A rep for Robert Wagner is slamming Natalie Wooden’s youthful sister Lana Wooden and boat captain Dennis Davern for accusing the actor of being concerned within the loss of life of his film star spouse.
“They’re despicable human beings, capitalizing on the unintentional loss of life of a beloved member of the Wagner household,” the 88-year-old’s rep informed Fox Information solely on Friday. “They need to be ashamed of themselves.”
Davern and the previous Bond lady, 72, have participated in a 12-part podcast titled “Deadly Voyage: The Mysterious Demise of Natalie Wooden” during which they declare Wagner was allegedly accountable for Wooden’s loss of life. It’s the first time in 4 years that Davern speaks out concerning the evening Wooden died.
Wooden’s physique was discovered floating within the water off Santa Catalina Island on Nov. 29, 1981. She was 43. The “West Facet Story” star was touring on the household’s yacht Splendour with Wagner, Davern and actor Christopher Walken.
The podcast collection launched on July 20, the day that the doomed display screen siren would have turned 80 years outdated.
In an episode launched Friday, Ralph Hernandez, a murder detective for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division, informed the podcast’s producers there was cause to additional examine Wooden’s drowning, in addition to Wagner’s whereabouts that fateful evening.
“Upon reviewing the case, we noticed the post-mortem pictures and the post-mortem report, and Natalie Wooden had quite a few bruises on her head, legs and arms, which gave the impression to be assaultive in nature,” mentioned the detective. “There was a damaged bottle that was discovered on the boat that Robert Wagner had informed investigators, initially, that he believed that it was tough seas — it had fallen over and damaged.
“Later within the e-book, Mr. Wagner wrote that he had in reality damaged that bottle. So we now have data that there was a battle on the boat. There’s a lie concerning the bottle, there’s the bruising, she appeared just like the sufferer of an assault.”
Whereas the preliminary coroner, Dr. Thomas Noguchi, believed the marks on Wooden’s physique have been superficial, the podcast revealed a brand new coroner took a second take a look at the post-mortem and disagreed.
“The importance of the bruises, a part of it’s the location of the bruises,” defined Hernandez. “I might characterize it as a small, however noticeable superficial abrasion on the left aspect of her head, near her temple, like simply exterior of her left eye. She had one other one above her left eyebrow as nicely. You don’t get an abrasion in your head from only a typical fall that you just might need.
“She had a big, fairly good dimension bruise on her proper forearm, which was fairly pink, fairly noticeable. She had quite a few bruising round her legs, her decrease legs and her knee space of each legs. A few of these may probably have been a fall.”
The detective added he discovered a brand new witness who claimed an incident had occurred earlier than, which may clarify the unusual bruising.
“His description of occasions, his rationalization to us would are likely to corroborate the situation of a kind of bruises on her leg, on one in all her legs,” he mentioned. “Basically, you take a look at the bruising and he or she seems just like the sufferer of an assault. I feel we will say that even just by trying on the pictures, and having 30 years of legislation enforcement expertise.”
Davern claimed it was him, not Wagner, who recognized Wooden’s physique.
“I needed to go there and determine the physique,” the boat captain alleged. “And I checked out her. It was horrible. She had extra bruises on her physique than you may think about. … I mentioned to myself, ‘This poor girl was beat.’ I began considering — ‘Why me? Why do I’ve to do that?’ She had bruises on her face, she had bruises on her wrist. There was quite a few bruises. I can’t bear in mind precisely the place they have been all situated, as a result of after I checked out her face, I simply didn’t need to look anymore.”
Noguchi had beforehand concluded Wooden tried to get on the dinghy, slipped and fell within the water, unable to return to the dinghy or the boat. Nonetheless, Hernandez shared that now Noguchi, 91, believed the report was flawed.
“Dr. Noguchi admitted to us that he based mostly his case on idea and never information and proof,” he claimed. “He additionally defined to us that he was underneath lots of stress to make a willpower. And so, he proceeded as he did, but in addition mentioned that maybe [her death] ought to have been left as undetermined on this case. He agrees with the brand new findings.”
Marilyn Wayne beforehand informed producers she “heard screams from a lady yelling for assist.” Wayne mentioned in a 2011 assertion she had been sleeping on a ship within the harbor along with her son and a businessman when she heard the screams.
Nonetheless, Hernandez doesn’t consider the cries got here from Wooden.
“In Dr. Lakshmanan report, within the coroner’s 2012 evaluation, and supplemental report that was issued, Dr. Lakshmanan explains that Natalie drowned inside a short while of entry into the water,” the detective mentioned. “It’s supported by quite a few particulars that he paperwork in his report.
“That will are likely to make us consider that it was, in reality, another person that was heard calling for assist. It’s additionally coupled with one other witness’ assertion offered to the unique investigators a couple of half that was occurring in a close-by boat.
“… We’d actually consider Marilyn Wayne when she says that she heard what she heard, and we actually perceive why she would consider that it was Natalie. Given the totality of the circumstances in issues that clearly she is just not made aware about… We don’t consider it was Natalie.”
Davern additionally claimed he didn’t hear anybody cry for assist, however music was enjoying that evening.
Nonetheless, Hernandez added new witnesses have come ahead to offer additional perception on what may have occurred on Wooden on the final evening of her life.
“I can’t let you know who the brand new witnesses are, we’re not giving up their id,” he mentioned. “What I can let you know concerning the new witnesses is, one, they’re not in search of limelight. They’re not seeking to have anybody pay them for interviews. In reality, two of them, we really needed to hunt down and discover. … I can let you know that their account actually corroborates Dennis Davern.”
It’s been reported Davern offered his story to tabloids for cash and collaborated on a tell-all e-book through the years. Nonetheless, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina mentioned in February of this yr his variations of occasions “match.”
That very same month, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Workplace introduced Wagner had been named “an individual of curiosity” within the “suspicious” loss of life. The workplace additionally confirmed Wooden’s drowning was being investigated and that new witnesses had come ahead.
Wagner has reportedly refused to speak to officers about Wooden’s loss of life because the case was reopened in 2011.