Splendour Captain Dennis Davern Pens Impassioned Open Letter

Dated April 12 and ending with the words 'I believe Natalie Wood was murdered.'

The one-page handwritten document, dated April 12 and shared exclusively this week by Radar Online, is from Dennis Davern, captain of the ship one tragically fateful Thanksgiving 1981 weekend in Santa Catalina and co-author of the 2009 book that helped re-open the investigation into Natalie Wood’s death.

One of the big issues for Davern and co-author Marti Rulli is Wagner’s refusal to fully cooperate with the re-opened investigation. From Davern’s letter:

At first, he [Robert Wagner] convinced me it was best to keep quiet to spare Natalie’s daughter, but now Natalie’s daughter, Natasha is claiming we’re all part of a conspiracy. She publicly rejects her Aunt Lana Wood’s pleas for justice. The true conspiracy is with the Wagner family. They treat Natalie’s re-opened case as if it doesn’t exist.

Radar has been all over the Wood story lately, publishing a letter from Lana to Christopher Walken and, via sister publication The Enquirer, a secretly filmed video confrontation in Palm Springs between Lana and Robert Wagner.

Davern’s letter coincides with last week’s People magazine cover story, which featured comments from both Robert and Natasha. “We were all so shattered by the loss [of Natalie], and we were hanging on to each other,” he recalled to the magazine.

Via email, Rulli tells FishbowlNY: “Dennis appreciates the new detectives on the case tremendously, and knows the obstacles they face are due to higher-ups. Dennis feels vindicated thoroughly by cooperating and passing their polygraph, plus having recreated the crime scene in Hawaii aboard Splendour with the detectives in 2012. Dennis and I feel a grand jury is in order – get Wagner talking as he has a lot to answer for.”

View the Davern letter here.