Initially ruled an accident, the death of actress Natalie Wood is the mysterious Hollywood murder case that won’t go away. Even as recent as February of this year, Los County Sheriff’s investigators stated that Robert Wagner, her husband at the time, is now a person of interest, reported CBS News.
“As we’ve investigated the case over the last six years, I think he’s more of a person of interest now,” Lt. John Corina said of Wagner in an interview with Erin Moriarty of 48 Hours. “I mean, we know now that he was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared.”
Investigation Discovery (ID) will present the one-hour special, Natalie Wood: An American Murder Mystery, on Sunday, April 16, and will retrace the events that happened 37 years earlier on November 29, 1981, with new insights and interviews.
“The suspicious death of Natalie Wood is one of those controversial cases that continues to resonate as one of Hollywood’s greatest tragedies,” said Henry Schleiff, Group President, Investigation Discovery (ID), Destination America and American Heroes Channel. “There are still so many unanswered questions surrounding her death that we hope this special will, once and for all, provide some insight into what really happened that fateful night to Natalie Wood.”
The mysterious event happened when the Hollywood star disappeared from her yacht which only included the boat’s captain, Dennis Davern, Wagner, and fellow actor Christopher Walken. She was found floating in water near Catalina Island in California wearing a red down jacket and flannel nightgown. At the time, the three men told detectives that Wagner was terribly afraid of being out on the water and boarded the ship’s dinghy to go ashore. However, the stories they’ve told have turned somewhat like the waves over the years. In 2012, the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office changed Wood’s death certificate from “accidental drowning” to “drowning and other undetermined factors.”
While Wagner has refused to talk to investigators since the case was reopened, Walken has. So has Doug Oudin, the acting harbor master the night that Wood died. He is seen giving a new never-before-seen interview in the new ID TV special along with interviews from Natalie’s sister, Lana Wood, Ginger Blymer (Wood’s hairdresser), plus commentary from various legal experts, historians, and journalists.
Natalie Wood is probably best known for playing the little girl, Susan Walker, in the original 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street, playing Judy in Rebel Without a Cause, and Maria in West Side Story. She died before the filming of her last movie, Brainstorm, was completed. Wagner is best known for playing the loving and devoted Jonathan Hart opposite Stephanie Powers often investigating the murders of others in the long-running Hart to Hart TV series as well as the Austin Powers movies and most recently the NCIS TV series.
Natalie Wood: An American Murder Mystery, will be shown on Sunday, April 16 at 10/9 central on ID.