Update: Shacknai Boy's Mother Questions Circumstances of His Death

Dina Shacknai calls for meeting with Coronado police, who determined the boy died as a result of an accident at Spreckels mansion one year ago. Police Chief Louis Scanlon said the department will oblige.

Update 5:50 p.m. Monday, adding comments from Coronado police and an attorney for Rebecca Zahau's family, and more from Dina Shacknai's news conference.


Coronado police Chief Louis Scanlon said his department will meet with representatives of the mother of one year ago.

Dina Shacknai and her attorney said Monday that she does not believe the explanation police provided about how her son sustained a head injury that contributed to his death on July 16, 2011. Three days before Max's loss, in a suspicious case that was later determined to be a suicide.

Shacknai and other supporters held a news conference in Phoenix Monday to raise questions about how Max Shacknai, 6, died, and announce the creation of a second foundation in his memory. Spreckels homeowner Jonah Shacknai, the boy's father, .

Scanlon said the department received a fax from Dina Shacknai's attorney Monday morning formally requesting the meeting, explaining that experts retained by the family had drawn new conclusions regarding Max's death.

“We have certainly been open with them and shared information. We will obviously meet with them again and listen to the information they provide, evaluate that information and proceed from there,” Scanlon said.

Shacknai's attorney, Angela Hallier, did not offer specifics of her concerns in the message, the chief said, nor did she do so during the 20-minute news conference.

“We are certain that the accident scenario put forth by the Coronado Police Department is inaccurate,” Hallier said.

The experts hired by Dina Shacknai include a biomechanics engineer and a forensic pathologist, Hallier said.

A complete video of the news conference is available on KPHO.com, a CBS affiliate.

Dina Shacknai also discussed establishing a foundation, Maxie's HOUSE, in her son's name. The organization would aid parents dealing with the complexities of divorce and blended families.

The psychologist, Jonah Shacknai's ex-wife, spoke from a podium where a child's handcrafted house had been placed. Max created it for her as one of his last Mother's Day gifts.

Maxie's HOUSE – which stands for Hope, Outreach, Understanding, Safety and Education – to serve as a resource for parents, “assuring the safety of children living in multiple households.”

Hallier suggested the organization's efforts would include lobbying for law changes to help parents who are no longer involved find out more information about new people who have entered their ex-partners' lives and might have an impact on their children.

“It is still my job to find out exactly what happened to him and to continue this until I find an answer,” Dina Shacknai said.

Max, 6, died following a July 11 fall at the oceanfront mansion, where Jonah Shacknai, who founded Medicis, an Arizona pharmaceuticals firm, spent his summers.

Two days later, the man's girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau, 32, was found dead in a rear courtyard on the property. She was nude and bound; the homeowner's brother said he found her hanging from a second-story balcony.  

Zahau was home when Max fell, along with her younger sister.

Coronado police investigated the boy's death, while the San Diego County Sheriff's Department conducted the probe into Zahau's death. .

and has pushed since last year for a new investigation into her death. a formal request by attorneys who represent her loved ones.

One of their lawyers, Anne Bremner, said there is no evidence to suggest that Zahau was involved in Max's death. She has maintained that both cases should be re-opened.

“Everyone's heart goes out to her that she wants to know what happened,” Bremner said of Dina Shacknai. “We're all saying same thing, that there needs to be further investigation all around.” 

Earlier this year, Dina Shacknai sued San Diego County to obtain photos from her son's autopsy; . Jonah Shacknai expressed satisfaction with both investigations in September, when the Sheriff's department and Coronado police announced their results at a joint news conference on the eve of Labor Day weekend.

Shame August 11, 2012 at 07:43 AM
Dina is so much prettier than skeletor, outlandish blue-eyed shadowed, lazy-eyed Rebecca.
Ann August 11, 2012 at 09:06 PM
jessica August 12, 2012 at 08:53 PM
ok sickitten, kindly link one racist statement on lefthanded kitten. Dina looks alot better than you. I think everything you wrote about her is just projection.
Tripp August 13, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Wow! What a read! I totally agree.... Is she gonna kill everyone? Who she gonna kill next?
Ann August 13, 2012 at 10:19 PM
My gosh, why does it take sooo long for this pending approval?? Is someone on vacation??
True that August 15, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Rebecca can't kill anyone else, thank god. She killed herself.
Ann August 15, 2012 at 10:19 PM
My post is not on here from four days ago?!?
bad memory August 15, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Can't remember the broken finger? Take your pills, oldster.
bad memory August 15, 2012 at 11:09 PM
No, slim as in a single chair being sufficient. Hold the candy bars,,, uh,, too late.
BBL August 17, 2012 at 08:44 PM
@jennifer vigil - if the comments are being shut down, the considerate thing to do would be to tell us. I wouldn't be surprised if things are shut down because some are feeling the heat.
Holly August 23, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Get your Depends out of a knot and quit whining BBL.
Mona White August 27, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I'd rather remember Rebecca's Five Finger Discount instead.
BBL August 29, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Not whining, but funny you think so. Even more interesting are the comments that don't make it through. You know, like the ones that mention that Dina opened a can of worms with her request for a new investigation. Some things she just can't control. However "Holly", why not post under an actual nic so I can take you more seriously? All your kind does is whine, you just like to hide behind numerious names...
Tripp August 30, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Forget discount, what about the free entertainment Adam was enjoying with both of his hands 'keeping very busy' during the hanging?
NotAnAccident September 13, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Please sign the petition urging the Coronado Police Department to reopen Max Shacknai's case. This was NOT an accident! http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-the-coronado-police-dept-re-open-the-investigation-into-max-shacknai-s-death
g September 13, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Someone knows something...
g September 13, 2012 at 08:03 PM
jonah just sold his company yesterday...follow the money....
g September 13, 2012 at 08:12 PM
why does everyone keep saying that Rebecca was found hanging? That's not official in my opinion. Adam is the only one who stated this. The last one to see her alive...the only KNOWN and UNDOUBTABLE fact is that the police found her on the ground, dead. That's the only indisputable place to start. I'm curious why Dina, Jonah, Adam, Nina, and anyone close to Max or Rebecca wouldn't be willing to take a polygraph. If my son or girlfriend or both! were found dead, I would be willing to do WHATEVER IT TOOK to get the truth. So....how 'bout it? Also...if Dina sues Jonah for negligence or wrongful death--or whatever--could that be a reason Jonah sold his company the same time she goes public with her accusations?? RE-OPEN THE CASES -- FOLLOW THE MONEY -- INCLUDING THE NEW "INVESTORS" OF THE SUDDENLY REMODELED MANSION--INCLUDING A POOL WHERE REBECCA WAS FOUND??? Don't know if that's a fact, but if it is....strange...anyone know the new "owners"/"investors"?
g September 13, 2012 at 10:37 PM
The original report said that someone was viewing Asian bondage on Jonah's computer/account--if I recall--then Adam suddenly recalls viewing it remotely, using Jonah's account. You know what doesn't add up? Someone who's love for their brother and nephew is SOOOOOOOOO strong that he lies to his friends, says he's going to work on a boat somewhere, flies to San Diego, to "comfort" his brother and be with his nephew, but instead lays around the estate getting his jollies off Asian bondage porn while his nephew lays dying and his brother sleeps in a motel 10 minutes from his mansion where the love of his life awaits his return??? Geezzzz....
g September 13, 2012 at 10:44 PM
That's interesting. Does anyone have an answer to let us know if MaxiesHouse is a 501c (3)? Thanks,
g September 13, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Even if you are uncomfortable about the body language, the press conference, etc--which I was a bit, too--doesn't make it right to mock a mama who's only child was killed intentionally or accidently, or otherwise. I believe EVERY parent should be shown mercy when their behavior is odd after losing a child. Maxie's mom, Rebecca's mom, anyone's mom. PERIOD. Unless one of us has gone through that (I haven't) we should NOT make judgements of either mom!
g September 13, 2012 at 10:51 PM
ANYONE have insight as to why he sold his company at the same time Dina went to the Coronado police with her findings?? Never saw that sale coming....hmmmmm
g September 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM
g September 13, 2012 at 10:55 PM
maybe because both families lost a loved one to murder...
Winston Smith September 14, 2012 at 12:20 AM
That she was murdered is the most logical conclusion based upon allof the evidence./. She had no reason to kill herself. The woman had not even had as drink, how depressed could she be? People who argue that because only her DNA was found on the knives, means nothing. DNA is easy to plant and the killer/s obviously wore gloves. They had access to the house. Any reasonable person who looks closely at the facts of this case can only come to one conclusion: she was murdered. Oh yeah she bound and gagged and beat herself.. stripped herself naked for all the world to see. its just ludicrous. This case have cover-up written all over it. That length of a drop probably should have snapped her neck. Her hyoid bone was broken but she could have been strangled. The thing is the killers did not even try and make it look like a suicide! They must have been shocked when the police ruled it as one! Who would leave a note referring to them self in the third person>? Its absurd. Poor woman./ This case cries out for justice. 8Sheriff Gore argued, 'She must have painted the sign because there was some paint on her chest.' The man is obviously no Sherlock Holmes, that's for sure. They should call him 'poor Gore' for being so easily fooled/
Justice for Maxie September 15, 2012 at 05:15 PM
It's pretty clear the babysitter killed herself. What isn't clear is just what happened to Maxie and why. Xena needs to come forward and tell the truth. RIP Max. Justice is coming.
Your lion September 18, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Jonah, Nina, and Adam. Where were they while Rebecca died? Adam was there. Nina was there earlier and CLAIMS she left, but not proven. Jonah unseen for 7 hours.
Dr. Sue, May 29, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Mother of Shacknai Boy: One of Two People at Mansion Killed Him Justice for Max Shacknai!!! Two knives and two paint brushes, one for Rebecca and one for Xena. WAS ABSolutely DOPING!!!!
Dr. Sue, May 30, 2013 at 02:23 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.
Kim January 20, 2014 at 09:18 PM
@Sue that is ridiculous! Re-read what you posted. She was murdered.


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