New look at Natalie Wood's 1981 death resurfaces old name: Robert Wagner

Saturday, 03 Feb, 2018

It's been a mystery that has intrigued Hollywood for almost four decades, but the investigation into the death at sea of film star Natalie Wood may have taken a new twist as police have named her husband, Robert Wagner, as "more a person of interest".

Investigators, who have been working on the case for six years, told 48 Hours they are ready to speak with WagnerWhat are the theories around her death?

The episode titled, "Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Water" will air on Saturday, Feb. 3, on CBS.

The investigation into Wood's death was reopened in 2011 after police attempted to interview witnesses regarding claims of foul play.

Wagner and Wood were yachting off the Catalina Island in California, along with actor Christopher Walken and yacht captain Dennis Davern, the night she drowned in November 1981.

The coroner originally ruled the death of the Oscar-nominated actress, who starred in "West Side Story" and "Splendor in the Grass", as an accidental drowning.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, actor Robert Wagner is now a person of interest in the mysterious death of his wife, Natalie Wood, in 1981.

In 2011, Davern said he had lied to police officers during the initial investigation and that Wood and Wagner had argued the evening before her death, alleging the Austin Powers star was responsible for her demise.

By the time she 8 years old, Natalie Wood was already famous.

A sheriff's department spokesperson told NBC News that Wagner has remained a person of interest, and the case has not changed.

As to how Wood ended up in the water, Wagner said: "There are only two possibilities: either she was trying to get away from the argument, or she was trying to tie the dinghy. They also say that his accounts over the years just don't match the evidence that they've gathered and the witnesses". "And we haven't been able to prove that this was an accident, either".

Orson Welles once said Wood was born a professional actress and was "so good, she was terrifying".

Her case was reopened with police amended her death certificate's manner of death from "accidental drowning" to "drowning and other undetermined factors".

Actor Robert Wagner was said to be the last person to see his wife, Natalie Wood, alive (file photo).

Investigators said during the interviews that they had been unable to figure out exactly what happened on the boat. Wagner himself, in a 2008 memoir, wrote that he argued with Wood that night, even shattering a wine bottle against a table. It was slippery - I had walked on it myself. As an adult and as a man, I could not climb into her head. "I don't think she fell into the water", explained Corina.