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Natalie Wood Death

Book Triggered Homicide Investigation

11/18/2011 6:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1117_natalie_wood_ex_marti_rulli_exNatalie Wood's death has been reopened as a homicide investigation, primarily because of a book written by the captain of the boat where Natalie Wood spent her last minutes ... a book suggesting foul play ... this according to sources close to the investigation.

We've learned Marti Rulli -- who co-authored the book -- has been in regular touch with the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. over the last few months.  She has given Sheriff's investigators documents supporting material in her book, and we're told the Sheriff is so impressed he has assigned 2 full-time homicide detectives to the case.

In the book -- "Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour" -- Rulli and Splendour Captain Dennis Davern write about the night Natalie drowned.  They say before Natalie disappeared from the boat, she was drinking and taking Quaaludes with her husband, Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken.

According to the book, Wagner became enraged when he saw Wood and Walken speaking, and smashed a wine bottle, yelling at Walken, "What do you want to do, f**k my wife?  Is that what you want?"

At that point, Walken returned to his cabin and Natalie and Robert went to their state room. According to the Captain, he heard a loud argument between the couple and thumping sounds, and eventually silence.

A short time later, the Captain went to the deck and was told by Wagner, "Natalie is missing."

The book claims Wagner refused to let the Captain call the Coast Guard.

Wagner told the Capt. the dinghy was gone, along with Natalie, but some doubted that because she was deathly afraid of dark water.

The death was ruled an accident, but Rulli was like a pit bull since the book was written in 2008.


We're told the homicide investigators have already traveled to Catalina, as well as  New Jersey to interview Rulli.  They've also gone to Augustine, Florida to interview the Captain, and they're going to Hawaii to look at the Splendour.


7:25 PM PST  A source familiar with the investigation tells TMZ the Sheriff's Dept. has not called anyone a suspect in Wood's death.  It is a general homicide investigation for now, and will take "a long time to complete."  The source adds, supporting documentation in several books about Wood's death -- including Marti Rulli's book -- triggered the investigation because the witnesses accounts of circumstances surrounding Wood's death did not square with what they told officials immediately after her death.

We're told no one from the Sheriff's Dept. has spoken with Wagner, nor has an interview been requested ... at least so far.

7:08 PM PST -- Robert Wagner's rep released a statement to TMZ ... saying, "Although no one in the Wagner family has heard from the LA County Sheriff’s department about this matter, they fully support the efforts of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept."

The statement continues, "[The Wagners] trust they will evaluate whether any new information relating to the death of Natalie Wood Wagner is valid, and that it comes from a credible source or sources other than those simply trying to profit from the 30 year anniversary of her tragic death."



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RJ probably did not want the "public" to know he wife had been drinking so much.

1068 days ago


Leave it to Sheriff Crooked to waste more taxpayers money on a case that can't be solved... RJ isn't going to admit to cops he pushed her overboard & there is no way to prove it.

1068 days ago


I think Robert did it.

1068 days ago

Chris Jackson    

I killed Natalie Wood. Here comes the detectives to get info from me on how I did it on this youtube link below.

1068 days ago


After the incident, there are other accounts of hearing yelling coming from the boat (a woman's voice), and this is probably in the police records. I always believed Wagner had something to do with her death. The truth will prevail, hopefully.

1068 days ago


Wow,just wow.
I always heard mumblings that her death might of involved foul play...
Not saying that's the case just because of this new development, but who the hell knows anymore?

1068 days ago

Blood Red Witch    

Mokie: 16 minutes ago
If she falls into the water, everyone on the boat would hear, HELP I'M DROWNING!!!...nobody heard that?

No. Because that doesnt happen. It is a Hollywood myth that people yell that out when they are drowning. They are too busy fighting for their lives and trying to breathe as they swallow water. Why do you think lifeguards are constantly scanning the water? If everyone who was drowning yelled like that, there would be no need to keep such a close eye out would there? I was a trained lifeguard. Never once heard someone that was drowning yell that and dont know of any others who have either. Someone yelling that is more likely in a panic than actually drowning.

1068 days ago


Robert wagner was always the lady killer right from the start and still is for the mob studio system.BROKEN LANCE was when he and my mother setup the game and kill off of dad howard robard hughes JR for the studio mobsters and communistes at CBS aKE fOX and later viacom sears CBS texas instruments and the war contract take away and kill off of the hughes`s.In nat robert found one he could`nt control and he was a lady killer from the start and that pattern can still be seen in CBS`s use of robert wagner as a old playboy bad guy same as from his broken lance costaring with mother jean peters and dir by communistes before the cold war and battle for the war profits and contracts and battle of howard hughes my father and hollwood for those contracts and satellites.Robert was a frat mobster right from the start but he coul`dnt face the fact of not owning and controlling nat as he was asigned to do.Mother jean peters and robert ran a WARgame on howard robard hughes JR and later I waas pitted at dad.Death battles for all the GOODIES they won but robert got busted years and years later as a mad man lady killng little olt puke,,better late than never.

1068 days ago


Sounds like they're going to nail this Robert Wagner guy...I always heard he was a little fruity and that she walked in one day and found him "smoking some other guys pipe" so to speak and she went nucking futs....I wouldn't worry though this guy is loaded, so just like LiLo, he'll get an ankle bracelet at the beach house crash pad and rooftop jacuzzi/champagne parties under house arrest. It's only the rest of us that would share a 6 x 12 cell with two other inmates at Mule Creek State pen eating bologna sandwiches and oranges for the rest of our lives. No worries RW, you celebs always get the must be nice having a get out of jail free card.....

1068 days ago


Sooo.. the boat captain changes his story 30 years later.. at the same time that he happens to be selling a book. Then the detectives get paid vacations to Catalina Island, Florida, and Hawaii for following up on it. LOL!

what a joke

1068 days ago

Tom Cruise    

Wagner and Wood used to live across the street from me for only a year though. At the time of her death it was always thought that Wagner had killed her. I think he did.

1068 days ago

Honey Bunny    

Is Marti Rulli a man or a woman? Just asking :)

1068 days ago


"Why would Natalie Wood and her husband Richard Wagner go out on a boat with Christopher Walken in the the first place if Walken wasn't having some kind of a "relationship" with Wood or Wagner."

You have never gone anywhere socially with someone you were not having a "relationship" with? Obviously IDK what the heck the story is here but people you see socially but are not screwing are called friends and they are fairly commonplace.

1068 days ago

Lisa Scott    


1068 days ago


It never made sense from the first headlines when this was new news.
Robert Wagner is a narcissist. If Natalie Wood was flirting with another man right in front of him, he'd be enraged.

Thumping in the cabin,during a big screaming match and then silence. Next thing, Wagner's on deck, as the last person seen with Natalie alive, saying she's missing?

A woman afraid of dark water, having been under the influence of alcohol and Quaalude, isn't about to take a dingy and make her exit off a boat.

It's a great thing there's no statute of limitations on murder.
If Wagner did kill Natalie, it's an amazing thing that he can live with it all these years and remain so cool in the face of those who have suspected him of beating her to death, for just as long.

Rest in peace Natalie.
May justice set you free.

1068 days ago
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