Natalie Wood’s Autopsy Report Reveals New Details About Her Death

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — CBS2 and KCAL9 have obtained a copy of Natalie Wood’s original autopsy report.

The 34-page document maintains the 43-year-old actress likely died from an accidental drowning. [To read the full pdf file, click here.]

It also says Wood’s body was identified by friend and “boat skipper Dennis Davern.”

Davern admitted to the “Today” show that he “lied” 30 years ago, to tell a story more compatible with one Wagner wanted to release.

Davern now says Wagner impeded his search efforts and reports that the couple was engaged in a terrible fight moments before she either fell off or left the boat on her own accord. The captain is quoted in an interview for Saturday’s “48 Hours” saying that Wagner screamed at Christopher Walken, then co-starring with Wood in the movie “Brainstorm,” — “What are you trying to do, [expletive deleted] my wife?”

The investigative portion of the report, signed by Investigator Pamela Eaker, also says Mr. Wagner first noticed his wife was missing at 22:45 hours and “immediately radioed for help and a search was begun.”

The coroner’s report also asks Wagner if Wood was suicidal and he insisted his wife was not.

The document notes “numerous” bruises to her legs and arms and that her eyes appeared to be “a bit cloudy.”

Reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, Serene Branson also notes that Wood’s blood alcohol level was at .14, over the legal limit of .10.

The coroner, Thomas Noguchi, noted lots of foam coming out of her mouth, consistent with a drowning. “No other trauma noted and foul play is not suspected at this time,” he wrote.

He also found “superficial skin bruises on the extremities and abrasions on the left side of the face.” He also noted “there is no evidence of strangulation.”

The dinghy that some speculated Wood was trying to secure on the Splendour was found with its key in the ignition in the off position. The report also noted the dinghy’s gear was in neutral with its oars tied down “as if the boat had not even been used.”

Wood was taking at least eight prescription drugs, including Darvon — then a popular pain killer — at the time of her death. She was also taking Antivert, a pill that combats nausea and sea sickness. Another drug, Dalmane, is taken to fight insomnia.

At the time of her death, Noguchi noted 2 small pills which had not yet dissolved in her small intestine. “They appear to be a large size of a vitamin-like substance by the appearance and by the smell. The gastric contents emits the smelling of alcohol.”

Branson also reports that Wood’s sister, Lana Wood, told CNN’s Piers Morgan that she has no reason to doubt Dennis Davern’s new account or his motives. Wood said, “I can’t imagine RJ doing anything intentionally to hurt her, but things happen.”

IMAGES: Scenes From Natalie Wood’s Life

More from Serene Branson
  • randy

    The boat skippe is playing the LASD and the media like a fiddle. Imagine, on the 30th anniversary of Wood’s death, he puts out a book and a media frenzy begins! The investigation will reveal nothing new, and the skipper will sell a few books and in a couple of weeks a bunch of them will be on discount tables at Big Lots and 99 Cent Stores everywhere.

    • SmartestOne

      You wrote:

      “Imagine, on the 30th anniversary of Wood’s death, he puts out a book ..”

      WRONG. The book was released 2 years ago.


    • GC1008

      Randy, you’ve got that right. The only people this plays to are old men who had when they were younger had crushes on Ms. Woods and were jealous of Mr. Wagner. Oh, and it seems to be playing to Ms. Wood’s sister. Maybe she does have questions, but she’s also back in the public lime light after years of obscurity.

  • Justin Case

    Of course, there could not possibly have been ANY foul play — thanks for enlightening me

  • Too Bad Natalie Wasn’t Made of Wood « Cats Working

    […] went to bed while Natalie and Wagner continued to fight. There had been a lot of drinking all […]

  • miette

    The dinghy was found with the key in the off position and the oars still tied down as if never used. That doesn’t make sense. Wagner says she left and they had no idea she was gone or they would have looked for her.

  • Joe

    Little by little, the pieces are starting to fall into place. What was once considered conjecture is now becomming more like real possibilities. Wagner and Walkin are sitting on a powder keg, don’t you think? This time around, I suspect someone is going to get their medicine!!

  • Joe

    I also wonder if Mr. Wagner is “all there”. One of his early movies “a kiss before dying” is about a guy (wagner) who does in his gf because she is pregnant. Maybe life is imitating art.

  • mjm

    How can you loose some one on that boat. It’s not a cruise ship ???? I don’t buy that. Most probably they had a argument or fight and being both drunk she went on deck, lost balance and fell in the water. Unfortunately, RJ was intoxicated and unaware of her wife fighting for her life. Where was the guest and the captain during that time??? People 150YARDS from the boat heard someone calling for heal. Hard to understand. Probably they were all drunk and passed out.

    • miette

      I never even thought about it at the time. I was pretty young though, but once you read about the dinghy and just what you said, such a small boat, if not purposeful it is negligent to say the least. Although, if I am drinking too much, my husband will keep his head and watch over me. It just seems weird, the story doesn’t go with the oars still being tied down.

  • Montecore

    I still believe wagoner killed her. He was jealous of her because she got more roles than him, Natalie was also a better actor and she was going to take the girls and leave him.

    It isn’t bad enough that he got away with murder, now he is making money on commercials and tv shows that don’t care who they hire.

  • Maryann Seeger

    He dud bit send out an alert, which could have saved her life. People heard someone call for help. They were arguing and drinking. It adds up to foul play.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Sandwich Generation

Listen Live