Millionaire Wants Mystery Mansion Deaths Case Reopened
When Rebecca Zahau was found naked and hanging at California millionaire Jonah Shacknai's mansion, police ruled it a suicide.
But now, Shacknai wants the investigation into the death of his six-year-old son Max and the hanging death of his girlfriend Zahau to be reopened.
In a letter to the California Attorney General, Shacknai writes: "The heartbreak of these losses is unbearable...Given the undeniably strange circumstances, Rebecca's family and others continue to have questions. A new investigation would bring clarity, dignity, and ultimately closure."
"Was Max's death a homicide? The answer is no. It was a tragic accident. Was Rebecca's death a homicide? Again, the answer is no, it was a suicide," said San Diego Sheriff William D. Gore at a press conference explaining the investigators' findings.
The San Diego Sheriff's Office closed the case three weeks ago, but Zahau's family is keeping it alive.
Her sister Mary appeared Monday on Good Morning America.
"It doesn't add up from day one," she said.
"If you don't think your sister committed suicide, you're saying your sister was murdered?" asked GMA's Elizabeth Vargas.
"Yes," Mary said.
And there's a six-page investigation in the latest issue of Newsweek magazine, which includes a shocking depiction of how Shacknai's son Max fell from a landing, and grabbed the chandelier in a desperate attempt to save himself.
Two days later, as Max lay dying in the hospital, Zahau was found hanging from a balcony.
The rope was looped around the leg of a bed in a guest room.
Shacknai's brother found her body and stood on a table to cut her down.
The most bizarre detail is that Zahau was naked, with her legs bound and her hands tied behind her back
Police demonstrated an elaborate technique they believe she used: first tying her hands in front, pulling one hand from the knot and then putting her hand in again behind her back and tightening the rope.
Some observers have expressed skepticism about the police conclusions. Now, with the open letter, Shacknai hopes those doubts can finally be resolved.
In his letter Shacknai said he had no reason to doubt the authorities' findings, but that additional scrutiny would help bring closure to the grieving families.