Natalie Wood: Robert Wagner to blame for death, says Dennis Davern

natalie-wood-robert-wagner-gi.jpgOscar-winning actress Natalie Wood died nearly 30 years ago, on Nov. 29, 1981 in the icy waters off of California's Catalina Island. She had, the story goes, been drinking on a boat with husband Robert Wagner, actor Christopher Walken and the boat's captain, Dennis Davern. At the time, her death was ruled an accident -- the result of too much drinking.

But on Thursday (Nov. 17), the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department re-opened the case, claiming to have new information from Dalvern -- who, not for the first time, is claiming that Wagner is in fact responsible for Wood's death. A sheriff's department press conference is scheduled for Friday.

Dalvern appeared on NBC's "Today" Friday and claimed he had made a mistake by not divulging the truth 30 years ago. Dalvern claims that a fight between Wagner and Wood -- possibly over a possible affair between her and Walken -- led to the actress' death.

"Was the fight between Natalie Wood and her husband Robert Wagner what ultimately led to her death?" "Today's" David Gregory asked.

"Yes," Davern replied.

"How so?"

"Like I said, that's going to be up to the investigators to decide," he said.

"We didn't take any steps to see if we could locate her," he added. "I think it was a matter of, 'We're not going to look too hard, we're not going to turn on the searchlight, we're not going to notify anybody right now.'"

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On Thursday, a spokesman for Wagner released a statement saying the family fully supports the investigation, but hinted that Dalvern is merely trying to profit from the 30 year anniversary of Wood's death. Dalvern is the subject of a collaboration between Vanity Fair and "48 Hours Mystery" about Woods' death.

Coincidentally, one of Woods' most enduring movies, "West Side Story," is also celebrating its 50th anniversary with a re-release on Blu-ray.
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