Jonah Shacknai Asks For Review of Suicide Findings in Death of Girlfriend Rebecca Zahau

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zahau.jpg
Rebecca Zahau's bizarre death was ruled a suicide earlier this month by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
Jonah Shacknai, the CEO of Scottsdale-based Medicis pharmaceutical company, has asked the California attorney general to review the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's finding that the death of his girlfriend was a suicide.

Rebecca Zahau's body was found naked, bound, and hanging from a balcony in the courtyard at Shacknai's Coronado mansion in July. Earlier this month, the SDCSD ruled the death was a suicide, despite the bizarre factors of her death -- for example, when she was found, Zahau was naked and had her hands and feet bound behind her back, and there was a cryptic message written on the door to the room where her body was found (more on that below).

In a letter to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Shacknai asks to have the case reviewed to "further enhance the public's confidence in the integrity of the law-enforcement process and finally bring closure to these terrible tragedies."

"It is my hope that your review of Rebecca's death will serve the interests of justice by providing confidence, comfort and resolution not just to the families directly impacted by these tragedies, but also to the public at large, which has taken an interest in these highly unusual circumstances," Shacknai writes in the letter.

Shacknai goes on to say he "does not doubt" the San Diego County Sheriff's Department conclusion that the death was a suicide.

Zahau was found dead by Shacknai's brother just days after his son, Max, was rushed to a hospital in critical condition after falling down a flight of stairs in the mansion. Zahau was caring for the boy at the time of the fall.

Max Shacknai later died from his injuries.

"Were these deaths the result of criminal conduct? Was Max's death a homicide? The answer is no," San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said at a press conference earlier this month. "It was a tragic accident. Was Rebecca's death a homicide? Again the answer is no. It was a suicide ... These deaths were not the result of any criminal acts."

Despite the ruling, Zahau's apparent suicide remains controversial for a lot of reasons.

Aside from being found bound behind her back, naked, and hanging from a balcony, Zahau's autopsy revealed several unexplained head injuries a renowned forensic pathologist says don't necessarily support the theory that Zahau hung herself.

Pathologist Cyril Wecht reviewed Zahua's entire autopsy report. He finds the following:

"She has subgaleal hemorrhages; those are hemorrhages on the undersurface of the scalp. I see no reason why she should have those. You get those when your head strikes something or is struck by something."

Brain hemorrhaging could have happened when Zahau was cut down from the balcony -- she may have hit her head -- but it wouldn't have happened in four different places in the brain, Wecht concludes.

"Even if (her) scalp hit bushes, that kind of impact would not produce subgaleal hemorrhage," Wecht continues. "We're talking about contusions on the top of the head. So, even as the body is falling down - let's say there are branches - how do you get bruises on the top of the head as the body is falling vertically downward?"

Another tidbit the San Diego County Sheriff's Department left out during its press conference announcing its findings that Zahau's death was a suicide is a message left in black paint on a door near the room where Zahau was found hanging.

The SDCSD mentioned a message during the press conference, but wouldn't tell reporters what it said.

That message, the autopsy reveals, was the following: "She saved him can you save her?"

The message could possibly be referencing Max Shacknai. However, it seems if Zahau were the person who'd written the message, it would say "can you save me," not "can you save her." 
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14 comments
Beers21
Beers21

I hate it how rich people get away with this kind of shit.

Anna561
Anna561

Are we in corrupted Russia or in the law obedient US? I remember I went to bed in the US on the night before this story broke up.  No one believes the suicide story.  Shame on you people, who are covering up this murder. Disgusting!

Guest33
Guest33

Is the Zahau family and the general public can't get authorities to reopen the case, how will Shacknai's "watered down" request be able to, especially when he says in the letter that he "does not doubt" the San Diego County Sheriff's conclusion that the death was a suicide??

It's a nice PR move but if he really wants to put all of the speculations to rest, he and his ex wife Dina Romano should volunteer to take a polygraph test and reveal the results.  After all, they were the ones with the strongest motive to want to harm Ms. Zahau due to Max' fatal accident.

Brian Ong
Brian Ong

How many women do you know that can tie a knot around their feet and their hands behind their back? Why would a female get nude before committing suicide? If you were to commit suicide by hanging yourself, what would you do first? Tie a noose around your neck and then tie your hands up (and also stuff a T-shirt in your own mouth)? This would take a lot of planning and forethought, wouldn't it? Why not just O.D. on some Norco or Vicodin? None of the facts point to a suicide. San Diego sheriff really dropped the ball on this; I believe they will regret this a few years down the line, just like Boulder police messed up on the Jon Bonet Ramsey case. The injuries to the top of Zehau's point out a different scenario: She was knocked out first in her bedroom, tied up methodically and then tied to the balcony and tossed over. The manner of undressing her and hanging her out in the open points to a crime of passion (in this case severe hatred). Plus the cryptic message on the door points doesn't point to a suicide. I'd look at the ex-wife of Jonah, she hired a hit man to do it and gave him access to the mansion after learning of the son's death.

ateles2000
ateles2000

Do not let killer Jonah Shacknai get away with this crime just because he has money.

ateles2000
ateles2000

Jonah Shacknai used to tell his ex-wife Dina all the time "I can choke and kill you and get away with it" Since the death of his beloved girlfriend he has yet to say one "loving" thing about her. He has tried to send his lawyers after his girlfriend's family just because they wanted the truth. Now Jonah Shacknai is asking California Attorney General Harris to REVIEW and certify this was in fact a suicide. Jonah Shacknai is not asking the case be RE-OPENED, he is hiding something or someone. If Sheriff Gore really wanted new evidence I would say Jonah Shacknai's behavior is glaring. Only the killer of this woman would be acting like this. It has now been confirmed he was not at his son's side as we were once told. His brother texted him his girlfriend hung herself and Jonah didn't even call back. How much proof do you need? FBI please look at this case!! http://www.change.org/petition...

hope
hope

APETITION started today to get Rebecca's case Re-Opened. More signatures thebetter chance of finding out what really happened and who is responsible....

 

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

 

JSwants the AG Harris to REVIEW the case thinking if he gets it certified by theattorney general then everyone will just go away. This petition is for a NEWindependent investigation with NEW experts.. that's why it's important tosign the petition, so  AG Harris will not be duped by JS into a review...please help pass the word. Thanks!

Guest23
Guest23

There should be some sort of explanation as to how someone can commit suicide with their hands bound behind her back. Sounds very fishy to me.

Vic
Vic

 He is a businessman and his bottom line is profit.  His reputation has taken a hit andwith this "move" it helps or at least he thinks it helps him.  IMO

Kathleen Mckenna
Kathleen Mckenna

Hi Brian, great post, I personally interviewed a neighbor who heard a woman cry for help at 11:30pm the night of Rebecca's death and yes they did call the police, Lt. Nesbitt took the report. Lucas says he cant rule time of death, well I'll take a shot :) 11:32 pm?  Also Adam did NOT pass the polygraph. Lets see if Kamala Harris jumps on the hear no evil/truth see no evil/truth, speak no evil/truth bandwagon. Or drinks the Koolaid whichever analogy is more pleasing.

Kgifford4
Kgifford4

Is this the witness that Radar Online is saying contacted Rebecca's family to alert them that he/she had called police and they ignored it?

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