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True Crime Author Rule Mentions Zahau Case at Washington Fundraiser

The best-selling author, while speaking at a police benefit, noted her continued questions about Zahau's death, ruled a suicide last year.

Ann Rule, the best-selling true crime author with policing in her family history, recounted with humor how police work has evolved to a breakfast crowd at a Bellevue, Wash. police fundraiser Friday.

Her speech touched on how far women have progressed in policing and how technology has transformed investigations, but she also briefly touched on a case with which Coronado has become very familiar. 

Though she was many miles from Southern California, the celebrated author noted to the roomful of law enforcement supporters that she doubts killed herself.

Rule said she is working on two new books involving recent cases, including the death of Zahau – ruled a suicide, a finding disputed by her family – which came right after the fall of six-year-old Max, the son of her boyfriend, Jonah Shacknai. The child died three days after Zahau.

Rule noted late last year that . She is a longtime friend of Anne Bremner, the Zahau family's attorney.

Rule is also working on a book about the Susan Powell case. She disappeared in December 2009 in Utah, and her husband  He then set his house ablaze; authorities found his body along with the boys'.

Rule said had sworn not to write stories involving dead children because it was upsetting.

"When I started, the children were still alive," she said. "But I promised the grandparents, so I'm going forward with it."

Rule, who spent a short time with the Seattle Police Department in her twenties, described how one criminologist speculated that someday suspects would be identified with one drop of blood – about 15 years before DNA testing became commonplace.

"We all thought, 'Yeah, sure you can,'" she said.

"I don't know how people solved anything then," she joked.

She said that today cases that had been considered cold for decades are now being solved because of vast improvements in science and technology.

"Things are just getting so much better," she said.

"I'm writing about cases that I wrote about as unsolved in the 1970s," cases that are now being solved with DNA, she said.

Rule, who said she wrote her first true crime stories under a male pen name because editors thought a woman wouldn't be taken seriously, based her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, on serial killer Ted Bundy.

Robert Mack March 28, 2012 at 07:40 PM
I am sure all comments will be reviewed..(both sides) You crazy saving all my comments like your building a master file on me is ridiculous and just slightly stalkerish.. And if you have been cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying for a while then you must know about all the neat new laws that are in place to prevent and reduce your type behavior..
Robert Mack March 28, 2012 at 07:41 PM
phillyaztec 9:59 am on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 Naked, Bound & Gagged
Robert Mack March 28, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Archimedes 12:37 pm on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 Becky was in the bathroom, how do you suggest she could have prevented Max's fall? Accidents happen especially to 6 year olds, some sadly result in death. Let your hate of Rebecca go. She was killed because of this hate, she is laying dead in the ground because of this hate. When you can accept that what happened to Max was an accident than the healing can begin. Why focus such rage on a woman that is dead? Why not blame the 2 1/2 foot railing or the chain holding the chandelier or his father for not being home? We know how much Rebecca was hated by some before the accident even happened but the accident was not her fault. She did not deserve to be killed because of hate. Max would not be very proud or loving to those that did this to her. Let your hate go please.
Robert Mack March 28, 2012 at 07:53 PM
NoMoSilence 2:23 pm on Thursday, March 22, 2012 "Though there is no mystery there was most definitely a murder. The freaks are those that want people to ignore the truth and let a killer go free."
Robert Mack March 28, 2012 at 07:53 PM
NoMoSilence 2:24 pm on Thursday, March 22, 2012 - "Despite the lies, guilty behavior, and abundant evidence pointing to murder, the San Diego Sheriff chose not just to take no action but to rule in a way to protect possible suspects and implicate the innocent. A new investigation will unveil all the lies and evil doers." -
Robert Mack March 28, 2012 at 09:08 PM
kitty chi 7:05 pm on Monday, March 26, 2012 Rebecca Zahau was murdered and her killer is on the loose.
Robert Mack March 28, 2012 at 09:08 PM
inthedark 7:21 am on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 Thank you to all who are keeping the comments alive on this board, even though they are constantly deleted...People who believe in justice are still reading the comments, even if they are not bothering to post here just to be deleted.
Robert Mack March 28, 2012 at 09:08 PM
kitty chi 9:34 am on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 The person or persons who murdered Rebecca Zahau need to be brought to justice.
Robert Mack March 28, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Tiffanie 2:20 pm on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 Not a PR Firm.....AKA WIGGY: You make no sense! Why would you re-post a comment so many times when are the one that flagged it as inappropriate? If you are so sure this was sucide and LE ruled it as such, why do you both coming back to a blog where the majority of "real" posters believe it was murder? Are you really that lonely in your personal life that you need to come here and create some sick kind of entertainment for yourself?
Robert Mack March 28, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Robert Mack 4:18 pm on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 "The message on the door was in two different styles..."
Robert Mack March 28, 2012 at 09:10 PM
BBL 4:26 pm on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 re-posted: "Wig is an entity it its own right - personal motivation, but hey - "A" for effort." I spoke of you as an entity in your own right, meaning that you are off on your own personal journey. The only weight on your shoulders is the one you put there, but I dare you to show me one of your posts that is reflective of your "high standards." You may not be deleting, but you sure do try to bully. And you sure do try hard seem above it all when you have made some of the worst comments to date. However, the person(s) deleting is paid. Has to be. And, they delete all comments regardless of who wrote it (suicide vs murder). They are deleting round the clock. They are trying to wipe all comments from all articles to deflect attention. They delete until the article and comments no longer show on the front page. IMO, pure paid professionals, which is what makes the situation both frustrating and alarming. They just want this gone. Unfortunately for them, deleting doesn't solve their little problem
Robert Mack March 29, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Robert Mack 2:03 pm on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 "Robert Mack 10:09 pm on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 In essence, by granting the permission Shacknai is "showing that he has nothing to hide", but by making the concession to allow them access contingent on the Sheriff Department's decision on weather or not to supervise the investigation, he is trying to prevent them from accessing the house and examining the scene of the crime. This an obvious act of gamesmanship to manipulate the situation, a tactical maneuver to discourage Rebecca's family from continuing with their efforts to investigate her death. Now months after the "deadline" has past we find that Jonah Shacknai STILL owns and controls the property and still has denied the Zahau family investigators access. Instead he has made a quick effort to alter the scene and guarantee no new evidence will ever be found at the home. This is why there needs to be a new investigation that will not just re-question all those connected or witnesses but also re-look at evidence that has already been collected before someone pays for that to disappear also.."
Robert Mack March 29, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Robert Mack 12:52 pm on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 NoMoSilence 2:16 pm on Thursday, March 22, 2012 "Why did Aurich present the petition before a city commission? Is he the developer, architect, part of the LLC, or the owner? Just me or does it seem an odd job for a realtor to be tasked with for such a large project. Millions of dollars involved and the only person they could get to present was the listing agent? Seems fishy like the rest of this story."
Robert Mack March 29, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Tiffanie 2:20 pm on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 Not a PR Firm.....AKA WIGGY: You make no sense! Why would you re-post a comment so many times when are the one that flagged it as inappropriate? If you are so sure this was sucide and LE ruled it as such, why do you both coming back to a blog where the majority of "real" posters believe it was murder? Are you really that lonely in your personal life that you need to come here and create some sick kind of entertainment for yourself?
Robert Mack March 29, 2012 at 02:00 AM
One more time!! http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Rebecca-Zahau-Birthday-Family-Mansion-Death-142786415.html
Robert Mack March 29, 2012 at 02:00 AM
NoMoSilence 2:23 pm on Thursday, March 22, 2012 "Though there is no mystery there was most definitely a murder. The freaks are those that want people to ignore the truth and let a killer go free."
Robert Mack March 29, 2012 at 02:00 AM
NoMoSilence 2:24 pm on Thursday, March 22, 2012 - "Despite the lies, guilty behavior, and abundant evidence pointing to murder, the San Diego Sheriff chose not just to take no action but to rule in a way to protect possible suspects and implicate the innocent. A new investigation will unveil all the lies and evil doers." -
Robert Mack March 29, 2012 at 02:01 AM
I am sure all comments will be reviewed..(both sides) You crazy saving all my comments like your building a master file on me is ridiculous and just slightly stalkerish.. And if you have been cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying for a while then you must know about all the neat new laws that are in place to prevent and reduce your type behavior...
Robert Mack March 29, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Robert Mack 10:29 pm on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 These trolls believe they are above the law and can behave with no boundaries. This is not true, they have already broken several state laws in both California (location of this site) and Arizona (where they claim to be from) and in conjunction with (18 U.S.C. § 1030) and PATRIOT Act Sec. 816 to name a few they can and will be held accountable. They are not above the law.
Robert Mack March 29, 2012 at 02:01 AM
"The Shacknai family are being disparaged"?? How so? Because we feel Rebecca was murdered you automatically assume that we are picking on the Shacknai family. We are calling out all the discrepancies in this case. There are several discrepancies that involve those closest to Max and Rebecca. Thus the Shacknais and the Ramanos!! We can not intelligently discuss our belief Rebecca was murdered and ignore key elements that are red flags that should have been investigated. I have nothing against either of those two families. I want a new investigation quickly so that everyone involved can have closure and move on with life. The innocent have nothing to hide or fear and a new investigation will be a positive things for everyone except the guilty! To ask or demand that we stop our cause to get truthful answers and resolution FOR ALL FAMILIES in this case is in essence denying one family what they need to move on as well. Basically stating it is okay for the Zahau family to be disparaged for the gratification of another family.. NOT COOL! A new investigation will resolve all of this and everyone can move on.. WHY isn't the Shacknai family demanding or even allowing Zahau family investigators what they need to clear all of this up? I think we know the answer
Robert Mack March 29, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Anne Bremner has updated people via Facebook and Twitter that they are still very much still fighting this ruling and believe she was murdered. Also I have personally spoke to family member and not one of them believes it was suicide.. NOT ONE!!
wigout March 29, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Rebecca Zahau was murdered
GovtMule416 March 30, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Couldn't agree more with your stance. I had a comment deleted and wonder why this is allowed? Very interesting..........
Chrgrgrl40 June 26, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Ann Rule will write an excellent and fair story, maybe then will the truth come out.
Chrgrgrl40 June 26, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Why did Sheriff Gore lie to the Zahau family about Adam's lie detector results? Gore called up Mary Zahau and told her that Adam "passed with flying colors" Is "INCONCLUSIVE" the new "passed with flying colors"? Why the lie?
Chrgrgrl40 June 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM
"They described her as TEARFUL, ANXIOUS and TREMBLING, but they also concluded that her behavior was consistent with someone who had seen a loved one seriously injured.." Not suicidal!
Macys Loot June 26, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Ted Greenberg, owner of Camp Diggity Dog, said Nalepa called the Coronado kennel last Monday, shortly after the boy's fall, to ask that someone pick up her 14-month-old Weimaraner, Ocean. She said her child was hospitalized after an injury. "She described it as her child," he said. Greenberg went to the home Tuesday. "She was crying on the phone on Monday and Tuesday she was quiet," he said. http://www.cbs8.com/story/15075598/questions-remain-after-deaths-of-coronado-mansion-owners-son-girlfriend
Macys Loot June 26, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Right. She's working with the Zahau's and Anne Bremner - I don't think "fair" is what it will be. And the fact that she is only writing a chapter on Rebecca's not watching Max, then killing herself shows that she doesn't have much of anything.
Macys Loot June 26, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Why does Mary lie about being poor? Why the lie?
H Hughes August 24, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Ann's had to rewrite the book. Even the book's description has been changed. Doesn't look like Ann did her initial research well. Will she include details of the babysitter's criminal past? An analysis of Max's assault injuries?

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