ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Robert Wagner, Natalie Wood and her latest co-star, actor Christopher Walken, are moored off the shore of California's Catalina Island on the yacht, Splendour. But envy-stricken Wagner's behavior grows erratic — so much so a "petrified" Natalie begs the ship's captain, Dennis Davern, to take her ashore in a dinghy. Once there, she confides her plans to leave her husband Wagner and desperately flee by way of a sea plane. But her efforts to secure a plane are stymied. Instead, she and Davern return to the yacht — and Natalie's final day of life commences back on board. 
English
United States

TRANSCRIPT

00:00:06really amazed me how when you have a marriage is between actors that includes spouses always seem to be remarkably understanding about outsider's point of view and they are on the stage of lying in the surf or what have you heard what it out doesn't know we need to
00:00:26do that often better in the morning and now truly getting emotionally involved in a personal way is very slim I mean I think we can if you have a lovely home alone here in the round it by the campaign cameras twenty five people including there a light brown
00:00:53the dialogue is dead and he's working hard work hello and welcome to chapter six a fight to voyage the mysterious death of Natalie wood I'm your host Dylan Hallett in this chapter we focus on Natalie's attempted a career comeback and how that strained her second marriage to Robert
00:01:22Wagner in the months leading up to her tragic death RJ was the jealous type he said so himself notably in his memoir convinced that Natalie was having an affair with Warren Beatty he wants followed him home armed with a loaded gun we'll also hear from yacht captain Dennis
00:01:42to Vern who reveals chilling new details about Natalie's final hours and provide startling new information that contradicts the official version of events from nineteen ninety one first we hear from Lana would he saw first hand the public versus the private relationship of the story Hollywood couple I felt
00:02:06like he was he was jealous of of Natalie %HESITATION because Natalie was an international star and I I don't know how well that sets with any man at any time if your wife is more successful than you are think it takes a hell of a person of a
00:02:24guy to be able to withstand that sort of thing I'm a doctor some of them on a professor at the university of Calgary when Natalie wood decided to push herself back into the public sphere granting a number of interviews looking for more movie roles in the magazine articles
00:02:44and in some it's always a very positive message that they are earning tight family unit and they'll figure out how to make this work to be honest at least within the magazine it was always very positively framed after starring in a few less than notable movies Natalie needed
00:03:06something big to Symantec come back she saw that potential in a new movie called Brian stone and it had Hollywood's hottest young actor attached to it someone who had just won an Oscar himself for a role in the deer hunter a man by the name of Christopher Walken
00:03:25when Natalie went back to work again and chose to do Brian storm it was a step in making her a star again the kind of stock RJ would never be and perhaps the prospect of once again being in her shadow was too much for him to bed RJ
00:03:42frustration began to manifest itself at home verbally at first he's Natalie sister Lana wood dole her %HESITATION he would say something to wear that was upsetting and it was a little things when sound put the Mike on you didn't look up your skirt day I mean it was
00:04:07bizarre things like that when I go Hey Hey hello I'm in the room he would also throw out which he did one time went on I stepped away from the entire evening is %HESITATION all Natalie did was turn around and say RJ where do you think we should
00:04:21all go for dinner because long and I can't decide and he said well your the stars so you should decide and I went okay I think you know what I think we'll do dinner another night lightening will be around that it was night and it was very unpleasant
00:04:42that kind of thing happened a good deal I don't know what form of jealousy applause but I know it wasn't warmth and acceptance it just felt different it felt like I don't know how to describe it it's it's like she seemed different everything seemed just a little off
00:05:04kilter to me uncomfortable I shall I am Ken Levine and I am a longtime television writer was head writer of mannish produce cheers also on Frasier Simpson's whiny enemies so I'm %HESITATION I'm pretty entrenched in in Hollywood such as it is and %HESITATION and I'm also a huge
00:05:38Natalie would chant it has to be hard for an actor like Robert Wagner who is very good and worked constantly to not be able to make that big job to not be Gregory Peck or Burt Lancaster or tree Douglas %HESITATION dad starred dad opens movies and it also
00:06:13had to be I'm sure bitter sweet being with Natalie wood because Natalie wood clearly had the bigger career was the bigger star and because he was with Natalie wood it certainly elevated his presence in Hollywood there's no question that there was a higher team acting styles and acting
00:06:40acting media that film was better than television a lot better than half the credit troubled and brooding was better than clean cut in next week and bill Wagner was always on the losing end of those higher teach without J. settled into a comfortable TV role Natalie was poised
00:07:01for her triumphant return as a major movie actress I think it's important to note that this hierarchy amongst actors wasn't only about status it extended to the compensation the Irish Sea though RJ was making great money for TV as the star of hot to Haas nationally on the
00:07:19other hand was a star in film and it always made much more money than agca so when she was loaned out for West Side Story she didn't think the film would do very well and they were trying to do it on the cheap so they did offer a
00:07:36percentage about ten percentage but she just wanted her for that salary well we can all spread of course westside story with this huge huge success and so she vowed to never let that happen again and when she came back to do Bob and Carol technology Natalie wood was
00:07:55the star of the film and again she was just happy enough by that point you just not a natural business action that she took the percentage because she's all the time and she figured that this was a film that would really be attractive to people and she made
00:08:14all fortune literally made a fortune no not solidifying her in line and then her life with Robert Wagner for a long time she was an incredibly savvy business woman and she learned how to manage her own contracts as well she started out as a star for whom every
00:08:35decision was made about her by anyone but her and she ended as one of the most unusual eight and business savvy stars out there someone who recognizes she was the business Natalie needed no financial help however she often provided that for others including her husband Monty Rulli explains
00:09:02Natalie she had helped so many people along the way and Robert Wagner was one of them before they re married she paid off all his debts and they started new and then he became very popular with his TV series he takes a deep and switching and heart to
00:09:21heart so he was making his fair share of the income but Natalie is the one who had the million saved and the other investments and assets by the time naturally worked on brainstorm she was a millionaire many times I've thought money was no longer any issues what she
00:09:39now wanted was to continue growing as a serious actress and Christopher Walken had the energy charisma and talent to help her do just that during a short break from filming nationally in RJ first hosted thanksgiving dinner at their horn and lights up would host Christopher Walken on their
00:10:01yacht off Catalina island that weekend Natalie sister and her daughter Natasha had misgivings from the stock I remember in the Taschen really did go up to Natalie at one point and grabbed her and said please don't go on the boat and Natalie said no you're going to be
00:10:23with friends you made your decision you made your choices and I made my decision these are plants that we made were not going to change them then as I said I just don't want to go and that was that on on sorry and that was in I just
00:10:42couldn't figure out why she was doing it %HESITATION weather was rotten she is leaving at a time that I thought was crazy to go and I said so that's it you're just going to go and she said yeah Dennis Davern captain of the splendour hasn't spoken publicly about
00:11:03this infamous trip in many years and never before in this much data it should be noted that the official account Dennis guy police of what happened back in nineteen ninety one wasn't entirely truthful nearly thirty years later in two thousand and eleven he released a tell all book
00:11:23about the events of that weekend he's revelations pressured investigators to reopen the case it's also important to note that since then genesis passed several polygraph tests the lightest conducted by the LA county sheriff's department and tellingly confirm he's telling the truth my name is Dennis number and and
00:11:50Robert Wagner and Natalie bought the boat and they asked me if I'd like to be the captain so I said sure yes I like to be your cap not only was she was very very sweet sweet lady we have a like a little area in the pilot house
00:12:13for bridge whatever you'd like to call it where you drive the boat is like a seating area where she would hang out and she would be doing her needlepoint she would do a little catching and I would spend a lot of time up there actually of their parents
00:12:29Robert Wagner and the girls were needed now Natasha would be the be swimming in the in the ocean and of course Natalie culinary secretaries in the water because number one was called and the other thing is it was she didn't like being your water we actually started become
00:12:50each other's markets because I had a girlfriend at the time that I was you know asking her questions like much I do about this website you know about that and we kind of we kind of exchange First Nations allowed each other's after awhile it was just like them
00:13:08it was just like we were friends for about six years Dennis had successfully piloted Natalie and RJ on that Catalina get allies and by all accounts they all like to have a good time but something about this upcoming trip seemed ominous to Dennis from the stock I can
00:13:28tell you one we would I would provision of boat to go to Catalina for a weekend I only get a lot of wine may be a case of police Hussein %HESITATION we have our liquor stock we had everything well stocked and when we arrived in Catalina the bottles
00:13:48of wine would open drinks were poured and there was no problem about carrying on and have a good time and then get a little buzz going on and stuff like that I mean that was like part of that the weekend Natalie called me and said that we were
00:14:07going to take the boat out on thanksgiving weekend to Catalina and I told Natalie I should you know I said the weather is supposed to be very good and I don't know if you really want to keep those plans and she's well yes we do and I said
00:14:23okay I just want to know because I know starts provision about as he got close going on Thursday ideologues shopping and I made a couple more phone calls trying to discourage making this trip to Catalina that because the weather was supposed to be horrible she insisted she said
00:14:47the Christopher Walken was going to be coming and I said okay so the day that we are supposed to be leaving it was freezing freezing cold I mean anybody in their right mind would go away for a weekend but they insisted on going and %HESITATION then we ventured
00:15:03across to Catalina and that's where the story begins Janice began to notice AJ eyes behavior towards Christopher almost instantaneously wetness in securities and hot tempered with becoming obvious to everyone and we start to get under way RJ wanted to %HESITATION pine show off a little bit you Christopher
00:15:26Walken that he was like %HESITATION okay this is my this is the radar is this is this radio that this and that and he was trying to be very impressive to Christopher and %HESITATION I don't think Chris ever really really care a whole lot about that but I
00:15:46think Robert Wagner ones shown that Hey you know on on on the ban on this boat here you know as they are very very beginning I could see a little friction and you can see every hour that was known by the get more intense more intense he seems
00:16:04like he started to change started kind of worry you have your own thing and I think that he is actually jealous Christopher and you know there had been a couple rumors that up in New Carolina where they were filming that movie rainstorm they include certain Natalie had something
00:16:25going on and %HESITATION one time I even heard that RJ had gone up there to check and see if he was one was any truth about that and I'm Natalie that was the beginning of the Robert Wagner a raspy dressed in jeans moods %HESITATION everything about me when
00:16:45it looks dark to look different around Hollywood AJ I had been known to be a charm and described by many as one of the most charismatic men in the business clearly though he had a much darker side that he didn't often shows and it seems that Natalie was
00:17:03finally waking up to it Dennis's account from here if that Friday not just one day before her death only gets more disturbing what happened was that night well the jealousy start to build so much that Natalie couldn't take it any longer I mean that this fighting and everything
00:17:30just started and just start to escalate and before I got out of control now is this you know Dennis she says you know I can you take me a short I. I can't I can't be on this now I look at RJ and I said you know your
00:17:48wife has asked me to get off his **** and I feel like I need to because things are looking good here so Natalie and I we got to doing because on the way he was acting I mean he was acting so crazy it was just so totally uncalled
00:18:07for now you see what she was petrified I mean I I so so sorry for her it was it was it was a shame so let's absorb the white at this moment the atmosphere on the yacht was so toxic that naturally asked Dennis to take her a shoal
00:18:25fearing for her safety and what about Christopher Walken what was going through his head why did he stay on the boat after Natalie and Dennis fled to the island is there something more we don't know about RJ and Wilkins relationship we'll cover this in more detail in later
00:18:44episodes for now though one thing was crystal clear naturally wanted to get as far away from RJ as possible one one I think Natalie is short she was like hysterical and we went to a motel and we went to the front lobby there and now I told the
00:19:06gel massive elect have two rooms so we got two rooms next to each other and %HESITATION course I went to nationals from much higher I never even went to my room because now I'm in the position where I'm Natalie's body part %HESITATION course nothing not on which people
00:19:25have asked me what I like I said I was her friend and it was all right now I have total respect and Natalie and I we we sat there and we talked and talked and talked and she we talked about so many things I mean she wants to
00:19:42get off the island she wants to call her sister and %HESITATION talked about leaving Robert Wagner when I was like my god I can't believe all this is happening the next morning %HESITATION now he she she wanted to call and call and see about getting to see pretty
00:20:05much you can get a seaplane for some reason and %HESITATION ICMA put you back to the boat maybe you know I'm I'm trying I'm trying to say Hey let's let's try to make this thing work you know if we go back to the boat and she liked to
00:20:21make this stuff like a Mexican reckless like a Spanish practice you know which way was ranchero and and all this stuff but maybe we go back in and I'll help you with the practice and maybe we can all like continue and maybe he said Hey you know I
00:20:36had last night was kinda like you know you know maybe we all drank too much or something like that maybe we can start fresh though she still can mail we should try so we went back to the boat we ended practiced in and it was kinda like nothing
00:20:53happened you know knows how like we only something happened but I think we all kind of want to start thinking Hey let's try to make this work on the next fight voyage I have on our show on stage and we have for several hours but looking and help
00:21:21them so when I got there is a small water search there around there is usually after that thank you to all our dedicated listeners for your support and for spreading the word about this case we are grateful for all your comments and feedback to your leaving on apple
00:21:50pot because if you haven't yet left a comment would love to hear from you what do you really think happened that fateful night and just a reminder make sure to subscribe so you don't miss anything new episodes of fatal voyage drop every Friday boy is executive produced and
00:22:13hosted by may Dylan Halid and American media incorporated executive producers also include Kelly Ghana and Caroline misadventure from tree forts editing scoring and original music by Tom Monahan additional editing by eva writes that the series is mixed and engineered by Stephen Cologne make sure to subscribe to fight
00:22:36to avoid on apple podcasts or wherever you get your

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