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Natalie Wood Death

Investigating Detective

Never Thought It Was Murder

11/19/2011 4:03 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF


1119_cbs_video
The detective who investigated the death of Natalie Wood back in 1981 says he would have arrested Robert Wagner himself if the evidence pointed in that direction, but instead he "never really got suspicious of a murder."

Duane Rasure, a retired detective sergeant for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau, tells CBS News, "If I have ever the slightest inkling there was a murder, something suspicious, I would have worked it. I did not cover for anybody and I wouldn't cover for anybody. I don't care about their celebrity status. They were people."

Rasure, whose interview airs on CBS tonight, says he believes Dennis Davern, the boat captain from that night, is not telling the full truth and that he is "trying to sell a book and make money off of it."


126 COMMENTS

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31.

en Todo Momento!!    

i wouldn't put it past some armchair trained detective to deem some diva like movie stars death an 'accident' simply because he didn't like what her social circle stood for (consumerism and pleasure). i mean this was the turning point of american society, where ideologies were clashing, violently.

979 days ago
32.

_][ Character_Assassin ][_    

Of course he didn't think it was murder. There was not a single black person or minority to be found on the ship to blame it on. So that excuse was out the window and had to go with it was an accident.

979 days ago
33.

Susie-Q    

What could they possibly hope to find after 30 years? They were american's sweethearts of the 50's married twice. Of course the police didn't suspect foul play. If they exhumed her body in this day and age with modern technology I still doubt they will find any answers. How can they reopen the case and then what do they hope to find? Or how?

979 days ago
34.

Pegasus    

Witness Who Heard Natalie Wood Screaming Will Talk To DetectivesWitness Who Heard Natalie Wood Screaming Will Talk To Detectives
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Posted on Nov 19, 2011 @ 04:55PM print it send it By Radar Staff

A woman who heard screen siren Natalie Wood yelling for help on the night she died in 1981 has told RadarOnline.com that she will cooperate with law enforcement investigators who've reopened the mysterious case three decades later.

In an exclusive interview, Marilyn Wane said: "I have not yet spoken to the police, it hasn't come up. But I'd speak to any police that came to me to ask a question, for sure."

Wane is considered a sensational new "ear-witness" in the case. She was guest on an adjacent yacht, roughly 90 feet from the Splendour, the yacht on which Wood, 43, was cruising with husband Robert Wagner and actor Christophe Walken in 1981, just hours before her Thanksgiving weekend death.

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Wane said she heard, "This female voice yelling for help. 'Somebody help me, I'm drowning! Please somebody help me, I'm drowning'."

Wane never spoke to police, she admitted to RadarOnline.com from her Los Angeles home.

"I was never asked," she said, "and to be honest, I would have thought it (the case) would have been dead and buried after all this time, but I guess not.

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"Everything that happened has been widely reported. So I don't know why the case been reopened, now. I am not sure why this new interest has been aroused.

"Don't we have enough current crime that we have to go back 30 years? It's kind of unusual."

Wood was presumed drowned, according to authorities. They theorized that she accidentally fell overboard when apparently trying to secure a dinghy that was banging against the side of the yacht and keeping her awake.

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In a sudden twist, the captain of the boat on the night in question, Dennis Davern, has blamed Wagner for Wood's death.

When Davern was asked in a live television interview if Wagner, 81, was "responsible" for Wood's death, he said: “Yes, I would say so.”

He claimed Wagner had asked him not to take steps to find his wife.

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It was a matter of, “We're not going to look too hard, we're not going to turn on the search light, we're not going to notify anybody right at the moment," Davern told NBC's Today on Friday.

Asked at a news conference on Friday if Wagner was a suspect, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s lieutenant said point blank, "No."

The actor's spokesman has questioned Davern's motives since the captain has published a book about Wood's death.

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"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. and 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,” a statement read.

979 days ago
35.

Brien    

If Rasure was any type of cop he would have cited the captain for DUI. That's probably why they waiting to call the cops. So his blood alcohol level got below .10

979 days ago
36.

John    

I wish none of this ever came up. I was recently watching Natalie in Roddy McDowall's 1965 home movies from Malibu, now on You Tube. Recall taking her death very badly in 1981. Having all this dredged up for no useful purpose, brings the sadness back.

979 days ago
37.

nancy    

This detective is so stupd, you can see he is not a good one.

979 days ago
38.

CountryGal    

How do the people saying it wasn't Wagners fault explain the bruises on Natalie, him telling the captain not to turn on search lights and now to call the coast guard? Why would she (who was deathly afraid of water) jump in a dinghy in her nightgown in the middle of the night? There is no way a man who is screaming and smashing bottles could kill his wife right?

979 days ago
39.

James    

I don't think Robert Wagner directly killed her. However, I do think he delayed the search because he was more concerned about any bad publicity.

979 days ago
40.

hung and dashing    

What is also interesting is that the detective would take the word of Robert Wagner over the captain of the yacht AND a dead movie star.

Yet who was Wagner that night? They were ALL drinking (and drugging, perhaps). Wagner is the one in rageful arguments with both Walken and Natalie. Wagner is the one who by his own admission smashed a wine bottle in rage. Wagner then continues the argument with Natalie (who had removed herself as did Walken). Wagner then is the last to see Natalie alive. Wagner is the one who tells the dinghy story. Wagner is the one who gives instructions not to turn on search lights OR call for the Coast Guard. So exactly when did Wagner's account of that evening take precedent over all others? He would be THE LEAST RELIABLE source - with the most culpability.

979 days ago
41.

Lisa    

Duane Rasure, STFU, you ginormous JOKE!!!!!!!!!!! You make me sick with your lies. You know DAMN WELL the LA Sheriff's Dept. is as crooked as Lombard Street and totally star struck. How much as Wagner paid you to spew these lies? You're just as filthy a pig as Robert Wagner himself!!! May you roast in hell right next to him! *spits on you*

979 days ago
42.

nof    

"It's Chinatown, Jake."

979 days ago
43.

Silverado Mom    

After reading the statements from all the involved parties, I think it's obvious what happened. Thank u TMZ for providing those docs! It's sad that Wagner no longer cared about her, drank to excess, allowed his jealous to become rage and act on it by likely causing her to end up in the waters knowing she wasn't a swimmer but a mere dog paddler. And then to further cause harm by neglecting her needs to be saved in order to "teach her a lesson". I don't think he expected her to die, or premeditated that chance, but he did nothing to assure her safety. He cared more about his celeb image. Sounds like voluntary manslaughter to me.

979 days ago
44.

Politico Pablo    

These stories are questionable. The women who claims she heard screams for help was a "guest" on a nearby yacht. And yet didn't report it to the yacht's owner. And would you hire Davern to be captain of your boat?
The cuts on Mrs. Woods legs were consistent with someone attempting to use the outboard motor's lower unit to climb into the dingy. These people's stories don't add up.

979 days ago
45.

Bruno    

You didn't think it was suspicious that a woman goes missing off a boat and the captain and the husband didn't call the coast guard or the harbor master? Nope, nothing at all suspicious about that!

979 days ago
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