New Natalie Wood Death Report Hints at Assault

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Natalie Wood | Photo Credits: Natalie Wood
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Natalie Wood | Photo Credits: Natalie Wood

The mystery behind actress Natalie Wood's death deepened Monday, when a newly released coroner's report revealed that the actress might have been assaulted before her drowning 31 years ago.

The report, released by the Los Angeles Coroner's Office, implies that bruising on Wood's wrists, knees and ankles may have been sustained during an assault before she entered the water, rather than while she was trying to climb back into the boat, as the original autopsy concluded, The Associated Press reports.

The new report does not allege murder or foul play, because officials could not definitively determine when the injuries occurred, according to the report.

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Wood died on Nov. 29, 1981, while she was yachting with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, and Christopher Walken. Wagner told investigators that Wood fell off the dock while trying to re-tie a dinghy, and her death was ruled an accidental drowning.

But in 2011, the boat's captain co-authored a book implicating Wagner in Wood's death, which led the coroner's office to re-characterize the cause of death as "undetermined," and the case was reopened. In August, the cause of death on Wood's death certificate was changed from accidental drowning to "drowning and other undetermined factors." Officials also amended the certificate to state that the reasons leading to Wood ending up in the water are "not clearly established."

What do you think of the new findings?

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