Medicis CEO Jonah Shaknai's Son Pronounced Dead Just Days After "Bizarre" Death of Girlfriend

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maxshaknai.jpg
Shaknai family.
Max Shaknai, son of Medicis CEO Jonah Shacknai, was pronounced dead last week after a fall at his family's home.
The son of Medicis Pharmaceutical CEO Jonah Shacknai was pronounced dead last week after suffering a fatal fall at Shacknai's Coronado, California mansion, the family announced in a press release last night.

"With great sadness, Dina (Shacknai's ex-wife and the boy's mother) and I convey the tragic passing of our beloved son, Max," Shacknai says in the statement.

"Despite heroic efforts on the part of paramedics and hospital staff, he was unable to recover from the injuries suffered early last week."

Last Monday, Max Shacknai fell down the stairs of the mansion and remained in the hospital until his death Friday.


Shacknai's son's death comes just days after the body of 32-year-old Rebecca Nalepa -- Shacknai's girlfriend -- was found in the courtyard of the mansion with a rope around her neck, bound, naked, and hanging from a balcony.

It remains unclear whether Nalepa was murdered or committed suicide, and San Diego police say it's one of the most "bizarre" deaths they've ever seen.

Just before 7 a.m. Wednesday, police received a call from Adam Shacknai, Jonah Shacknai's brother, saying that a woman was possibly dead at Shacknai's home.

Adam Shacknai found Nalepa hanging from a balcony in the courtyard of the Coronado mansion and cut her down.

When police arrived, Nalepa was lying on her back.  Her feet and wrists were bound.

Authorities say an autopsy has been completed but that the results are currently sealed.

Jonah Shacknai, police say, was not in the home when Nalepa's body was found.

Shacknai has been the chairman and chief executive officer of the Scottsdale-based Medicis pharmaceutical company since 1988.

Medicis sells the acne drug Solodyn and cosmetic products like Restylane and the botulinum toxin Dysport, a Botox competitor.

"The Medicis family is deeply saddened to learn of a tragic incident at a California property owned by Jonah Shacknai," the company says in a statement. "Our thoughts are with Jonah and his family and (we) ask that the family's privacy be respected during this difficult period. At this time, the company has no further comment."

Authorities continue to investigate the strange death.

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26 comments
Ferrucci Boots
Ferrucci Boots

Yeah if the kid was cremated, only his autopsy will be preserved as evidence to go back to in case this case opens up again. If he's buried, they can always have that difinitive proof to go back to just on case they need to re examine all the evidence. Just so long as it hasn't rotted away, as his wounds and scars probably already decayed. Good thing he was autopsied. It's a means of keeping accurate and definitive records and photos of the deceased.

Katrundlett
Katrundlett

It was not rebbekas fault that the boy fell. It was an accident plain and simple. I have accidently slipped and fell all the way down a flight of stairs and it killed!! I had lost all control and bumped my arms flailing against the rails and it was fast!! I was numb when I hit bottom. I had a lot of injuries. The message on wall says it all. Who ever wrote it was saying in their minds that they were being sarcastic in saying she saved him (boy) in no way was it her fault but they are blaming her and saying who is going to save her? It is a shame

Katrundlett
Katrundlett

Something seems suspicious here, first why would a sweet person like rebekka paint a saying like that on the wall? It doesn't make sense because that doesn't seem like the kind of thing one would write before her death. You would think she would write a sweet message to her family and friends. She doesn't look like the type of person that would take her life in that manner. I think this was a person close to the family not hers that was angry at her because they think that it was her fault that the boy had the accident. And they took it out on her. When I observe this in my opinion how could a small petite woman have great strength and ability to tie all those nots in that fashion almost perfect? You would have have to be almost acrobatic to twist and turn all those body movements to make everything right. Also you would think she would want to be clothed at least to be respectful of her body and having modesty. She did not deserve this. Someone was very shallow minded . I believe it was a pre-meditated murder. Someone of such petite manner couldn't and wouldn't do something like this. What is Adam's theory? He seems to be there at the right time? Peace be with you rebekka. We love you.

dee
dee

Jonah pushed his son down the stairs, Rebecca was a witness, and then she was killed to shut her up.

wherewasi
wherewasi

Regardless of what really happened, I am just saddened by the loss of a precious little boy.  What a winning smile!  My heart goes out to all that loved him.  What a hard choice, to have to pull the plug or choose to live with him "not there" for as long as medical technology would sustain his heartbeat and breathing.

I once dated a man whose son was in a similar situation.  He was 5 years old and darted out from behind a parked car into traffic to chase an ice cream truck.   It was horrible.  His sons eyes, kidneys, heart, liver and lungs were given in the organ donor program.  He helped several young children live.... God bless you EJ!

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

The autopsy of both victims should be very telling, assuming Mr. Shacknai hasn't arranged for cremation of either, or both, without an autopsy. The bright spot so far in this investigation is that the investigators are NOT releasing a lot of information. I am fully expecting the autopsy of Ms. Nalepa to show she was killed before having been hung, if she was actually hung at all. She may have been poisoned, or perhaps strangled, and the hanging was intended to cover the strangulation, which it wouldn't do if blood had stopped flowing before being hung.

Three criteria; motive, opportunity, and ability; are considered when looking as suspects in any criminal investigation.

Who had the desire to injure or kill Ms. Nalepa?

Who had the opportunity to get close enough to her to cause her harm?

Who had the ability (physical) to actually cause her harm and then hang her?

We can only hope that the injury to Max was purely accidental and indeed, a tragedy.

I just hope it's not found to be a double homicide resulting from two criminal incidents.

Pit Boss
Pit Boss

She pushed the kid down the stairs out of jealousy and Jonah killed her out of revenge. BAM! Case closed, you're welcome.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

I can only hope this criminal investigation doesn't turn out to be a mirror image of the Jon Benet Ramsey case from Boulder, CO.

On the surface, however, it's not looking good.

RM
RM

He wasn't even home at the time. Witnesses saw him at the gym.

hope
hope

One Way To Find Out:

If you don't believe Suicide, please sign:

http://www.change.org/petition...

 Huge difference between REOPEN ( Family, New Investigation/New Investigators) and  REVIEW  (Shacknai, Same SDSO 1/2 Info, was PR Attempt & Pre-emptive strike)

Mistalee
Mistalee

I say that Nalepa offed the kid.

Later, consumed with remorse, she bound her own wrists and feet. Then, using her amazing Tibetan spiritual powers, she levitated the noose and tied it around her neck telekinetically, using only the power of her mind.

The nekkid part? That's a puzzler. How many people get naked to commitsuicide? Eroticism is normally more an expression of the life forcethan of a death wish.

OK, that's not likely; Somebody killed her. But the naked part still doesn't jibe. You don't strip somebody to execute them, and hanging is cold-blooded, not generally a crime of passion.

So I really believe you are right, Tommy. She was killed some other way, first, and then the hanging was post-mortem to throw the cops off the track.

And I would bet that the naked part was done in order to dispose of evidence on the clothing.

RM
RM

She killed herself to avoid jail time for killing the kid.

Eleanor
Eleanor

I doubt it was Jonah.  I would look at Adam first.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Dammit Lee, you sure beat the mulberry bush with that piece of wit...

Pit Boss
Pit Boss

The kid "fell" down the stairs on Monday. The woman was found dead on Wednesday morning.

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