The Rebecca Zahau Case: Episode 1 | A San Diego Union-Tribune Podcast

The Rebecca Zahau Case: Episode 1 | A San Diego Union-Tribune Podcast


the city of Coronado California sits on
a peninsula just over an iconic blue bridge from downtown San Diego
Coronado’s identity has been shaped by the presence of the military which
transformed the peninsula into what it is today part naval base part quiet town
the city’s homes range from beachy cottages to stately mansions and the
median home price is 1.9 million dollars one of the more expensive homes is known
today as the Spreckels mansion once owned by San Diego’s wealthiest man the
27 room home sits at 10:43 Ocean Avenue just across the road from the
world-famous Hotel del Coronado and one of America’s highest-rated beaches in
2011 the mansion was owned by Jonas Shack now a millionaire pharmaceutical
mogul whose young son and girlfriend died there within days of each other the
girlfriend Rebecca’s a how was found hanging from the balcony at the mansion
her death continues to raise questions nearly seven years after the case was
closed was it suicide or was it something else
you know we may never know exactly what happened the exact sequence of details
what happened the Sheriff’s Department ruled that the House death was a suicide
it came just two days after Shaq NIH’s son max took a fall from a balcony
landing in the home and he died a couple days later so how was the only adult
home at the time this led to more questions
could she have felt so guilty about the boy’s death to go as far as suicide did
a family member exact revenge or was her death connected to a relationship with
her boyfriends brother the Sheriff’s Department believed that the how was
distraught after the death of Max and that she committed suicide on her own
but her family remains unsatisfied with the result of the investigation and
believes it was handled clumsily that she wouldn’t have killed herself
that would go against her Christian faith so someone else must have done it
the suicide is an explanation that there is no roots in fact and so we don’t
think this was a homicide masquerading as a suicide so much is just the
homicide now a 10 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit is underway and
we are following the case for the San Diego union-tribune I’m Lauren Flynn
this is under the gavel officially Rebecca’s ahau died at her own hand when
investigators first looked around the mansion where she was found hanging
naked gagged and bound hand and foot they suspected they had a homicide on
their hands but after a seven-week investigation Sheriff Bill Gore held a
news conference to announce that evidence and autopsy results led to the
conclusion that sohow had taken her own life on July 13th 2011 the house mother
and sister have refused to believe that the 32 year old surgical technician
killed herself their suspicions have fallen on the only other person known to
have been at the home at the time Adam Shaq Nye brother of the house
boyfriend Jonah Shaq now Adam called 911 to report having found a house body
hanging from the balcony he said he cut the rope to lay her on the ground and
then cornado police and medics arrived no criminal charges were ever filed in
the case two years after Rebecca’s death her family filed a wrongful death
lawsuit against Adam Jonah’s ex-wife Dena and her sister Nina Romero it was
alleged that the three had attacked strangled and hanged Rebecca the sisters
were dropped from the suit when clear evidence revealed they were not present
at times crucial to the case the suggested motive for the alleged assault
was that the how was the adult in charge at the mansion when max fell his death
was ruled an accident that same reasoning has been used to try
to explain why she would kill herself that she was overcome with guilt
almost immediately after her body was found
sohow’s controversial death caught the eye of national media commentators true
crime writers forensic experts and conspiracy theorists are sharply divided
over whether San Diego County authorities got it right some thought
the shack nigh fortune bought off investigators
Jonah shack nigh is the CEO and founder of the Scottsdale based medicine Sarma
suitable corporation in 2010 his company netted 700 million dollars selling
anti-aging drugs and other cosmetic products including Restylane and Dysport
why do you suppose that the father of the child the boyfriend of the woman who
hangs herself at his home why do you think that he has just kept himself
completely out of all of this I don’t know I don’t know and if max were here I
wouldn’t know how to explain it to him others thought the situation was too
complicated to be a suicide you have to come up with sort of plausible scenarios
and as you go through the evidence the least plausible scenario is that Rebecca
was up there in that room and went over that balcony they questioned whether as
a how could have tied her own hands and feet in such intricate rope knots they
didn’t think she would strip yourself bare tie one end of a rope to the feet
of a bed make a noose at the other end and slip it around her neck stuff a
t-shirt into her mouth and then launch herself over a second-floor bedroom
balcony one of the most inexplicable features in
the evidence was a phrase scrawled on a bedroom door in black paint she saved
him can he save her add Sheriff Gore’s news conference reporters were told that
DNA on the ropes blood fingerprints and bear footprints on the dirty balcony all
belong to see how he said no other questionable DNA was found at the scene
San Diego attorneys see Keith Grier drafted the lawsuit against Adam Shak
nigh and has said in interviews that the how was killed because of something
quote sexual in nature the house mother sister and deceased father are
plaintiffs in the case they allege that Shaq and I wrote the cryptic message on
the bedroom door sheriff’s investigators too
not solicit a handwriting experts opinion Shak nya has hired high-power
Chicago attorney Daniel Webb and New York lawyer David Ellsberg on February
23rd Webb told the Union Tribune that the lawsuit was shameful he said there
is no credible evidence that Adam Shaq and I played any role in the house death
apart from finding her he said quote we are confident that the trial in this
case will conclusively vindicate Adam and finally bring closure to these
outrageous allegations the trial is expected to last a month the Union
Tribune’s court reporter Pauline wrappered will be in the courtroom
throughout the trial and will have a story summing up the outcomes look for
updates on our website San Diego union-tribune com each week under the
gavel will dive into the details of the trial be sure to rate review and
subscribe to stay up-to-date the under the gavel team includes executive
producer Daniel Wheaton our editing team includes Lara Hockley and myself
researching in reporting help from Pauline Reppert Dana Littlefield and
Mary Mont agudo our artwork is by Gloria or Picasso and Christina Beck and our
editorial director is John mcCutchan for the San Diego union-tribune
I’m Lauren Flynn thank you for listening

3 thoughts on “The Rebecca Zahau Case: Episode 1 | A San Diego Union-Tribune Podcast

  1. It shocks me what police and supposedly trained individuals believe that a suicidal person is capable. All this tying hands behind back and tying shirts around faces and into mouths and tying calves before climbing over a 36 inch barrier while 5 foot something is insane. Add to it that women just do not display their naked suicidal form in public for all to see. And then the fact that the neck did not sustain injury but her head had evidence of contusions…gee I wonder how she may have died. It reminds me of the guy they say tied himself up bound completely and folded himself into a small duffle bag and then zipped it completely from the outside while inside and bound all in a bathtub to kill himself…yeah that is how they said the guy killed himself but it defies the laws of physics for heavens sake.

  2. There is proof the police did not investigate the case properly and this should be enough to reopen the case and have it reviewed again. How would she know such a knot? Why was everything wiped ? Why is the writing in capitals to hide the handwriting? So many questions that don’t support suicide.

  3. Both brothers are multimillionaires. They have very high powered lawyers who know officials in high places! Think!

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