36 years after her death, Los Angeles County Sheriffs have reopened the investigation into the unsolved death of “Rebel Without a Cause” actress Natalie Wood. They have also named a person of interest, a world famous actor who has always been suspected of hiding something surrounding her mysterious death in November of 1981.
It was long believed that Wood, who had been drinking, tried to get off her yacht and drowned near Catalina Island off the California coast. Aboard the yacht with her that night were actor Christopher Walken and her husband Robert Wagner. Investigators have now named Wagner as a “person of interest” in the case and want to speak to him.
Some reports say that Wagner and Wood fought that night, which caused her to try to leave, while one unconfirmed report said Wagner told her to “get off my f*****g boat” before she disappeared.
Others speculate that Wagner, now 87, may have pushed her overboard or saw her fall into the water and allowed her to drown. Wood’s sister believes Wagner murdered her.
Robert Wagner has been named as a person of interest in the death of his late wife Natalie Wood, 36 years after her mysterious drowning which has haunted Hollywood for decades.
The revelation was made by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant John Corina in a new documentary which will air on CBS on Saturday.
‘As we’ve investigated the case over the last six years, I think he’s more of a person of interest now.
‘I mean, we know now that he was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared,’ he said.
Wagner, who is now 87 and married to actress Jill St. John, did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s questions on Thursday morning.
Wood drowned while boating with her husband and their friend, actor Christopher Walken, off the island of Catalina in Southern California in November 1981.
The trio had just enjoyed a boozy dinner at an upscale restaurant when they were seen going back to the boat at around 10pm the night before Natalie was found.
In 2013, her sister revealed claims made by the boat’s captain that Wagner had pushed Natalie overboard by accident and that he refused to help her once she was in the water.
The actress, who was 43 when she died, was found floating in the water in her nightgown the next morning.
Wagner’s explanation for her death was that it was a tragic accident.
He said Wood fled the boat in a rubber dinghy after watching him and Walken get into an argument about her career.
He claimed the last time he saw her was when she was ‘fixing her hair’ in the bathroom and that when he went to bed, she was not there.
Authorities accepted his version of events at the time and declared the actress’s death an accident.
But in 2011, they reopened the investigation after receiving requests from both Natalie’s sister Lana and the boat’s captain, Dennis Davern, who suddenly confessed that he had lied about what happened.
He would not explicitly blame Wagner, but said an argument he and his wife had before she died was what caused her death.
An autopsy suggested that she had been the victim of an assault and had abrasions on her forehead.
Police have still not declared Natalie’s death a murder and no charges have been filed against Wagner.
Detectives however believe he knows more than he revealed at the time.
‘I haven’t seen him tell the details that match all the other witnesses in this case.
‘I think he’s constantly changed his story a little bit. And his version of events just don’t add up.
‘I think he does [know more] because he’s the last one to see her,’ Corina said.