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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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61.

Mayu    

I would side with the detective if it wasn't for the fact there were witnesses who came forward that said they tried to come forward before, but they were never interviewed or taken seriously. Plus, they said the case was reopened due to 'credible' new evidence (beyond what the captain of the boat is now saying.) obviously someone sees merit in this case... enough to reopen it as a potential homicide investigation.

977 days ago
62.

buckee71    

I watched 48 hours tonight, and I don't believe the captain is telling the truth. I think he is trying to sell a book.....

977 days ago
63.

Maria    

Natalie Wood & Robert Wagner. Chillingly prophetic. 0:40-1:24 --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfecwd8Wb2w

977 days ago
64.

jen    

saying he the captin is just trying to sell a book could make sense if he hadent contacted natalies sister 10 years after it happened in guilt ridden tears. Telling her that he had not been truthful.

977 days ago
65.

Googie    

Duh, did anyone think this retired detective would admit he made up his mind before he bother to thoroughly investigate? That he was swayed because it involved celebrities? It is strange that Robert Wagner has been mute about Natalie Wood's death & only briefly spoke about it. It does leave room for questions.

977 days ago
66.

odie    

Throughout the years, I have always had doubts about Wood's death being ruled an accident. I think is because of that red down jacket she was wearing when found floating in the water. Why was she wearing it? If we are to believe RJ's version of events(and coincidently the police as well), Wood donned the jacket on a cold November night to either secure a loose dinghy or take it ashore when she fell/slipped into water and drown. So let's examine each scenario. As a woman, I can tell you that there are certain jobs that fall under a MAN'S job category. Securing a dinghy is one of them as is opening tight jars and lifting heavy objects around the house. Any woman's natural instinct would be to not only ask but expect a man to secure it. And that natural instinct of what constitutes a MAN'S job remains intact regardless of how drunk you are. That's why I don't believe she was securing the dinghy that cold November night. So was she boarding it to go ashore as offered by RJ's version? Again, piloting a small water craft on a cold and dark night falls under a MAN'S job description and she would have asked and expected the Captain to take her ashore as she had done the previous night. So where was she going wearing that red down jacket? I believe that Wood and RJ were fighting in their cabin and once it escalated to violence,she grabbed her down coat and fled onto the deck to get the captain to take her ashore. The fight continued out on the deck and she fell in the ensuing physical struggle. I don't believe he intentionally pushed her but she that she fell when fleeing him. I do believe he witnessed her falling into the water and did nothing to save her because he would have been outed for beating her in a rage. He would have lost everything because back then people didn't excuse "CHRIS BROWNING" someone the way we do now. Remember, he did NOTHING to find her when he noticed she went "missing" from the boat. People are creatures of habit so I can't believe RJ version that a woman would go against instinct and insist upon securing or boarding a dinghy herself that cold November night. Especially someone that was afraid of the water.

977 days ago
67.

Realist    

Shocking that the oh so bright readers of TMZ have convicted people on the word of a drunk sailor, but dismiss the cop as crooked, corrupt, and stupid. That makes sense. Thanks for making me feel a little bit less pumped about being an American. I'm starting to see what the Europeans talk about when they call us stupid. So much for "innocent until proven guilty". Now it's "Guilty, as long as TMZ eludes to it.".

977 days ago
68.

Anonymous    

This whole case never made sense to me from the start. Very suspicious cir****tances here which now need to be investigated properly. Why would a woman afraid of the water try to go into a dinghy at night when the water is dark?

Wagner's story is suspicious to me and his story has been inconsistent. It is no coincidence that in cases involving the death of a spouse that the first suspect is the surviving spouse. It would not surprise me at all if Wagner was responsible for this incident. Hopefully the truth will prevail and justice will be served. Natalie Wood was a beautiful actress and she and her family deserve the truth.

977 days ago
69.

Phreaky    

Really inspector Gadget? You didn't think there was ANYTHING at all suspicious about a woman wearing a nightgown falling overboard after a fight with her husband? Not even when people told you she was deathly afraid of the water? Not even when you saw she was wearing a nightgown?
Did you also work on the OJ Simpson case? Just curious.

976 days ago
70.

spectrabei    

This cop is a shill, and he is worthless. He should go home and put a bullet in his own head tonight. Because he let Natalie Wood and HER family Down. I REALLY WANT TO HEAR THAT THIS JERK PUT A GUN TO HIS OWN HEAD, AND PULLS THE TRIGGER. THIS S*** DESERVES TO DIE FOR WHAT HE DID. LYING S***BAG COP. PAID OFF, WITH BLOOD MONEY, He KNOWS IT AND SO DO I. COMMON BABY, PUT THE GUN IN YOU MOUTH, AND JUST PULL THE TRIGGER. MAE MANY PEOPLE HAPPY TONIGHT. COMMON, DO IT!!!!!!!

976 days ago
71.

odie    

Further expounding on my previous longwinded(sorry) theory regarding that people are creatures of habit is Lana Woods's comments regarding her sister's death. She stated Natalie would never secure,yet alone board and pilot a dinghy due to her fear of water. Having a BAC of 0.14 does not make you forget a life long fear of water. Yes you can easily fall overboard if drunk, but she would not have been out in the cold in the first place securing the dinghy by herself. That would have been out of character for her. Lana also commented that she would NEVER appear in public in just a night gown and so even if the ETOH gave Natalie the courage to overcome her fears and board the dinghy to come ashore-she still would have been dressed apppropiately. Something happened in Natalie's cabin that made her flee in a HURRY with only a night gown,socks and a down jacket. A violent fight perhaps? RJ's version of events completely goes against Natalie's habits, instincts and fears. Also his version goes against what a REAL MAN would do if his wife and mother of his children went "missing". He did nothing! Even a drunk MAN would have done something to find her. My question is to anyone who may know the answer: Do they still have samples of the material found under her fingernails after all of this time? And if so,would the reason the police are travelling to Hawaii is to compare different wood samples from various places in the boat to that found under her fingernails. The reason why I ask is that the Coroner at the time said that she was grabbing/clawing at the dinghy to pull herself up after she fell into the water. Sure would be interesting to see if those samples were from some OTHER place INSIDE the boat. Also, the photos of the bruises found on her body could match built in furniture that she fell against during the violent fight. There has to be a reason for the police to spend money that they don't have to travel to Hawaii to look at the boat. The money they're spending now could pay for Crackie's next inevitable VOP court appearance. Anyone have any thoughts on why they're going to Hawaii? And one last question: does anyone know if she was wearing shoes when she was found? the reason why I ask is if she was securing the dinghy or boarding it she would have been wearing shoes to avoid getting her feet wet.
She was in the water for a few hours-at least one shoe would have been found with her.

976 days ago
72.

patty    

wow realist is right every one believes a drunken capt. who is an admitted liar and drunk over a police officer just because it makes better gossip -amazing

976 days ago
73.

Googie    

Robert Wagner was interviewed by Larry King & avoided answering questions regarding Natalie's death. "Its not what if, it's what is & she's gone in an instant & our lives are changed." It's a futile thing to answer questions regarding her death.
Make up your own mind what you think of this interview -
Starts at 8:03 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0VF3oM38Lk&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL95C69AA4EB33B076

976 days ago
74.

hung and dashing    

Natalie could have donned a jacket not to tie up a dinghy or to take a dinghy to shore but maybe because she was in a nightgown on a boat in the marina - at the end of November. While not the icy Artic Ocean, its cold, who knows what the winds were. If drunk, she'd feel the cold. If in a nightgown, she may have worn the coat simply to be warm and to cover up. There isn't anyone other than Robert Wagner who tells the story as to what Natalie was doing on, near or with the dinghy. Natalie told no one she was going to tie up the dinghy. She was, in fact, arguing with Wagner when she suddenly decided to tie up the dinghy? Hardly.

976 days ago
75.

char    

they were all drunk that night and possibly drugs too.you maybe afraid of the water but yet you're on a yacht and the only way off or on is a dinghy. i don't think any of them were in the right state of mind to begin with. so anything is possible and as drunk as they were their memories or any of their actions that night were controlled by their drunkeness and drugs. how could any of them now 30 years or 10 years later claim a refreshed memory. as far as the lady claiming she heard screams she should have made damn sure someone at the police dept. listened and took her statement at the time. the police ,searchers,etc were all over the scene,it was all over the media. if she disagreed with what was being reported by those on the yacht she surely could have gotten someone's attention including the media if not the police. felt bad natalie died she was a great actress but i don't see anything other than a drunk captain and a woman claiming she heard some screams but didn't insist at the time. sound travels more at night and across the water why no one else had claimed hearing screams? heard from other M.E's the bruises,etc were consistant with falling in the water and banging against objects. they were All drunk and or drugging,no one acts rational under these influences.

976 days ago
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