Today I binge-listened to Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood, thirteen episodes and over 5 and a half hours of podcast audio. Natalie Wood was an A-class actress in her day, married to leading man, Robert Wagner. Their love was the stuff of fairy tales! ….Or was it?
In 1981, detectives and the medical examiner concluded that Natalie Wood accidentally drowned, falling from her yacht, Splendour. Robert Wagner, her husband was devastated at the loss. They were deeply in love. He refused to identify the body, sending someone else instead. Ten weeks later, he announced his relationship with Jill St. John, who is still his wife. Questions quickly began to rise about the true cause of Natalie Wood’s death. Were these just stories to sell tabloids in the supermarket? This story hasn’t died in close to 40 years and it includes several Hollywood celebrities, gossip and bisexual scandal!
The production value of Fatal Voyage is well done, each episode with a story arc of its own and ending with a cliffhanger to grips you and doesn’t let you stop where you are. With each clue unearthed, the mystery deepens.
New interviews with Natalie’s sister Lana, Detective Ralph Hernandez, yacht captain Dennis Davern, Doctor Cyril Wecht, and ear-witness Marilyn Wayne bring up a lot of questions that need to be answered. In fact, detectives re-opened the case in 2012.
So can new evidence really help in a case dating back to 1981? In 2013, the cause of Natalie Wood’s death changed from “accidental death” to “drowning and other undetermined factors.” Robert Wagner has been deemed a “person of interest.” The Academy award-winning actor Christopher Walken, who was on the yacht the night of Natalie’s death hired an attorney.
Celebrity, Politics and Cover-ups!
This podcast series includes celebrity intrigue, including extremely clumsy investigation by detectives at the time and sloppy work by the medical examiner, as well as accusations toward Frank Sinatra and Ronald Reagan.
If you are interested in listening, search Fatal Voyage in your favorite podcast app.
Have you already listened to the podcast? Do you have an opinion about the case? Let me know in the comments below.