At its face, the line sounds explosive: CBS News reports actor Robert Wagner “is now a person of interest” in wife Natalie Wood’s 1981 drowning death, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators.
But read on in CBS’ report, and what Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant John Corina is quoted as telling 48 Hours is a slightly softer version of that: “As we’ve investigated the case over the last six years, I think he’s more of a person of interest now.” And as a rep for Wagner tells Time, 48 Hours has lobbed such accusations against Wagner before.
But with Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Water set to air on Saturday on CBS, the mysterious death is getting yet another look.
The investigation into Wood’s death was reopened in late 2011, and CBS News reports Wagner hasn’t spoken to investigators since that occurred. He, Captain Dennis Davern, and the actor Christopher Walken were on the boat Wood went missing from off the Catalina coast.
She was found in the water the next day, and the death was ruled accidental; in 2012, it was reclassified as “undetermined.” Corina seems to cast suspicion on Wagner with his comments, saying “he’s constantly changed his story a little bit.”
When asked by 48 Hours whether he thinks Wagner knows more about what really happened, Corina offers this: “Well, I think he does because he’s the last one to see her.” (A coroner in 2013 said Wood’s body was bruised before she drowned.)