1983's "Brainstorm" was the final picture for Hollywood icon Natalie Wood. Prior to it's release, Wood's body was found in the waters off of Catalina Island.
Roger Smith says he could've saved her life had her husband, Robert Wagner, called for help sooner. He recalls the conversation between authorities and Wagner. "It's been a long time. How come you didn't call the lifeguards or the coast guard and ask them to search for her? He looked at him and said, 'Well, they're a public agency and if they would've found her on another boat messing around, then it would become news.'"
Wood's body was located by a search chopper. "They were about a quarter mile away from and they stopped and hovered over an area and said we think we see something down here."
Smith says his colleague, Doug Bombard, raced to the area in his boat, and pulled her onto it, after he asked him not to. He said foul play could be involved, and that a deputy should handle it.
He says Wood didn't know how to swim, and that she could've been in the water for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours. After pulling her from the water, Smith remembers closing Natalie's eyes and removing her jewelry to give back to Robert Wagner. "I've had people drown before in my career, but never had people drown that I could've saved."
The case has recently been reopened. The boat's captain says he misled officers in the initial investigation. Smith says the case needs to be put to rest. "Every now and then, I'd have these nightmares that would come up and visualize pulling her out of the water again, holding her in my arms."