Almost 30 years to the day after Natalie Wood Wagner's mysterious drowning death, the The Los Angeles Sheriff's Homicide Bureau is reopening the case.
The puzzling circumstances surrounding Hollywood icon Natalie Wood’s death from drowning in 1981 have continued to remain a mystery for over 30 years. But although followers of the original case may have had cause to believe they would finally get some resolution, when the case was reopened again, in November of 2011, William McSweeney, Chief of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, says that it is very unlikely that any new details about the case will emerge.
The beautiful actress drowned at the age of 43 in a Thanksgiving weekend boating "accident" off the Southern California coast on Nov. 29, 1981. She was accompanied by her husband, Robert Wagner, and her "Brainstorm" co-star Christopher Walken, who has never publicly spoken about the tragedy.
"Recently Sheriff's Homicide Investigators were contacted by persons who stated they had additional information about the Natalie Wood Wagner drowning," Los Angeles Sheriff officials wrote in a statement to NBC. "Due to the additional information, Sheriff's Homicide Bureau has decided to take another look at the case."
The published statement did not specify the nature of the "additional information."
Los Angeles County Coroner's Office previously ruled that Wood's death as an accident, concluding that Natalie had somehow fallen off the yacht. She was found to have been intoxicated at the time of her death.
Both Wood's sister and the captain of the yacht had unsuccessfully appealed to have the case reopened, both believing that an argument with her husband could have somehow contributed to Natalie's death.
"I just want the truth to come out, the real story," Lara Wood told CNN last year, adding that she did not suspect foul play. At the time, the Sheriff's department had not responded to her request to reopen the case.
Dennis Davern, who drove the yacht the weekend Wood died, said he believed her death was a result of a dispute with her husband. He published his account of the tragedy in the 2010 book "Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour."
Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner were on their second marriage to each other at the time: They were first married in 1957 and divorced after five years, only to remarry ten years later in 1972.
Some believe that Natalie and Walken may have been having an affair during the filming of "Brainstorm." Wagner reportedly told the Los Angeles Times in 2008 that the two men had argued the night of Natalie's death -- Wagner said he resented Walken for encouraging Natalie to devote herself completely to her work as an actress, even at the expense of her family.
Natalie had reportedly said during her life that her greatest fear was of dark seawater.
Coincidentally, a segment on Natalie Wood's mysterious death will air in a "48 Hours Presents" special on Nov. 26.
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