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Natalie Wood Feared Robert Wagner Hours Before Death, Boat Captain Claims

Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood was so upset over her husband Robert Wagner’s behavior in the hours before her death, she begged the yacht’s captain to bring her ashore — and then made desperate plans to flee in a seaplane.

These shocking claims about one of Hollywood’s most tragic legends come from a world exclusive interview with Captain Dennis Davern on the critically acclaimed new podcast, “Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood.”

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Davern was the captain of the Splendour, the yacht from which Wood vanished during the wee hours of November 29, 1981.

Her body, clad in a nightgown, red jacket and socks, was found hours later off California’s Catalina Island. She was just 43.

In Chapter 6 of the podcast, Davern recreated in chilling detail the final yacht cruise taken by Wagner, Wood, and Wood’s Brainstorm costar Christopher Walken.

On the cruise’s first night, he claimed, “The jealousy started to build so much that Natalie couldn’t take it any longer.”

“I mean, the fighting and everything just started, everything just started to escalate.”

“And before it got out of control, Natalie says, ‘You know, Dennis … You know, can you take me ashore?’ She says, ‘I can’t be on this boat.’”

Davern told “Fatal Voyage” he explained to Wagner, “You know, your wife is asking me to get her off this boat, and I feel like I need to, because things aren’t looking good here.”

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“So, Natalie and I, we got in the dinghy. Because of the way he was acting. When I took Natalie ashore, she was, like, hysterical. And we went to a motel. Natalie and I, we sat there and we talked, and talked, and talked. I mean, we talked about so many things.”

“I mean, she wanted to get off of the island. She wanted to call her sister.”

“She talked about leaving Robert Wagner. And I was [like], ‘Oh, my God. I can’t believe all this is happening.’”

“And so the next morning, Natalie, she wanted to call and see about getting a seaplane. Well, she couldn’t get a seaplane, for some reason.”

Instead, they rejoined Wagner and Walken on the boat — and hours later, Wood was gone.

The 12-part audio documentary “Fatal Voyage” is the culmination of years of dogged investigative reporting by a team of journalists led by host Dylan Howard.

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In the first five chapters, now available for download on iTunes, the podcast probed Natalie’s meteoric rise from child star to red carpet royalty, as well as her first marriage to fellow actor Wagner, now 88, their divorce in 1962, and then reunion and second marriage 10 years later.

Police have named Wagner a “person of interest” in Wood’s reopened case, and cops have confirmed to Fatal Voyage that evidence points to the possibility of “foul play.”

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