The captain of the yacht where Hollywood star Natalie Wood spent her final hours is cashing in on the boat’s notoriety by auctioning off artefacts and pictures of the doomed actress on board.
Dennis Davern was the skipper on board the Splendour, the 60 foot yacht, where Miss Wood fell overboard and mysteriously drowned in 1981 off Santa Catalina island in California.
She had been on board the yacht with her husband Robert Wagner and one of her co-stars from the film Brainstorm, Christopher Walken.
A selection of pictures showing Natalie Wood on board the Splendour. Also featured on the pictures are Robert Wagner and Sean Connery. The pictures are to be auctioned off on Thursday
Also available for sale is the surface of a coffee table with the name of the yacht in black letters next to two tan seagulls
Also included is a urved quarter board with the name ‘Splendour’ in shadowed brown letters on dark brown wood
Now it has emerged that wooden artefacts from the boat are to be auctioned off on Thursday in Los Angeles.
The lot includes a curved quarter board with the name ‘Splendour’ in shadowed brown letters on dark brown wood.
Also included is the surface of a coffee table with the name of the yacht in black letters accompanied by two tan seagulls.
There are also six original photographs from the Splendour’s archives, with Miss Wood featuring in three of the pictures.
The yacht’s captain Dennis Davern is selling the items. In the past he has been accused of cashing in on Miss Wood’s death
Also featured in the images of Robert Wager and former James Bond actor Sean Connery.
A letter of authenticity from Mr Davern, the captain of the yacht, comes with the lot, which goes up for sale at Nate D. Sanders Auctions.
The lot has been given a reserve price of $10,000 but it is expected to go under the hammer for a lot more.
However, Mr Davern has previously been accused of cashing in on the boat’s past.
In 2006, he published a book called ‘Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour’, which details what might have caused Miss Wood to end up drowning in the water.
The investigation into her death to be re-opened in 2011, with police saying there had been ‘substantial new evidence’.
Mr Davern claimed that a fight had broken out between Wagner and actor Christopher Walken, who was also aboard to yacht.
He said that after Wood went to bed, he heard the fight continuing in her cabin, including sounds of a physical struggle.
Mr Davern claims Wagner waited several hours after his wife disappeared to call authorities.
However, Duane Rasure, a retired detective sergeant for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, accused Mr Davern, the boat’s skipper, of cashing in from his part in the death.
He said: ‘Obviously he was trying to sell a book and make money off of it. And I think that’s the whole purpose behind his – his writing this book.’
Wood, who was 43 when she died, burst into child stardom in 1947 playing little Susie, the girl who didn’t believe in Santa Claus, in ‘Miracle on 34th Street’
On the night she died, the Hollywood actress was on board the yacht with her husband Robert Wagner, pictured
‘If I have ever the slightest inkling there was a murder, something suspicious, I would have worked it,’ Rasure says.
‘I did not cover for anybody and I wouldn’t cover for anybody. I don’t care about their celebrity status. They were people.’
Wagner, now 85, admitted he had a fight with his wife on the night of November 28, 1981, but said she was not in her cabin when he went to bed.
Miss Wood had been on board the yacht, pictured, alongside her husband and her Brainstorm co-star Christopher Walken
He maintains he had nothing to do with her death, though said he feels personally responsible for not looking after her.
Wood, who was 43 when she died, burst into child stardom in 1947 playing little Susie, the girl who didn’t believe in Santa Claus, in ‘Miracle on 34th Street.’
Wood later starred as Maria in 1961’s ‘West Side Story’ and was nominated for an Oscar for her role opposite James Dean in ‘Rebel Without a Cause.’