We're looking for contributors

Natalie Wood Death Update: 'Accidental Drowning' Ruling Changed

Natalie Wood death updateNatalie Wood death update: From "accidental drowning" to "drowning and other undetermined factors"

Natalie Wood died on November 29, 1981. Her body was found floating approximately one mile off Catalina Island, located just south of Los Angeles County. According to a County coroner's report made public today – though officially amended in June 2012 – at the time of her death Natalie Wood, a three-time Academy Award nominee and the star of movies such as Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, Gypsy, and Splendor in the Grass, had several bruises on her body that might have been the result of injuries suffered before she entered the water. (See also: "Natalie Wood Death: Sensational Rumors Continue.") [Photo: Natalie Wood ca. 1970.]

"With the presence of fresh bruises in the upper extremities in the right forearm/left wrist area and a small scratch in the anterior neck, this examiner is unable to exclude non-accidental mechanism causing these injuries," wrote Los Angeles County's chief medical examiner Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran. "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."

Natalie Wood drowning: "Circumstances not clearly established"

Due to the fact that "there are unanswered questions and limited additional evidence available for evaluation," Dr. Sathyavagiswaran concluded that the manner of Natalie Wood's death "should be left as undetermined."

The report adds that "this Medical Examiner is unable to exclude non-volitional, unplanned entry into the water." When it comes to Wood's drowning and her body being found floating in the water, the report states: "Circumstances not clearly established."

Now, it remains unclear why 31 years ago the County's coroner examiner didn't find the bruises on Natalie Wood's body indicative of injuries suffered before she entered the water. Or why they – and the Los Angeles police – had no trouble ruling Wood's death "accidental."

According to the Sheriff's Department, Robert Wagner, Natalie Wood's widower and with whom Wood had had a quarrel on their yacht shortly before she went missing, is not a suspect. A third party aboard the yacht was Oscar-winning actor Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter), apparently the reason for the Wagner-Wood quarrel, and with whom Natalie Wood was then starring in Brainstorm, directed by 2001: A Space Odyssey's visual effects wizard Douglas Trumbull. Needless to say, rumors of an affair between Wood and Walken, and assorted murder / conspiracy theories have been floating about since the early '80s.

If you liked the article Natalie Wood Death Update: 'Accidental Drowning' Ruling Changed, please recommend it to your friends. See share buttons above and on the left.
Follow Alt Film Guide on Google+, Facebook and/or join the FB group All About Movies.
Natalie Wood Death Update: 'Accidental Drowning' Ruling Changed © 2004-2015 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s). Text NOT to be reproduced without prior written consent.

Continue Reading: Golden Globes: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Generate Highest TV Ratings in Years

Previous Post: Adele Golden Globes Surprise?


Click on 'Load Comments' to leave a comment and/or read previous comments about Natalie Wood Death Update: 'Accidental Drowning' Ruling Changed.

Important: Different views and opinions are perfectly fine, but courtesy and respect are imperative. Abusive, bigoted, baseless (spreading misinformation), and/or trollish/inflammatory comments will be blocked and offenders may be banned.




FILM ARCHIVES

Brazilian Cinema, Carmen Miranda at MoMA
ONE HYSTERICAL NIGHT William James Craft
John Howard Lawson Remembered
Sandra Dee Dies: GREASE Song, GIDGET Star
Douglas Sirk: American Vs. Japanese Audiences
Best Films - 1961
PRELUDE TO WAR Oscar Returned to Army (Not Frank Capra Original)
Ron Chaney at OF MICE AND MEN Screening
Angela Lansbury on TCM
AMARCORD Review Pt.2 - Bruno Zanin, Magali Noël
Oscar Quiz Answers: Katharine Hepburn, Steven Soderbergh
Anthony Steffen Part II: DJANGO Inspired Clint Eastwood
LA HABANERA - Zarah Leander - Douglas Sirk
Josef von Sternberg on TCM: MOROCCO, MACAO, THE SHANGHAI GESTURE
Linda Christian Dead at 87: Tyrone Power's Second Wife, First Bond Girl, Diego Rivera Model
Noah's Ark Flood and the Bride of Frankenstein: Hollywood Extras
Jean Harlow, Paul Bern Mural: Hollywood Celebrities in Elizabethan Garb
Mickey Rooney Movies: Music and Murder
European Movies Lifetime Achievement Award: Women Mostly Ignored
SONG OF THE FISHERMEN: First Chinese Movie to Win International Award