Natalie Wood Case: A Waste of Time?

by | November 22, 2011 at 6:02 PM | Celebrity Deaths, Celebrity Justice

Natalie Wood (AP)

There’s been no shortage of mystery surrounding the 1981 drowning of actress Natalie Wood. And now there appears to be a mystery as to why the investigation into her death has been reopened.

According to TMZ, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office is confused over the sheriff department’s decision, considering the improbability that anyone – namely, actor Robert Wagner – will be charged with a crime.

As the website reports, California law has a 3-year statute of limitations on voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, as well as a 6-year statute of limitations on second-degree murder. Even if the investigation determines that Wagner – the last person to see Wood alive – caused her death by pushing her off his boat and into the water, the police are more than two decades too late to charge him with a crime.

Essentially, nothing short of a confession to premeditated first-degree murder will result in an arrest in connection with Wood’s death.

“It’s an exercise in futility,” a D.A. source told TMZ. “I just don’t get it.”

The investigation into the “West Side Story” star’s death was reopened last week amid reports that new information had come to light via the book “Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour.” The book alleges that Wood and Wagner had a massive fight on the night she died and that Wagner refused to notify the Coast Guard when she went missing. So far, no suspects have been officially named.

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