Robert Wagner has long denied that he had any involvement with the death of his wife Natalie Wood. Way back in 1981, Wood’s death was ruled an accidental drowning and the case was closed. Things heated up again in 2011, 30 years after Wood’s death, when new information came to light that seemed to cast doubt on Robert Wagner’s story.
While most people have certainly heard of Natalie Wood — and most know that she drowned — the known details of her death usually get passed over. The official story is that Natalie Wood and her husband Robert Wagner were on their yacht, along with actor Christopher Walken, who was starring in a movie with Natalie Wood at the time. Also along for the trip was the captain of the boat, Dennis Davern.
Back in 1981, the public was told that Wood’s body was found by police at 8:00 a.m. the morning of November 29, 1981. She was floating in he water about a mile away from where the yacht was moored near Catalina Island. There was a small inflatable dinghy beached nearby.
An autopsy revealed that Wood’s blood alcohol level was 0.14% and she had medications in her system that would have increased the effects of alcohol. It also said that she had bruises on her body and arms and an abrasion on her left cheek.
The theory of the day was that Wood tried to get in the dinghy to leave the yacht, and slipped into the water. In her inebriated state, she could not get back up and succumbed to hypothermia and drowned.
Then, in 2011, the captain of the boat said that he had withheld information that Wood’s husband Robert Wagner had been fighting with her. This was the bombshell that reopened the 30-year-old case and led to another examiner amending the original cause of death to now read “Drowning and other undetermined factors.”
But still, Wagner was not implicated in Wood’s death, despite Davern’s insistence that he was to blame.
Now The Enquirer reports that a former FBI agent has come forth claiming that he and Natalie Wood had an ongoing affair that some say may have been the cause of the alleged fight between Wood and Robert Wagner that night. The theory is that it was this argument that caused a physical altercation, and eventually led to Wood trying to leave the boat drunk.
“We were in love with each other,” former FBI agent Dennis Wilson told the magazine. Wilson said he met Wood in Idaho in 1973, and that had been in a secret relationship since.
“She told me her presence in Idaho was a spur-of-the-moment trip in an effort to distance herself from her husband,” Wilson said. Wood and Robert Wagner had married in 1957 and divorced in 1962. But they remarried in 1971 — two years before she allegedly met and got involved with Wilson — and remained married until her death in 1981.