Shacknai to Appeal to City Council Regarding Son's Death

The mother of Max, 6, who was injured at the Spreckels mansion last year, will take her cause to City Hall, after criticizing police last week.

The City Council will be pulled into the Spreckels fray Tuesday when the mother of the boy who died of injuries suffered at the mansion appears before members to air her grievances with Coronado police.

Police rejected Dina Shacknai's appeal last month for a new look at the investigation into how Max, 6, died in July 2011. Shacknai announced her intentions to come to City Hall in a Monday press release.

Shacknai has employed experts who question the police determination that Max died as the result of an accident. Shacknai criticized the police decision last week. Shacknai wants the case reclassified as a homicide.

Questions have remained about incidents at the mansion last summer. Two days after Max's fall down from a Spreckels staircase, the body of his father's girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau, 32, was found nude and bound to the rear of the property. 

San Diego Sheriff's investigators found that Zahau had killed herself. Zahau's family maintains she died at another's hands and have called on the state to conduct new probes in both deaths.

Shacknai and the Zahau family taped a new episode of the Dr. Phil talk show last week, 10 months after the host first visited the case. 

The show will air Friday, according to the Zahau family's attorney.

Jonah Shacknai, the boy's father and Zahau's boyfriend at the time of her death, has expressed confidence in the investigation, though at one time he too sought a new probe, to quell ongoing speculation about the case. 


This story has been amended to reflect the correct date of the incidents at the Spreckels mansion.

Max H September 18, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Smoke and mirrors!
Fitzjohn September 18, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Dino Lips September 18, 2012 at 01:50 AM
I read the reports but I miss where it says they have proof it was murder. Center of gravity? What if he was sitting on the railing and lost his balance so grabbed the chandelier? Were the marks on his face or back from fingers or fist? I do not see it. Than again I think the woman was murdered and the mom knows who did it. She hated that woman.
Morty September 18, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Why did Dina really wait nine months to go public? Was it because her experts were incredibly slow or because Jonah told her to wait until the remodel was done? What did her experts do for nine months?
Robert Mack September 18, 2012 at 03:26 AM
When did Coronado City Council start solving crime? Real answers to Real Questions and Justice for Rebecca Zahau and Max.
pharma September 18, 2012 at 03:29 AM
If the Council demands CPD re-open the investigation into Max's death they need to demand the same for Zahau's death.
R Selkovitch September 18, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Does Shacknai think Coronado Council can be bought?
wiginwilly September 18, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Jonah Shacknai is known as well-connected in political circles. Jonah Shacknai is not as well-connected with law enforcement circles. You do the math. I think this is all part of the "plan" for Rebecca Zahau's killer to get away with murder. Dina is the most appropriate face for the Shacknai family, nobody will dare ask the mom of a dead child any tough questions. Maybe they should be fair and reopen both cases and take another look, who can it hurt but the guilty?
Twisted sister September 18, 2012 at 06:34 AM
Dina said in the interview that she begged her sister to go over to the house that night to find out what happened to Max. Rebecca was probably pepper-sprayed (red dye), conked on the head, tied up in the chair, interrogated, killed with a garrote, then left covered in the red blanket until someone else dragged her into the backyard where she laid for over 13 hours. The people who did that should be prosecuted. And by the way, Maxie's fall was completely self-inflicted. He was too active for his own good. Rebecca plead for her life by saying she saved Max. Her tormentor painted it on the door in front of her, then choked her to death. Two people were at the house. Polygraphs for both.
Cindy Wholum September 18, 2012 at 08:05 AM
The fact that Rebecca Zahau took her own life instead of coming forth with what really happened to Max is the biggest evidence of all.
Cynthia Mioler September 18, 2012 at 08:08 AM
The fact that Rebecca Zahau took her own life instead of coming clean about what happened to Max Shacknai is the biggest piece of evidence of all.
Jpeg September 18, 2012 at 03:35 PM
It just takes one person to ask the right questions. Tony, Todd, Kevin, Carl, Lorie, Marti, and David you owe it to the people of Coronado to ask the questions. Do not let this women walk all over you. Do not let her make a mockery of the council, instead use the opportunity to ask what all of Coronado want to know. Who killed Rebecca Zahau?
For Petes Sake September 18, 2012 at 03:48 PM
There is no compelling new evidence in this case. This mother has everyone's sympathy but come on already. What new evidence is there? Everything she is bringing up now Coronado Police Department knew back then. The child's death was an accident that nobody saw. Reopening this case will do nothing as nothing new can be proven. What does she expect, they will just go with her scenario and say the murdered women did it? She is obviously just building up for a wrongful death suit against her ex-husband, that is all that makes sense here.
Joanne Dugger September 18, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Coronado police did not investigate Rebecca's suicide...the San Diego Sheriff's office did.
Joanne Dugger September 18, 2012 at 06:58 PM
What? You think she's going to throw money at them? Interesting, since she doesn't have money...its the ex hubby that is loaded.
Joanne Dugger September 18, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Too bad your little fantasy doesn't fit the evidence, but good try. The evidence proves that Rebecca killed herself. The person that needs the polygraph is Xena, Rebecca's sister that was there when Max's assault took place.
Joanne Dugger September 18, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Rebecca killed Rebecca Zahau. That will be your answer.
Your lion September 18, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Actually, NONE of the evidence shows Rebecca killed herself. Not the black gloves, or the red dye, or the unexplained rope, or the phone call from Nina, or the screams, or the gagging, or the hair, or the blood, or the tape residue, or the knives, or the failed polygraph of Adam or the four contusions on her head. Your fantasy is denial.
Your lion September 18, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Yea right, fakelady. She died during interrogation because she was innocent. Her murderers will be caught and spend their lives in jail. Dina's quest will hasten the process. Brotherhood was powerful, but even they have their limits.
Your lion September 18, 2012 at 11:25 PM
First she HAS money., now she DOESN'T? Which is it ? She needs it, and she's going for it the same place that worked before. LOL
Your lion September 18, 2012 at 11:53 PM
The media control this story. If they cover Dina suggesting it was homicide, people think it was homicide. It's the power of suggestion. Most of the public don't know about all the evidence at the scene, or the door. All they know is the press releases.
Saba.Muhi September 20, 2012 at 06:41 AM
What evidence do you have that Zahau took her life?
Salem September 20, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Your lion is right on the money! Dina is a psychologist. She's using the Power of Suggestion to slant the story to her side and slander an innocent dead victim and her sister who did NO harm to the boy. Don't buy into Dina's rage and psychosis. Dina thinks people are easily fooled by bombarding you with her fake expert reports and crocodile tears. Don't let Dina treat you people like sheeples. The boy's death was an accident. REBECCA'S DEATH was a VENGEFUL MURDER!
Facts Straight September 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM
There is PLENTY.
Facts Straight September 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM
The "murdered" woman killed herself because of what she did to Max. THAT's what the physical evidence PROVES.
Facts Straight September 20, 2012 at 10:02 PM
You mean like when the Zahau's said Rebecca was murdered, all the sheep believed it? Never mind the EVIDENCE. The thing they got WRONG was why Rebecca killed herself. WHAT did she do to MAX?
Facts Straight September 20, 2012 at 10:04 PM
So Mary Zahau must be a psychologist, too? Rebecca Zahau and/or Xena Zahau did something to cause Max's injuries. And THEN they tried to cover it up. Mary may even be in on the cover up. Justice for little Max Shacknai!
Teddy September 21, 2012 at 09:53 AM
Where does Dr. Bove say Max was murdered by Rebecca or her sister? Please copy/paste and give location page and paragraph where he makes that statement exactly. I have read through his report multiple times and do not see that statement anywhere. Thank you
Teddy September 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM
@Facts straight, What evidence proves Rebecca committed suicide? Shacknai sheep believe Max was murdered but with what evidence other than the desire for it to be true and hate filled hearts. Many of those that believe Rebecca was murdered did not know her, while most if not all that believe Max was murdered in some way knew him or his family personally. They want people to stop talking and looking, and let Rebecca's killer get away with murder. They want people to believe Max did not have an accident but Rebecca committed suicide. They fight against a new investigation into Rebecca's death but demand someone held accountable for taking the life of the child. They are very one sided and close minded. This is the difference between these two sides. The Shacknai supporters want Rebecca, Xena, and the entire Zahau family strung up regardless of guilt. Everyone else believes things were missed and both cases deserve to be opened and re-investigated. It is not hard to see the Motive of the S/R families both now and on that night in July a year ago.
Blame game September 22, 2012 at 05:50 PM
@Facts Straight Evidence? If it's one thing you don't like, it's evidence. The police would have us believe there was nothing but DNA and fingerprints at the scene. It wasn't until the evidence list was unsealed that the obvious murder was confirmed. Black gloves and knives - that's murder stuff. Message on the door in 3rd person, that's revenge stuff. Rebecca did herself - that's fairytale stuff.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something