Natalie Wood once said in a televised interview that her greatest fear was of dark seawater. Later, in November 1981, she drowned in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Catalina Island, California.
The star's drowning death is one of Hollywood's most enduring mysteries. Although the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office ruled that Wood's death was an accident, and the sheriff says the case is closed, others say there are pieces of the puzzle that don't make sense.
The actress' sister, Lana Wood, and the captain of the yacht Natalie Wood sailed with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, are asking the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office to re-open the case. So far, authorities have not responded to the request.
Lana Wood told CNN that she believes a highly charged argument between her sister and husband on the yacht's back deck preceded Wood's drowning. She told CNN she does not suspect foul play.
"I just want the truth to come out, the real story," she said.
Dennis Davern, the former captain of the yacht, "The Splendour," broke his long silence with a detailed account in "Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour," a book he wrote with his friend Marti Rulli. It was published in September.
Davern also believes Wood's death was a direct result of the fight with Wagner.
The couple married in 1957, divorced in 1962, then remarried in 1972. They often sailed their yacht off the coast of California and they invited Wood's then co-star, Christopher Walken, to join them on a sail on Thanksgiving weekend, 1981.
Walken and Wood had been filming "Brainstorm" at the time and the Hollywood rumor mill was abuzz with speculation that Wagner was jealous over Walken. Walken has not spoken publicly about Wood's drowning, and authorities have said he witnessed only the events leading up to an argument between the couple.
Wood's body was found floating in the water about a mile away from the yacht. Investigator Rasure said the official theory is that Wood was awakened by the sound of the dinghy hitting the side of their yacht. Police believe she went to re-tie the dinghy but slipped on the boat's swim step and fell into the water.
The dinghy was found about a mile away from the yacht -- and from where Wood's body was found. "It seems she might have hung onto the dinghy but then got separated from it," Smith said.
According to police reports, Wood was found wearing a long nightgown, socks, and a down jacket.
Rasure told CNN he believes Wood was dragged underwater by her jacket. "She was such a little thing," he said.
The autopsy report shows Wood had two dozen bruises on her body, including a facial abrasion on her left cheek, and bruises on her arms. Rasure said he believes the injuries were sustained from falling overboard and struggling in the water.
"My sister was not a swimmer and did not know how to swim, and she would never go to another boat or to shore dressed in a nightgown and socks," said Lana Wood. She said she believes Davern.
"He was a close family confidant and trusted friend to my sister. He is not a liar," she told CNN.