Thirty-six years after Natalie Wood’s mysterious death, a Los Angeles homicide detective has leveled explosive allegations about her husband Robert Wagner’s decades of lies, stonewalling, and silence — saying they have only added “to our suspicions about the case!”
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Detective Ralph Hernandez made this amazing disclosure — and many more blockbuster assertions — in the new podcast series Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood.
The 12-part audio documentary, now available on iTunes, breaks new ground on Hollywood’s most enduring and tragic murder mystery.
“The fact is that we have a lot of information as to the events of what occurred that evening,” Hernandez, a homicide veteran of 10 years, told investigative journalist Dylan Howard in a world exclusive interview.
“We have a lot of evidence that tends to point to a very suspicious death and would certainly indicate the possibility of foul play.” Wood, 43, her husband and her Brainstorm co-star Christopher Walken were aboard the yacht, Splendour, off California’s Catalina Island on Nov. 28, 1981, when she mysteriously vanished.
Her body, clad in a nightgown, red jacket and socks, was found hours later, floating face down about a mile from the yacht.
The L.A. coroner initially ruled Wood's death an accident by drowning and hypothermia. According to the police, Wagner has refused to cooperate with cops over the years – even after the case was reopened in 2011. A year later, L.A.’s chief coroner amended Wood's cause of death to “drowning and other undetermined factors.”
In February, cops officially named Wagner a “person of interest," noting he was the last person seen with Wood as they argued aboard the Splendour. Investigators have also noted Wagner initially attributed a broken wine bottle aboard the yacht to rough seas.
The yacht’s skipper, Dennis Davern, however, has contradicted that account, saying Wagner slammed the bottle against a coffee table in a fit of rage after seeing Wood and Walken giggling and having, “fun.”
“R.J.’s lack of participation in our reopening [the case], his lie about the broken bottle, his changing of the story certainly adds to our suspicions about the case,” Hernandez declared. “The bottom line is, we have someone who died under very suspicious circumstances, and it’s just as important of a case as a murder, but our job is to get to the truth and to hopefully come up with enough evidence to prove that truth."
“We’d love to solve this case,” the dogged detective added. “We’d love to come to the truth, whatever that truth might be. We would love to at least bring closure to the people that deserve to know the truth.”