Monday, January 14, 2013

Natalie Wood Was Beaten Before She Died

A new coroner's report completely contradicts the one from 1981 in the death of Natalie Wood. The new report says that bruises found on the actress' wrists, knees, and ankles were consistent with her being beaten - not, as the 1981 report concluded, caused by her struggling to climb back aboard to yacht after falling over the side. Yeah, so this sounds like someone got angry at her and beat her and then tossed her overboard. Murder.

73 comments:

Me said...

wow. was not expecting this. how awful for her famiy.

Fairmaiden327 said...

I thought this from the beginning.

*karen* said...

I always thought it was weird that Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken both refused to discuss what happened. Seemed too much like a coverup rather than respecting Natalie's privacy.

gr8p said...

No! Not RJ? He's been a suspect for years, but I didn't want to believe it...still don't.

Poor Natalie Wood. She had hard life: rapes, mistreatment/abuse by men... and she was terrified of water. If she was murdered I hope justice is served.

KPeony said...

Sad

T said...

I always thought Wagner did it. I don't think he meant to murder her--I think they were drunk and he got angry and took things too far--but still his fault. He should've been charged with manslaughter.

Tuxedo Cat said...

I didn't want to believe it either. So glad the truth is coming out, though. What a coverup.

dia papaya said...

How do they figure this out? From reviewing the original autopsy? Did they exhume her body?

I'm not condemning the report, I'm just curious from a forensic point of view how this is possible? I mean they make it look so easy on Bones and the one million other cop shows, but is it really that easy?

phoenix said...

Wow, just wow. Never expected this. I'm not ready to conclude that Wagner physically threw her overboard though. Beating her while she was drunk could have left her in too diminished a capacity to keep her balance on a small boat.

skimpymist said...

Even with the new autopsy report the truth will never be known unless robert wagner and christopher walken talk.

Cathy said...

I doubt that all the bruises came from that one night. I'd guess that she was beaten on a fairly regular basis. Very sad, but hopefully these findings will keep people motivated to figure out what really happened that night.

Amber said...

I wonder if either of them would do a death bed confession?

Jazzy said...

So sad, but I always thought he did it. Jealousy + alcohol + rage and maybe drugged Walken so he wouldn't get in the way.

B626 said...

Is that where domestic abuse bruises show up on victims?
Wrists, knees, and ankles?
I call BS on this one.

timebob said...

I doubt it @Amber Robert & Chris are from the old Hollywood system. They would never do anything to sully their reputation, even after death.

Jazzy said...

I hope so.

Vita19a said...

I believe they are not ruling out that the bruises could be caused by A N Other; this does not mean that it was not causes as originally stated

phoenix said...

@B626, great catch and observation. Not ready to draw any conclusions about this now.

Angela said...

In the inevitable Law & Order: SVU episode based on this, you know they'll use "Knock on Wood" in the soundtrack.

DontRainOnMyPrada said...

Wow...why would she have married him a second time if he beat her regularly???

Ms Cool said...

Sounds like bondage.

Pookie said...

dearest enty of my heart,

thank you for using the proper past participle in the post heading. in your normal style you'd have written 'nw was beat before she died'...but alas, you grant me this reprieve, you use proper grammar and it makes me so very happy. your love/hate relationship w/ adjectives and past participles will always drive me bananas, but for today, i'm a happy camper.

now back to your regular programming.

Renoblondee said...

I don't want to believe it was anything but an accident as well, but the whole thing is just too fishy.

Anna Nawnamizz said...

That does sound like bondage, wrist knees and ankles? There's always the " I'll never do it again, I really love you, I'm sorry" excuse from abusers, she probably just got sucked back in and really loved him. If you were getting beaten it wouldn't be on your wrists, knees and ankles, it would be your face, your arms, your torso maybe, with fingerprints, grab marks, punch marks, etc. Not your wrists, knees and ankles. Wagner just had enough money to make this go away, and enough balls to threaten anyone that they'd get killed too.

Anna Nawnamizz said...

Himmmm professed to being good friends with Natalie Wood's daughter as proof of his inside position, I wonder what he would have to say about this?

Sunny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ardleighstreet said...

I could see the wrists and knees but ankles? Was he dragging her through the boat by them before being tossed overboard?

The wrists could be restraint marks and knees could be done by being knocked to the ground but ankles? That's ...different.

rhinovodka said...

I remember when she passed, she was such a beautiful woman.

shakey said...

I agree with B626 and Ms Cool. Rug burns on the knees?

Perhaps it wasn't murder. Some role play, bondage, afterwards she got drunk and fell overboard.

Count Jerkula said...

I don't know. Bruises on wrists, knees and ankles? Who beats a chick's ankles? Sounds more like bruising that would come from struggling in restraints.

Elizabeth said...

That explains why Wagner didn't want her found. She would have been very vocal. He was in trouble and knew it. I always thought Walken said nothing because he feared what Wagner would do or was capable of doing. Look how quickly Wagner's team closed ranks around him. The boat captain said he was afraid himself and he was friends with Wagner.

J Sara said...

Yeah ankles? That's a bit weird... Ill give ou wrists - like someone was holding her. But you generally don't get beaten in the knee and wrist area...

J Sara said...

Oops I meant knee and ankle. I'm sick today - clearly not totally coherent....

auntliddy said...

Maybe it was the boat captain!! Anyway my reaction to this is "holy shit". Wish we knew the true story, just to put things at rest.

lazyday603 said...

Why would the police want to let Robert Wagner get away with murder? It's Robert Wagner. It's not William Randolph Hearst shooting a guest on his boat. Hearst was all powerful in the 20's Wagner sells reverse mortgages to old farts. He was pretty but he was never powerful.

Vikingwench said...

@B626- my immediate thoughts as well. Face, ribs, abdomen or even upper arms, but ankles, wrists and knees? (unless it was an out-and-out kneecapping)

crapbag said...

Seems like Hollywood wives are not worthy. Many seem to just "die" mistakenly in the midst

All about Eve said...

I'm not sure this confirms anything, those bruises are mysterious but still doesn't solve this. Robert Wagner sure looks suspicious to me though.

italiangal56 said...

I read the book by the boat captain & that's what he alluded to.That Wagner beat the shit out of her & she either fell or was pushed overboard.I always believed it was him.

JoElla said...

Lazyday603 he used to be quite powerful. Maybe now with some of the old school power players dying off, he is loosing his position.

Remember when the investigation ramped up again last year, one of her daughters landed back in rehab. (Natasha I think) and I don't recall any more info on her after that.

Christine Cavagnaro said...

Dragging someone by the ankles to put them somewhere (dinghy?) would cause bruising on the ankles. Natalie was rumored at the time to be having an affair with Walken. This was a drunken argument that got out of hand. RW did it. The end.

crila16 said...

I don't believe he beat her at all. Natasha went to my college for a semester. Robert and his girlfriend used to come and visit her. He was very good to Natasha and Natasha seemed to really love him. I don't believe for a minute that Robert was abusive or had a physically violent streak in any way towards Natalie. I think that this is starting to get ridiculous and the media and money grubbers need to let this rest now. No one will ever know the truth about what really happened.

Sarah said...

If you've ever witnessed domestic abide, it's not such an unlikely place for a bruise.
I can imagine very clearly a fight where she tried to kick back and he grabbed her ankles.

bubbles said...

Here's a link to the article from CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/14/showbiz/natalie-wood-coroner/index.html

""The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising support bruising having occurred prior to entry in the water."

"The autopsy report showed the 43-year-old actress had two dozen bruises on her body, including a facial abrasion on her left cheek and bruises on her arms."

I'm no CSI officer, so it's just my un-expert opinion, but these sound like defensive wounds, as if she was holding up her arms to ward off an attack by someone else.

libby said...

bubbles---YES.

Defensive bruises---he restrains her arms, and trying to force someone's legs apart--rape--can cause knee & ankle bruises. (Plus the possible dragging & tossing over. )
Seriously, abuse bruises in those places are very common!

ABlake said...

Nope and nope, don't buy it.
Abuse invloving wrists (being held down) I can see. Knees and ankles? Doesn't make sense. If anything she would have bruises on her thighs if being forced and also in the genital area.

Tricky stuff, since it's been over 30 years since her death and she was in the water for quite a bit of time.

Personally I think everyone on that boat knew something went down and has never spoken of it but beaten to death? Provide more evidence than ankles with bruises and I might believe you.

libby said...

If two people are struggling horizontally (boat has low ceilings--room is mostly BED), fighting causes bruises on wrists, knees and ankles. Pinning a struggling person down. Just think about it.

I meant an attempted rape, or pinning down at the knees. Evidence of completed rape would have shown up.

Cops & scientists have seen this stuff so much before. If this article/source is reliable, i take their word over random people's 'instincts' that bruises don't happen there, when I have personally seen that that's EXACTLY where they happen. On every friend I've ever had who was beaten (at least 5) and my mother & grandmother. Wrists & forearms are BIG tip-offs.

Even everyday men usually don't hit the face , and a Hollywood guy would be triply trained not to visibly bruise Miss Natalie Wood.

MadLyb said...

My first thought was bondage. It's a weird, weird case and I think anyone who heard the news and the stuff that leaked out afterwards always had suspicions that there was more here than the official story. Never did like that coroner. I wonder if he was on the take.

ABlake said...

I always thought that as well MadLyb

Libby, I respectfully disagree with you.

Kathleen said...

How is getting bruised on the knees, wrists and ankles consistent with a beating? Was she bound by the wrists and ankles and forced to genuflect? Maybe she and whoever she was sleeping with were into bondage? That's at least as likely. Natalie was about 5'1" and would have been very easy to overpower without being pinned down by the ankles and wrists. Quite a bit of a conspiracy theory stretch there. Reaching.

ABlake said...

Amen Kathleen. Fact of the matter is, it isn't.
Makes no sense whatsoever.

I still thing there was some weird stuff that happened, but bruised ankles doesn't make it something that should (or would) raise an eyebrow.
Personally I think he pushed her off that boat/she was drunk and hopped off the boat during an argument and Robert was so pigheaded he told the Captain to keep going/all was well. That's my theory.

elspeth said...

Have to agree that Libby could be right based on my own experience. He tackled me, flipped me over, sat/knelt on my knees, held one wrist down w/one of his hands while he slapped and punched me w/the other hand. When that arm got tired, he'd use it to hold my other wrist down while he hit me w/the 'rested' hand.

Between his hits and my struggling, wriggling and attempts to buck him off, I had bruises and abrasions including defensive bruises from my fingers up to my shoulders, front and back, and down to my ankles and feet. While he seemed to avoid my face, I still had some facial abrasions and bruising; even one of my ears was bruised.

I think my ankles and feet were probably bruised as I tried to get my feet turned for some leverage and when his shoes hit/kicked me as we struggled on the floor. Honestly, though, what was going on at my ankles was the least of my concerns at the time.

GoGo said...

I find it ironic...
RW (I REFUSE to call him "RJ" -- e'en his nickname screams "smarmy" to me) usually plays good guys and just about e'eryone I've e'er talked to about this suspects it was him, yet CW plays mostly bad guys but no one suspects him.
(I always thought RW did it!)

lakeuniongirl said...

I think it was Courtney the recently went to rehab-she's the only child of RW and NW. Natalie and Bob had daughters with prior spouses before getting back together. Something is very fishy with the whole deal. I always thought RW had something to do with it.

bri swartley said...

Domestic abuse, esp if you haven't lived it, never makes sense. People wonder how Rhianna is with Chris Brown, again. Sadly, I wondered how it didn't happen earlier, having briefly blocked out the court ordered restraining order, that she tried to have removed. Best answer-it's a sickness, a type of addiction.

kim called said...

@JoElla + @Christine: i agree w/ u both.
aside from brusing from dragging someone by the ankles or wrists, imagine laying on your back. holding up your legs and arms defensively, vs. a man in a rage atop you wailing on you? easy to get bruises on wrists, knees, feet, etc. besides, it didnt say they were marks on both ankles, wrists, etc. nor does it say they were consistent w/ being tied up (which any inv. could spot = lead 2 foul play questions).

rw was allegedly friends with a lot of powerful figures in hollywood and also supposedly was gay/bi and serviced many other powerful men. something about his agent being known for providing young men for such purpose 2 those in charge. so it would reason he would be protected by the establishment. once natalie was dead, even those who liked her like sinatra would be loathe 2 risk exposing rw to spilling his secrets too.

powerful friends in tv and at studios and power publicists all carried tons of weight in those days not 2 mention mob connections. so the truth died in the ocean that night. ive always thought it was a lovers quarrel gone horribly wrong. the boaters saying they heard a woman screaming for help and a man drunkenly mocking her? tells me that if rw didnt save her then his career and sympathy would drown too. and he's always had sympathy ever since. i often wonder if jill st.john ever knew and told anyone? or if those poor daughters ever knew but figured better to have 1 parent left than zero?

scratchy kitty said...

youre absolutely right. One of my aunts was severely battered for over 20 years. He NEVER hit her in the face. As for bruises on ankles, he often pulled and dragged my aunt out of the bed when he came home drunk from the bar.

mybrothehero said...

I'm a survivor of several years of domestic abuse and if someone has such anger issues I think bruising anywhere wouldn't be uncommon. We may never know the truth on Earth, but if there is a higher power (which I believe there is) then that's who he will be accountable to. Such an awful thing when someone dies young in any way.

This is also honestly completely apolitical, but Ted Kennedy got away with murder and he maintained a successful career and was praised when he died. Even if it was an accident, he should have held some accountability for it. I wasn't alive when it happened, but I was always quite horrified by that occurrence.

Kady Kat said...

When you are on your back flailing with all limbs to protect yourself, bruises and cuts will form everywhere. Just trust me on this.

Kady Kat said...

Another line of thinking... It's better to know where this person is, than to be constantly looking over your shoulder for then to attack you. Eventually you just get numb to the pain and it defines your existence until you e ready to leave

Kady Kat said...

Ever had someone throw you down, and you had to defend from the ground? It's very easy to bruise all of your limbs when in a violent fight.

Kady Kat said...

It's never the face, unless they really lose control. Neck, torso, legs, arms... Anywhere that would cause great pain but also heal without a doctor. (Also be covered easy w clothes)

Count Jerkula said...

@mybrotherthehero: Same people that elected Drunk Teddy also elected Romney and think they won 3 Super Bowls clean.

Kady Kat said...

Just wanted to comment and give you a hug for surviving. My experience was similar only I bruised the hell out of my legs and ankles from kicking as hard and as many times as I could. It's all a blur now, but I remember the cops taking pictures of my ankles/legs as well as neck/torso.

Never again.

kim called said...

for those suggesting s&m rough trade or whatever? seems possible until you see the final sketches and realize zero old scars or marks anywhere (especialy no past tissue trauma to any breast-genital areas and no scarred ligature marks).

go to google images and type in "natalie wood autopsy" and itll bring up the original drawings of the coroner's autopsy. it shows where the brusies were and which ones were fresh vs. recent (two time periods but still within same 24hrz). it paints an obvious pic that something-someone impacted her from one general direction roughly within the same time period (before death and while on that boat). seems like she sustained bruises in one period, then another later (as if unconscious but not dead).

report says hypothermia+drowning, but zero mention of how much fluid-water in the lungs, weight of lungs, etc.
this is not my area of work, but i know there are peeps from the d.a. office and the med-ex office in miami-dade who read this blog. i wonder if they think that is common in their field dealing with drowning invest. cases?

i also read her rx meds list and seems if rw wanted to murder her in a predmeditated way all he had to do was o.d. her on any of the many sleep meds/depressents she was rx'ed. thus it seems more like an accident/heat of passion manslaughter sitch. which is just as tragic for them lying about it. such a scenario may explain the reluctance by cops to pursue him, but it still makes me stabby as hell to think justice was never served.

a lot of people mistake the cornoners drug tox test list. in nyc and la for years whenever the coroner did a tox screen, they always tested for coke, pcp, and other ilicit drugs as routine. this was listed on autopsy that a test was conducted. if it came back positive the amounts were listed of each drug. some media reporters read that she was tested for coke, pcp, etc. and assumed it meant she had it in her system. wrong. just like her rx list was a list of those rx'ed in her name but not of what was in her blood at time of death. unless it was thought to be an o.d. or be a contributing factor, the coroner didn't list amounts of her rx meds in her system. just that two undigested pills were found in her stomach. non-contributory so not reported what type. i'm not a pro in this field, just going by what a pro explained to me tonight. could be wrong or right.

no matter how she died, or why, still such a tragedy. i think of her like helen mirren or streep and wonder what she'd be like if still alive/acting today.

kim called said...

@kady + @mybrother...
im thankful you and all other survivors here are still here with us. ive never endured it and i thank god for that (and my wonderful very huge football playing brothers!). i know it can happen to any of us no matter how tough we are. sending u a warm hug tonight to all survivor sisters and protective brothers who do the right thing. stay strong.

Agent**It said...

Fellow Bostonian:)

Agent**It said...

Mary Johnson Kopechne RIP. Drunk Teddy, not so much.

mybrothehero said...

Thanks, kimcalled, I also got put in the hospital by my ex MIL. So abusers are not always men. Fighting tooth and nail for full custody for 4 years for my son who is almost 5. She is a very demented individual. I'm glad you've found strength. And you ARE a survivor, not a victim. Peace to you...

mybrothehero said...

My thoughts exactly and still don't know why it was never discussed.

mybrothehero said...

LOL!! As a Steeler fan I have to give a raspberry to the Pats. But again, how can people ignore something like that????? (Kennedy that is)

Danielle said...

Now how can this coroner report be more accurate than the one from 1981!? They don't have her body anymore! Really? I know they keep records and all that jazz but I'm sorry I have a really hard time buying anything that's newly released about this case. Wagner knew she went overboard and did nothing to help her. Walken was in his room for the night and has no idea what went on, hence the reason for not talking about it. Wagner, I'm sure, feels extremely guilty and doesn't wanna think about it anymore. Hence his reason for not talking about it.

ABlake said...

Makes too much sense Danielle.