A source has told Globe magazine that investigators believe the original autopsy was bungled, and that a new autopsy may reveal what really happened onboard Natalie’s yacht on November 29, 1981.
The source reveals, “They’re clearly looking for evidence Natalie’s death was a homicide rather than an accidental drowning.”
Wood’s death has been mired with conspiracy theories since her body was found in the Pacific Ocean, following a night of heavy drinking on board her yacht, Splendour, with husband Robert Wagner and friend Christopher Walken.
Globe magazine reports that Wagner, who has been an “official person of interest” in the investigation, as Wood and her husband had a violent and jealous argument about the nature of Natalie and Walken’s relationship the night she drowned.
Wagner has refused to cooperate with investigators while denying any wrongdoing, even after the case was reopened in 2011.
Globe magazine reports that after Natalie’s cause of death was officially changed from “accidental drowning” to “drowning and other undetermined factors”, Robert Wagner was named an official person of interest.
Globe magazine also reports that key evidence of Natalie having been brutally beaten was left off the original autopsy report in 1981, conducted by L.A coroner Thomas Noguchi, who now admits were wrong and “based on theory” not facts.
Globe magazine reports that photographs before and during the inquest show that Natalie Wood was indeed beaten, with the L.A County Sherrif’s Department detective Ralph Hernandez revealing, “We have a lot of evidence that tends to point to a very suspicious death and would certainly indicate the possibility of foul play”.
Adding fuel to the fire, Natalie’s sister, Lana Wood, claims key evidence was “deliberately removed” from police archives, this supposedly included fingernail clippings that may carry the DNA of Natalie’s killer.
Globe magazine reports that Lana Wood thinks the police won’t arrest Wagner until they have an air-tight case, even though all the evidence - including a finding that shows Natalie’s skull was bashed in - suggests Natalie Wood did not die from an accidental drowning.
Globe magazine reports that the medical protocol was breached on the original autopsy and that Natalie’s brain and skull were never examined.
Marti Rulli who co-authored a book with the yacht captain onboard the Splendour that fateful night, has said of the horrific medical mistake, “It’s an unconscionable oversight, as it may have established how Natalie was left unconscious before landing in the ocean”.
After almost four decades, Natalie Wood’s body may still be able to reveal what actually happened the night she drowned.
As for what really happened, Lana Wood has always maintained her sister was murdered, “I’ve always believed Natalie was killed. Nothing has come up to change my mind on that.”