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Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour Hardcover – September 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Medallion; 1st ed edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597776394
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597776394
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marti Rulli has held executive positions in printing and media. She runs her own advertising business and is a long-time freelance writer.
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.

More About the Author

Marti Rulli was born and raised in New Jersey. While working in media (newspapers and magazines) for over 25 years, Marti was a freelance writer for various publications. When called upon by her longtime friend, Dennis Davern, the former Captain of the yacht, Splendour, owned by celebrities, to tell Davern's firsthand account of the night legendary actress Natalie Wood died, Marti took on the project as a journalist and as an investigator. "Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour" is Marti Rulli's first book.

Customer Reviews

I can't believe authorities did not reopen this case.
Reading this book I could understand that the things I sensed in my last conversation had propelled her to a need for change.
Ginger Sugar Blymyer
Marti Rulli and Dennis Davern give the reader details about Natalie's last weekend and her last night.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Deston Lee on October 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Natalie Wood was a beautiful, talented lady - and I stress the word LADY here. It is INCREDIBLE to me to believe that she would leave the Splendour in her nightgown and socks to go ashore for ANY reason. SHE WOULD HAVE PUT ON STREET CLOTHING!!! She was not drunk according to her autopsy and she had a strong sense of who she was. No one with her sense of star power would have been traveling about in her nightgown going ashore. Something never made any sense about the entire debacle and I believe that Davern is telling the truth about what HE knows regarding that night. Too many lies and too many half truths were told during the ineffectual investigation. I gather the men doing the interviews were totally awed by the celebrity of the victim and Robert John Wagner, Jr. There are possibly only TWO people who know what happened to Natalie that night. One is Robert John Wagner Jr. and the other, sadly, is Ms. Wood herself and she can not tell us.

The book is extremely well written. I did feel it dragged a bit in getting to the crux of the story, but it was riveting all the same. Many will judge Davern for not being forthcoming in the first place, but I suppose it is better late than never. He admits to having an alcoholic problem and a deep seated fear of "the powers that be" to explain why he never spoke up before now. Many will hurl insults at him by intimating that he is out to "make a fast buck." I do not believe that is the case here. I believe the ghost of this beautiful, vibrant woman haunts him and well it should.

We still do not know what happened to Natalie that night. We know that credible witnesses heard a woman crying out "Help me. I'm drowning." They were in the slot next to Splendour so they would have heard something in this case.
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90 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Ginger Sugar Blymyer on February 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all let me say I was Natalie Woods Hairstylist for seventeen years and knew her very well. I was not with her the last three years of her life and was utterly shocked at what happened. Or what was said to have happened to her. Because I was not there I had to believe what was written. I thought she was drinking too much and fell. I surmised that being drunk Wagner and Dennis just stayed in a fog and let her drown or drift away. It made it sound good for Wagner but leaving Natalie as a drunk.
It took me a long time to read Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour. I don't know why but it did. Once I opened the book I couldn't stop reading. Now remember I was there so much of the time, not on the boat but other places. I began to read and the truth rang out. Dennis's description of his lifeHairdresser to the Stars: A Hollywood Memoir around Natalie was so real and true. It brought back so many years of my life. (I am now 75)
The last conversation while working on Eva Ryker, was so intimate and truthful. Both Natalie and I were suffering our husband's drinking problems. She also was at a turning point in her life. It was time to go out in new directions. At that time people didn't take their children with them to work. Natalie loved her girls and had agreed to be there for them. We even stopped by school to see them in a play.
Three years later she was gone. Reading this book I could understand that the things I sensed in my last conversation had propelled her to a need for change.
I believe what Dennis has described about the weekend. I believe that working with C.W.
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89 of 97 people found the following review helpful By M. Hill TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
For some of us, the explanation of Natalie Wood's death raised more questions than it answered. Rumors of an argument circulated early on which cast doubt on the convenient "...don't know what happened" explanation that both Wagner and Walken provided authorities. Theories have been promulgated but nothing of substance has come to light until this book's release.

There were only four people on the ship the night of Natalie Wood's death - Wood, Robert Wagner, Christopher Walken and Dennis Davern the Captain. Now we have the painful account from Davern, the tortured soul whose life was almost ruined by the secrets he kept for his employer and friend, Robert Wagner. He sat for two lie detector tests and was hypnotized because he realized the skepticism that would face him when he finally revealed what he saw the night of Wood's death. He also realized that the only way to quell his conscience so he could live with himself was to tell the truth, all of it, and without embellishment. He contacted his old friend Marti Rulli and began to ever so slowly tell the story.

A profoundly disturbing book, Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour documents celebrity privilege with crystal clarity. The special treatment that Wagner and Walken received appears to have rolled right over the living and the dead. If nothing else comes from this perhaps it is time to examine this ridiculous habit the public has of placing people on pedestals because of the work they perform. The extreme deference afforded celebrities, here is taken to a truly frightening place. Evidence ignored, interrogations not given and clear discrepancies overlooked. Wagner didn't want the bad publicity and there were plenty of people around willing to accommodate him.
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