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Jonah Shacknai asks state to review deaths of son, girlfriend

September 20, 2011 | 11:04 am

The Spreckels mansion where Rebecca Zahau committed suicide after the death of her boyfriend's son, Max Shacknai.

Jonah Shacknai has asked the state attorney general to review the findings of San Diego County law enforcement about the deaths of his son and girlfriend.

Shacknai said in a statement that he has no reason to disbelieve the findings that his 6-year-old son, Max, died of an accidental fall and that Shacknai's girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau, committed suicide by hanging.

But Shacknai said a review of the findings of the Coronado Police Department, San Diego County Sheriff's Department and San Diego County medical examiner might bring some peace to Zahau's family, which cannot believe she killed herself.

Shacknai said his family is being harmed by "vicious speculation and innuendo in certain media outlets" about the deaths.

Shacknai said a review would "further enhance the public's confidence in the integrity of the law-enforcement process and finally bring closure to these terrible tragedies."

He sent a request to California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris.

Officials have ruled that Max died of injuries from an accidental fall at the family's mansion in Coronado and that Zahau, 32, grief-stricken because the injury occurred while she was supposed to be watching the boy, killed herself.

But the unusual circumstances of Zahau's death -- her hands and legs were tied when her naked body was found hanging from the balcony of the mansion -- has led to public speculation.

Zahau's death occurred July 13 at the former Spreckels mansion owned by Shacknai, a pharmaceutical executive with a business in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Max Shacknai died July 16 of injuries suffered July 11.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: The Spreckels mansion where Rebecca Zahau committed suicide after learning that her boyfriend's son, Max Shacknai, would not survive injuries from a fall. Credit: Los Angeles Times