– Uncovering the Mystery (San Diego Reader, July 18, 2011):
Coronado Police Say Nudity “Definitely a Factor” in Death of Lissome, Exotic Beauty Living in Home of Wealthy, Powerful Man
“No. Clothes. At. All.”
CORONADO, AMERICA’S CAPITAL OF SEXY INTRIGUE – Investigators are still investigating the death of 32-year-old Rebecca Zahau, an attractive woman who was found several days ago hanging by her neck from the second-story balcony of the mansion she shared with pharmaceutical tycoon Jonah Shacknai. Her wrists were bound behind her back, and her ankles were also bound. But most notable of all, according to sources close to the case, is the fact that she was completely and utterly naked.
“At this point, we can’t be certain whether Zahau’s death was a homicide or a suicide,” said Sheriff’s Captain Tim Curran at a joint news conference held with Coronado Police Chief Lou Scanlon. “It’s possible that after slowly removing all of her clothes in a mysteriously symbolic candlelit ritual, she slipped the rope over her own neck, then had an accomplice tie her wrists and feet before hurling her bare-skinned self over the balcony rail.”
“Alternatively,” added Scanlon, “She may have stripped out of her clothing in preparation for a luxurious bubble bath and then been surprised in the altogether by an assailant, who seized her exposed body, bound her unguarded flesh, and sent her plummeting nakedly to her death.”
“However,” resumed Curran, “we cannot allow ourselves to be blinded by the victim’s nudity such that we restrict our considerations to either homicide or suicide. There is also the possibility of accidental death. Perhaps, like the actor David Carradine, she was involved in some sort of erotic activity that blurred the line between pain and pleasure and pushed the boundaries of human sensual experience, an activity that, sadly, left this brave, fit, and totally nude explorer cut off in her prime.”
“It’s a tragedy,” concluded Scanlon. “And trust us: we will not rest until this lovely young woman’s death has been explained.”
– Family confirms death of Scottsdale CEO’s young son (abc 15, July 17, 2011):
CORONADO, CA – The 6-year-old son of a pharmaceutical company executive died Sunday, almost a week after falling down the stairs at his father’s historic mansion — the same house where his father’s girlfriend was found dead hanging nude from a balcony two days later.
In an email Sunday, Scottsdale millionaire Jonah Shacknai said his son Max died “despite heroic efforts on the part of paramedics and hospital staff.”
Police said the young boy fell down the main staircase of the family’s Coronado Island mansion on Monday, in what appeared to be a tragic accident.
At least two TV stations said that Shacknai, who is the CEO of Medicis Pharmaceuticals, was at the hospital with his ex-wife at Max’s bedside while doctors arranged to have his organs donated.
The boy’s father was not home at the time. Instead, Max was in the care of Shacknai’s live-in girlfriend, 32-year-old Rebecca Zahau.
Zahau was found dead on Wednesday by Shacknai’s brother Adam, who was staying in the guest house. Police said she was found dead hanging nude from a balcony at the mansion, her hands and feet bound.
Sheriff’s Capt. Tim Curran has called the death “very bizarre.”
Sheriff’s investigators have not established any connection between the two deaths, and have not determined if Zahau was a crime victim and have made no arrests. They said they have not ruled out suicide.
The boy’s family said Sunday memorial contributions honoring Max can be made to Whispering Hope Ranch Foundation either by mail to 9045 E. Pima Center Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, or via their website .