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Natalie Wood's Death

Homicide Investigation

Re-Opened

11/17/2011 5:40 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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The investigation into the death of Natalie Wood -- the huge star who died in 1981 in a drowning accident near Catalina Island in California -- has been re-opened as a homicide investigation ... and law enforcement sources tell us ... they are now privy to new information about her death.

Wood was on her yacht with her husband, Robert Wagner and fellow actor Christopher Walken on Thanksgiving weekend 30 years ago when she went overboard.  There have been reams of stories about her death ... some suggesting foul play, but none substantiated.

Also on the yacht -- dubbed "Splendour" -- was the boat's skipper ... a man named Dennis Davern who had worked for the Wagner family for years ... but his connection to the story is tenuous.

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The official theory ... Wood -- who was starring in a movie with Walken at the time -- was trying to secure a dinghy from banging against the hull when she slipped and fell overboard. She was wearing a jacket over a nightgown when her body was discovered.

It should be noted -- Wood famously had a paralyzing fear of water.

Here's where it all gets fishy ... a woman on a nearby yacht claimed she heard a woman cry for help around midnight -- and, rumor has it, Wagner and Walken were in a drunken fight aboard the boat at the time.

Wagner later claimed the fight was over Wood -- Walken wanted Wood to focus on her acting career over her family ... Wagner got upset.

Officials ruled her death an accident -- claiming Wood was drunk on "seven or eight" glasses of wine -- but now, we're told new information has surfaced and the investigation has been re-opened.

Wood's sister Lana had previously made attempts to have the L.A. County Sheriff's Department re-open the case of her death ... to no avail.

Wood was 43 when she died, and is currently buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. Wood's funeral was star-studded ... with attendees like Frank Sinatra, Liz Taylor, Fred Astaire, Gregory Peck, and Sir Laurence Olivier.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. will hold a news conference Friday at 11 AM PT.  Of course, we will be livestreaming it.

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117 COMMENTS

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1.

UPYOURS    

About time, always thought something was weird about her death, wonder what came up that changed their minds? Can't wait to hear this one.......

1070 days ago
2.

ra    

Something was always sketchy about this. Will Walken or Wagner be targeted? Walken has always had an icy, creepy side to him.

1070 days ago
3.

CountryGal    

Well, it's about damn time. A woman who is petrified of water doesn't jump in a little lifeboat boat in the middle of the night. I think Wagner did it myself. She was such a wonderful actress and beautiful lady. I hope she gets justice.

1070 days ago
4.

Abe    

Dumbest waste of time by law enforcement EVAH!

Even if they make an arrest in this 30 year old case, nobody will ever be convicted.

x

1070 days ago
5.

Amber    

Natalie Wood was an amazing actress. Definitely my favorite. I hope that justice is found.

1070 days ago
6.

senior citizen    

They were ALL drunk. Any pissed off about whatever. Seriously, how can you place blame anywhere after all these years?

1070 days ago
7.

Silverado Mom    

IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME!!!!

1070 days ago
8.

bring back recent posts    

...great..no Kimmy K will b channeling Natalie Wood image now that she has milked Elizabeth Taylor..thanks!

1070 days ago
9.

CountryGal    

Watch Forensic Files. They can solve murders from the 50's these days.

1070 days ago
10.

Marilyn    

I remember I used to be so envious, jealous of her!
I thought she had it made, that she had everything!

1070 days ago
11.

MissKnownUnknown    

Drugs + alcohol + jealousy + argument on a boat = disaster.

She paid with her life and the rest went on and had a nice career. End of story. Nothing will come out of this, too little, too late.

1070 days ago
12.

Chuck D of Valpo    

I liked Natalie Woods in "Miracle on 34 Street" "West Side Story" "Bob & Carol Ted & Alice" She is still missed. Remember there is no statute of limitations on murder.

1070 days ago
13.

awards    

Terminal crazy...!

1070 days ago
14.

patty    

idk - my parents were at 2 harbors on their boat the same weekend and they said she was totally drunk at the bar that night and they didn't hear any thing til the police boat got to their mooring - don't think we will ever know what happened

1070 days ago
15.

CountryGal    

Oh and just to throw it out there no actress these days come even close to being as talented, classy, and beautiful as Natalie Wood, Grace Kelly, and Audrey Hepburn.

1070 days ago
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