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Police Will Not Re-Open Max Shacknai Case

The boy's mother announced the development on a web site devoted to information about the child, saying “the system has failed us and it has failed Max.”

Coronado police will not re-open the investigation into Max Shacknai's death, despite his mother's contention that as detectives determined.

Dina Shacknai, who resides in Arizona, had lobbied after July 16, the anniversary of her son's death.

She announced the decision Monday, the same day that Dr. Phil McGraw , a show that will feature both Dina Shacknai and the family of Rebecca Zahau, whose death is linked to Max's. 

Police Chief Lou Scanlon and Cmdr. Michael Lawton did not return calls seeking comment.

Max, 6, in a rear courtyard of the historic Spreckels mansion. 

The boy fell from a staircase in the home owned by his father, two days before Zahau's body was discovered.

Families of both the child and the woman have objected to investigators' findings in the case, though the homeowner, Jonah Shacknai, accepted the conclusions.

Dina Shacknai, Max's mother, hired her own experts, who examined the circumstances surrounding the child's fall and decided he died at another's hand, and that the case should not be categorized as an accident.

The Zahau family argues that she did not kill herself, as San Diego Sheriffs detectives determined, and have appealed to the state for a new look at both cases.

In the update posted on the website, maxshacknai.com, Dina Shacknai and her representatives continued to raise questions about the way in which investigators broke down Max's fall from the staircase. They argue that an assault “is the only scenario consistent with the (boy's) injuries and science.” 

They complained that evidence their team submitted to Coronado police should have been presented to the department's expert in biomechanics – the study of the body's movement – who originally consulted on Max's case. 

In the update, Dina Shacknai also accuses authorities of taking inappropriate actions, saying “science was basically manipulated and distorted to fit a predetermined and politically expedient outcome” in her son's case. 

In addition, Dina Shacknai is calling for supporters to sign a petition urging police to re-open Max's case.

Zahau's relatives used the same tactic last year in their efforts to push investigators to take another look at her case.

Christy Occhipinti September 13, 2012 at 06:32 PM
How can that paid mouthpiece Melinek claim the child had injuries that could not have been caused from the fall? Nobody witnessed the accident to know what mischief the child got himself into that caused his fall. We do not know how long the entire incident took place or if any of the injuries happened prior to an actual fall. That does not mean someone killed him. Melinek probably couldn't find any evidence that proved murder (there was none) so she told her client that unexplained injuries could mean unexplained harm. At $900 an hour she had to tell Dina something that would guarantee future business. Now she gets paid for every interview, comment, and she hopes court appearance she makes. Can you imagine the dough Dina is spending on this woman just so she will say homicide is a possibility? She is taking advantage of mentally fragile person desperately seeking blame.
Robert Mack September 13, 2012 at 08:39 PM
I wish that Dina get Max's case re-opened. Question I have is will she ever accept the truth that it was just a tragic accident? With those around her enabling the what-if and freely taking her money when will it end? Every loved one deserves to know the truth and gain justice if warranted and so I wish both cases get a new impartial (not bought) investigation before things turn more wicked. Real Answers to Real Questions and Justice for Rebecca Zahau and Max.
Robert Mack September 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Xena is a minor.. She has been interviewed in detail at least three times. One time involved two detectives flying to Xena's home and questioning her in a police department questioning room while being videotaped. Another time involved a child therapist. What more could anyone possibly believe she knows that she isnt telling? Have any Shacknai children been questioned to those lengths, has any Shacknai or Romano adult? As a minor I believe she has been put through enough. Let's start asking some of the others the tough questions, maybe someone from the Shacknai and Romano families would volunteer to submit to a LDT? If everyone is innocent it should be no problem and would remove suspicion. Real Answers to Real Questions and Justice for Rebecca Zahau and Max.
Game Jonah September 14, 2012 at 06:14 AM
What is apparent now is that the power and protection is in Jonah's favor. If it isn't Zahau's or Dina Shacknai's game, it completely belongs to Jonah, and he wins. This is over. The results speak for themselves.
Vigiengl Ekgn September 14, 2012 at 11:59 PM
That just mean the link isn't working, not the the story was pulled, freak.
Vigiengl Ekgn September 15, 2012 at 12:01 AM
What IS certain is that Rebecca Zahau's story changed numerous times, and she would not tell the family what really happened. What was she covering up that was so bad she took her own life?
Vigiengl Ekgn September 15, 2012 at 12:02 AM
And will the Zahaus ever accept the truth that Rebecca hung herself in a really bizarre way and left them no note? And that maybe she hung herself because of what she did to a little, sweet, tiny boy?
Vigiengl Ekgn September 15, 2012 at 12:04 AM
She was never interviewed with emphasis on what Rebecca may have done that caused or covered up the accident. She needs to take a polygraph.
Vigiengl Ekgn September 15, 2012 at 12:05 AM
No one wins here, idiot. There are two people dead, and one is a little boy that may have been assaulted.
Vigiengl Ekgn September 15, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Ann, you know as well as I do that she took her own life. What did she do to Maxie?
L'Oreal September 15, 2012 at 05:07 PM
WHere are you getting information from that isn't public knowledge, Robocop? Xena is a witness and needs to tell the truth. She's going to be called as a witness anyway in DIna's civil lawsuit. The truth will out.
L'Oreal September 15, 2012 at 05:09 PM
No one disparaged Neil for his petition. The murder posse, however, WAS laughed at for their claim that the "whole world" thought the case should be reopened. I guess the "whole world" consists of a handful of signatures.
Glaring spotlight September 16, 2012 at 06:28 AM
Dina is wearing a strange smile in the news interviews. Facial expressions tell a lot. Now we hear the word "glaring" from Dina and on this board. Same person, new strategy? She spent a pile of cash on those experts.
Either way September 17, 2012 at 06:12 AM
Talked to a San Diego woman, a resident of 41 years aged 68. She fully believes Rebecca hurt Max and killed herself. She also figured that maybe the "guy" went over and "did it." Either way didn't matter because she was sure Rebecca hurt Max. If her attitude is representative of the majority, this story is finished. There is no public outcry because many go with the media blitz. They think justice has already been served.
Max H September 18, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Smoke and mirrors!
Fitzjohn September 18, 2012 at 01:44 AM
NO EVIDENCE OF MURDER - JUST UNEXPLAINED INJURY
Dino Lips September 18, 2012 at 02:14 AM
@ Either way - Based on what can you pretend to say "Rebecca hurt Max"? Sorry to disappoint but the majority does not think this. The majority thinks mom or someone in the family thought "Rebecca hurt Max". That thinking has proved to be true as Dina goes to no end accusing Rebecca of that very thing.
Dino Lips September 18, 2012 at 02:19 AM
@ Sue - What science? @ Vigiengl Ekgn - She had less than 24 hours before she was coldly killed, she did not change the basis of her story which was she was in the bathroom and did not witness the fall. If she changed her "story" about what she thought happened that goes without question because she was speculating like everyone else. @ Christy Occhipinti - "Nobody witnessed the accident to know what mischief the child got himself into" EXACTLY
Dino Lips September 18, 2012 at 02:27 AM
@ Vigiengl Ekgn - Why do you hold on to this fantasy that Rebecca hurt Max? Where is your motive? Where is the evidence that proves it? Six year old boys climb and jump and run and hop and swing and sometimes boys fall. Is it safe to say that you hope Max was murdered because you hold such hate for Rebecca? When Max is exhumed and no new evidence is found will you believe? They can't go back to the house because Dina waited until after remodeling was done to question anything. So all she has is accusations, probably hoping to keep her sister and nephew out of prison. Why do you hold on to the fantasy that Rebecca hurt Max with no evidence?
Tap in Par September 18, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Thanks, Sue – I admit that I have not read all the material there is out there to review. I am nowhere close to being an expert on this case. When I suggested things “didn’t add up” it was based on Max’s death being ruled an accident by the authorities. Is it possible he was ambushed? OK – maybe he was. Then shouldn’t the authorities come up with a better conclusion to what really happened to him? (Probably not possible now – I get it). If that is true, then the authorities don’t have it correct. I do think it is proven that it is possible that Rebecca committed suicide. If she did – she attempted to throw authorities off with a very strange message and an even stranger suicide. OK – maybe she did, it is very possible, but to me - not proven. Or… is it possible that someone wanted Jonah to pay dearly for something? Something that would cost him almost everything. Well, now that that kind of adds up. But it adds up more than most of what I have read.
Twisted sister September 18, 2012 at 06:53 AM
Desperate Dina has begun her campaign to take down both the S and R families by her disingenuous appeals for justice. LE will soon tire of being accused and pull the rug of support out from under the ungrateful. The treachery behind Rebecca's death will then be fully revealed.
Twisted sister September 18, 2012 at 06:55 AM
Guess who? Her death was much later ruled a suicide, but at the time, no one had any idea what had happened. I can’t say that this instance was incredibly significant to me and to my life, as I was never very close to her. Obviously, I was saddened to hear about what had happened and to see her go, especially in such a tragic manor, but the only key affect that it had on my life was that my entire family history was now all over the news,
Twisted sister September 18, 2012 at 07:00 AM
Little boy needed true parental discipline. There was no assault or the experts would have found it. And yea, Jonah wins. You aren't happy, why?
BBL September 18, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Sue, you are not doing your "science" any favors here. Nothing is proven for how Max got hurt or how Rebecca died. The lack of a thorough investigation into Rebecca's death leaves many, many questions. It definitely not be proven she committed suicide. Rebecca was murdered by someone full of hate and rage.
BBL September 20, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Wow Sue, angry much?
BBL September 20, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Sue, why don't you provide a link or quote from the reports that "clearly explain that Max did not have an accident. He was ambushed and thrown over the stairs." ? The bio-mechanical expert did not take a position. There is absolutely zero proof that Max was ambushed and thrown over the stairs. The only thing the reports found is that maybe Max's fall didn't happen the was the CPD thought it did. I know Dina (and her cohorts) are following the rule of if you say it loud enough and enough times then people will believe it. But, there is no science and no proof of this ambush. Or, if there is, kindly provide a link to it.
Blame game September 22, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Screaming won't help, "Sue." Nobody believes you. Just as Rebecca's screams were ignored, now you see how it feels. Better check what certain folks close to you are writing online. This is a family affair. BTW, nothing was "proved." It was stated, then corrected, then qualified by disclaimers. Pay attention.
jessica September 26, 2012 at 04:10 PM
BBL, WOW, you are such the liar. No one is using anything as a vehicle for change. Noone was against an investigation into Zahau's death, because it would give the Zahau's closure and clear the names all of you are accusing. After reading the reports (the autopsy reports), I believe Rebecca commited suicide. I see nothing that points to murder. However, Max's autopsy report is filled with nothing but inconsistencies that came from Rebecca's mouth, and things definitely did not happen the way that she said they did.
BBL September 27, 2012 at 10:51 PM
So, why the petition if the reason isn't to change someone's mind in to re-opening the case? What is the point of the petition then? Please educate this poor, unedukated person.
Dr. Sue, May 30, 2013 at 02:27 AM
The messages are out on many other posts about: There are "HATE BEGETS HATE" and "RACIST" IMPOSTERS that are FRAUDULENTLY claiming that Rebecca was murdered, but fingerprints and DNA proved she killed herself. Read all about it!!!!!! Rebecca committed the world's most bizarre suicide by hanging herself. She removed her clothes, showered, and then she simply looped the rope around her ankles, hands and neck, wrapped a t-shirt around her neck and partially bit into it. She used one hand to paint a message on the door to her sugar daddy with a paint brush and black paint; she then replaced her own hand back into the loop from behind and managed to transfer paint to hip as she replaced her hand back into the restraint. She hopped over to the balcony and rolled over to her death. Rebecca was light-weight, the frame of the bed was very heavy and the carpet fibers limited the movement of the bed. It was not that difficult for the investigators to conclude that she committed suicide. No screams were reported the night Rebecca committed suicide. No one else entered the house; there were no signs of any struggle. People DO NOT murder like this. She really was a Fkd up individual to kill a child and kill herself in the nude for public viewing. No further proof needed.. DNA and fingerprints say it all. Rebecca assaulted/bludgeoned Max and she hanged herself in the nude out of guilt. Rebecca's CASE WILL REMAIN CLOSED.

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