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Natalie Wood Death

Investigating Detective

Never Thought It Was Murder

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

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."


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they were all drunk that night and possibly drugs 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.

1018 days ago

Mary Ann    

Natalie would have asked the Capt. to secure the dinghy. What bothers me is, if she was securing the dinghy (I'm guessing there would be two lines) one would be tied and the other not. So if she was trying to secure one of lines, how would the other line come untied? So why would you untie the only line tied and let the dingy loose? Either she fell in, or RJ pushed her in. But, he did nothing to recover her per the woman/witness. Is this voluntary manslaughter when you don't help to rescue someone?

1018 days ago


Let's get real...I lived in LA when this happened...Natalie Wood was at the next table at Musso and Franks just a week before for dinner and I will say she COULD drink but the skinny then was that Bob Wagner knew she was in the water and was responsible. Who was going to question him then? No one.
Obviously he is responsible no matter how long it takes to prove it....would you let your spouse tread water in the dark and cold to teach them a lesson? It felt all wrong then and it still is quite wonky....let's just tell the truth, huh Bob?

1018 days ago


one of the captains new statements now is that both he and wagner knew she was overboard but wagner told him just to leave her in the water to teach her a lesson and went to bed.i find that incredible that he the captain would leave a person that is overboard and not rescue them because wagner told him not to. i thought at the very least being the captain of the yacht you are responsible for their safety but yet because someone told him to leave a person overboard and he does. i find that all hard to believe,natalie was the mother of wagners children and i believe he loved her. and that the captain would ignore someones cries for help because wagner told him to is ridiculous.

1018 days ago


Christopher Walken needs to talk. He owes it to Natalie´s children and other relatives.
I don´t think he is in any way directly involved in the tragic death of Natalie Wood, but he knows something and needs to talk.

1018 days ago


@mr jhjunkie I agree that she could have been wearing the down coat to keep warm even in the cabin except how did she get bruises on her arms if she was wearing a down coat? RJ's version makes absolutely no sense. He opinioned to the police that she must have fallen overboard either when securing the dinghy or boarding it to come ashore. His version of the events was that she retreated to the cabin when an arguement heated up between him and Walken and that he last saw her dressed in a night gown, fixing her hair and getting ready for bed. He never mentioned quarrelling with her at all. And when he checked on her again she was missing and so was the dinghy. And that's how he arrived at the conclusion that she must have taken the dinghy out to go ashore and somehow drown. That's why he didn't call the coast guard and restuarant immediately after finding her missing-because he thought she had gone ashore. I am not using the Captain's revised account of the "accident" but RJ's version. And if Natalie WASN'T securing/boarding the dinghy(again something she would never do) when she went "missing"and she simply fell overboard as she staggered around drunk on an open deck(the only other explanation as to how she ended up in the water), how did the dinghy end up in a nearby cove. Who untied it and why? The only reasonable explanation is that someone, after the fact, loosened the dinghy and let it drift away to give the impression that's how she fell overboard. If you believe the guest in the boat moored about 90 ft away, a woman was yelling for help and loud music was coming from RJ's boat that night. Her audio account that night partially collaborates the Captain's revised account of how he cranked up his boombox up to muffle the sounds of RJ's fight with Natalie. So they were engaged in a volatile fight and at some point she left the cabin and ended up in the water and RJ never noticed? Very unlikely as the guest in the next boat also heard someone say "we'll get you out". Maybe if the police did their job thirty years ago and unearthed the fact that this fun filled weekend was a cruise from h*ll with RJ fighting with his wife immediately prior to her going "missing" we wouldn't be revisiting this tragedy today.

1018 days ago


More in depth article (than we ever see here on TMZ) and lots of photos.,%2BNatalie%2BWood%26start%3D100%26um%3D1%26hl%3Dda%26sa%3DN%26gbv%3D2%26rlz%3D1W1ADSA_enDK412%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1

1018 days ago


The question should be did Natalie leave with her purse or not. That's what the police should have asked and ask now when interviewing all 3 since they obstructed justice by not telling the truth in the first place. We know she didn't leave with her purse. There is no hotel on shore so immediately they should have untied the boat to see if the dinghy did arrive at the dock and check the shore especially around the camp grounds to see if she just went for a ride to cool off. As they were driving around they should have had their search light on the water looking for her and the dinghy. Yes they are responsible for her death because they made no attempt to see what happened to her until hours later. When 2 people love each other and just have a fight they are concerned about each others well fair even while they are fighting.

1018 days ago


And so, when the microscope is put a little harder on Captain Drunkass, his story changes....yet again. And TMZ readers just keep buying it as fact and telling the police officer who investigated it to go kill himself. Classy. If this was anyone else but a celebrity, all of you would be sccreaming that there was no way anyone could take a drunk and high Captain's word for it....especially after just since coming out in this last week, HE'S CHANGED HIS STORY 3 TIMES. Like I said, most TMZ readers are too stupid for their own good. I hope you idiots aren't ever on a jury. You'll listen to a witness change his story on the stand 3 times and still call him credible.

1018 days ago


If celebrities weren't involved in this, there would have been a murder conviction thirty years ago.

1018 days ago


wagner pushed her in the water...

1018 days ago


Robert Wagner killed her and got away with it piece of **** that he is. He will his one day. What a complete loser.

1018 days ago


Is anyone sure that the Capt. did not try to assult Natalie and she went over board trying to get away from him?

1018 days ago


I would like to know just HOW drunk and/or otherwise under the influence they all were.
Three people on a SMALL boat don´t know what happened in detail; it is hard to believe.

1018 days ago


Don't forget to buy the book. The Captain's memory is much better after 30 years. Did I mention it's in the book. Buy it... Buy..

The cop is right and has been. Most likely she tried to move the dingy that was beating against her side of the boat. Slipped. She couldn't swim.

That's what everyone that was there said at the eime. The drunken Captain with a new book has only recently changed his story. Liars tend to lie. Profit makes it easier.

1018 days ago
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