Natalie Wood’s untimely death in 1981 has become something of a Hollywood mystery in the years since it’s happened, as the actress’s cause of death has never been completely determined, and allegations of foul play continue to pop up. New damning evidence has reportedly come to light, alleging that Wood’s boyfriend at the time, actor Robert Wagner, may have pushed her off the boat, resulting in her death.
Newly unearthed audiotapes alleges that Wagner may have pushed Wood off the boat and merely watched while she drowned, reports CBS News. A taped interview with Natalie’s sister Lana Wood alleges that she received a call from Dennis Davern, the captain of the boat the night Wood drowned, and that “Dennis was obviously drinking” when he called. “Dennis was not a close friend,” Lana said, “and I don’t know why he decided to call me.”
“He said it appeared to him as though RJ [Wagner's nickname] shoved her away and she went overboard. Dennis panicked and RJ said, ‘Leave her there. Teach her a lesson,’” Lana said.
Lana alleges that Davern tried to get Wagner to intervene, but he “kept drinking and kept drinking” and was in “a foul mood.” Despite these damning allegations, Lana still insists that Natalie’s death was an accident. Davern, the boat’s captain, has already accused Wagner of failing to intervene while Natalie was drowning, causing a coroner to update her death certificate to read “drowning and other undetermined factors,” as the cause of death, reports Newser.
The case was re-opened recently, but closed yet again with little new information regarding Natalie Wood’s death.