Zahau Family Requests Independent Investigation

Rebecca Zahau’s family believes they have not been given all the information and want an independent investigation from the State Attorney General’s office

By R. Stickney and Lauren Steussy
|  Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012  |  Updated 4:52 PM PDT
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Documents Reveal New Mansion Death Details

Rebecca Zahau, girlfriend of Jonah Shacknai, seen with her family before her hanging at a Coronado Mansion

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Attorney Doubts Zahau Killed Herself

An attorney is looking at new evidence that could prove that Rebecca Zahau did not kill herself.
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The family of Rebecca Zahau is asking again for an independent investigation into the controversial hanging at Coronado’s Spreckels Mansion.

“We believe Rebecca was killed. We owe it to her to find what really happened to her,” said her sister Mary Zahau-Loehner in a previous article.

San Diego Sheriff’s Department homicide investigators concluded Rebecca Zahau, 32, killed herself July 13 - two days after boyfriend Jonah Shacknai's 6-year-old son, Max Shacknai, accidentally fell while under her watch.

A multi-millionaire, Jonah Shacknai is the founder and CEO of Medicis, a pharmaceutical company based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Max Shacknai died July 17, almost a week after suffering serious injuries in a fall down the stairs at the historic mansion.

The family's attorney Anne Bremmer previously asked the State Attorney General to investigate the case again. The request was denied, and she was told to first ask the Sheriff's Department to reopen the case.

The Sheriff's Department declined to reopen the case, so the family returned to the Attorney General, in addition to the District Attorney.

Bremmer did not say what new evidence the family suspects may be in the Sheriff's report.

Rebecca Zahau’s sister appeared in an interview on NBC Today in September explaining why the family wants an independent investigation.

“I truly believe the suicide was staged. I truly believe someone made it look like my sister committed suicide,” Zahau-Loehner said.

She and other family members texted with Zahau throughout the day and received messages of hope hours before her sister was discovered hanging nude from the mansion's second story balcony.

Investigators concluded that Rebecca Zahau tied rope to bedposts and around her wrists and ankles, she loosely bound her wrists, took one arm out and put both arms behind her back before tightening the noose. They even released a video that they say shows how it can be done.

Zahau’s brother-in-law and Mary’s husband Doug Loehner, who is a police officer, wants a copy of the police reports.

“The case is closed,” he said in September. “I don’t understand why we don’t have them. “

When Jonah Shacknai requested a review from the State Attorney General, he didn’t allege there was a problem with the original investigation so the AG’s office won’t review it under the law said the family’s attorney Anne Bremner.

A Timeline of Events in the Deaths at Coronado's Spreckels Mansion

 

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