Rebecca Zahau "Suicide" Now More Bizarre; Unexplained Head Injuries Raise More Questions

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New info casts doubt on the theory that Rebecca Zahau's death was a suicide.
The bizarre death of Rebecca Zahau -- the girlfriend of Scottsdale-based Medicis CEO Jonah Shacknai, whose death was ruled a suicide last week -- just got more bizarre; the results of Zahau's autopsy make it seem even less likely that she took her own life.

Aside from being found bound behind her back, naked, and hanging from a balcony at Shacknai's Coronado, California, mansion, 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 at the request of a San Diego TV station.

Wecht 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 of its press conference last week, when it announced Zahau's death was a suicide, is the 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 Shacknai's son, Max, who died days after falling down a staircase in the family's mansion. Max was under Zahau's care at the time of the fall, which happened about two days before she was found dead.

It seems if Zahau were the person who'd written the message, it would say "can you save me," not "can you save her."

The investigation into Zahau's death has been closed, and, as we mentioned, it's been ruled a suicide.

"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 last week. "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."

Zahau's family, however, has asked police to reopen the case.
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16 comments
head injuries
head injuries

Always wear appropriate headgear when participating in sporting activities. Whether it is baseball, racecar driving, or bike riding it is imperative you take measures for the protection of your head and brain.

Nojustice
Nojustice

Why don't they mention anything about the black glove found in the bedroom?  or the clumps of hair? or the door leading to the balcony was closed when the police arrived?  Did she close the door before jumping off the balcony?

ateles2000
ateles2000

This woman was a rope master!! Oh wait that is Adam the brother, he works as a crewman on a tugboat in Memphis.  Adam just so happened to be spending the night after Jonah had all other occupants (up to 6) removed including the dog.  Rebecca suddenly became Suicidal when she got the voice mail Jonah supposedly sent.  She remembered the contents of the garage and ran there naked to retrieve just the right rope.  Nobody else including whomever sold it to her ever touched the rope because her DNA is all they found.  She must have been hiding the rope for just the right occasion, just praying Max would fall to his death someday so she could end her pointless healthy cute 32 year life. 

Triple-6 Gun Mane
Triple-6 Gun Mane

I'll say her murder was carefully planned out. And it must have took a great deal of planning to make it look like a suicide.

Sharon
Sharon

Agree, I do not understand why Rebecca would write a suicide person from a third person point of view.   The note is like a sick pun.  Rebecca could not save the little boy and, in turn, Rebecca will not be saved.   

Mistalee
Mistalee

The "him"  in this statement may not refer to the deceased child. It may instead be a reference to her millionaire boyfriend, made by a jealous lover or ex-wife.

Trina
Trina

I hope the SDCSD detectives go back and question Dina Romana again, this time thoroughly and on tape.

Lazik
Lazik

I'm thinking the head wounds may have come from when she jumped, the body swinging, jeking violently. Perhaps there was a bit of a bungee effect with the rope, snapping back upwards smashing her head up against the balcony? 

Pit Boss
Pit Boss

This case reeks! How do you not reveal what a message spray-painted on a wall says at the scene of a crime?

vic
vic

The message was, She saved him. Can you save her, written in the third person.

Mistalee
Mistalee

It now appears that she snuck up and bludgeoned herself from behind before tying herself up hand and foot, placing a noose around her  neck and throwing herself off a balcony.

When people are that serious about committing suicide, there' s not much you can do.

Tubes Fan
Tubes Fan

It would take a person with a lot of money to bribe the SD coroner, you'd think...

malasangre
malasangre

the husband is a billionaire.  that might be enough

Trina
Trina

A person's money and influence can sway a finding from a homicide to a suicide.

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