What new evidence in the drowning death of Natalie Wood — an event that happened almost exactly 30 years ago — could prompt the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to reopen the case? What new fact or assertion could have possibly persuaded them to start a new investigation? That’s kind of a weird thing to do, no? What could possibly come of this? Will a finger be pointed at someone for doing (or failing to do) something that led to Wood’s death?

Update: This TMZ report seems to explain a lot of it. This Lana Wood interview also.

The tragedy happened on 11.28.81. Wood, her husband Robert Wagner and Brainstorm costar Chris Walken were aboard Wagner-Wood’s yacht, Splendour, which was anchored in Isthmus Cove off Catalina Island. Also on board was the boat’s skipper, Dennis Davern, who had worked for the Wagner-Wood for many years.

From Wood’s Wiki page: “Wood either tried to leave the yacht or to secure a dinghy from banging against the hull when she accidentally slipped and fell overboard. When her body was found, she was wearing a down jacket, nightgown, and socks. A woman on a nearby yacht said she heard calls for help at around midnight. The cries lasted for about 15 minutes and were answered by someone else who said, ‘Take it easy. We’ll be over to get you.’ It was laid back. There was no urgency or immediacy in their shouts.”

“Others have speculated that a lover’s quarrel between Wood and Wagner that had to do with Walken took place before the accident.”

Walken and Wood, costars in Douglas Trumbull‘s Brainstorm, were allegedly having an affair or had recently had an affair. That, at least, is what I heard way back when from four or five gossip guys in the New York journalism world.

“For his part, Wagner has said he blames himself for the incident. ‘Did I blame myself? If I’d been there, I could have done something,’ he told the U.K.’s Daily Mail in 2009. ‘I wasn’t, but ultimately, a man is responsible for his loved one. Yes, I blamed myself. I would have done anything in the world to protect her. Anything. I lost a woman I loved with all my heart, not once but twice, and I will never completely come to terms with that.'”