Natalie Wood’s Mysterious Death: Accident Or Foul Play?

About this episode

CW: Themes/descriptions of violence

Over 40 years ago Natalie Wood was found floating in the water off the coast of Catalina Island, wearing a flannel nightgown, socks, and a down jacket. Her death was widely believed to be a tragic accident that occurred because of her drunken state. 

However, in 2013 new information about suspicious circumstances led the cause of death to be changed from “accidental drowning” to “drowning and other undetermined factors.” And a 2018 press conference revealed not only that new witness testimony had come to light, but also that Natalie’s husband, Robert Wagner, was now officially considered “a person of interest” in her death. Yet as of this moment, Natalie’s case remains open, her death still a mystery. 

This fascinating episode takes a look at the tragic loss of Natalie Wood and considers the question ‘Was it an accident or foul play?’

Show Notes for Episode 27!

Natalie Wood (age 14) posing for a portrait in her home in 1952
Frank Worth, Capital Art Getty Images
Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner aboard the Splendour


Wikipedia: West Side Story (1961 film)

“What Really Happened to Natalie Wood?” Town and Country, by Nancy Bilyeau, May 5, 2020

“40 Years Later, the Mystery Over Natalie Wood’s Death Endures,” Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2021

“Natalie Wood’s Sister Lana Fights for Truth of Her Mysterious Death: ‘Still a Long Way to Go,’” USA Today, by David Oliver, November 9, 2021

“Natalie Wood’s Sister Says Christopher Walken Spoke to Detectives Working Her Reopened Case, But Made Them Promise Not to Reveal What He Said,” Insider, by Erin Snodgrass, November 18, 2021

“Natalie Wood’s Sister: ‘Of Course’ Robert Wagner Killed Her,” New York Post, by Raquel Laneri, November 4, 2021


Natalie Wood in the ending scene from “Miracle on 34th Street”

Natalie Wood & James Dean in a scene from “Rebel Without A Cause”

Natalie Wood in the ‘bathtub scene’ from “Splendor in the Grass”
Natalie Wood in “West Side Story” singing “Tonight” in her own voice

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