Don Bauder 6:07 a.m., May 21
L.A. Sheriff's Office Reopens Investigation Into Natalie Wood Drowning
Natalie Wood's body was found floating in the Pacific, a mile away from where her yacht was anchored off Santa Catalina Island, on November 29, 1981. The star of such hit films as Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, and Splendor in the Grass was discovered wearing socks, a floor-length nightgown, and a down jacket. According to the autopsy report, there were numerous bruises about her face and body, including an abrasion on her left cheek. Thomas Noguchi, better known as Hollywood's "coroner to the stars," ruled her death an accident.
Wood spent the 1981 Thanksgiving holiday aboard her yacht Splendour with husband Robert Wagner and Brainstorm co-star Christopher Walken. I can't begin to print the wide variety of wild and salacious rumors told me throughout the years surrounding that night. They refuse to stop. A friend hit me with a doozy just last night!
If it doesn't gel, it isn't aspic, and this is one plot that continues to thicken. (For those unfamiliar with the factual details surrounding the case, this CNN report will bring you up to speed.) After 30 years, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office announced yesterday that it was reopening its case into what many still believe to be one of Hollywood's premier unsolved mysteries. Personally, I'm a George "Superman" Reeves conspiracy theorist (Perry White on the grassy knoll), but it's going to be fascinating to watch this homicide investigation unfurl.
Remember: Cameras in the courtroom + Walken on the stand = Emmy.