Natalie Wood detectives face conflicting accounts

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LA Sheriff’s Department officials said they will travel to Hawaii to look at the boat as part of their investigation.

Davern and Wagner agree on one point about the fateful night _ there was a heated argument on the yacht after the group returned from dinner on Catalina. All had been drinking, and here is where the three men’s accounts begin to differ.

Davern said he heard Wagner and Wood arguing and its outcome had horrific consequences.

Was that fight “what ultimately led to her death?” Davern was asked by “Today” show host David Gregory.

“Yes,” Davern replied.

“How so?”

“Like I said, that’s going to be up to the investigators to decide,” Davern responded after a long pause.

Wagner acknowledges a fight took place on the Splendour, but in his best-selling 2008 memoir “Pieces of My Heart,” he wrote that the fighting was between him and Walken. The disagreement began over the acting profession and led to Wood retreating to her cabin, while the dispute raged on between Wagner and Walken. Later Walken went to bed, according to Wagner, who, after staying up with Davern for a while, went looking for his wife and couldn’t find her on board. He then noticed that a dinghy attached to the boat _and his wife _ was gone.

Walken, who has rarely spoken about the events that led to Wood’s death, denied in a 1982 interview on “Good Morning America” that he and Wagner quarreled.

“No, that’s not true,” Walken said when asked if a fight was the reason Wood left the yacht. “They were very good to me, that family, and that’s not true.

“We were having a Thanksgiving weekend, a good time,” he said.

But Walken told sheriff’s detectives that there was an argument, according to a 2000 Vanity Fair piece that included statements from a report by the investigating detective. It also included comments from Davern, who told the magazine that he heard Wagner and Wood fighting before she went missing.

The detective, Wagner and Walken and coroner’s officials all have maintained that Wood’s death was an accident, possibly caused by her trying to secure the dinghy to the side of the yacht.

“The people who are convinced that there was something more to it than what came out in the investigation will never be satisfied with the truth,” Walken was quoted in the Vanity Fair piece as saying during an interview in the 1980s. “Because the truth is, there is nothing more to it. It was an accident.”

Wagner too addressed the uncertainty about what happened in his book.

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