Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Full autopsy is shown in THE GOSSIP COLUMNIST

Natalie Wood's death still unsolved, in our opinion!

Although she has been gone a long time, there are still many unanswered questions as to the death of Natalie Wood. After her death we attempted (in the Hollywood Star), to solve the mystery of what happened that night on Catalina Island. As a matter of fact, Los Angeles Coroner, Dr. Noguchi, phoned me to see what my thoughts were on how she had died? Of course we all know she drowned but the facts that led to her demise have never been satisfactorily explained. After briefing him in on the story he said, "very interesting theory," although he had a different light on what happened in his book. Our theory of what happened that night, is based upon Coroner Noguchi's autopsy as well as using "common sense."

In a press conference called by the Los Angeles Coroner, Dr. Thomas Nuguchi, stated, "Natalie Wood died from "axidentol dwowding" (his words). She had been drinking heavily the evening of her death and her reflexes may have been affected when she tried to board a dinghy from her yacht, the Splendour; losing her footing and hitting her head on the side of the yacht, then falling into the ocean where she drowned. Water entering her lungs could have prevented her from yelling out for help."

At he time of her death, she was wearing a blue nightgown and a red, down jacket. The dinghy was found the next morning, on the shore, the key in the off position in the ignition and the gears were set in neutral. Natalie is alleged to have untied the dinghy, prior to falling, or she may have slipped and fallen from the dinghy while untying it.

Dr. Noguchi was questioned by the press for one hour. I was among the reporters. He had been asked if there had been an argument aboard the yacht? Dr. Noguchi replied there had been an argument between Robert Wagner and a guest on the boat. He was asked if the guest was actor, Christopher Walken? Noguchi said he wasn't sure of the name of the party but said that his investigators had told him, minutes before the conference, that there had been a non-physical argument between Wagner and his guest. Noguchi later stated that he thought the guest's name was Christopher Walken. Sheriff's investigators later stated that they were unaware of any such argument after they had questioned witnesses. In our opinion, the Coroner's investigation wouldn't make up such a story, especially regarding a celebrity such as Natalie Wood.

Dr. Noguchi's speculation on how Natalie Wood died, is merely that- "speculation."
And it is a logical explanation. He isn't to blame if Natalie Wood died a different way. The Coroner is not a police investigator. It is not his duty to investigate for foul play, (although autopsies often do discover this). His job is to try to explain the "cause of death." And he did (in his opinion), as axidentol dwounding. And as far as his job is concerned, that is all he was responsible for. If his speculation on how she drowned was wrong, he isn't responsible for that. The National Enquirer, not the world's most credible newspaper, stated Natalie Wood had checked into a hotel the night before her death, with actor, Christopher Walken. Other sources have confirmed this to me as well. A Sheriff's investigator told me otherwise.

The night Natalie Wood drowned was a very cold night at Catalina. The story that she was going to go boating around the cove in a dinghy at midnight; in her nightgown, even if she was wearing a down jacket, doesn't make sense to me. Even if she had been drunk, it doesn't sound realistic.
And she surely wouldn't be going ashore dressed like that, as other stories have implied. Natalie Wood was a "movie star," and drunk or sober she wouldn't be seen in public wearing a night gown at midnight. Also, she was afraid of the water.

The autopsy report reveals numerous recent bruises, over the lower, backside of her legs, although there were no bruises shown on her back. The Sheriff's department says, "it is common to have bruised legs when you are on boat. It's a natural thing to be to be bumped around and bruised." I guess they are right, but when the Splendour was anchored, would there be enough movement aboard to cause a person to get bruised? But, the large bruise or abrasion on her cheek, wasn't made from just walking around on deck. After Robert Wagner went off to Switzerland, a friend of Wagner's told the press, that Wagner said Natalie went down to tie down the dinghy, which may have been bouncing against the boat making a loud noise, and she fell in. This was a "rubber" dinghy! Could it have made that much noise to disturb her? Her blood alcohol level was .14, plus there were two undissolved pills initialized in her stomach. Sleeping pills were one of the prescribed medications on board the yacht.

Robert Wagner's mental state, after the accident, is what bothers me. Bill Pierce who was in charge of the Westwood Village Mortuary, told me at 10:00 p.m., on the Tuesday night before Natalie's Wednesday funeral, that "Natalie may not be buried on Wednesday, as was stated by the press."

He said he was on stand-by awaiting word from Howard Jeffries, who was handling the funeral arrangements. Pierce was told he was to have the flowers there Thursday morning, not Wednesday. He said Ronald Reagan's secretary had even phoned to get information regarding funeral arrangements so that he could send flowers. Pierce said he was unable to give out any information. The secretary exclaimed, "But this is from the President of the United States."

Pierce said it was to be a closed casket funeral, although there may be last minute changes. He said if it were to be an open casket, MGM was going to send over make-up men. (Natalie had been filming "Brainstorm," at MGM and Christopher Walken was her co-star.) Then he said he had just talked to Howard Jeffries a few minutes before I arrived and was told, R.J. "will not" be at the funeral. Well, this was a shocker. I couldn't believe it. The first thought that hit me was, does he have a guilty conscience? I couldn't imagine he wouldn't attend his own wife's funeral no matter how difficult it may have been for him.

I phoned the story to the associated press, UPI and NBC-TV. Needless to say, they never printed or mentioned my story but instead they hounded Jeffries with the facts I had presented. Obviously, Jeffries knew now that R.J. had to attend the funeral, otherwise the public would be aroused and wonder why he hadn't? In other words, it would become a negative, irreversible situation. Pierce had also told me that about ten persons would be at the funeral, mainly Natalie's relatives. Well, we now know there was about one hundred guests at the televised cemetery. This had been a last minute decision as well. Whether Walken was there is unknown to us at the Hollywood Star. He was staying at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. I talked with someone in his suite, asking them if they knew when the funeral was? They said they didn't know.

The Coroner speculated Natalie had slipped while boarding the boat. The Sheriff's department stated they felt she fell while trying to secure the dinghy. We speculated otherwise, based upon the autopsy report. (I want to add now, that with two men aboard, why couldn't they have tied down the dinghy?)

First of all, if Walken and Wagner had been arguing in a restaurant that evening, as has been printed, then it is also possible they may have been arguing aboard the yacht. And (maybe) on deck. Natalie may have tried to break them up. Fists could have been flying and she may have tried to break them up and accidentally been hit by one of them, sending her backwards over the railing. This would explain the recent bruises on the lower part of her legs, being bruised by falling backward over the railing of the yacht into the ocean. Each wrist also had bruises which could have been received as she tried to grab the railing as she went over. The location of the bruises seem to support this theory. She could have instinctively reached for the rail and missed but hit her wrists as she fell. Wagner and Walken could have untied the dinghy hoping to get her out of the water, but after untying the dinghy, (both had been drinking wine and champagne), they may have panicked and let the dinghy drift away before they could board it. The dinghy then drifted to the cove where it was found.

Further suspicions arise when the exact time Wagner alleges to have discovered Natalie missing on the yacht. The time she was discovered, was changed on the typed police report. Maybe a typographical error or maybe he was too drunk when he was first asked, to remember the exact time. The fact remains, the time was changed on the report. It was said he had waited a couple of hours before reporting she was missing from the yacht.

At that time a Sheriff's homicide investigator told me the case was closed, while another said it was still an ongoing investigation. One investigator on the case (I didn't get his name), phoned us to get our theory. He agreed that there had been several theories but felt Natalie had just accidentally fell while trying to secure the dinghy. Then when I asked him about the National Enquirer story, about Natalie checking into a hotel the night before with Walken, he said it isn't true. He said the skipper, Dennis Davern, checked into the hotel when R.J. sent them to shore because the water was too rough that night. (Dennis Davern wouldn't tell us over the phone whether it had been him or Walken who had checked into the hotel with Natalie? He said, "It doesn't matter now," and he stated not to call him anymore.) When I asked the investigator where Walken was that night?, he said on board with Wagner. This sounded alright for awhile, until a few minutes later he added, "Walken was really shook up the whole weekend. He wasn't used to being on a boat and the water was rough." If Walken wasn't used to boats and rough water, and if he were seasick, why didn't he check into the hotel instead of the skipper, who wasn't afraid of rough water? If this is true, common logic tells us that Walken would have gone ashore with Natalie, not the skipper. Davern could have signed the hotel registry for Walken because Walken was well known and recognizable as an actor. The story of who was and who wasn't there doesn't make sense.

There is only one conclusion to draw. Four people know what really happened. One is dead, the victim who can't tell us what happened. And I always felt polygraph tests should have been given to the other three. It was the only way to clear this mystery. I'm sure that however Natalie died, it was an accident, it wasn't intentional. But, if she was knocked overboard and there was a cover-up, then this is manslaughter, at the very least. And this could be what the three feared. Even a polygraph can be tampered with but it could still clear the air as well as all three suspects and put closure to the case. The District Attorney, at that time, had told me they may start their own investigation after they received the Sheriff's report. One official told me, "If you walk past someone who is drowning, it's not manslaughter, but if you cause someone to fall into the water and they drown, then this is manslaughter." He also said it is very hard to get someone to take a lie detector test. You have to have something strong enough for them to want to take it."

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner said you could drive a truck through the holes in the stories released to the press.

On September 30th (anniversary of James Dean's death), Natalie had a prescription filled at Schwab's drugstore for 30, 500 mgs. of Placidyl. On the 29th of October, there was only one pill left, stuck in the bottom of the bottle. This could mean she had taken a pill a day. In addition to this, she had taken 10 mgs. of Valium. The United States Supreme Court Justice, William Rehnquist, had, at that time taken Placidyl to help him sleep while afflicted with back pain. Rehnquist experienced a "disturbance in mental clarity" and a distorted perception of reality due to a drug reaction for about a two hour period. And get this, Natalie, in addition to Placidyl and Valium, also took Darvon, a pain pill, Dalmane, a mild sleeping pill, a diet pill called Synthroid, Antivert, a pill for dizziness and a kidney pill called Bactrim. Three different doctors prescribed medications. Dr. Rutnick, Dr. Sutnick and Dr. Shuman, are named on the prescriptions.

I asked Dr. Noguchi to review his own drawings to understand my conclusions. He seemed to have been impressed with our conclusions but still said death was due to axidento dwowning.

Didn't he also say, "water going into her lungs may have prevented her from yelling out for help?" But, what about the persons on a nearby yacht who said "they did hear a woman yelling out for help, for several minutes?" What was Wagner and Walken doing all of this time?

Let's take a close look at certain pages of Natalie's autopsy. The page marked 20-B shows fresh bruise marks on the wrists, bruises and scratches on the "lower back of her legs," which could have been made by the Splendour's railing as she was knocked over from a blow to her face.
No bruises are shown on her back, which back up our theory. On page 12 OPINION it states: "most of the bruises on the body are superficial and probably sustained at the time of drowning."

Note: The book THE GOSSIP COLUMNIST has her full autopsy reports

Did you ever hear of water bruising a person? And why just the lower back side of her legs? Page 20 states: "superficial facial abrasion. Probable upward direction." If she was accidentally hit in a confrontation on deck, it could have been an upper blow she got in front of. How else could she have gotten an upper blow? Did the water give her this blow too?
Nowhere in the autopsy was it stated that she had had a prior altercation resulting in a facial abrasion before her drowning. Robert Wagner, Christopher Walken and Dennis Davern never mentioned she had a facial bruise.


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(link:the-gossip-columnist-2.blogspot.com) My Roots in Flint


Peter L. Winkler said...

Most Hollywood mysteries are bogus. I should know, having investigated the supposedly mysterious death of Nick Adams for my definitive article about his life and career published in Filmfax and now available online at Crimemagazine.com (under the Celebrity Crime link on the left sidebar).

If Natalie, RJ and Walken were arguing, in the wee hours, it almost certainly be below the deck in one of their rooms on the boat. If they were on deck and Natalie was knocked overboard, why didn't they immediately call the Coast Guard and police to rescue her?

Bill Dakota said...

Peter, Peter, Peter. THEY WERE ALL DRUNK! They were on drugs and booze. Natalie Wood's autopsy back up our theory. Dennis Davern said she was going to tie down the dinghy and fell overboard. Read the damned chapter. If they were arguing, it would be below the deck? C'mon man. Read the FACTS. They were so fucked up they were afraid to call the Coast Guard or anyone else. The time they reported her missing, was CHANGED on the report. Nick Adams death isn't mysterious. He committed suicide. Robert Conrad told me there was a suicide note, but they hid it so Carol could collect his insurance. Conrad now denies he said this to me, when he learned I was going to write about it. If you read, well perhaps, you have to see the finished chapter in my book to get a clear picture of the drugs in Natalie's system. I only show a few pages of the autopsy report in the blogs. The book is loaded with pictures that couldn't be blogged here.

Bill Dakota said...

Peter. I don't know how long your comment was posted but it sure pisses me. Anyone who read the complete chapter here, could answer your question(s). Why are you plugging your book? I guess to try to sell it (smile). When Coroner Noguchi phoned us to ask what our theory was on "how she drowned," that seems to show he wasn't quite the person to do the autopsy. I haven't read your book but see you have mentioned me as being Nick Adams's secretary on blogs about your book, as well as writing it in your book.

Peter L. Winkler said...

I'm not plugging a book, as I haven't written one. I wrote a 10,000 word biography of Nick Adams for Filmfax magazine. A revised version of the article is available online.

Peter L. Winkler said...

Why are you pissed by my comment? I read your article very carefully before commenting. I disagreed with your conclusions, but I did so politely. No hostility was intended.

"THEY WERE ALL DRUNK! They were on drugs and booze."

Being drunk isn't a crime, so that's no reason to defer calling the authorities only to let some drown. At most, they'd get a slap on the wrist. So I'm supposed to believe that Wagner would rather let his wife die than face a minor scandal over their drunken quarrel.? Now, give me a break.

"Dennis Davern said she was going to tie down the dinghy and fell overboard. Read the damned chapter. If they were arguing, it would be below the deck? C'mon man."

It makes a lot more sense that people who'd gone to their cabins below deck who were falling down drunk would have their argument there, not that they'd decide to go back on deck just to argue there. Why would they do that? Makes no sense.

"Dennis Davern said she was going to tie down the dinghy and fell overboard."

Well, then, that ends the mystery. Over the years, Davern intimated that he had some big revelation about Natalie's death, but he's never disclosed it, so I suspect there's nothing there. What chapter are you referring to, in your new book? I'd be happy to read it, send me a review copy. I might get a review published at Popmatters.com (where I reviewed Marc Elliot's Jimmy Stewart biography) or Filmfax.

Bill Dakota said...

Well, now then there. Seems like there was a recent story that Christopher Walken has written a book telling EXACTLY what took place on the Spendour. Dennis Davern was given many "things" to keep him quiet. But,as he often does, when getting drunk, spills the beans to whomever will listen to him. They were on deck, arguing, not below deck. She wasn't tying down the dingy as the press was told. The bruises on her face, made in an upward motion, shows she was hit by one of the two during their argument. Have you seen photos of the Splendour? Have you seen the dinghy photos? There wasn't any room for her to get into it and wearing a night glown isn't what Natalie would have worn if she had started to go ashore. Unfortunately, my publisher claims he went bankrupt and did not publish the book as was contracted for him to do. I have been busy and haven't even read these blogs, after blogging them on Zimbio. And being, not just drunk, but screwed up on drugs, they weren't even aware Natalie was drowning, even though it is a possibility they knew she went overboard. Evidently, you have never mixed booze and drugs. You lose your mind!!!!!

Winifred said...

It is common to want to move a dinghy if it is banging against the side. Lo and behold, when you are drunk, it is easy to fall. That is all that happened. No homicide, no nothing, just drunk.

Bill Dakota said...

Brother. You guys are so....stupid. The facts I have shown are just that- FACTS. I guess you have to see the complete autopsy reports to understand fully the situation. The book is now going through the printing procedures and I will soon have the galleys to proof read. Then it will be in the bookstores.

Bill Dakota said...

I guess everyone now knows the book has been published and is available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com and any bookstore.

Jacinda123 said...

if you look at the news now, you'll see they reopened the case... i believe the story isn't entirely told.. Yes, there is always some speculation to any stars death. People like mystery. But, in this case, I truly believe something was NOT being said. But, in a way, you got your wish of having them investigate further. Not even sure if you check this anymore, but it made for a good read, and the upper blow theory, seriously makes a lot of sense.

amber c said...

I believe that she was murdered. Drugs, booze whatever, the bruises speak for themselves, I have a large boat, this had to of happened via her standing with her back to the rail. He hit her, she probably screamed and to shut her up he threw her overboard. The fact that he didn't want to attend his own wife's funeral, shocker.

Tim said...

The upper-directed bruise to the cheek could have occurred in a number of ways. A glancing blow, a fall (before or during incident on board)or while falling overboard. The fresh bruises to the legs are to both the front and backs, including one on the inside of her right ankle. All the bruises to her wrists/forearms are on the BACKS of her arms per Diag. 20B, with none on the "inside", Diag 20A. Outside bruising is consistent with defensive injuries. "Inside" bruising would be consistent with falling overboard backwards, reaching for the rail & missing, striking her wrists on the rail instead. But, there is no inside wrist bruising to support that theory. Dr.N's accent is hilarious. Your mocking him is not. It certainly is the duty of a coroner to investigate in order render an opinion on the cause and manner of death. What do you think an autopsy is? What do you think a formal inquest is? If you are such a stellar reporter, why didn't you investigate the lack of one in this case? He could have held one on his own initiative, or at the request of state or local law enforcement officials. He didn't & no one else asked for one. How come!? He could have subpoenaed and questioned "RJ", the captain, the "mystery guest", her prescribing physicians, witnesses from the restaurant, witnesses from the hotel, witnesses from the surrounding boats. Everybody. Under oath. With or without a jury. WHY DIDN'T HE!? That's the only true mystery in this case, you moron.

Casey said...

In my opinion, I think that all is true with the argueing and the drugs, but has anyone considered that maybe she and RJ got in a fight and he grabbed her wrists to keep her from attacking him, then he gave her a smack in the face, thinking there arguement was over and left their room and she decided that she had enough and tried to go ashore by herself in the dingy. In the process fell in and drown because of being so intoxicated with the booze and perscription cocktail, not to mention freezing water temp. RJ and Walkin were most likely not aware she had done this till they were headed off to bed and did not see her. I was a little girl when this accident happened, but I have read several stories and I think it could be a possability.

Bill Dakota said...

Yes, I have re-read my chapter of my book. I am relieved that the case is finally open for review. Of course there will be persons who try to say my theories are wrong. But, no matter what the subject is on blogs, there are also people who just want to argue and try to say the facts aren't true. Common sense shows I used common sense and this was an original story, (headlines as a matter of fact) in my paper, THE HOLLYWOOD STAR right after she died, not a made up story to ride of this new publicity. As for the other scratches on her legs, these were older scratches. The autopsy tells which ones were recent.

I didn't have room to put all 20 or more autopsy pages on this site. As you can see, there were doubters here from the beginning. Like I said, this happens to many blogs. Mine is facts, not fiction. Lana wrote me after the newspaper story. She said it didn't matter how Natalie died, because RJ was the only person who could raise Natalie's kids, i.e., money!

Rhonda said...

Do you see the pills she was on.. that, combined with the alcohol made it dangerous for Natalie. I think the bruise on her face was caused by a right handed slap or hit. I think Natalie was mad and wanted to get out of there..I think she really wasn't going to leave because she figured her husband would come out and stop her, but he was furious and didn't. The pills started to take affect and she became disoriented and she fell in....end of story. If Robert Wagner wanted her out of his life, he would have just divorced her..like he did earlier in his life... he would not have thrown away his career to sit in prison.

K Mary said...

Hello, just reading through your blog. Just a few minor corrections regarding the pharmaceuticals found in Ms Wood's blood. Synthroid is not a diet pill, it is a synthetic thyroid hormone replacement that many women end up on when their thyroid slows down after age 40. It isn't effective as a diet pill. Bactrim is an antibiotic, a sulfa based antibiotic, not a kidney pill. Bactrim has no other use but to address infections, such as ear infections, sinus infections, or possibly, a bladder infection. It was popular at the time of Ms Wood's death. Placidyl would have mixed badly with alcohol and that's already been noted. Ms Wood might have even passed out from intoxication before she actually drowned. With the new investigation, it will be fascinating to see the final disposition of this case that has haunted the public imagination so long.

suziqtip said...

I adored Natalie and wholeheartedly believe there is something not right about her death an RJ should be brought to justice for not calling for help sooner, another divorce scandal may well have ended his meager acting career. Also I have been intoxicated and taking sleeping pills and had a serious fight with my husband, and as out of it as I may have been I would never have tried to leave to go anywhere without my underwear as am sure Natalie would never have thought of going ashore without hers... Nobody seems to have ever mentioned this in anything I have read in any blog book or comment !! As for tying a banging dinghy this sounds utter rubbish when you have paid help to do such things ...

suziqtip said...

Also bill as I live in England don't get to hear much about the ongoing case ...so would you keep your blog updated for all Natalie lovers ,,

suziqtip said...

I adored Natalie and wholeheartedly believe there is something not right about her death an RJ should be brought to justice for not calling for help sooner, another divorce scandal may well have ended his meager acting career. Also I have been intoxicated and taking sleeping pills and had a serious fight with my husband, and as out of it as I may have been I would never have tried to leave to go anywhere without my underwear as am sure Natalie would never have thought of going ashore without hers... Nobody seems to have ever mentioned this in anything I have read in any blog book or comment !! As for tying a banging dinghy this sounds utter rubbish when you have paid help to do such things ...

suziqtip said...

I adored Natalie and wholeheartedly believe there is something not right about her death an RJ should be brought to justice for not calling for help sooner, another divorce scandal may well have ended his meager acting career. Also I have been intoxicated and taking sleeping pills and had a serious fight with my husband, and as out of it as I may have been I would never have tried to leave to go anywhere without my underwear as am sure Natalie would never have thought of going ashore without hers... Nobody seems to have ever mentioned this in anything I have read in any blog book or comment !! As for tying a banging dinghy this sounds utter rubbish when you have paid help to do such things ...

Mary said...

Have always believed RJ and Walken did indeed have a fight that went out of control and Natalie was caught in the middle of it and somehow was hurt-I do believe it was an accident that both men caused and will take to their graves.

cynthia said...

There were 3 men on the slendour that night who could have tied the dingy,first of all wagner stated she went to tie it down,the fact is it already was,i believe that wagner pu ched her and thats how she went overboard,walken was passed out in his cabin after the wine bottle insident,so ibelieve he knew nothing,davern was in the upper part of the boat with the radio blaring,so he wouldnt seem like he was evesdroping,i have read his book,and believe him,wagner needs to be investagated ,never really was 31 years ago,its time natalie has justice,once and for all

Richard Schweitzer said...

Ridiculous article, first, to make fun of Noguchi's accent is sophomoric, even under the guise accuracy... also, why jump to the conclusion that because she had a bruise on her face that (ludicrously) couldn't be made by "water"... it must have been from a confrontation, why not, if she slipped off the side of boat trying to tie down the dinghy, could she not have hit her face on the boat itself? Why jump to confrontation with no evidence of it? Also, sure, any of the men on the boat could have tied the dinghy... but she's a woman, drunk, pissed off at everyone on the boat and just decided to try it herself. People make bad decisions like that all the time. Again, ridiculous article.

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