"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
-- Stephen Hawking
I think it's actually harder now to get away with murder. Scientific advances in forensics, criminology etc.
All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.
If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator
That being said, I guess Gary Giordano is going to walk (or, more accurately, stagger) free from Aruba any day now because they have nothing tangible to tie him to the disappearance of Robyn Gardner [sp].
Looking at cases in CrimeLibrary.com, you can see all kinds of innocent, young people who vanished, but there weren't very many avenues of publicizing the search (or fact that they were missing) nationwide.
No question. Things have been improving steadily for decades (the 70s being the dark ages for kids/women disappearing). But not necessarily due to Nancy & Co. Because if you leave out the wretched Anthony case, there are still too many cases that are simply lost, IMO.
This case is apparantly closed, nothing is happening with the Horman case, Hayleigh (sic) Cumming has been resolved by locking up the supposed culprit exorbitantly, etc. Better means, better methods, but still a whole lot of dissatisfaction. Only more public.
Yep, that's what I was referring to with me points a), b), c). Not sure that it's so anecdotal though.
I wasn't asking for research, I was just wondering how you reached that conclusion. The system seems to work perfectly well in the majority of cases. Looks like your capslock got stuck at the end there.
"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
-- Stephen Hawking
sorry Twitchy, i'm cranky today. Mercer made my points. Forgive my itchy capslock
A new development. The dad, Jonah, is asking that both death investigations be reopened:
The investigation into the deaths of Rebecca Zahau and Max Shacknai has taken some incredible twists and turns over the past six weeks and now grieving boyfriend and father, Jonah Shacknai, has sent a request to the California attorney general asking that the inquiry be re-examined in both cases, RadarOnline.com has learned.In a letter sent by Shacknai to the attorney general on Monday, the billionaire wrote that further investigation would be beneficial in, "bringing some clarity, dignity, and ultimately closure to the devastating deaths," reported ABCNews.com.There's also a medical examiner, hired by Zahau's family, who is saying that there is a set of unexplained footprints on the balcony. Not family members or police offers..
"The circumstances of Rebecca's suicide were so unusual and upsetting that it was difficult to accept the hard facts that were presented," he went on to write.
PHOTOS: Celebs Involved In Murder
"I pray Max and Rebecca are now at peace and I hope you might be able to help the rest of us ... achieve some peace and closure," Shacknai wrote.
Body of woman found hanged at mansion exhumed
Rebecca Zahau, 32, was found hanged at her boyfriend's California mansion in July.
October 27th, 2011
01:22 PM ET
The body of a woman found hanged at a California mansion in July has been exhumed for an independent autopsy, according to an attorney for her family, which rejects authorities’ findings that she committed suicide.
Rebecca Zahau’s body will be examined by renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, Zahau family attorney Anne Bremner said Thursday. Bremner last month hired Wecht, who has publicly questioned the results of the official autopsy, to consult in the case.
“The body has been exhumed,” Bremner said. “Dr. Wecht will be conducting the autopsy pro bono.”
Zahau, 32, was one of two people – the other being her boyfriend’s 6-year-old son, Max Shacknai – who police said died as a result of July incidents at boyfriend Jonah Shacknai’s mansion in Coronado, California. Max Shacknai fell downstairs on July 11 and died at a hospital five days later, and Zahau was found hanging – naked, with feet bound, and wrists bound behind her back – in the home’s courtyard from a rope tied to a second-story bed at the home on July 13, police said.
Police told reporters last month that there was no indication of foul play in either death, and that evidence led them to conclude that Zahau hanged herself. Though they didn’t know the order of events, they say she painted a message on a door, disrobed, fashioned a hanging rope and bindings, tied the hanging rope to a bed and put the other end around her neck, bound her feet and hands, moved to the balcony and put herself over the railing.
Zahau’s family contends she didn’t commit suicide, citing details from the official autopsy, among other things.
A call Thursday to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, which said last month it had closed its investigation, wasn't immediately returned. It has previously said that as with any of its investigations, it would evaluate any new information pertaining to the case.
The case has caught the attention of television host Dr. Phil McGraw, who plans to announce the results of the second autopsy and host the Zahau family on his “Dr. Phil” show in November, CNN affiliate KFMB reported Tuesday.
An attorney for the family told San Diego’s KSWB that the “Dr. Phil” show is not paying for the exhumation, but producers on the show have agreed to donate to a fund set up by the Zahau family.
“We endorse the family’s effort to search for closure to this terrible tragedy and will stand with them going forward as they navigate through their grieving process,” a representative of the show said in a statement released to CNN Tuesday.
Jonah Shacknai – a lawyer and the founder and CEO of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. – asked the California attorney general to investigate the deaths of Zahau and his son to bring a “dignified resolution for everyone who has been touched by the horrible events of this summer.” But in a letter to Shacknai, the attorney general’s office declined, saying it would investigate only under “very narrow circumstances,” such as if there were allegations of gross malfeasance by investigators.
Wecht, who read the official autopsy report, told CNN in September that he would have left the manner of death as undetermined, saying, among other things, that said four subgaleal hemorrhages – between the scalp and skull on top of the head – listed in the autopsy report may be inconsistent with the suicide theory.
“You only get those from blunt force trauma,” Wecht said. “That means your head struck something or was struck by something. I repeat for emphasis: four separate locations. The head is contoured; to have it bruised in different places, that means you have to strike different parts of the head.”
Dr. Jonathan Lucas of the San Diego County medical examiner’s office countered that the hemorrhages were “relatively minor,” and that “because there was evidence that Zahau went over the balcony in a non-vertical position, she may have struck her head on the way down.”
Lucas said last month that that although bound suicides aren’t common, he has seen such victims and read reports of them.
“The thinking is, they bind themselves so that they won’t change their mind midway through,” Lucas said at a news conference last month.
San Diego Sheriff’s Department Lt. Larry Nesbit said that between the time investigators believe the suicide happened and the time that Zahau's body was reported found, Jonah Shacknai was at a children’s hospital, where his son was being treated, or at a Ronald McDonald House.
Regarding Max Shacknai's death, authorities were called to the home on July 11 after getting a call from Zahau's 13-year-old sister reporting that Max had fallen down the stairs and was not breathing, Coronado Police Commander Mike Lawton said. Zahau, her sister and the boy were the only ones in the residence at the time of the incident.
Jonah Shacknai's brother called 911 from the home on July 13 to report that he found Zahau's body hanging, police said. The brother was staying at a guest house that morning; San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said last month that investigators were comfortable with his account.
Max died at a hospital on July 16. Lucas ruled the death an accident, saying the boy died partly due to resuscitated cardiopulmonary arrest, cervical spinal cord contusion and blunt force trauma of the head and neck.
Body of woman found hanged at mansion exhumed – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs
Excellent. Maybe there will be answers now.
FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej
Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
Mother of boy who died at mansion sues SD County - AP State Wire News - The Sacramento Bee
I still find this case so interesting. I believe Rebecca's family's attorney is asking for another investigation into her death as well. I still can't believe someone would strip down, bind their arms and legs and hang themselves. IMO, there was foul play. (I watch a lot of CSI, mind you...)Mother of boy who died at mansion sues SD County
The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Apr. 4, 2012 - 5:32 pm
SAN DIEGO -- The mother of a 6-year-old boy who died after falling down a flight of stairs at a historic San Diego mansion is suing the county to release photos and documents related to the boy's autopsy and death investigation.
U-T San Diego ( Young Shacknai's mother sues for autopsy photos | UTSanDiego.com) says Dina Shacknai's lawsuit, filed March 22, says the county initially denied her access to the information and told her to obtain a court order to authorize its release. She is not seeking monetary damages.
The Spreckels mansion was owned at the time by the boy's father, pharmaceutical tycoon Jonah Shacknai. His girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau, was in the home when the boy fell. Her nude body was found hanging from a balcony at the mansion two days later. Authorities determined Zahau's death was a suicide.
Did you see these?Rebecca Zahau Suicide Case Reopening Sought by Seattle Attorney Anne Bremner (Updated)
By Rick Anderson Thu., Dec. 8 2011 at 8:10 AM
Update: Sheriff threatens to publicly release sensitive Zahau case files if Bremner and the Zahau family falsely portray his investigation. Details below. To the San Diego County Sheriff's Office, the investigation into the strange deatlh of Rebecca Zahau is over: she did it. The 32-year-old millionaire's live-in girlfriend - found naked, hanging by the neck, feet bound together, hands tied behind her back - committed suicide. Seattle attorney Anne Bremner, who represents Zahau's family and helps stoke tabloid coverage of the case, still can't believe it.
She was scheduled to meet with a sheriff's representative yesterday to ask that the case be reopened, but that meeting has now been postponed until next month, she says. Bremner, who suspects Zahau was the victim of foul play, calls it "the first case in the history of the world that a woman killed herself like this."
But as a San Diego sheriff's sergeant, Roy Frank, told reporters after Zahau's death in July, "There are documentations of incidents throughout the country where people have secured their feet and hands as well to commit suicide." They do it to make certain they can't escape if they change their minds, he said. (Those victims were all men, however, Bremner notes).
Zahau's body was found hanging from a balcony in a historic Coronado, Calif. mansion owned by her boyfriend, big pharma CEO Jonah Shacknai. His 6-year-old son had died two days earlier from a fall off a staircase in the same home.
In September, Sheriff Bill Gore pronounced Zahau's death a suicide and young Shacknai's an accident. Zahau's family suspects foul play and hired Bremner to push for a reopening of the probe, including petitioning the state's attorney general to investigate. Bremner today said "We have not made our submission to the AG as yet. We will be requesting an independent investigation."
Extensive media exposure - one of Bremner's specialties - has put the sheriff's case before the court of public opinion. Most recently, forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht said on the Nov. 15 Dr. Phil show that a second autopsy revealed unexplained bruises on Zahau's head. He also questioned the elaborate self-binding of Zahau's hands and feet.
It is an unusual case without perfect answers, but Bremner has so far been unable to persuade the sheriff to take another look. And he apparently wasn't moved by the TV theatrics: Gore called Dr. Phil's evidence sensational and short on facts.
He is sticking to his investigators' conclusions that Zahau, despondent over the 6-year-old's death, impulsively took her own life - wrapping a red hangman's noose around her neck, tying her limbs and tightening the last bit of rope with a cinch string, then propelling herself over the balcony - likely banging her head on it in the process.
Zahau's fingerprints were found on a knife used to cut the death rope - on which her DNA was also found. "Science is our best witness in this case," Gore told reporters. "It is not biased and it doesn't lie."
Update: Bremner yesterday told Seattle Weekly that Gore has now "put a chilling effect on our First Amendment rights" by threatening to publicly release the sheriff's case files on the death if she "falsely represents" his department's investigation.
In an October 27 letter to Bremner, Gore wrote that he was releasing the files to Bremner but not to the media or public, as allowed by law. But if she released any details in a misleading "piecemeal" fashion, "we will correct the false portrayal by opening the entire investigation for public scrutiny."
A sheriff's spokesperson elaborated in an e-mail to KFMB-TV in San Diego, stating "We wanted to state in the strongest possible terms to Miss Bremner some of the materials contained [in the case files] are exceedingly sensitive and personal. We will not release material we would rather keep confidential, unless compelled to do so in response to unfounded or inaccurate assertions."
Bremner says she considers the letter a threat to back off. Ironically, she says, "The personal info to which [Gore] refers doesn't even pertain to Rebecca. He erroneously believes it does. A result, again, of an inadequate investigation."
She is pushing ahead nonetheless, currently preparing a proposal to submit to the California attorney general seeking an independent investigation of the death.
November 16 vid in which Gore raps family's tab-TV strategy:
View more videos at: http://nbcsandiego.com. Rebecca Zahau Suicide Case Reopening Sought by Seattle Attorney Anne Bremner (Updated) - Seattle News - The Daily Weekly
Rebecca Zahau's Death a Ritualistic Killing?
New Questions Arise in Coronado Suicide
By CHRISTINA CARON
Sept. 7, 2011
Rebecca Zahau, found naked, bound and hanging at a Coronado, Calif., mansion, may have been the victim of a ritualistic killing, a forensic psychologist told ABCNews.com today.
The bedroom near the balcony where Zahau was reportedly found hanging appeared "staged," said Maurice Godwin, who has a Ph.D. in criminal psychology and runs a forensic consultancy business in Fayetteville, N.C.
"This death has many hallmarks of a ritualistic killing," he said. "I think someone assaulted her physically. I think she was dazed, and they bound her."
Zahau allegedly used black paint to write the words "she saved him can you save her" on a bedroom door near the balcony where she was found hanging.
Godwin, who has been investigating crime scenes for 15 years, believes the black paint, which was also found on Zahau's breasts, collarbone and hands has a "ritualistic overtone."
The odd circumstances of Zahau's death, including the red rope tied around her ankles and wrists, as well as the autopsy report detailing hemorrhages, bruises, and blood on the body of 32-year-old Zahau, have raised several questions among forensics experts.
Horizon Eye Specialists & Lasik Center Rebecca Zahau, seen in this 2008 picture,
"It's the entirety [of the case] that's troubling. And I think to write it off as a suicide, it's premature," said Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, a DNA expert and forensic scientist who heads the Department of Sciences at the City University of New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
According to both Kobilinsky and Godwin, the injuries as described in the autopsy report suggest "a substantial blow to the head."
"There are four hemorrhages in four different positions," Kobilinsky said. "When you see these kinds of scalp hemorrhages you have to explain them."
Godwin concurred, adding, "The chances of bumping into the railing, going over the balcony and hitting your head four times is highly unlikely."
On Tuesday San Diego medical examiner Dr. Jonathan Lucas issued a statement to respond to press inquiries about the autopsy report. With regard to the hemorrhages, he said, "Because there was evidence that she went over the balcony in a non-vertical position, she may have struck her head on the balcony on the way down."
Renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz, who testified during the Casey Anthony trial, told ABCNews.com today it's entirely possible Zahau hit her head while hanging.
"When the body first dropped, she doesn't necessarily jump to her death, so she would drop directly downward and she could easily hit against the side of the structure from which she is hanging," he said.
Even so, he admits it's not a cut and dried case.
"I would love to see a picture of the body before the removal of the wrist bindings," he said.
The autopsy revealed blood on Zahau's legs, as well as bruises and tape residue. It also showed that part of a T-shirt had been in Zahau's mouth. The medical examiner said the blood could have been either from a menstrual period or an intrauterine device, but could not explain the significance of the tape residue or T-Shirt.
"As in any comprehensive investigation, some findings cannot be entirely explained," Lucas wrote in Tuesday's statement.
Rebecca Zahau Death Raises Questions
Anne Bremner, the lawyer representing Zahau's family, told ABCNews.com that Zahau had painted as a hobby, but the message on the bedroom door didn't match Zahau's handwriting.
Police never saw Zahau hanging because Zahau's body was cut down by Adam Shacknai, the brother of Zahau's boyfriend Jonah Shacknai who owned the mansion.
This week Lt. Larry Nesbit of the San Diego Sheriff's homicide unit told ABCNews.com, "Adam was interviewed and we found and confirmed that all of the statements he gave to us were truthful."
Zahau had been dating pharmaceutical mogul Jonah Shacknai for more than two years. Friends and family said they seemed happy together, and Zahau had been especially fond of her boyfriend's son, Max.
The 6-year-old was seriously injured two days before Zahau died after he fell down the stairs at the historic Spreckels mansion where they were staying. He died six days later and police eventually ruled his death an accident.
Investigators believe Zahau killed herself, in part, because she learned Max was not expected to live on July 13, the day she was reportedly found hanging.
"I'll be the first to admit this is not a clear cut case one way or another," Kobilinsky said. "But if you don't know, you just don't call it."
Page 2: Rebecca Zahau's Death Looks Like Ritualistic Killing: Expert - ABC NewsMaxShacknai'sMotherSuingEstateOfRebeccaZahau
Posted on Apr 11, 2012 @ 04:30PM print it send it
By Jen Heger - Radar Assistant Managing Editor
Dina Shacknai, the mother of six-year-old Max Shacknai who tragically died last summer at his father's Coronado mansion, is suing the San Diego Medical Examiner's office to obtain his autopsy photos because she doesn't believe that he died by falling and hitting his head, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
As we previously reported, Rebecca Zahau, the girlfriend of Dina Shacknai's ex-husband Jonah Shacknai, killed herself just days after Max's fatal accident. Zahau's death was ruled a suicide after her naked body was found hanged with her hands and feet bound at The Spreckles mansion on July 13. Rebecca's family vehemently disagrees with the San Diego Sheriff's Department's determination that she killed herself.
PHOTOS: Celebs Who Died Young
"Dina doesn't believe that Max fell to his death, she never believed nor agreed with that finding. Dina is gathering as much information as possible pertaining to Max's death, and this includes seeking his autopsy photos. Remember, Rebecca Zahau's younger sister, Xena (13), was also at the house the day that Max died. The San Diego Sheriff's Department said that Rebecca was in the bathroom downstairs, and Xena was in the bathroom upstairs at the time they believe Max fell from the second story balcony area. The chandelier that had been hanging from the ceiling in that area was found next to Max's body, and Dina doesn't believe that Max had enough strength to attempt to grab onto it to break his fall, as the report from law enforcement stated. Dina is exploring all of her legal options, which could include filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Rebecca Zahau's estate. This isn't about money for Dina, she wants answers, period," a source close to the situation tells Radar.
PHOTOS: Rebecca Zahau And Her Sister Snowem Horwath
A San Diego Superior Court judge ruled earlier this week that he would release the photos to Dina, unless the San Diego District Attorney's Office filed an opposition to the ruling.
Meanwhile, Anne Bremner, the attorney representing Rebecca Zahau's family, has formally asked the California Attorney General and the San Diego District Attorney's Office to launch a new investigation because of new evidence she has uncovered. Bremner said on her Twitter account, "In the Rebecca Zahau case, submissions have been made to the AG and DA. On behalf of her family, thank you for your support."
PHOTOS: Celebrities Who Died In Bizarre Circumstances
This is the second request that Bremner has made for the California Attorney General to get involved in the case after the office rejected the case last summer. Jonah Shacknai released a statement after the Attorney General's decision last summer. "I would like to thank Attorney General Harris for her condolences and consideration of my request to evaluate this matter. I respect and accept the determination of the chief law enforcement authority in the State of California that the circumstances of this investigation do not warrant further review by the Attorney General at this time. Given the unusual facts of this tragedy, I understand that Rebecca's family and others continue to have questions. If at any time there is new substantive evidence bearing on this case, it should be presented, not in tabloid form to fuel rumor and innuendo, but rather to appropriate law enforcement authorities who may determine whether further investigation is warranted. I continue to pray Max and Rebecca are now at peace, and that all of us devastated by their losses will be permitted to continue to grieve privately as we struggle to achieve some peace and closure."
PHOTOS: Celebrities We Lost In 2011
Calls seeking comment to Dina Shacknai, Mary Zahau, Anne Bremner, and Jonah Shacknai weren't immediately returned.
Last edited by Novice; April 12th, 2012 at 09:17 AM.
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