Actress Natalie Wood died in 1981, and the events surrounding her death have baffled everyone ever since. Did she fall off the yacht she was on with her then-husband Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken? Was she pushed? No one has really been clear on the manner of her death, and a newly released coroner’s report claims that some of the bruises found on her body may have actually occurred before she drowned in Southern California.
With the new findings, the coroners amended Wood’s cause of death to “drowning and other undetermined factors,” with the manner of death being changed to “undetermined.” The cause of death had originally been listed as “accident.”
The report detailed the bruising on Wood’s arms and legs and cited a four-inch bruise on her right forearm, multiple small one-inch fresh bruises on her left thigh, as well as fresh bruises and scratches to the backs of her legs. Aside from the bruising, Wood also had superficial abrasions on her left forehead, left eyebrow and the left upper cheek area.
The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising support bruising having occurred prior to entry in the water,” Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran wrote in the June report. “Since there are unanswered questions and limited additional evidence available for evaluation, it is opined by this Medical Examiner that the manner of death should be left as undetermined.”
Wood died on Nov. 29, 1981 following a party on a boat with her husband actor Robert Wagner and “Brainstorm” co-star Christopher Walken. Her body was found floating face down off the coast of California’s Santa Catalina Island. It’s not clear how she entered the water.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reopened the investigation into Wood’s death in fall 2011.
Authorities have said Wagner is not considered a suspect in the case.
Wood was nominated for three Academy Awards and was best known for her roles in “Miracle on 34th Street,” “West Side Story,” and “Rebel Without a Cause.” She was 43 years old when she died.
I have alllllllllllllllways wondered what Christopher Walken knows about all this. He was there, he was on the boat. He must have seen or heard something. Rumor has it they were all wasted, so I suppose there is a chance he was passed out. Can you imagine living with the knowledge of what happened, if he knows the truth?