People with knowledge of events surrounding the death of actress Natalie Wood continue to come forward.
Marilyn Wayne, who has been dubbed an “ear witness,” was on a boat 50 feet away from the Splendour the night the actress, who was on board with husband Robert Wagner and co-star Christopher Walken, drowned.
Wayne, who contends she heard Wood cry out for help just after 11 p.m. the night she died (and has offered to submit to a polygraph test to validate her story), was never interviewed by authorities during their 1981 investigation, according to the PDF copy of new statements given to the L.A. County Sheriff’s office.
“A woman’s voice, crying for help from drowning awakened [businessman John Payne] and he awakened me,” Wayne said in her statement. “‘Help me, someone please help me, I’m drowning’ we heard repeatedly. Alarmed, I called out to my son, who also heard the cries, and looked at his new digital watch: it was just minutes after 11:00 P.M.”
Wayne says they called the harbor patrol (who didn’t answer) after deciding it was too dangerous to jump into the water themselves. Not long after, she heard a “man’s voice slurred, and in aggravated tone, say something to the effect of, “Oh, hold on, we’re coming to get you,” and not long after, the cries for help subsided, but we heard the cries for up to 15 minutes.”
Outside of their boat proximity the night of the actress’ death, Wayne also had a deeper connection to Wagner. She was working as a stockbroker at an L.A. firm that the actor was employing.
In her statement she also claims to have received a threatening note days after Wood’s death.
“I had a “client box’” designed for clients to drop off their messages through a slot in the front. The boxes were opened in the back, labeled by broker name on each end. Three days after Natalie died, I found a scribbled message on a torn piece of paper in my box that read, ‘If you value your life, keep quiet about what you know.’
I immediately suspected it was related to Natalie Wood’s death because that’s all anyone had been talking about. I was disturbed and even told an attorney about the threat.”
Wagner has issued his own statement since the Sheriff’s Department announced the re-opening of the case. And, Nov. 18, The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reported Walken has hired a lawyer to represent him in light of the new investigation.