Thirty-one years after the boating accident that led to her mysterious drowning, Natalie Wood is back in the news.
After doubt was raised last month regarding the case, the three-time Academy Award nominee’s cause of death was changed from “accidental drowning” to “drowning and other undetermined factors.” And now according to CBS News, there is more evidence being brought to light.
Audiotapes have surfaced of the actress’s sister, Lana talking with author Suzanne Finstad about the details surrounding her only sibling’s untimely death. The conversation took place years ago in connection with Finstad’s 2001 book, Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood.
In the never-before-heard recordings, the younger Wood sister is rehashing a conversation she had almost a decade after her sister’s passing with the captain, Dennis Davern, who was in command of the boat her sister fell from. She alleges that a drunken Davern called her to share his belief that Wood’s husband, Robert Wagner (who is identified in the recording as RJ) accidentally pushed his wife overboard.
“He said it appeared to him as though RJ shoved her away and she went overboard. Dennis panicked and RJ said, ‘Leave her there. Teach her a lesson.’ Dennis said he was very panicky that he was sitting and RJ just kept drinking and drinking. And he’d say, ‘Come on, let’s get her.’ And he said RJ was in such a roil mood, at the point, that he then shut up and was waiting for when, when are they gonna go to her rescue, until all the sound stopped.”
The tapes were first turned over to detectives during their earlier investigation, but were highlighted again during a CBS News special of 48 Hours, set to air on Saturday night.