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Friday, February 15, 2013

DEAD IN THE WATER: new evidence, new rulings

In November 1981, during a dragged out and drunken argument with her husband on his yacht The Splendour, 43-year-old actress Natalie Wood "accidentally" fell overboard and drowned. Her angry, soused spouse, actor Robert Wagner, then waited almost two full hours before reporting his wife missing. Shortly thereafter rescue personnel fished Wood's lifeless body out of the Pacific Ocean--covered front to back with bruises and lacerations, some of them "fresh," some "recent," some a "day old" or more.
Three decades later, based upon those suspicious injuries and the tireless pursuit for justice by the victim's family, authorities finally relented and overturned the determination that Natalie Wood drowned by "accident." They are now investigating her death as a likely homicide, with Robert Wagner the prime suspect.
In November 2012, under circumstances yet to be determined, Joshua Swalls, 22, went missing in Indianapolis. A few days later, after one of his shoes was discovered on the bank of a nearby retention pond, divers searched the small body of water but found nothing in it. Nevertheless, three weeks later someone sighted Swalls' body floating there and the cadaver was then sent to the coroner's office for examination. He had only been in the water for approximately 7 to 10 days, they say...
Unlike Wood, Swalls was found to have no drugs or alcohol in his system, yet he too had a number of bruises and lacerations which he'd received before dying. Namely “contusions of the right forehead and eyebrow, bridge of nose, and right zygomatic arch in the shape of  a reverse C, continuous” with an “abrasion of tip of nose” and “abraded contusions to kneecaps, bilateral and to shins, multiple bilateral, with one underlying a tear in the left pants leg.”
The Marion County Coroner's Office has been asked to revisit their autopsy findings, and is pondering now whether in fact Josh Swalls' death was truly accidental. Yet the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department still adamantly insists it was and refuses to investigate.
As part of my continuing efforts to assist the Swalls family in obtaining justice for their murdered son, I did a comparative analysis of both the Wood and Swalls drowning events including their autopsies, which was published this week on Crime Magazine. Help keep the pressure on the Indy authorities: Read DEAD IN THE WATER, and share the info in it with everyone.
UP NEXT: 'Mystery At Tupper Lake'
A missing youth and a dead serial killer. Are they connected?


  1. another death blamed on alcohol.


    They get away with it way too easily by blaming alcohol. The fact is bars are often the scenes of altercations and that in itself makes foul play just as probable if not more than just the alcohol and bad choices being the culprit. They are very unprofessional the way they treat cases like this. Budgets allow for so much time and effort to be spent so cases like this will never have priority and they need to say things like blaming the alcohol to justify not doing an investigation.

  2. Totally agree, Tennessee. Bars and clubs can be fun diversions once in awhile, but they're dangerous places to be hanging around in. And not just for women either, as most people would think, but for men as well.

    Thanks for that news link--so the police make a sweep at the Spillway Pub on reports of intoxication (fancy that; drunks at a bar!) and then someone goes missing and ends up dead, eh?

    Only this time it's a female, and not the "type" to drink to excess or become "a problem". In fact, she was only there because it was work related; she was promoting the company she works for.

    But, you're right again: the cops will just claim Frye's death was a tragic accident because she drank too much and then they'll quietly close the case a month or two down the line when nobody but the family is looking.

    Sheesh, when did it become such an inevitabilty that going to a pub meant one stood a good chance of ending up dead in the river or on its banks?!

  3. And look what else I just found. The Neala Frye wrongful death cover-up begins without delay:

    "There are really different pieces, different items found in different locations that make us think she may have been disoriented and didn't really know where she was, for whatever reason," says Onalaska Police Chief Jeff Trotnic.

    "Maybe the elements and the weather had something to do with it," he adds. "But we don't make assumptions and we investigate thoroughly. The proximity to the train track--we also need to make sure she wasn't clipped by a train. There's no indication to believe that she was, but if she was that presents a whole other set of issues for the investigation to look at."

    She "wasn't" but she "was"...oh, brother. I wish the family well. Condolences.

  4. Onalaska Police Chief just smacked himself with hypocrisies in his "we don't make assumptions." Maybe it was elements and weather or she was clipped by a train. Seriously if she was clipped by a train I could be wrong, but I assume you would know it, your talking a huge impact even with a slight clip and some serious damage. The alcohol claims on all these deaths are just ridiculous. I used to drink all the time seriously I got tanked, but I still had some sense. Cops have to know this is ridiculous and is not the answer to all these deaths and even if they don't they don't see a sequence of events here. Whats up with all the girls now is Smiely changing over to girls now? Most killers don't change their mo, but has smiley ever been normal anyways?