‘Tell the truth once and for all’: Natalie Wood’s sister Lana says Robert Wagner should be arrested for her 1981 death and believes her famous sibling died after being ‘pushed or struck’ following an argument on yacht
- Natalie Wood was found dead floating in the water off Catalina in 1981
- She had been on board the Splendour with her then-husband Robert Wagner
- Actor Christopher Walken was also there as was boat’s captain Dennis Davern
- Wagner has always claimed that she drowned accidentally after fleeing the boat in an angry rage on a dinghy
- He said they had been arguing and she decided to venture off to shore alone
- Lana Wood, Natalie’s sister, has never believed him and wants him arrested
- She claims Natalie was hit or pushed and that this was how she died
- Injuries found on Natalie’s body once it was recovered suggested she had been assaulted
- The police reopened the case in 2011 and named Wagner a person of interest but nothing has happened since
Natalie Wood’s sister Lana has continued her relentless crusade against Robert Wagner who she believes is still hiding something about her famous sister’s 1981 death.
In a recent podcast, Lana implored Wagner, now 88, to ‘tell the truth once and for all’ about the night her sister drowned off Catalina after vanishing from the Splendour, the luxury yacht she was staying on with Wagner, her husband at the time, and Christopher Walken.
Wagner has always told police that it is a mystery how his former wife died. Her body was found in the water the day after she apparently ventured off the yacht in a dingy, angry after an argument.
In February, Wagner was named a person of interest as the case. Detectives decided to reopen the case in 2011 after Dennis Davern, the captain, came forward to say he had lied about his statements decades earlier.
He gave details of the argument Wood and Wagner had on the boat and while he would not implicate Wagner directly, he suggested that her death was not the innocent accident it appeared to have been.
Lana Wood is pictured (right) with her sister Natalie in 1981, months before her death. She has always believed that her sister was killed and did not drown accidentally as claimed by her husband Robert Wagner
Since February, no other developments have been made. Lana has continued her pursuit of the ‘truth’ in multiple media interviews.
Robert Wagner, 88, is pictured in May. In February, he was named a person of interest in the case but he is reportedly reluctant to talk to police about it because he says he cannot rely on his memory
This week, she was interviewed for Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood, where she offered an alternative chain of events which she thinks is how her sister, who was afraid of water and would ‘never in a million years’ have gone into the depths alone at night, died.
She says Wagner should 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,’ she said.
Offering her version of events, she said: ‘I believe that there was a horrible fight on board 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.
‘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 said.
The broken wine bottle she was referring to was discovered on the boat the day after Natalie vanished.
According to Davern’s version of events, Wagner smashed it in a jealous rage because he had been watching Walken and his wife flirt and get along.
The group had earlier gone for dinner on the island of Catalina where Davern claimed Wagner became angry at the sight of his wife and Walken getting along at the bar.
Natalie and Wagner were on board the Splendour off Catalina (above) when she died. They were staying on the boat with Christopher Walken and its captain, Dennis Davern
The medical examiner’s report suggested that Natalie had been beaten or assaulted before she was found in the water
According to Natalie’s sister, the couple (shown in 1958) had been arguing about her returning to work and his jealousy
According to the boat’s captain, Wagner was jealous about how Natalie was getting along so well with their friend Christopher Walken (seen left in March and right with her on the set of Brainstorm, her final film)
Back on the Splendour, the rage grew and eventually resulted in an angry fight between Wagner and Wood in their room, Davern said. Walken was in his own room at the time, he claimed.
Lana believes the argument was down to her sister’s desire to return to work after having the couple’s children.
She thinks Natalie was ‘done’ with their marriage and ready to ask for a divorce.
‘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,’ she said.
Dismissing her former brother-in-law’s claims that Natalie ventured off into the water by herself, she explained that she would not have dreamed of it because she could not swim and was terrified of drowning.
Police found Natalie’s body floating in the water the day after she apparently ventured off the boat in a dinghy
‘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.
‘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 said.
Lana claims Wagner now does not want to be interviewed because he says he cannot rely on his memory at the age of 88.
A representative for Wagner did not respond to DailyMail.com’s inquiries on Saturday morning.
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