Natalie Wood Death: Was Robert Wagner's Wife Murdered In California? See Autopsy Report Here [PHOTOS]

By IScience Times Staff Reporter on January 14, 2013 5:27 PM EST

Natalie Wood with James Dean in "Rebel Without A Cause."
The disturbing autopsy report of Natalie Wood was just released to the public. And the photos of the bruises have re-opened an old debate that the exquisite star of "West Side Story" and "Rebel Without a Cause" was actually murdered. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

From the moment Natalie Wood died tragically at the age of 43, a cloak of mystery has surrounded the supposed drowning that occurred when boating with husband, Robert Wagner, in Santa Catalina Island, California.

Soon after Wood's body was discovered on November 29, 1981, the death was ruled an "accidental drowning." But now, 32 years later, the Los Angeles County coroner's office has changed the cause to "drowning and other undetermined factors."

"With the presence of fresh bruises in the upper extremities in the right forearm/left wrist area and a small scratch in the anterior neck, this examiner is unable to exclude non-accidental mechanism causing these injuries," wrote Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, the chief medical examiner.

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"The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising support bruising having occurred prior to entry in the water. Since there are unanswered questions and limited additional evidence available for evaluation, it is opined by this medical examiner that the manner of death should be left as undetermined."

Click here to see the autopsy diagram and bruises 

AND

Click here to see the official investigation report

Nevertheless, the medical examiner would not declare the death a suicide or homicide, saying "this Medical Examiner is unable to exclude non-volitional, unplanned entry into the water," according to the report. "How injury occurred will be listed as found floating in the ocean," it adds. "Circumstances not clearly established." Though the report was dated June 15, 2012 it was not released to the public until Monday.

To say that it's unusual for a 32-year-old case to be "open and ongoing" is an understatement. But Natalie Wood was considered an icon from the time she appeared as a child in "Miracle on the 34th Street," and later a legend after she graced the screen in "West Side Story." 

The fact that Wood was so beautiful makes the gruesome photos even more upsetting. The medical examiner's investigation found two dozen bruises on Natalie Wood's body, including injuries to her face, left cheek and arms.

"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," Lana Wood said, trying to dispel the rumors that her sister committed suicide.

She told CNN: "I just want the truth to come out, the real story."

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