2011 Shows

Was it suicide or foul play? On July 13, Rebecca Zahau, 32, was found dead in a historic California mansion owned by her boyfriend, Medicis Pharmaceuticals CEO Jonah Shacknai. Investigators say Shacknai’s brother found the woman nude, hanging from a second-story balcony off the guest room of the main house with her feet bound and hands tied behind her back. Zahau’s death occurred two days after Shacknai’s 6-year-old son reportedly fell from a second-floor banister while in her care. The boy died of his injuries three days after Rebecca's body was found. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department announced its finding that Rebecca committed suicide, but Zahau’s family says there are mysterious circumstances surrounding her death, and think she was murdered. Could Rebecca have bound her own hands and feet in that manner? Was the cryptic message painted on a nearby door a suicide note or a message from a killer? The family has asked for a reexamination of the facts, along with an independent autopsy, to be conducted by renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, who has claimed that ruling Zahau’s death a suicide was a hasty conclusion. Dr. Phil is by the family's side as they hear the latest autopsy results. Will these findings bring answers, or just more questions? If there is indication of foul play, who is responsible? And, can Rebecca’s loved ones find closure after their tragic loss?

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: strine on Apr 22, 2013, 9:16PM - In reply to mikismom
I did suspect that the niece may have done it and then Rebecca's brother killed her so she wouldn't tell on the girl. I wonder if the girl has killed any animals before. Why did he call his sister "a girl" when he was on the phone with 911? If my sister was hanging I'd say my sister is hanging- not "a girl".
Replied By: strine on Apr 22, 2013, 9:13PM - In reply to goldie27
From what her sister said, I understood that she did not feel guilty enough to have committed suicide. The mother of the little boy made no sense when talking about being surprised that Rebecca didn't make the 911 call- she was resuscitating him at the time (usually first aiders will resuscitate and get someone else to call (if there is someone else around) - nothing surprising about that. Also nothing surprising about being shocked and not remembering what you did first when someone is hurt.
Replied By: goldie27 on Mar 21, 2012, 6:28PM
While it's sad that two lives were lost so tragically I'm finding something very odd. It probably doesn't matter to the overall investigation since there was obviously a homicide that had taken place but...Mary (Rebecca's sister) claimed that Rebecca did not feel guilty about about the boy's accident. I don't know about other people, but I know I would feel so guilty if I was the one watching him that day when it happened. I think her lack of feeling guilt is the reason why she was murdered.
Replied By: daiseeloo on Nov 22, 2011, 4:21PM
First off, my condolences to the family.  I just finished watching both episodes and even before I watched them, I already new Rebecca did not do this to herself. 

Clearly, the SDPD did not do their job.   Mary, please continue to fight for justice for Rebecca, yourself and your family.

My prayers and thoughts to Mary and the family. 
Replied By: mikismom on Nov 20, 2011, 11:17AM
Hmmmm.  I don't see my post.  Folks:  Listen carefully to the first sentence of the 911 call.  "I got a girl.  Hung herself".  Really???  Why would you conclude that a woman who is hanging from a balcony with her hands and feet bound "hung herself"????  Logically, if any one of us were to make a visit to a relative and come upon a scene where someone is bound by the arms and legs and hanging from a balcony, we would never conclude that she did this to herself.  The brother tried to manipulate the police into believing it was a suicide from the get go.  If he didn't kill her, he was the accomplice!  Furthermore, the police finding that there was no DNA or finger prints should not be a surprise.  That was the intent....whoever killed her wore globes.  May God bless her sister and family, for having the strength and courage to pursue her murderers!
Replied By: mikismom on Nov 20, 2011, 11:09AM
Listen to the 911 call & pay particular attention to the very first sentence..."I got a girl.  Hung herself."  If I were to go to my brother's home, and come to find his wife/girlfriend hanging from a rope with her hands and legs bound, the first thing from my mouth would not be "hung herself".  There is no possible way that one could conclude that she did this to herself, especially in light of the fact that she was bound.  One would have said "she's hanging".  This girl was murdered, and when his brother made the 911 call he tried to pursuade the police that it was a suicide from the get go.  Like Judy say's....if it doesn't make sense, it's not the truth".  If the brother didn't murder her, he was certainly an accomplice.  The Feds should investigate the San Diego Police Department!!  God Bless poor Rebecca and her family!!  To her loving sister.....God Bless you for being courageous!  You're right, Rebecca did not kill herself, and I'm thinking of you and praying that God gives you the strength and comforts your heart, as you seek justice for your sister. 
Replied By: hsage1212 on Nov 17, 2011, 9:10PM
I am glad you are doing this story.  I live in Los Angeles witch isn't far from San Diego. I have always felt there was more to this story. It makes me mad that they closed this case so quickly. But it also makes me suspicious of the sherrifs department and there investigative team. Is there somebody corupt in the department is her boyfriend to blame or is he in a drug mafia of some sort. Maybe the son got murdered too. Whats the story behind the little boy falling on the stairs? and why have we not heard the boyfriend speaking.  What does he know? I mean I am sure Rebecca Zahau was talking to him. So he deffinetly would know something, right?  It's way to suspicious.  Please keep on this Dr. Phil. Don't let this one get away until we get to the bottom of this. Normaly don't get myself to involved, but this one scares me.
Replied By: imaginations99 on Nov 17, 2011, 10:35AM
I hate the Sheriff involved with the case. No Forensic evedance was collected. HOW CAN ONE TIE HERSELF. SHERIFF FOOL, how can you tie your self with those nots. I WISH SHE WAS YOUR DAUGHTER !!!!!!. I really wish this girl was your daughter Mr.SHERIFF.
Replied By: triplt_rettmom on Nov 17, 2011, 4:55AM
The message that was at the scene: She Saved Him can he save her.

Something to consider:  this is the type of message from someone who is harboring some type of deep resentment.  Could it be that the victim at some point inferred that she saved the husband in some way.  This was heard by the ex or family member who felt insulted to the core.  Then, this person set up a murder and wrote to say can he save her..meaning can  the boyfriend save her.  That person would have motive.  THey were already upset about the relationship and now add one that the child was hurt.  Can the victims family think back and remember if she ever said anything about saving her boyfriend in some way?  Save him from pain, a horrible relationship etc...

Just a thought. 
Replied By: lucati on Nov 16, 2011, 11:56PM
      Maybe the rope she was bound with was part of a bondage fetish item the couple had in the house, if so only so many people would know about it. The ex-girlfriend, the boyfriend, The ex's sister because girls talk about that stuff and so do guys so maybe the brother who was staying in the guest house? A few of many people who should be questioned and processed for evidence.

      As for the message on the wall it sounds to be written by a spiteful woman perhaps.  maybe it was written to misdirect?  Seeing how defensive the boyfriend is does not help exclude him from being involved.  A man should stand by his woman and defend her with the family despite the childs accident.

      There is so much more evidence that must be looked into and I hope Dr. Phil will continue with more episodes regarding the case. I am not familiar with the law and I am curious as to who has the power to reactivate the case.  Also why would anyone need to have a piece of paper to be able to investigate this tragedy legally?  Can't any branch of the law begin investigating more thuroughly and hopefully find the person or persons respinsible and bring them to justice leaglly?

      Finally I feel anyone who thinks that this is a suicide and tries to "defend"(ie. lawyers and police) that claim are just as guilty as the person or persons responsible for her death.

      I wish I could do more to help and I hope that the person or people involved with this cover up are brought to justice. I think that this was a very good stratagy Mary and her family made with Dr. Phil and I hope that it catches the attention of many lawyers, politicians and maybe the FEDS because of the unorthodox way the case was closed. Thank you for your time, whom ever reads this.
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