Natalie Wood's sister believes that Robert Wagner should "once and for all" reveal the truth about the actress' death
Lana Wood also revealed how the LAPD would love to put the 88-year-old in handcuffs. In February this year, Robert Wagner was labeled a person of interest in Natalie's death case.
Natalie Wood's sister Lana has continued her relentless pursuit of Robert Wagner whom she believes is responsible for hiding something related to her sister's death which took place in the year 1981. In a podcast titled 'Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood', Lana implored Wagner who is now 88-years-old to "tell the truth once and for all" about the tragic night her sister drowned off Catalina after vanishing from the luxury yacht that she was staying on along with Wagner. She was married to Robert Wagner at the time.
The podcast comes right time for what would have been Natalie's 80th birthday on July 20. To mark the occasion, American Media Inc. has released the first two episodes in a 12-part podcast series which dives into the some of the burning questions from the occurrences of that fateful day.
In February this year, Wagner was labeled the person of interest in the case. He, however, has always maintained his story with the police that it is a mystery how his former wife passed away. Her body was recovered in the water a day after she supposedly ventured off the yacht and tried to board a dinghy. The couple had been having a terrible fight on that day. Wagner told the police he believes that Natalie might have hit her head while trying to board the dinghy and subsequently drowned.
Detectives decided to re-open the case in 2011 after Dennis Davern who was the captain of the yacht came forward to admit that he had lied about his statements decades earlier. He revealed the details of the argument that Wood and Wagner had on the boat but was careful to not implicate Wagner directly. However, he did suggest that Wood's death was not the innocent accident it appeared to have been.
Lana shared that at the time of her sibling's death, she was allegedly "done" with her marriage to Wagner. "Too many things. The continual fights; the sudden push that she wanted towards her career; her feeling that the kids were old enough and had been given enough of a basis where she could go off to work… There’s jealousy involved. It’s particularly difficult for a man who has a wife who’s doing better". Wagner and Wood had been married, for a second time, since 1972 (their first marriage lasted from 1957-1962).
Lana also went on to add that her sister's death was strange and bizarre because she used to be scared of water. "She was terrified of water going all the way back to when I was a kid and Natalie was a teen and my mother would continually tell the story of the gypsy who told my mother’s fortune in China who said that she would have a world-famous daughter and that somebody would die by drowning," Lana claimed.
"It further terrified Natalie, who wasn’t exactly fond of the water as it was. My mother never learned to swim either. Natalie never learned to swim," she revealed. Lana believes that Robert should definitely be arrested and claims that the LAPD would 'love' to put him in handcuffs. "Yes, I do. And they would love to. They have literally told me that," Lana revealed.
She also had her own theory as to what happened on that fateful night where Natalie lost her life. "I believe that there was a horrible fight onboard the Splendour. I think the evidence is also not just what Dennis Davern, the captain, has said, but the broken wine bottle and the threat that was first denied by Robert Wagner and then later in another book that he wrote he admitted to it.
"I think that things got out of hand. I know Natalie can verbally push, and Natalie was a very by-the-rule person… She did not put up with a great deal that she felt was harmful to her," she continued.
"I think it escalated to a point where she was either struck or pushed. I don’t believe that it was planned. I don’t believe in any of those bizarre stories, but I do know she would not have ended up somewhere where she would completely never ever go in a million years or certainly not go out not dressed. There’s just too much that doesn’t add up to who Natalie is," she added.
If Lana had the opportunity to confront her brother-in-law today, she would have just one message for him- "The same thing I’ve always thought: Tell the truth for once and for all," Lana shared.
It is reported that Natalie's body was found in the water by a restaurant owner near the beach. Natalie's body was found floating in a nightgown and a red jacket. The police had originally thought that her death was an accident but in 2012, a year after the case was reopened, the coroner amended the autopsy to “drowning and other determined factors.”
Davern the captain of the boat revealed that it had been a "tension-filled weekend" which was fuelled by a lot of alcohol and Wagner's jealousy of Natalie's co-star Christopher Walken who was also aboard the yacht. "It just kept getting more tense – every minute – of the day," Davern revealed to '48 Hours' in 2011.
"I opened a bottle of wine and – Natalie and Christopher had continued to giggle. And then Robert Wagner – picked up the bottle of wine and smashed it… Natalie, she said, ‘I cannot take this,’ and she went into her room. And – then RJ went into the room – Natalie and RJ’s room – and started arguing, yelling – things being thrown about," he continued.
"The fighting continued. And then – to the back of the boat. I was concerned that something really bad was going down, because of the fighting, the arguing was so intense," Davern added. Soon after this, witnesses claimed that they heard a man and a woman arguing on the back of the boat and they believed that the voices belonged to the couple.