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Natalie Wood Investigation

Exercise in Futility

11/22/2011 6:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Natalie Wood & Robert Wagner

Sources in the L.A. County District Attorney's Office are scratching their heads over the Natalie Wood death investigation, because they say there's no way the D.A. is going to prosecute Robert Wagner or anyone else.

Although the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. says Robert Wagner is not a suspect, it's pretty clear -- as the last person to see Natalie Wood alive --  he's the target of the probe. 

Under California law, even if Wagner accidentally pushed Natalie into the dark water ... the most he could be charged with is involuntary manslaughter.  But here's the problem -- there's a statute of limitations of 3 years for that crime, so prosecutors would have had to file charges 27 years ago.   Ditto voluntary manslaughter, which has a statute of limitations of 3 years.

The only crime for which anyone could be prosecuted is first degree murder, because there's no statute of limitations.   Remember, there are no possible witnesses other than Robert Wagner.  Short of a bizarre confession, D.A. sources say there's no chance of a prosecution.  BTW, there's a 6-year statute of limitations on second degree murder.

As for why the Sheriff is investigating the death ... one D.A. source said, "It's an exercise in futility.  I just don't get it."

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108 COMMENTS

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61.

gregory kohr    

LA county could not convict oj or rodney kings cops why would they think they could solve a 30 year old crime.

976 days ago
62.

odie    

This is for the dumb*ss Harvey...It's obvious that the police bungled this investigation over thirty years ago. They are public servants and are bound to uphold the law and to serve and protect the public. They are a key element in our justice system and therefore our Democracy. They are obligated to seek out the truth, whether it happened yesterday or thirty years ago. Any unlawful act is a crime against us all. Whether a person can be held accountable for committing a unlawful act due to the statute of limitations is not the point of seeking out and exposing the truth. And as a lawyer(haha) Harvey, you should be championing the seeking of the truth in this "accident" instead of mocking it. We listen to you on a daily basis drone on about conspiracy theories of Kennedy's and Lincoln's murders after you have read the latest Times best selling book on the subject. Just because Wood was an ordinary citizen does not make her death any less important. Since the police are spending money travelling to Hawaii to look at RJ's old yacht, they must have more information than your so called "unpaid sources" SOLD you. This reopening of the case was not prompted by a just an alcoholic Captain, who by the way lived with RJ for a year after Wood's death(highly suspicious don't you think), but by many other sources. Why don't you stick with what you think you know: When Crackie will violate her probation and how much jail time she will get. Oh, silly me, you and your "sources" have been WRONG about that as well.

976 days ago
63.

Bird    

I heard Christopher Walken was on the boat the night this happened? Any truth to that?

976 days ago
64.

Pua    

Heck, It's L.A. where even the cops have screenplays in the works....and boat captains down on their luck and hoping to sell a book have just a smidge less honor than do the cops.

This is about a nobody boat charter captain that wants a payday, nothing more.

976 days ago
65.

Helpful Handyman    

There's nothing futile about this. Wagner will pay in popularity (or lack of rather) ratings. His conscience will continue to eat away at him. Sure, he won't do any time behind metal bars, but he will do it, believe it.

976 days ago
66.

Helpful Handyman    

It was in the news yesterday evening, that a nearby couple on a boat heard the chilling calls of a woman begging to be rescued. They even turned on a light and searched the water nearby. They also heard a slurred male voice calling back and then, nothing. The couple says it was a chilling experience and they reported it to the police that very night. Interesting that nothing came from it...until now. It took a cowardly, fame-whoring boat captain to start the wheels of payback turning.

976 days ago
67.

Helpful Handyman    

Well, money-hungry boat captain. One only need look at him to know that he knows he'll never be famous.

976 days ago
68.

Shiela    

What do you mean, no other possible witnesses? Chris Walken was there (and he's hired representation) and the ship's captain was on board. Not to mention the woman on another boat who heard Natalie calling for help for like 25 minutes. Well, they are all having to live with whatever they did or didn't do that night. If an autopsy finds any evidence of blunt force trauma, that would pretty much do it to prove a cover-up.

976 days ago
69.

SusanCoyote    

He may have not pushed her over... he just didn't care. They were all alcoholics and drug users. He was ready for Jill St. John and Stephanie Powers - Natalie was high maintenance.

976 days ago
70.

shagrath    

nat was my and still is today my favorite actress of all time, theyll never be no one like her
wagner didnt physically murder her but he is highly responsible and the family should have filed a wrongfull death suit against wagner
quickly my take on what happend,theyre intoxicated, emotions running super high, i feel wagner pizzed and hurt and emotionally destroyed nat so much that night with his bull**** she couldnt take it anymore and had to get away from him,fear or no fear she was trying to get to the dinghy she slipped ,fell in the water and drowned
when your in a relationship with someone and emotions get so intense there are times no matter where you are and what the risks are you wanna get away from that person, you dont wanna be in the same presence as the person that hurt you so much, and i can speak from experience because ive done the same thing....i really do think if nat would have made it to shore she would have left his azz for good this time, i think that night was her breaking point and she had enough
none the less shes gone, way too soon, she was an amazing actress and so beautifull...RIP NAT,
F@#k U WAGNER

976 days ago
71.

PokerStar    

If they (DA) don't come up with a smoking gun this time, then this will be a waste of time on the taxpayers dime. They must have received a solid tip in order to shake up everyone's lives again over Mrs Wood's death. If it was the Capt, I bet the Sheriff will have had enough of his changed story if what he says doesn't check out. It will be time to start charging people for obstruction every time her death anniversary rolls around and they simply want some publicity stunt.
Mrs Wood's death will always be suspicious, because there were no eyewitnesses. Allow her to finally RIP please?

976 days ago
72.

Observer999    

What kind of garbage is TMZ spouting in that legal analysis? Manslaughter is not 'voluntary' - that's 2nd degree murder (i.e. no pre-planning, spur of the moment). There is involuntary manslaughter - like Conrad Murray, manslaughter - where you punch somebody and they die (i.e. no intent), 2nd degree murder - spur of the moment "I'm going to kill you", and you do, and first degree - pre-planned for money or whatever.

There is NO statute of limitations on 2nd degree murder.

976 days ago
73.

Bill Trip    

waste of tax payers money. how bout looking for some missing children!!!

976 days ago
74.

cupid    

its so sad to me this beautiful woman died and nobody did anything to find out why and how... its all in the hands of God.. He saw everything that happened.. one day Justice will prevail!! RIP Natalie.. Im so saddened by this..

976 days ago
75.

TheUltraworld    

This clearly falls under the category "I'm not much of a husband". If my wife has a cough, I stay up and keep an eye on her. If she gets out of bed, I make sure she's OK. It's called being married.

976 days ago
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