Wednesday, November 16, 2011


THE MANSION mystery deepened yesterday when a top forensic pathologist expressed "grave doubts" over Rebecca Zahau's death.
Dr Cyril Wecht, who investigated high profile deaths like the Kennedy assassination and Anna Nicole Smith's drug overdose told the Dr Phil show that he "strongly doubted" she killed herself.
As we reported here  Zahau, 32, was found hanging, arms and legs bound from the balcony of her multi-millionaire boyfriend Jonah Shacknai's, 27 bedroom Coronado, CA home, known locally as Spreckles mansion.
Cops ruled her death a suicide, something her family have always disputed and Dr Wecht seems to agree after performing a second independent autopsy on her body.
While he agreed with the official verdict that she died from asphyxiation he said that he strongly doubted she killed herself.
He said: "I lean very strongly toward it being a homicide, something involving foul play. And I lean very strongly against it being a suicide."
He added that he was particularly troubled by findings in both autopsies that Miss Zahau had suffered blows to the top of her head, indicated by four separate haemorrhages beneath the scalp.
Such an injury, he explained pointed to the possibility that she was knocked unconscious with a blunt object and could explain why police said there was no sign of a struggle at the scene. 
He was also confused about why Miss Zahau's neck was not broken by the force of her fall from the balcony while he claimed the way she had tied herself up was possible, but implausible
He said: "I know Harry Houdini did slipknots and things of that nature 70 years ago, but to say that Miss Zahau was able to do it, I've yet to hear from the law enforcement people where did she acquire this skill."
Dr Wecht's investigation simply adds to the mystery surrounding the deaths in July. 
As we reported here doctor's have also questioned the official verdict on the death of Shacknai's six-year-old son Max, who died from injuries sustained the day before, when he allegedly fell down the mansion's grand staircase.
His death was ruled accidental by the San Diego medical examiner, but newly obtained warrants from the Coronado Police Department show the boys physician, Dr Brad Peterson was quoted saying suffocation may have occurred prior to his fall.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department declined to comment on Dr Wecht's findings or the criticism levelled at them.
But Miss Zahau's sister said her family wants an independent agency to probe her death, rather than the sheriff's department.
"We do not trust them anymore," she said.

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