointed and consistent (for hours). I was astounded, and so impressed. When Dennis and I had been interviewed in the past, many times the interviewer hadn't even followed the important information connected to Natalie Wood and the circumstances surrounding her death.

Now, almost 30 years later, Natalie has caring people helping to give her a voice. I thank them.      

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I've been talking with the person who made the Splendour coffee table that RJ smashed the wine bottle on. His name is Basil and he is older than RJ. He's a really nice man with many fine memories of the Wagner family. He sent me this photo of the Splendour coffee table he took after he made it, and something of interest he told me is that RJ called him to ask him to repair the table after the weekend Natalie died. Basil never got the table back. Dennis had already asked RJ for the table and RJ gave it to Dennis instead. 

Dennis Davern's 48 Hours interview

This was the dock Dennis was interviewed on by 48 Hours Mystery. The docked boats serve as the background for his interview, and there was a boat similiar to Splendour we were going to take out into the ocean the next day, but the owner was taking it on a cruise, so another boat (a bit smaller than Splendour) was chartered instead, and the 48 Hours crew went for a cruise with Dennis, and Dennis pointed out where the cleats for the dinghy are on the rear deck of the boat (how the dinghy Valiant would've been tied to the Splendour).

Friday, October 7, 2011

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies

Although they lost tonight and the season is over for them, they had the best record in baseball for the 2011 season. That's an accomplishment that is achieved with a lot of hard work. For that, I congratulate them, and may "the best team" win the World Series this year.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

So many are remembering Natalie Wood this year!

Please tell everyone about this, and I hope the theaters are packed on Nov. 9th

Tommy Garrett sees the important point....

Canyon News - Natalie Wood Autopsy Shocker, Exclusive

Tommy Garrett sees the importance of reopening Natalie Wood's death case. A more thorough investigation into how and why Natalie Wood had so many bruises on her body when found floating in the ocean may have eliminated the controversy that carries over to this day!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Natalie's bruises

Several emails have asked me to describe once more what Dennis saw by way of bruising when he identified Natalie's body. What I wrote in GNGS is what Dennis told me and is what he saw. He saw lots of bruises, as exactly how he described it to me over 20 years ago. I never once questioned him about it, but apparently, because Roger Smith did not see the numerous bruises all over Natalie's body, it now comes into question what Dennis saw.

Fact: I did not order Natalie's autopsy report or see it until about 10 years after Dennis told me about the bruises he saw. The autopsy report is what substantiated Dennis's story for me, and then his passing of a polygraph test solidified what he had told me about the bruises.

I cannot answer for Roger Smith the way he apparently answered for Dennis. I "suggested" NOTHING about Natalie's bruises. They are clearly indicated -- all of them -- on the autopsy report, exactly in the areas Dennis told me he saw them, which is WHY I ordered a copy of the autopsy to substantiate his claim.

Dennis was taken to Natalie by men he didn't recognize. He was led into the decompression chamber divers on that part of the Island use. Natalie was lying on a table and Dennis saw her arm EXPOSED. He looked and saw her plain pair of blue wool socks, not high socks, but regular short wool socks, and near the socks on her LEG, near her ankle, he saw bruises. He counted bruises...it was easy to CONSCIOUSLY count what he saw....the bruises were hard to miss. Therefore, we have no way of explaining how Roger Smith did not see them. The bruises existed.

Perhaps Roger Smith did not have Natalie covered as completely as he thought or remembers. I don't know. Dennis saw the bruises on Natalie's face, arm, and legs. Don't exactly know how else to tell it.

Natalie's coat was across her body, and Dennis had no idea who was with her who showed him her face. That Roger covered Natalie with a blanket was not something I ever investigated....I did not talk with Roger until after GNGS was published. Dennis and I never talked about a blanket until I heard it from Roger, and Dennis says, yes, there was probably a blanket....what he recalls most was the horrible task of having to identify Natalie, and SEEING THE BRUISES. I included Roger's account in an epilogue for the paperback new version because I believe his version is important, too. Roger is adding information to his account he never told me. I reported what I was told.

Roger let me know long ago that he had issues with how Dennis could have seen Natalie's bruises...and Dennis and I were fine with that. I believe Roger recalls what he recalls, but I don't see how he can answer for Dennis, because Dennis saw bruises on Natalie's body. In fact, when Dennis saw the bruises, first thing to come to mind was the fight in the stateroom. I called Dennis today, and he is answering this very question for Tommy Garrett's next article as well. This all lends to the importance of having Natalie's case reopened.

Also, I had no qualms with Roger's account because it's how he "saw" it. Just as Marilyn Wayne says there was a party on the beach or on another boat. Lyndon Taylor swears there were NO parties. I don't know who is right. But I do know Dennis saw Natalie's bruises. Roger didn't. How did Roger miss what everyone else saw? I can't and won't attempt to answer for him.

Natalie had bruises all over her body. Dennis saw SOME of them on her ARM, her LOWER LEG, and her FACE, and Dennis saw how she was dressed...the way she was pulled from the ocean. Parts of her legs and arms were exposed. In our 48 Hours interview, Dennis was asked what he did after he identified Natalie. His answer was that he cried.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

You can expect our 48 Hours interview to bring facts to the table

The Conch House Lounge is where I gave my interview Tuesday morning, Sept. 27th
 This is where I was interviewed for over two hours with the producer of the 48 Hours program. There is an outside pier and pavillion in the rear of the small place and that's where Dennis was interviewed for over two hours as well the next evening. We left nothing out. I know our interviews will be edited, but we covered the essentials of the investigation into Natalie's death, and Dennis told his entire account of Natalie's final weekend.

I was told that Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken were approached and offered to include their accounts, but they, as expected, did not respond. Apparently, Walken's agent questioned why anyone would bother with a 30 year old case. I suppose he doesn't realize that the public always deserved so much more in regards to this quickly closed case that is clearly a case of "celebrity justice."

Years ago, Wagner had his daughter do a special on Natalie, and Gavin Lambert was behind a televised biography which ended with the theory that Natalie adjusted a banging dinghy and fell into the water. Those interviews were controlled by what Wagner approved of to be told, so whatever he did not want exposed or questioned was never told. I appreciate 48 Hours' interest in Natalie's 30 year old case.

As I said, we left nothing to the imagination in our important interviews. Even if only 10% makes it to air, that 10% will include the truth of what happened the night Natalie ended up in the ocean. We were asked a few hard questions, too, and we answered with our honest opinions.

There are others interested in the 30th anniversary as well. I will keep you posted.

CBS 48 Hours Mystery interview with Dennis and Marti

The Marina in St. Augustine where Dennis Davern works on many boats.
I returned home on Friday from spending the week in St. Augustine, Florida with Dennis Davern. We were interviewed for a CBS special segment of "48 Hours Mystery" to air on November 26, 2011, the Saturday night after Thanksgiving--the Saturday night Natalie Wood went missing from her yacht exactly 30 years ago.

The segment will coincide with a special release of Vanity Fair magazine -- a "best of" edition that includes Sam Kashner's March 2000 article on Natalie Wood's final weekend, when he interviewed Dennis and broke the story that indeed there had been an argument in the Wagner master stateroom that carried over to the back deck minutes before Natalie went missing.

We were interviewed by the producer of the show, Liza Finley, who happens to be Dominick Dunne's niece, and she asked pointed questions that were right on target. The camera/technician crew consisted of pure professionals (who work worldwide and for many of the most popular news shows such as 60 Minutes and major network magazine shows). We couldn't have been in better hands. I hope we will be portrayed as honestly as we offered our knowledge and witness accounts of what transpired the night Natalie left her yacht.

It was 40 years ago this very year that I met Dennis Davern at Jax Beach in Florida, just above St. Augustine Beach where we culminated our 40 year journey with our interviews. It was a poignant visit, and I did get to spend a day and night at Dennis's beautiful home. He has a wonderful family and his life in St. Augustine is so far beyond the haunting night of November 28th, 1981, but it was quite apparent that Dennis is still haunted by the happenings of that final, fateful weekend Natalie Wood experienced.

I've heard, but cannot confirm that Detective Rasure will also be interviewed for this show and that's exactly the way Dennis and I prefer. Let him answer why he ignored Natalie's bruises, why he ignored Marilyn Wayne and Roger Smith, and let him explain, finally, how he feels about learning that Dennis's account of the bottle smashing is indeed, confirmed by Robert Wagner himself twenty five years later. The show will also be filming from the actual Splendour and showing in comparison where Dennis just showed the crew the dinghy was tied with two lines to the yacht that night Natalie went "missing."

We will also stay on top of the LA County Sheriff's Department for an answer as to their intentions on reopening the case. The petition is still open for signatures and will remain open for an extended period of time.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support, and I want you all to know I've done all I can up to this point to try to bring Natalie justice. I truly hope the justice system will give Natalie the opportunity to have the truth connected to her history, her legacy. If not, "Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour" will always be available for those who care about truth and justice for Natalie Wood.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

San Francisco News on Natalie Wood Investigation

All of the indicated markings on these Natalie Wood Autopsy diagrams show how many bruises she had on her body after being pulled from the ocean on the morning of November 29, 1981 

San Francisco News Natalie Wood Investigation Shocker, Exclusive

I am so grateful for the attention Natalie Wood's case is receiving as we near the 30th anniversary of the day she was robbed of life.

I understand that journalists, after interviewing many people to cover a story fairly, MUST report what they are told, and Tommy Garrett is the epitome of integrity and slants nothing: he reports what he learns in an interview.

It is Roger Smith who didn't see the bruises, but the medical examiner sure did, and although I do not like posting the diagrams shown here, these are actual diagrams from Natalie's autopsy report. How anyone could have missed this many bruises is beyond me, and Dennis sure didn't miss them because the largest bruise was on Natalie's face... a large abrasion, and it was Dennis who identified Natalie. Dennis saw leg bruises, too, and those were the same bruises the coroner saw and reported on the autopsy.

I do not "suggest" ANYTHING in "Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour" -- if I couldn't verify it, or back it up, it didn't go into the book. Natalie had bruises all over her body and Dennis saw some of them, and the coroner documented them. That's accuracy, not "suggestion."

Roger Smith is one of the most honest men I've ever encountered, so I also believe that he may have been ignoring the many black and blue marks, and smaller bruises as he looked for more prominent type wounds, but because he didn't see the bruises does not mean they didn't exist. Roger Smith is as haunted by Natalie's death as anyone involved, and I respect that he is willing to talk about it. But, as for Natalie's bruising, the autopsy report says it all!

Tommy Garrett Interviews Roger Smith

Canyon News - Natalie Wood Investigation Shocker, Exclusive

I found Tommy Garrett's interview with Roger Smith extremely revealing. Seems Wagner was all over the place with excuses as to why he waited over 4 hours to contact professional help to assist in finding his missing wife. Roger also recalls Wagner telling him that Natalie told him she was going to untie the dinghy lines. Wouldn't that have been vital information for this case? Wagner told Rasure he "had no idea what happened to Natalie."  Wagner also told Roger she might have gone off to party on another boat. Seems Wagner was extremely nervous when Smith and the Avalon Deputy reached the scene.

But, Roger was never interviewed by the detectives! It's just another huge flaw in Natalie's case and proves how important it truly is to give the case another look. Seems a lot more might have been revealed to the authorities ON THE SCENE had they thought to talk to the people who could have given them vital information.

Roger had told me he did check Natalie's body for gunshot or stab wounds. I have no idea how he missed the numerous bruises that the coroner marked in her autopsy report. When Dennis identified Natalie, he saw the numerous bruises on her ankles and her facial abrasion, and he noticed a scratch. Natalie did have over 25 bruises indicated in her autopsy.