Did You Lock The Door?
Did You Lock The Door?

Episode 3 · 3 years ago

The Mysterious Drowning of Natalie Wood


Hello and welcome back to did you lock the door? The podcast. My Name is Peyton Reeve and today I'm joined by another one of my best friends, Kelsey hi. Today we are going to discuss the unusual circumstances surrounding Natalie Wood's death. So Natalie was born on July twenty of one thousand nine hundred thirty eight in San Francisco, California. That would make her cancer. Her parents were Russian immigrants, so her original name was Metalia Nicolvna's Zakaranco, beautiful. I have a Russian minors, so I should have been able to say that much better than I did. But her mom's name was Maria and she always dreamed of having a daughter that would become a famous actress, so she started getting Natalie into acting right away. Natalie would appear in her first film, called tomorrow forever, at only the age of five, and I saw an interview with her where she said that she act. She couldn't read yet at the time, so she memorized her lines by having them read to her over and over as a child. Her mom wants took her to see a psychic who told her that she would both become a big star and also die by drowning. She warned her to be careful of water. Also, Mary intense thing to say to a child. Are you serious? Yes, it's see, I've heard this case before, but I didn't know that. Yeah, when she was like six years old or something like baby shit. So both of these premonitions, like we said, would become true and at age ten, on the set of a movie called the Green Promise, a bridge would clapse beneath her and send her plummeting into the water, and she would break her wrists in the process. She came out of this incident obviously even more terrified. She was so terrified of water, in fact, that even the thought of washing her hair scared her so smother movies that she started were miracle on thirty Fourth Street and only age eight. She also started in reuble without a cause, opposite James Dean, which is really cool. There two incredible actors, and that was one thousand nine hundred and fifty five, and she would earn an Academy Award nomination for her role in that film. Natalie had been infatuated with fellow actor Robert Wagner since she met him at age ten. Yeah, and he was actually eighteen when they met and the two would begin dating as soon as she turned eighteen. Yeah, he would sure nothing was going on before that. Ill. So they had actually originally been set up by studio executives to earn them both publicity, but they did eventually fall in love. They would marry in nineteen fifty seven but divorce in nineteen sixty two. They would both go on to marry other people and eventually leave those other people to get back together and would remarried ten years later, in nineteen seventy two. Did they have any kids? Yes, they did. So Natalie had one daughter with her ex husband and then another one with Wagner once they got married the second time, and Wagner would raise both his stepdaughter and his daughter like they were like the same and treat the many differently. Yes, so, I said before that would had earned an Oscar nomination for her role in rubble without a cause. She would, I know. She would also earn two more noms for a movie called splendor in the grass and a movie called love with a proper stranger. However, in nineteen sixty five,...

...a movie called inside Daisy Clover, starring wood, would come out and it would be an absolute bomb at the box office, unfortunately. So she quit acting for a few years, but eventually she would return to the screen with a film called Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice and nine hundred sixty nine, a movie that was described as a sex comedy. That's all I know about I've never seen it, but I like that description. Okay, so we're going to get to the instant now of the weekend that she died. So Natalie would, her husband Robert Wagner, fellow actor Christopher Walkin and captain and family friend Dennis Davern were away for a weekend yacht outing in Stanta Catalina Island in California in November of one thousand nine hundred and eighty one. This is actually the week right after Thanksgiving. How do they get her on a yacht right? I always wonder that too. She was so scared of water, but her and Robert were on that yacht all the time. Like she said, she was like terrified washing her hair and you get her on a yacht. I know that makes no sense to me. I've no idea. So walking was joining them because him and Natalie would were filming a science fiction movie called brainstorm at the time and they had become quite good friends. So she invited them. She invited him to come out and following dinner at a place called dougs harbor reef would wagner, walk in and the captain all boarded the boat and the three actors were reported to have been quite intoxicated at this point, and Wagner already had jealousy issues, but they only got worse when he was drunk, and he had. He had reportedly not been happy with if Wood's behavior over the weekend. He said that her and Walkin were being very flirty and it was pissing him off. So Wood and a wagner were reported to get into several ferocious alcohol field arguments over the course of the weekend. One night, Captain Davern even took wood ashore the yacht stinghy, so that her and Wagner could cool off and be away from one another. And this would be the night before she died. And reportedly davern would actually lie about this incident to the police initially, but once he was faced with evidence that they did in fact go ashore to stay in a hotel, he would change the story and to admit that they did. So that's weird. That's yeah, any times someone changes their story, ever, even if it changes to something like a little bit better, that just never sits right with me, and a such a weird thing to lie about. It like kind of makes me think he was trying to make the moves on her or something. Probably. Yeah. So there were two witnesses that were out on a boat near the yacht that would and wagner were staying on. Their names were John Payne and Marilyn Wayne and they reported hearing yelling around midnight. However, they knew there was another boat in the area throwing a party at the same time, so they thought nothing of the yelling. They thought, oh, people are just drunk and having fun. Marilyn way and though, specifically reported that she heard a woman yell help me, someone, please help me, around midnight. The same time they heard the other yelling, which I would not personally contribute to a party. I wouldn't wat that off as Oh, they're just drunk their party. Know if someone screaming like help me, someone, please help me, there might be maybe something going on. So Robert Wagner reports that on that night he and Christopher Walkin got into a political discussion. However, there was, quote, no anger or violence. He states that wood seems bored with the topic and left the two men, and when Wagner went to kiss her good night, about an hour after she had left them, he found that she was missing. At thirty in the morning, a distress call was made from the yacht stating that wood had disappeared. However, Wagner were, according to the captain, did not want him to make a...

...stress call. He said he didn't want to make too much of a big deal because wife was missing. Yeah, in the middle of the night and she's terrified of water, but who can't find her on a boat? There's not. There's really no one she could go besides the water. I know, I know this. That's not a big deal. To his he's not being himself look good. No, he's right. So Woo's body would be found at thirty in the morning on November twenty nine. When she was found, she was wearing only a nightgown, a heavy coat and socks. The dinghy that belongs to their yacht was found only about two hundred yards from her body. Her blood alcohol level was one four and it was originally assumed that she had attempted to leave the boat on the dinghy, fell into the water and accidentally drowned. Yeah, point one. Four. She'd be wrong drunk. So yeah, but I don't how could she operate a dingy like? How get it all the way out there if she's like hits draw, for sure, but I also think that if she was that drunk, then she might have just been mad at Robert and wanted to get off the boat. I mean it sounds like something I would do to be yeah, I was like you, like, there's a dingy, I'm getting out of here. Yeah, exactly, especially if she'd been fighting with him, like. But she also terrified of water. Did that? The alcohol just like did it help, but the fear did it. I'm sure it would help with the fear. Yeah, because sometimes alcohol makes me feel like invisible. So that's true. My fear levels do shrink. So there were bruises on her arms and legs, as well as a cut on one of her cheeks, and there were scratch marks on the side of the dinghy that suggested she had tried to climb back aboard, which is such a scary detail. I hate that and that's so dead stomach. Yeah, I feel good, so bad for there's if it's like she had to scratch hard enough to like leave marks, because like I feel like if I scratch something just like like Cook, Cook, yeah, it's not gonna do much. But if she must have been and hitting the water probably sobered her up to so then she's realizing what's happening. Yeah, so awful. Do you know how big the dinghy was? I've seen pictures of it, but never next to anything, so I can't get like the grasp of it, because then she could have like held on to the side at least. Yeah, right after a head above water. I don't know. The concept of like anyone drowning is always very odd to me and I feel so bad for saying this, but like swim, I does. It's so bad. There's so many cases of drowning and like my mind cannot wrap around them all the time. I know not everyone's been swim but growing up in Florida, so the original medical examinar did report that he thought she had died because of hypothermia and exhaustion. So maybe she was trying to hold on to the dinghy and then she just couldn't after or a while. Oh my God, like ty Canna. Yeah, she's Leo Funny. The medical examiner also theorized that when she fell in, her coat had become soaked and heavy, but due to her being drunk, she'd not thought to take it off, so that would have weighed her down as well. Oh yeah, Lana Wood, who is Natalie's sister, says that she does not believe her sister would ever have gone to shore dress simply in a nightgown and socks. And normally I would agree, because she's a movie star, she's...

...very like everyone knows who she is. Yet one four level. Yeah, you do things that you definitely wouldn't normally do. So I just I don't think we can assume that she was in her right mind. No, he's not saying yeah, she wasn't. The theory put forward by Wagner is that would was bothered by the sound of the dinghy bumping into the yacht, something that he said she'd complained about before, and when attempting to tie the dinghy closer to the boat so that it wouldn't be able to move, she slipped and fell in. This is questioned by people who say that a rubber dinghy would not have made enough noise bumping up against a boat to bother Natalie, and also that the algae in the place that Wagner claimed she would have slipped looked completely untouched. Would you would think, like if she slipped and took a big fall, you would see it in the algae. Yeah, yeah, you would probably see it on her coat too, and on her socks if it didn't wash away. I'll know. Yeah, I may be a little biased, but I didn't really like fuck with him to begin with and now I'm like kind of its interesting. So captain davern would, many years after the incident, come forward saying that Wagner had flown into a jealous rage the night that would died, so much so that he had smashed a wine bottle and accused Christopher Walkin of trying to sleep with his wife. He also claims that when the couple were arguing, he heard the dinghy being untied, followed by silence. He then states that Wagner came up to him around thirty PM sweating profusely. See, he's really not looking good to me. Wagner also reportedly, like I said earlier, discouraged all efforts suggested by Davern to look for wood, including calling for help and turning on the floodlights. It's it back to that like he didn't want any want to search for his missing life on a bolt when she was terrified of water. I can't get over that. He knew. Where could she go? Oh my God, that will not be the only. So many places you can go. If she's on the boat, she's in the water. The Hell is she? Where the hell could she be besides? Oh my God and they interestingly enough, in his two thousand and nine autobiography, Wagner did admit to breaking the wine bottle, something he had never admitted to before. Oh, because, remember, his version of events were always that him and Christopher walking got into a political discussion. So we're changing our yeah, yes, again, yes, you have had a little bit of a patterns here. And walking does not really like to talk about the incident. He claims that on that evening and argument did break out between the couple, so he stepped away for a few minutes and when he returned they had made up. I know he knows more than he I know. I know he does. I love crisper walking, but I don't trust you hear. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I don't know why he's there's probably good reasons why he's keeping quiet, because he was friends with Natalie, but the boys, well, I know he knows shit that we don't. Maybe when Robert Wagner dies will come forward because he wagner's like eighty seven true or something. Yeah, so in two thousand and twelve the official cause of death was changed officially, from accidental drowning to undetermined, and it was decided that the abrasions found in her body must have occurred before she fell into the water, not as a result of falling in. No, yeah, that. Yes, it wouldn't really make sense for her to have all those bruises just for trying to climb back into the boat. Yes, I definitely like maybe some are cut like bit. The cut up her cheek is understandable because she could have like scripture chequeal trying to climb back on.

But know, all those bruises very once again, that's very finas. And in February of two thousand and eighteen, Wagner was named as a person of interest and the case is reportedly still open and active. So let's talk about what we think happened. So I know that Natalie's sister says that she doesn't think Robert Intentionally murdered her sister. Now, I don't think it would attention. Yeah, but that she knows things happen when people get drunk and are angry, and I think that is definitely possible. I think the captain hearing the dinghy being Untied Really might have been Natalie trying to leave and that might have made wagners so angry that he just pushed her in. That sounds like something that could be completely true and if also sounds like something that like, because for walking could have kept to himself because, like that's really big. Yeah, that's really big, and if like, there's a really good chance that he could have seen that too, and Wagner might not even remember because they had reportedly been drinking. Yeah, do we know how drunk Wagner was? We don't know his blood alcohol content, but it was report warder than they had been drinking bottles and bottles of alcohol at okay, so this man was swayed walk in. Wagner and would were all very drunk. There's a lot going up, so he might have no idea what happened. To be honest, I think so. You think, like he could have blacked out and just I I've never forgotten anything I've done. Like like I don't think that I could commit accidental oh for sure. For sure, like being black out drunk, I think that's something that I probably would remember. But I just think since he was reported to have anger issues that surrounded him being jealous of Natalie or like Natalie's relationships with her co stars, including Christopher Walking, then he definitely jumped out. Yeah, he was just so angry, am so drunk and sure Intel. Yeah, thing. So I think it's plausible that she was drunk enough, like I said, to be trying to leave and he just wouldn't let that happen. I could totally see myself angry and drunk and just like I'm gonna put on my cold, yeah, and my sacks and I'm out these no, I could totally see myself doing that. Completely wasted. But if he pushed her into the dingy, how did the thingy like got to the water? Well, maybe she was like in the process of untying it and he just pushed her in and just finished the job. So, like if you want to go so bad? Yeah, by because that's also something I could see someone doing, like drunk out of their mind. Yeah, and I think him coming back to the captain looking really flustered and sweaty says a lot because I'm sure, Oh yeah, even if he was black out drunk, he's still like drunk him still probably would have been freaked out, like I just pushed my wife into the water. She hates water. I don't think that there's a possibility that it's for walking had anything to do with like the yeah, I agree, actual death, because I've heard like maybe like one or two theories on how he could have been like number. I don't think it was Christop Rob I think he definitely knows more than a let's on and I think especially the fact that there are bruises on her arms points to Wagner, like grabbing her and shaking her and stuff like that. Like that could if I did grabbing her and like put pushing her in the literally, I know those came from him. I can be positive, but like my third eye is telling me that those bruises came from Wagner. Yeah, and I just that's how God. It confuses me... much. How the captain, who in recent years has come forward to say all the stuff about Wagner, didn't hear the cries for help? That the Wayne woman who was a witnessed it because two miles away, yeah, her boat, I don't know the exact distance, but her boat was close enough that you could hear what was going on, but not close enough. So pretty far. Yeah, and this man was on the boat. MMM. So how would Christopher walking or the captain not here that? I don't get that. That is make sense to me. Or if they did hear it and ignored it, because, remember, the captain didn't put out a what if it distress signal or yeah, because he said that Wagner came to him to report her missing at around thirty and the distress call was put out at thirty in the morning. So that's two hours. A lot can happen in those two hours and I can't imagine the boat like they got being big enough to wear. But do you know have thy Pappas? I don't know, but it wasn't. Regardless, like I feel like it wasn't big enough for where it would take two hours to search the entire thing like they probably like by the time he reported like okay, I think that she's missing, and then two hours later he actually put out the distress call. They had to have known that she wasn't there. So what was going on? And those two hours they could have been scheming, because after you realize that she's not there, your only next move is to call the authorities because she's obviously in the water if she's not on the boat, and what are you going to do? Go Out and swim like her? I think they might have. There's no way in my mind that they didn't hear her screaming. Maybe the captain of the yacht did hear you know, the police have just asked him not to confirm that publicly. That's the only way, like, only scenario I can think of because again, if people in a boat so far away could hear cries for help, I'm sure that the captain and Christopher walking could too. I know they did. Unless they're in a soundproof booth and they yacht, unless the laws that they got like inside are like completely sound proof, there's no way they didn't hear her. And if she was so terrified of water, I'm sure she would have been screaming to make what you U her is, yeah, I would be, and I'm not even that scary. Literally, I was drowning. But now that two hours is really bothering me because I'm on my school's math trial team and we just changed our whole, a whole part of our theory for case because there was a case change where a ten minute time interval was at it. And even at ten minutes I'm like really counting on and like that. So those two hours are really triggering me. Literally, what could they have been doing? Scheming, planting and skiming, I I really sell her up. Yeah, I'm sure. I really do think that maybe half an hour of that was looking for Natalie and the rest was wagner trying to convince them that he didn't just kill his wife. Literally, I don't think. I don't think it was done on purpose, though I agree I think it was. I think if he killed her, it was just a moment of rage and he probably didn't even realize what he had done until he had done it and then he was just so scared that he, yeah, he freaked in like Oh my God, but like in those two hours, couldn't they have I don't know, maybe he's fears the water for her. Yeah, because again, Wagner didn't even want the captain to like turn on the floodlights under the boat. What they wouldn't even yeah, he wanted no assistance. To be to God, this... is not making anything look good for him. MMM. And it's important to note, I suppose, that one of his daughter's, the one that Natalie had in her previous marriage and then Robert raised her. Yeah, does think that he's innocent. She doesn't think that that he pushed his mom into the water. But again, interesting. But that's still one person and like there's a bias there. Yeah, not saying that she's like wrong or like she's not entitled to what she thinks happened to her mom, but just didn't mind. And again, Natalie Wood's sister thinks that. I think, like we both think, it happens in the heat of the moment, in a fit of rage. Because again she said that she knows things happen when people drink and they get angry. So I think I'm on the same page as her, I think. Yeah, U. Plus she knows her sister too. Yeah, and again her saying that her sister never would have gone ashore in the nightgown like. I'm sure she wouldn't have sober. Now, you really never know what someone's going to do when they're drunk, especially if their blood alcohol levels one four. Like I said, I probably would have done the same thing. Yeah, Natalie had reportedly drunk through bottles of wine already, so she yeah, there were definitely things influencing her state of mind. Okay, well, thank you so much for listening. Let me know what your thoughts in the Natalie Wood case are, and I will be back very soon to talk about John Wayne Gacy. I'm very excited about that case. I already said thank you for listening, but thank you again. See you guys do bye bye.

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