Christopher Walken is vindicated! One of Hollywood's most intriguing mysteries re-surfaced today as a photo of actress Natalie Wood taken in 1985, four years after her death, was published in the Hollywood Underground News tabloid.
Actress Natalie Wood died from an apparent boating accident that occurred on the Splendour, a yacht owned by her and her then husband, Robert Wagner. Christopher Walken was also aboard, lurking around. Rumor had it that Walken and Wood were having an affair during the filming of their movie, Brainstorm. As the story went, all three got liquored up and Natalie, for some unknown reason, found herself out on deck, late at night, in her night-gown to tie down a dingy. Moments later she fell over board and drowned. (Now you all know the answer to the question, What kind of wood doesn't float?)
Both Walken and Wagner were suspects of foul play but no charges were issued by the police even though both men offered very little details about that night. This tight lipped stance opened up Pandora's box allowing conspiracy theories and outlandish stories fueled by captain Dennis Davern's testimony claiming Walken and Wagner were in a heated argument with pushing and shoving on deck. A perfect scenario for a murder mystery.
So why now, why leak this photo of Wood now? The Grassy Knoll Institute investigators believe they have uncovered the truth. Natalie Wood seized the opportunity and faked her own death to get back at her alleged cheating husband Robert Wagner. Before Woods new movie began with Walken, she hired a private investigator to follow her husband as she suspected him of sleeping around with younger starlets.
Apparently Wagner found the private eye's sealed report in Woods belongings the night of the boating accident. The argument the captain of the boat heard that night was when Wagner confronted Natalie with the envelope. Walken stepped in to take the side of Natalie, (His alleged lover at the time) and the argument grew quite boisterous and heated. The rest is history.
However, Wood was well prepared that evening knowing that Wagner already knew of her own cheating and the private eye she hired to tail him. That night she would set her plan in motion. She would be free from him and start her life anew.
Woods made sure the argument was loud enough for the boat captain to hear and made sure both Wagner and Walken were quite drunk. After the argument subsided, Wood went to her state-room as well Wagner and Walken to theirs. Later that evening, Wood returned on deck, unhooked the dingy that was knocking against the state-room walls, removed an inflatable rescue raft and disembarked the yacht navigating away from the Splendour and went to shore. Arrangements were already made onshore with a close friend for a getaway car and enough funds to start a new life.
The next morning, the coast guard found Natalie Wood floating in the water dead from drowning. The coroners report ruled the death accidental, believing Wood fell overboard being drunk herself and drowned some minutes later.
But wait a minute, if they found Natalie Wood dead in the water, then how was she onshore making a getaway? Wood had that figured out. One of her under studies (Rebecca Handraddy) had a remarkable resemblance to Natalie. Rebecca had the exact same body type, height, weight, hair, eyes. Rebecca was a perfect double. One more similarity, Rebecca was also having an affair with Robert Wagner.
Before Wood boarded the yacht, she met with Rebecca and confronted her with the photographic evidence from her hired private eye. Rebecca broke down and admitted the affair and sobbed trying to tell Natalie she was sorry. Natalie wasn't buying any of this. She tied up Rebecca, forced alcohol down her throat, then took her out to sea. With Rebecca unconscious, Wood pushed her overboard. She was found by the coast guard the next day.
The body was spotted and pulled from the sea and sent to the coroner's office. The body was in such bad condition, Wood was hardly recognizable. Only her jewelry and clothes helped identify her. The coroner quickly ruled accidental drowning with no foul play as her official cause of death. Case closed.
Natalie Wood had gotten away with murder and the ultimate revenge on her husband.