“I’ve always been terrified, still am, of water—dark water, sea water,” Natalie Wood said in an interview in the 1970s.
Considering the actress’ fate, those words are especially haunting. But what’s even more haunting is that people still don’t know for sure what happened to her. More frustrating still, they may never know, as the story now has seemingly even more question marks attached to it 36 years later.
Wood’s untimely death in 1981 when she was only 43 was initially ruled an accidental drowning, but that conclusion hasn’t entirely withstood the test of time with law enforcement—or in the court of public interest. In turn, what really happened on the night of Nov. 28, 1981, has become one of Hollywood’s most enduring, endlessly rehashed mysteries—the puzzle pieces of which are again up for the assembling in the new special 48 Hours: Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Waters airing tonight on CBS.