Natalie Wood death’s file has been re-opened last November, triggered finally by the launch of a book, Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour, written by no other than the captain of the yacht where the Oscar nominated spent her last minutes. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it could not be concluded definitively the true nature of the death. The death certificate has been formally changed from “accidental” to “undetermined”.
Press of the time said Wood took the yacht’s dinghy and disappeared in the dark night, but this was based on her husband, actor Robert Wagner’s statement. The coroner’s report 30 years ago said that heavy drinking could have caused her to slip and fall from the boat. Now according to the book, co-written by Marti Rulli (or it’s the other way around, written by Rulli and co-written by the captain, Dennis Davern), Natalie Wood was drinking with Robert Wagner and their guest, actor Christopher Walken. Wagner became enraged by the course of discussion between these two, starting to yell at Walken quite nasty. He went to his cabin and Wagner continued his argument with Natalie Wood in the back of the boat. The captain heard thumping sounds until he heard nothing. He wasn’t allegedly on the deck. He came to the deck shortly and was told by Wagner that “Natalie is missing”. The book continues to claim that Wagner forbid the captain to call the Coast Guard. Very fishy.
According to her biography provided by herself, Marti Rulli was a freelance writer for various publications, working as a journalist when called upon by her friend, Dennis Davern, the former Captain of the yacht Splendour, to tell his firsthand account of the night actress Natalie Wood died. She then took on the project as an investigator journalist. The book appeared in September 2009, but Rulli, a great fan of the legendary actress, insisted until the homicide investigation re-opened last November. The investigation is still officially active but there is no evidence leading to a suspect. It seems that Robert Wagner is not a suspect in Natalie Wood’s death, because of that change in her death certificate, nor is Christopher Walken.
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