Thursday, February 01, 2018

I'm telling you, I'm right! Update on the Natalie Wood case

Every so often a story comes along that requires an immediate blog post. 


Every news service has the story.  And 48 HOURS on CBS will do a report on Saturday night (when no one is watching.) 

Readers of this blog know I have always maintained there was more to this story and Wood's death was not just an accidental drowning.   The woman was absolutely terrified of water.  That she "fell" into the drink without RJ or other passenger Christopher (nothing ever suspicious about him) Walken makes zero sense.   That there was drinking and a fight, a fight that got out of hand and resulted in Natalie being pushed off the boat seems way more plausible to me.   There are several theories as to what the actual fight was about.  You'd have to ask RJ or Walken (who won't tell you the truth). 

But the LAPD reopened the case in 2011, they re-examined the autopsy and found fresh bruises (evidence of a fight), and investigators now have determined that the testimony RJ gave does not hold water (so to speak).   So he will be re-questioned -- hence "A Person of Interest."   That could lead to "Person of Suspect" and maybe even "Person of Convicted Felon." 

In any event, it's clear there's more to the case with additional info to come.   And investigators are being left alone to do their work.  Fortunately our president isn't involved.  Otherwise there would be Tweets discrediting Natalie Wood and memos from the White House contending she's still alive. 

If you're checking in to the blog for the first time today, keep scrolling for my original post on FRIENDS.


Anonymous said...

The case was investigated by LA Sheriff's homicide. Why did the boat captain change his story, he originally told investigators the same story that Wagner told them. That she got into a dingy and somehow fell out of it and drowned. Why did take all these years for him to finally tell the truth.

Johnnyb said...

RW is 87.

Peter said...

Will you be reviewing 48 Hours?

GFoyle said...

As soon as I saw this story, I immediately clicked over to your blog.

I'm Outraged! said...

There is home video(Roddy McDowall) of her running into the surf and playing around in the waves and there are photos of her swimming happily, so she was not 'absolutely terrified of water', it sounds as if she had a fear of drowning and that has been hugely exaggerated.

D McEwan said...

Thanks. I immediately set the DVR to record 48 Hours on Saturday.

Edward said...


Ken - In a post about Natalie Wood a few months ago, you indicated that she wore jewelry to cover a scar. Gary Burgoff has a deformed left hand. Do you recall writing a script a certain way or altering a draft script to make sure that Radar would not have to use his left hand or have it show up on screen?

Jeff Maxwell said...

Not a popular position, but my story...

Several years ago, I owned a very sweet, gritty, family story script with a lead that fit RJ perfectly. He read it, we met, and he agreed to play the role. Even with wonderful efforts by many, the film has not been produced...yet. It ain't easy getting a movie made.

In my experience, Mr. Wagner was never anything but friendly, charming, helpful, smart, supportive and enthusiastic. He was especially kind through a difficult period of my wife's health issues.

Nobody but the people on the boat know what happened that miserable night. Anything is possible, but it's hard for me to imagine the caring person I know being capable of the ghastly behavior many feel he exhibited.

But hey, stuff happens. I will be watching 48 Hours, but, unfortunately, I don't expect much other than impossible-to-prove sordid gossip and conjecture.

Unknown said...

What follows is a tale of an Incredible Coincidence.

In the winter of 1970-71, The Name Of The Game, then in its third and final season, produced an episode titled "The Man Who Killed A Ghost".

In this episode, the reporter from People magazine comes to Hollywood to do a followup on the accidental death of a popular movie cowboy some years before.

It's a mystery; some gossip rags are speculating that it might not have been an accident, if you know what I mean.

At the Big Finish, the reporter discovers (SPOILER) that the Popular Movie Cowboy isn't really dead; he faked his accident (with the complicity of friends) because he'd developed a degenerative disease and didn't want his fans to see him wasting away.

It's been a while since I saw this show in its first-run; since Name Of The Game is unavailable on DVD, and not currently in syndication, I'll guess that I probably won't ever see it again.

This brings me to the Incredible Coincidence:
This Name Of The Game was made after Universal fired Tony Franciosa from the show; they were running in various leads into the gap, looking for a replacement (among them were Robert Culp, Peter Falk, and unless I'm mistaken, they even gave one to Vera Miles).
For "The Man Who Killed A Ghost". Universal gave the reporter role to Robert Wagner.
As I said, an Incredible Coincidence ...

I fully expect you to spike this one. No offense taken if you do.
If you want to ream me out on this, don't bother with that gmail address, which I can't access anyway; my regular email is, should you wish to vent.
I'm an Old Man; it won't be anything I haven't heard before.
Seriously, all the best.

MikeKPa. said...

Unless Walken talks this isn't going anywhere. A one or two-day story. RJ won't talk and who knows how much longer he has. Captain is unreliable. Too much time has passed. She would have turned 80 this year. Still remember the day she died as if it was yesterday.

Matt said...

Friday question (or just a question in general):

I was watching the MASH episode "The Incubator" and I noticed that most of McLean Stevenson's lines were ADR. You could tell because Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers and Gary Burghoff's lines had ambient room noise while Stevenson's lines were close mic'd without any ambient room noise.

Why do you think this would've been done? Usually I notice ADR during location shoots, but this was all on the soundstage.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Edward asks about Gary Burgoff's left hand. I'm not certain about Gary, but James Doohan (Star Trek's Mr. Scott) had lost a finger on his right hand during D-Day 1944.
Whenever you watch Star Trek (series or movies) it is very rare to see the number of fingers on Mr. Scott's Right hand.

Mike Barer said...

My theory is that before the OJ Simpson case, the idea of a mainstream well liked figure committing murder seemed preposterous. That's probably why there were fewer questions raised by the public when this sad event happened.

VP81955 said...

To Mike Barer: Probably not in Los Angeles, where western swing star Spade Cooley (a popular figure on LA television in the early days), and among the first to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (it's still there), was convicted of first-degree murder in August 1961 in the death of his second wife that April.

Jon B. said...

Confirmation bias.

mike said...

In the Trouble With Tribbles episode, there's a scene where Mr. Scott comes onto the bridge with an armload of the furry things and the missing digit is very noticeable.

Gary West said...

Re: Spade Cooley - I always thought that would be terrific name for a rap/hip hop artist.

Buttermilk Sky said...

The British actress Brenda Blethyn has an extra finger on one hand. Now that I know that, I can't help looking for it whenever she comes onscreen. And now you can, too.

Jeff Maxwell said...

Watched 48 Hours. Meh. Nothing really new. After 37-years somebody says they heard and saw something significant? Nothing can be proved based on such old and questionable "evidence."

They had all been drinking the entire day. He and Walken argued, and maybe he and Natalie had a terrible argument. Robert Wagner discussed the event with investigators 37-years ago and since. He then wrote the details of that night in his book and gave a television interview discussing it. Needing to get on with his life, it is entirely legal and within his rights to refuse to discuss it again with anyone.

If it was indeed a horrible accident, like he says, imagine the pain of suffering the loss of Natalie along with 37-years of constant accusatory scrutiny of the public and press. Nothing he can say or do now can change anybody's mind.

Or maybe he threw her in the drink. What do I know?