Sunday, December 17, 2017

Authorities amend Natalie Wood's death certificate

LOS ANGELES — Natalie Wood's death certificate has been changed to reflect some of the uncertainties and lingering questions surrounding her drowning more than 30 years ago in the Pacific Ocean off Southern California.

The document was amended this month and shifts the actor's death from an accidental drowning to "drowning and other undetermined factors," according to a copy of the certificate obtained Tuesday by the Associated Press.

The amended document also states that the circumstances of how she ended up in the waters off Catalina Island in November 1981 are "not clearly established."

The changes occurred nine months after sheriff's homicide investigators renewed their inquiry into Wood's death shortly before its 30th anniversary.

Chief of Detectives William McSweeney said the decision to amend the death certificate was ultimately made by the coroner's office, which has been instructed by detectives not to discuss the case. "I would just say undetermined is descriptive," he said.

McSweeney said detectives still have work to do on the case, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a major shift is coming.

The changes to the death certificate were approved by the Los Angeles County chief medical examiner, Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, in late June, but were not formally recorded until Aug. 1. The certificate wasn't made public until recently.

Conflicting versions of what happened on the yacht shared by Wood, her actor-husband Robert Wagner and their friend, actor Christopher Walken, have contributed to the mystery of how the actor died on Thanksgiving weekend in 1981. Authorities have said Wagner is not a suspect in his wife's death.

Investigators re-opened the case last November but have released few details about its progress. They traveled to Hawaii to inspect the Splendour, the yacht the trio was aboard on the night of Wood's disappearance.

The renewed inquiry came after the boat's captain, Dennis Davern, told 48 Hours Mystery and the Today show that he heard Wagner and Wood arguing the night of her disappearance and believed Wagner was to blame for her death.

Wagner wrote in a 2008 memoir that he and Walken argued that night. An email seeking comment by Wagner on Tuesday was not returned.

Comments
Trans-Siberian Orchestra honor founder Paul O’Neill in Tampa: ‘You live in all our hearts’

Trans-Siberian Orchestra honor founder Paul O’Neill in Tampa: ‘You live in all our hearts’

The grandiosity and bombast of a typical Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert was tinged with emotion during the band's two concerts Sunday in Tampa, the adopted home of late founder Paul O'Neill.With plenty of friends and family looking on at Amalie Are...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Fresh off victory, Doug Jones spends weekend in Key West

Fresh off victory, Doug Jones spends weekend in Key West

Alabama Senator-elect Doug Jones was spotted in Key West over the weekend, celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary and catching a Jimmy Buffett performance.A source told Politico that the Jones and his wife, Louise, showed up at Buffett's Margaritav...
Updated: 2 hours ago
U.S. soldier ambushed in Niger wasn’t captured, report says

U.S. soldier ambushed in Niger wasn’t captured, report says

From The Associated Press:An American soldier killed in an ambush in Niger with three comrades but recovered days later wasn't captured alive by the enemy or executed at close range, The Associated Press has learned, based on the conclusion of a mili...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Latest: L.A. Rams throttling Seattle 34-0 on the road

The Latest: L.A. Rams throttling Seattle 34-0 on the road

The Latest from the NFL: Rams dethroning the Seattle Seahawks from the top of the NFC West in emphatic fashion
Updated: 8 minutes ago
The Latest: Ex-Chile president's vote rival concedes defeat

The Latest: Ex-Chile president's vote rival concedes defeat

The left-of-center candidate in Chile's presidential runoff election has conceded victory to billionaire former President Sebastian Pinera
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Jazz and pop singer Keely Smith dies of heart failure at 89

Jazz and pop singer Keely Smith dies of heart failure at 89

Keely Smith, a pop and jazz singer known for her solo recordings of jazz standards as well as her musical partnership with Louis Prima, died Saturday of apparent heart failure in Palm Springs at the age of 89
Updated: 12 minutes ago

AP Top News at 5:48 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 5:48 p.m. EST
Updated: 20 minutes ago
McCain returning home to Arizona, will likely miss tax vote

McCain returning home to Arizona, will likely miss tax vote

President Donald Trump says Republican Sen. John McCain is returning home to Arizona after being hospitalized over the side effects from his brain cancer treatment
Updated: 20 minutes ago
McCowan leads No. 5 Mississippi State past Maine, 83-43

McCowan leads No. 5 Mississippi State past Maine, 83-43

Teaira McCowan had 18 points and 11 rebounds in her seventh double-double of the season, and No. 5 Mississippi State beat Maine 83-43
Updated: 20 minutes ago
No. 7 Tar Heels rally to beat No. 20 Vols 78-73

No. 7 Tar Heels rally to beat No. 20 Vols 78-73

No. 7 North Carolina rallies in final minute to beat No. 20 Tennessee 78-73
Updated: 21 minutes ago