New Zahau Autopsy Shows Same Results

Doctor “strongly leans toward it being a homicide”

By Sarah Grieco and Danya Bacchus
|  Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011  |  Updated 5:50 PM PDT
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Zahau Body to be Exhumed

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Documents Reveal New Mansion Death Details

Search warrants and a letter reveal new information in the death of Rebecca Zahau.

Zahau Body to be Exhumed

Thanks to donations from the public, Rebecca Zahau's family will be exhuming her body from the grave for further examination.
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In the second interview of a two-part series, Phil McGraw (known as Dr. Phil on television) talked to a famous forensic pathologist about the exhumed body of Rebecca Zahau.

In mid-July, Zahau was found nude hanging dead from a balcony in Spreckels mansion. Officials later ruled her death a suicide, but the family doubted the reports.

The Zahau family exhumed her body and had it reexamined by noted medical examiner Dr. Cyril Wecht McGraw’s television show. They paid $25,000 for the new autopsy with donations made to the Rebecca Zahau Fund.

Wecht told McGraw the first findings of the first autopsy were thorough, and he did not find any different results. But he did say the findings of the autopsy “puzzle” him.

After examining the body, Wecht told McGraw that he “strongly leans towards it being a homicide,” because of wounds found on Zahau’s scalp he deemed “inexplicable.”

Wecht said he does not understand how someone could have 4 separate hemorrhages on the top of a head as the result of a vertical hanging. He said he thinks case should be reopened by law enforcement, and should continue to be worked “thoroughly and exhaustively.”

Family attorney Anne Bremner told NBC San Diego in an email: "Dr. Wecht is a renowned pathologist. The family went through the pain of having their beloved Becky exhumed to find the truth. They found it with Dr. Wecht. This was not a suicide."

The San Diego Sheriff's Department ruled the death a suicide on Sept. 2. The case has not been reopened and officials have not been formally presented any new evidence.

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