The New York Post reports that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Detective Ralph Hernandez appeared on the upcoming podcast Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood, which is expected to launch on Friday, July 20.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Wood drowned after falling from the yacht “Splendour” on Thanksgiving weekend, 1981, while on an outing with her husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Watkin, who she was filming a movie with at the time.
Wood was famously fearful of water and could not swim. But the official explanation for her death is that she fell or slipped from the yacht when she went to retie a dinghy to the vessel in the middle of the night.
The trio had reportedly been drinking heavily with the ship’s captain, Dennis Davern, earlier in the evening.
Detective Hernandez reportedly reveals in the first episode of the podcast that bruises found on Wood’s body were more consistent with assault than with the earlier explanation that she hurt herself while struggling to get back on the yacht.
“The bottom line is, we have someone who died under very suspicious circumstances, and it’s just as important of a case as a murder, but our job is to get to the truth and to hopefully come up with enough evidence to prove that truth,” Hernandez reportedly says on the podcast..
“The fact is that we have a lot of information as to the events of what occurred that evening … We have a lot of evidence that tends to point to a very suspicious death and would certainly indicate the possibility of foul play.”
No one has ever been charged with wrongdoing in Wood’s death, but in February 2018 investigators named Wagner as a person of interest. Wagner is now 88 years old.
Natalie’s sister Lana Wood has long suspected that Wagner was responsible for her sister’s death. Lana has discussed her sister’s mysterious death on “Crime Stories” with Nancy Grace.
[Feature image: Associated Press]