Thursday, November 17, 2011


Thank you for visiting Justice for Rebecca.

This blog was created and is maintained by people whose questions turned to disbelief, and whose disbelief gave way to outrage when the death of Rebecca Zahau was ruled a suicide by William Gore, San Diego County Sheriff.

At right you will find numerous informational links that you can use to go back and review this case from the very beginning.  If you can only stay for a minute, we urge you to sign the petition calling for a new, transparent and independent investigation into the death of Rebecca Zahau

For those of you who can stay longer, this is Rebecca's Story:

Rebecca Zahau was a beloved daughter and sister.  On July 13, 2011 in Coronado, California, Rebecca died a "very suspicious and very violent death" according to Tim Curran of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.  Curran's quote was given to reporters outside the historic Spreckels Mansion, home to Rebecca Zahau and her boyfriend, Jonah Shacknai.  Rebecca was found by first responders naked, hands bound behind her back, feet bound, and with a rope noose and a tightly wrapped t-shirt around her neck.

It is important to note that Rebecca Zahau was NOT found hanging.  Articles and stories continue to report that Rebecca was found hanging when in fact she was found on the ground by first responders.  Rebecca's body was discovered and allegedly cut down by houseguest Adam Shacknai, brother of Jonah Shacknai, who stayed on the property the night Rebeeca died.  Adam Shacknai was given a lie detector test regarding his involvement in this case and the results of that test were inconclusive (which is contrary to the statement that Adam "passed" the lie detector test which was made by Sheriff Gore in summarizing his agency's findings).

To compound the tragedy of her death, Rebecca's naked body was allowed by law enforcement to remain uncovered and unshielded in the courtyard of the Spreckels property for 13 hours.  Rebecca was viewed and photographed by onlookers and news helicopters.  Both dignity and evidence were destroyed that day.  They are both unrecoverable.

The Investigation

Within 24 hours of Rebecca Zahau's death, the San Diego Sheriff's Office under the direction of William Gore launched an investigation that blatantly chose to ignore compelling evidence found at the crime scene: 

latex gloves with mixed DNA, mixed DNA in Ms. Zahau's fingernail clippings, blood and a clump of hair found in the shower, pantiesand a clump of hair  found in the guest house of the mansion (where Adam Shacknai stayed that night), 4 head wounds caused by a rounded blunt object (which are hard to explain in a hanging death), and additional shoe prints found on the balcony from which law enforcement claims Rebecca jumped.  Rebecca's DNA was NOT found on this balcony.

Several witnesses came forward in this case -- neighbors heard a woman scream for help at approximately 10:20 that night, yet Lt. Larry Nesbit of the San Diego Sheriff's Office dismissed this information as "irrelevant".  A man riding his bicycle with his family saw a woman he identified as Dina Shacknai (Mr. Shacknai’s ex-wife and mother of little Max) at the mansion at approximately the same time, stating that she was acting in a bizarre manner. Nina Romano, Dina’s fraternal twin sister and Mr. Shacknai's ex-sister-in-law, has subsequently stated she was at the mansion at the time and must have been mistaken for her sister, Dina. LE processed Nina’s fingerprints and DNA, but she was not subjected to a polygraph test. Dina was never fingerprinted, her DNA was not requested nor was she requested to take a lie detector test. 

During a Press Conference on September 2, 2011 the SDSO ruled the death of Rebecca Zahau a suicide and deemed the investigation closed.  In making this ruling, the SDSO failed to question and clear multiple people who had access to the Sprekels mansion on or before July 13, 2011.  The whereabouts of certain individuals with access to the mansion have proven to be at best unconfirmed, or at worst, in direct conflict with information that was previously reported by authorities.

Where we are now

There has been 
overwhelming support from around the world in the fight for justice for Rebecca.  Through the courage and tenacity of Rebecca's family and their attorney Anne Bremner, professional services and financial resources have been secured to move this case forward and keep this case in the spotlight.  Most recently, the Zahau family made the emotional but necessary decision to exhume Rebecca’s body so that a second autopsy could be conducted by renown  Forensic Pathologist Cyril Wecht.

The Dr. Phil Show showcased the case of Rebecca Zahau in a 2-part special that aired November 14 & 15.  On this show, Dr. Wecht discussed the results of his autopsy and indicated that the "injury evidence was not consistent with the cause of death" and that he has "grave and serious doubts that the manner of death was suicide."  He implored the SDSO to reclassify Rebecca's cause of death as "undetermined", thus enabling an open and continued investigation, stating "There can be no doubt that it demanded further investigation -- I lean very strongly for it being a homicide, something involving foul play, and lean strongly against it being a suicide.”

In response to the Dr. Phil special, Sheriff Gore said, "If Dr. Wecht, or Miss Bremner would like to share information they believe is pertinent with our investigators, we would be glad to meet with them, rather than hear their results on television, presented as entertainment "   Additionally, Gore has repeatedly said that if new evidence is presented to his agency, the case will be reopened.

And that is why we're here.  Set aside new evidence for moment.  Simply put, there is more than sufficient OLD evidence to warrant a new investigation.  At this juncture the case cries out for a thorough, transparent and independent investigation into the death of Rebecca Zahau.

What you can do

Spread the word.  Share the links.  Spend just 5 minutes each day educating yourself about this case.  Imagine if this was your daughter, sister, friend -- you would not stop in your quest for the truth, right?  Justice for Rebecca starts now.  We welcome you to the cause and hope to see you back here soon.

**We are not part of an agency and we do not have a personal or professional connection to the Zahau family**

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