Police Claim Robert Wagner’s Story Doesn’t ‘Add up’ in Natalie Wood Investigation

American actor Robert Wagner with his former wife American actress Natalie Wood
Chris Wood/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
American actor Robert Wagner with his former wife American actress Natalie Wood, 23rd April 1972.


The mystery surrounding Natalie Wood’s death continues with her former husband, Robert Wagner’s, role in her demise is being questioned now more than ever. Lt. John Corina, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s homicide bureau, revealed in a press conference on Monday according to CNN, “He’s a person of interest because he’s the last person with her before she went in the water.”

“This is a suspicious death investigation. We want to know what happened from the time of the argument to when she got into the water,” he continued.

Wagner did not return CNN‘s request for comment but Corina confirmed he does not have to—by law—cooperate with with investigators. Though the actor’s details about what happened that tragic night “really don’t add up to what we’ve found.”

Corina thinks the police are “closer to understanding” the truth.


An upcoming episode of CBS crime docuseries 48 Hours reveals that actor Robert Wagner, 87, is now considered “a person of interest” in the mysterious death of actress and wife Natalie Wood.

The report, shared in Saturday’s all-new special, comes 36 years after the West Side Story actress drowned near Catalina Island, off the the coast of California. Woods, 43, was on her family’s yacht, the Splendour, in November 1981, with Wagner, co-star Christopher Walken, and Captain Dennis Davern, when she somehow ended up overboard.

Her death was ruled an accident at the time, but in 2011, the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department re-opened the case. Erin Moriarty of 48 Hours spoke with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. John Corina about Wood’s death and if Wagner knows something he’s never admitted to in the February 3 investigative special.

“Do you believe Natalie Wood was murdered?” Moriarty asked Lt. Carina in her sit-down interview.

“I think it’s suspicious enough to make us think that something happened. I don’t think she got into the water herself. I don’t think she fell into the water,” explained Corina.

“Do you think Robert Wagner has ever told the truth of exactly what happened?” pressed Moriarty.

“I haven’t seen it. His versions of events just don’t add up to the evidence or the witnesses we found,” he continued. Those witnesses? Two people who just came forward, claiming they were on a neighboring boat and heard Wood and Wagner fighting that night she died.

And why are they calling Wagner a “person of interest” all these years later? Corina told 48 Hours, “As we’ve investigated the case over the last six years, I think he’s more of a person of interest now. I mean, we know now that he was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared.”

Wagner did not return CBS’ request for comment and has refused to speak with investigators over the past few years.

Meanwhile, in Wager’s 2008 memoir Pieces of My Heart, he admitted that he was drinking that night and there was an argument, during which he broke a wine bottle. He wrote, “I picked up a wine bottle, slammed it on the table and broke it into pieces.”

However, he holds steady to the fact he has no idea what happened to his late wife. “Nobody knows. There are only two possibilities: Either she was trying to get away from the argument, or she was trying to tie the dinghy. But the bottom line is that nobody knows exactly what happened,” he wrote.

Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Water, Saturday, Feb. 3, 10/9c, CBS