Dennis Davern: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Getty Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner.

Dennis Davern was the captain of the boat the night that Natalie Wood died, a celebrity death shrouded in decades of mystery. His account about what he saw and heard that night is instrumental in the case.

The interest in Wood’s death has grown anew with a new CBS program about it and with the declaration by an investigator that Wood’s husband, Robert Wagner, is a “person of interest” in her untimely death. Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Water, which features rare interviews with investigators, aired on Saturday, February 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

As the Mercury News recounted it, Natalie Wood “had gone missing in the middle of the night from Splendour, her and Wagner’s yacht. Her body, clad in a flannel nightgown and red down jacket, was found the next morning floating in the ocean about a mile away.”

The actor Christopher Walken was also on the boat that night. The date was November 27, 1981, and Wood and Wagner had reconciled after marrying and divorcing and remarrying.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Davern, Who Now Lives Part of the Time in Florida, Allegedly Heard a ‘Huge Fight’ on the Boat

First Coast News tried to track down Davern in St. Augustine, Florida, where he now lives part of the year, but he was out of the country. Instead, the news outlet talked to Marti Rulli, who wrote a book with Davern about what he says happened that night.

“Dennis knows there was a huge fight on the back of the deck. He heard it. He turned on the music to try to drown out the sound of the fight just to protect them. He loved both of them,” Rulli told the news site on February 2. “Then, when everything went quiet, he went down to the deck immediately and Robert Wagner was right by the swim step and nervous and shaking and said ‘Natalie’s missing. Go look for her.’ And Dennis did that.”

According to Rulli, “Dennis wanted to call for help. He wanted to turn on the searchlight and Robert Wagner said ‘no.'” She alleged to First Coast News, “Robert Wagner was with Natalie the last minute of her life, and Dennis believes he had something to do with it.” You can see a photo of Davern here.

Over the years, Davern has sold information to tabloids, 48 Hours reported, but Davern said he was motivated by his conscience not money.

“The fighting continued, and then to the back of the boat. I was concerned something really bad was going down because the fighting was so intense,” he told 48 Hours. New witnesses have now given information about an argument on the back of the boat – and that it stopped suddenly – that matches Davern’s account, the TV show says. Davern alleges that Robert Wagner didn’t want to call for help and then started drinking a bottle of Scotch while more than an hour passed.

Investigators told 48 Hours that Wagner, when he did call, wanted people to look for Natalie in town, not the water. Davern said a later story that Wagner gave, that Natalie Wood heard a dinghy banging against the yacht and went to investigate that, was false. Wagner moved Davern into his guest house shortly after the death and it was left to Davern to identify the body, 48 Hours reported.


2. Davern Told the Media He Lied During the Initial Investigation, Reports Say

Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood daughter, TCM Star of the Month

Natalie Wood.

Dennis Davern’s account of what happened that night has not been consistent throughout the years. In 2011, Davern changed his story and told authorities that he had heard a fight that night. As a result, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reopened its investigation into Natalie Wood’s death.

Davern told NBC News “that he lied during the initial investigation and that a fight between Wood and Wagner had led to her death,” The Mercury News reported.

According to The Sun, “At the time of her death, Wagner, Walken and Davern told investigators Wood ‘took off in a dinghy and went ashore.’”

That account grew more colorful later on. According to Daily Mail, investigators reopened the case when Davern told them he heard Wagner should “Do you want to f*** my wife” at Walker before smashing a wine bottle.

In 2011, Dennis Davern told People Magazine: “The only thing I know is what happened on the boat that night, I really can’t say that I would think that [Wagner] is responsible.”


3. There Was Suspicious Evidence on the Boat That Night

The Sun recounts some of the concerning evidence at the scene: “People on a nearby boat had reported hearing a woman screaming on the night of the actress’ death. Investigators also reportedly found broken glass in the yacht’s saloon – which Wagner blamed on rough seas. Forensic evidence later found that there were fingernail scratches on the side of the dinghy.”

Bruises were found on Natalie’s body, and authorities now consider her death to be suspicious, according to CNN. Authorities now say they have new witness accounts that shed additional light on the death.

“A witness told investigators there were yelling and crashing sounds coming from the couple’s stateroom that night and another witness said a woman and a man were arguing on the back of the boat,” CNN reported. Those two witnesses add credibility to Davern’s account, authorities say.

As we’ve investigated the case over the last six years, I think [Wagner] is more of a person of interest now,” Lt John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office said to CBS News.


4. Davern Operated a Marina & Boat Maintenance Business After the Tragedy

natalie wood, robert wagner

GettyNatalie Wood and Robert Wagner.

According to the book that Davern co-authored on Wood’s death, Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Spendour, Dennis Davern “was the boat captain for Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood and was on the yacht Splendour on the night of Wood’s death. He currently owns and operates a marina and boat maintenance business.”

Davern’s book is for sale on Amazon.com.

The book’s blurb on Amazon says “Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour is the long‑awaited, detailed account of events that led to the mysterious death of Hollywood legend Natalie Wood off the coast of Catalina Island on November 28, 1981. It is a story told by a haunted witness to that fateful evening: Dennis Davern, the young captain of Splendour, the yacht belonging to Wood and husband Robert Wagner. Davern initially backed up Wagner’s version of that evening’s events through a signed statement prepared by attorneys. But Davern’s guilt over failing Natalie tormented him.”

The book describes Dennis Davern as a “trusted family friend” of Wood and Wagner. It also says that Davern “passed a polygraph” over his account that Wagner was last seen with Natalie.


5. Dennis Davern Is a Navy Man Who Was born in New Jersey & Worked as a Hollywood Extra

Dennis Davern grew up in New Jersey. “Dennis Davern, born and raised in New Jersey, was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1971,” the Davern/Rulli book reads. “A marina job took him to California where he became a boat captain for Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood.”

He worked as an extra in Hollywood. “From 1982 to 1984 he was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and employed as a general extra actor in Hollywood. Since 1987, he has owned and operated a successful marina and boat maintenance business in Florida,” the book says.

When Davern gave one interview, Fox News described him vividly, writing, “He has a crinkly, sun-scarred face out of which sprouts an uneven beard of brown and gray. He wore glasses on the ‘Today’ show interview and donned an olive-colored cargo shirt with two unbuttoned breast pockets.”

7 Comments

7 Comments

Anonymous

Table thought. God is our refuge Comparison of David and Ruth

Psalms 91:1-4 (KJV) [1] He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
[2] I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
[3] Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
[4] He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

In this psalm the words penned here seems to come from a man who has experienced trouble and danger and who has sought the refuge of the Lord.

It is the story of the man who had exposed himself to dangers Just as an innocent or naive chicKen who is away from its Mother. It has seen danger approach and runs under the Security of its wings. He is like the bird who was about to be trapped by the Hunter who has Set up a Net to catch it. A man who is vulnerable because he has no armour covering him when he is in a battle.

Circumstances that David wrote this psalm: Bible scholars feel that what happened in 2 Sam 24:1-14 could be the setting for writing this psalm

David:

David was a man who had the experience of living in the shadow of the almighty. in the Forest when facing Goliath etc. He got the name of a man who was after Gods own heart.

Yet He was also a man who yields to temptation and sins against God. That is actually an encouragement to many of weak people like us.

. 2 Samuel 24:1-4 (KJV) [1] And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
[2] For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people.
[3] And Joab said unto the king, Now the LORD thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?
[4] Notwithstanding the king’s word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel.

In 2 Samuel 24:1-4 (KJV) David was at war with the Philistines. The devil set a trap for him to Number his people. However, this census of Israel’s potential army did not have the sanction of the Lord and proceeded from wrong motives. David either wanted to glory in the size of his fighting force or take more territory than what the Lord had granted him. This was the fowlers snare he talks about it in Psalm 91:3. The great thing about David was that he had a sensitive heart and immediately knew that he had committed a sin. He confesses his sin to God in 2 Samuel 24:10. However he had to face the consequences of going against Gods will and had to face the consequences of his action.
God offers him three options as punishments and he chooses the pestilence. A plague or pestilence is a punishment from the Lord when they sin.

2 Samuel 24:12-15 (KJV)
[12] Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
[13] So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.
[14] And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.
[15] ¶ So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.

It is here that David weighs these options and decides to fall in to the hands of God rather than the hands of Philistines from whom no mercy can be expected. After committing something against the Lord, David recognises that it will be more tolerable to offer himself to the Lord. It is here that he runs like the frightened chicken under the wings of its mother ie God.

. 2 Samuel 24:16 (NIV) [16] When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD was grieved because of the calamity and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the LORD was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

The Lord relents and limits HIS punishment as David had anticipated.

All these experiences made him write Psalm 91 and his trust in the Lords protection in times of trouble.

David was able to experience the protection offered by wings of God through a difficult and a painful experience, mainly on account of his pride or disobedience.

If only he had listened to the story of his great grandmother, David would have learnt his lesson of obedience in a more peaceful way.

Ruth 2:7-12 (NIV) [7] She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She went into the field and has worked steadily from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”
[8] So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls. [9] Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”
[10] At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”
[11] Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. [12] May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

Ruth: Ruth’s experience of God of Israel was through the family of Elimelech and Naomi. She loved her mother in law and was willing to undertake a risky journey to an unknown land and people. She had put her faith on the God of her mother in law and gave up on her gods. God who works in mysterious ways directs her to the field of Boaz for gathering her food. It was Gods spirit who was working through all this. Boaz recognises that she has come to take refuge under the wings of the Lord God of Israel.

Here we find two characters who both find refuge under the wings of the Almighty God, one after a painful experience, but for Ruth it was a very pleasant experience.

The lesson for us this morning is whether we are disobedient and proud like David or humble and trusting like Ruth Gods wings is a place of refuge for both types of people.

As we begin a new year our hope is our God who is like a mother hen to us a strong fortress in times of trouble, under whose wings there is security.
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Thanks to brother Xaviour Dr Ravin Royer who wrote the above message ,,
God bless him ,,
He is an amazing evangelist of God and Lord Jesus ,,,,
He believes in Trinity of God Head , spirit , father and Jesus Christ ,,all are one and the same,,
Please pray God we should get from a message every weekend,,
Jesus is King of Kings,,our mother ,,
Holy Spirit of God,,our mother ,,comforter ,,

JOHN MAYOR

The problem, was that Natalie Wood had not learned how to swim!… and in addition, all of those in attendance, were drinking far too heavily, and had allowed their passions to rule the evening! And whether Natalie Wood fell, or was pushed by Robert Wagner in a heated exchange, NONE– I suggest!– would have been able to rescue her, afterupon her disappearance! Nevertheless!… Wagner’s account of things, must be given more scrutiny! But, as problematic as Robert Wagner’s account has been, what is even more mirky, is where Christopher Walken was that evening… and, something that most of the accounts I’ve read, have little– or nothing– to add! But to be sure, it was a pathetic evening for each of the stars concerned!… and one that their true fans wished that these stars had abandoned, or postponed!
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To conclude… the one thing I carry with me to this day, is the work Natalie performed in her last film!… Brainstorm! And work that was similar to only one other movie of its kind made a year prior to Brainstorm’s release… Firefox (a movie Directored by, and starring Clint Eastwood!)! And both movies of which, pursued a similar science fiction theme!… although, steeped in SCIENCE FACT!
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Although not explicitly showcased within these films, Brainstorm and Firefox depicted the only technoma on earth today capable of truly noninvasively measuring the Quantum Biology of the brain (i.e., without breaching the Uncertainty Priniciple within Quantum Mechanics!):… i.e., a Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (S.Q.U.I.D.)! And, incidentally, ICT that poses a SIGNIFICANT Security Risk not only to Netizens, but also, to every citizen who’s exposed to this truly invasive variety of biometric scanning technoma!… i.e., in the form of a S.Q.U.I.D.-BASED PSYCHOACTIVATED COMPUTER INTERFACE, and the Backward Time Averaging Technoma that was developed by Dr. Donald York, of the University of Missouri Medical Centre (the first ever contract for which, was given to Dr. Harold Weinberg, of CANADA!… see, CompuWest Magazine, September, 1-9-8-2!)! Just a word of caution here!… as this work is being deliberately made obscure, the search for its “Principals”– and documentation– is made “deliberately problematic”! But some, are up to the challenge!
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Please!… no emails!… Jesus is Lord!