The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) is being called in to investigate Natalie Wood’s drowning in 1981, as an upcoming book claims there was a description of the circumstances surrounding her death.
The book’s author has taken legal action to obtain confidential sheriff’s records, which he said the department has refused to share to date.
Writer Samuel A. Peroni, a retired federal prosecutor and Arkansas judge’s lawyer, filed the lawsuit against LASD and Sheriff Alex Valaneva in LA Superior Court on Thursday, seeking a judge’s order that the information be returned.
“Through his work, [Perroni] “Attempts have been made to inform the public about the circumstances of Wood’s death,” the petition said. “Unfortunately, respondents have met the applicant’s requests for records, including interruptions and delays.”
The new petition seeks access to Wood’s death file and a copy of LASD’s computer program record, as well as author Susan Finstad’s record for her book, Natalie Wood: The Complete Biography.
Last October, Peroni sought information about the department’s investigation into his “cover-up” book through the California Public Records Act. According to his website, the upcoming book attempts to reveal “corrupt motives affecting the outcome of the original investigation” into Wood’s death.
Wood’s first disappearance was reported on November 29, 1971, during a weekly boat trip to Catalina Island on her husband Robert Wagner’s yacht. His body was found in the water the next day, and after a two-week investigation, he died in a drowning accident at the age of 43.
In 2012, the LA County Coroner’s Officer amended the death certificate, changing the method of death from accidental drowning to “drowning and other prescribed causes.”