Robert Wagner named 'person of interest' in Natalie Wood death

Police have new witnesses to events 37 years ago

by Jennie Kermode

Natalie Wood with James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause
Natalie Wood with James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause

37 years after the mysterious death of Rebel Without A Cause star Natalie Wood, Los Angeles police say they are treating her husband, Robert Wagner, as a person of interest. Speaking to CBS News, Lt John Corina said he believed that Wagner had continually changed his story about the events leading up to Wood's death and that his version of events didn't add up.

Wood, then 43, was found in the sea off the Los Angeles coast in 1981. She had spent the previous evening on a yachy with Wagner, Christopher Walken and the yacht's captain, Dennis Davern. Wagner is believed to have been the last person to see her alive and has acknowledged that they argued that night, though he denied harming her. Now police say that they have two new witnesses to the altercation.

Wood's death was originally ruled a drowning and considered accidental, though she had twice attempted to kill herself in the past. According to the post mortem report, she had bruises on her body and an abrasion on her face when she was found. In 2012 the coroner's verdict was amended to 'death by drowning and other undetermined factors' and the investigation was re-opened.

Wagner, 87, is known for his roles in The Towering Inferno and The Longest Day. He has yet to comment on today's developments.

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