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Natalie Wood's sister says details of death always bothered her

November 21, 2011 | 10:46 am

Times coverage of Natalie Wood's 1981 death. Click to read more.

Natalie Wood's sister said Monday that "there were always things that were always bothering me" about the death 30 years ago of her sister.

Lana Wood said she's pleased that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has reopened the case.

"I'm so frightened of hearing things that I don't want to hear," Wood told the Today Show. "I would like to be told that everything is exactly as they said."

PHOTOS: Natalie Wood | 1938-1981

Natalie Wood, 43, was boating off Santa Catalina Island on Thanksgiving weekend 1981 with her husband, Robert Wagner, and others when she somehow went overboard and died. Officials at the time ruled her death an accident, but speculation has persisted about whether there is more to the story.

On Saturday evening, Nov. 28, Wood and Wagner's 60-foot yacht, Splendour, was anchored at Catalina, where Wood and Wagner had dinner at Doug's Harbor Reef restaurant with Christopher Walken, who was then Wood's co-star in the film "Brainstorm" and was spending the holiday weekend with the couple.

FULL COVERAGE: Natalie Wood investigation reopened

Later, according to authorities, the trio returned to the yacht and had drinks, and Wagner and Walken got into an argument. Wagner said in a 2008 interview with The Times that the argument concerned how much of one's personal life should be sacrificed in pursuit of one's career and art.

The men eventually calmed down and said good night, Wagner said, but when he went to bed, Wood wasn't there.

Wagner thought that his wife had taken a small inflatable boat by herself, as she had done before, his spokesman said after the incident. After 10 to 15 minutes passed, Wagner went to look for her on a small cruiser, the spokesman said. When he didn't find her, he contacted the harbor patrol.

Authorities discovered Wood's body at about 8 a.m. Sunday, about a mile from the yacht. The dinghy was found beached nearby.


Robert Wagner supports inquiry into Natalie Wood's death

Yacht captain blames Robert Wagner for Natalie Wood's death

Natalie Wood investigation prompted by boat captain's comments

— Richard Winton

Image: The Los Angeles Times front-page article reporting Natalie Wood's 1981 death. Credit: Los Angeles Times