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Quadruple New Year’s murder rocks San Diego sleepy seaside community

At approximately 2:20 a.m today, January 1, Coronado Police Department officers responded to a 911 call concerning shots fired inside a residence located at the 1000 block of Park Place, in the city of Coronado.

Officers and the fire department arrived within minutes and immediately found a male lying in the doorway of a residence and determined the victim was dead.

According to a press release; “Officers unsuccessfully attempted to make contact with anyone else inside the residence.” The Sheriff’s Department’s Special Enforcement Detail (S.E.D. – S.W.A.T.) was requested by officers at the scene in order to secure the residence.

Law enforcement also used a robot to explore the first floor while S.E.D. members searched the second and third floors of the crime scene. Once police officers entered the residence, they found two more deceased males as well as one dead female.

Once the crime scene was secured, Coronado Police handed over the investigation to the Sheriff’s Homicide Detail.

Lieutenant Larry Nesbit, of the San Diego Sheriff Department said that although it is early in the investigation, “we do not believe there are any outstanding suspects.”

Nesbit declined to provide any possible motives for the murder of the four victims.

However, investigators from the Coronado Police Department, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Homicide Detail, and Sheriff’s Crime Lab will continue to participate in the quadruple murder investigation.

Law enforcement also declined to release any victim’s information, and said the county Medical Examiner’s Office will determine their identities and approximate time of death.

Investigators said details on the quadruple murders are fluid and many leads still need to be verified. They cautioned residents in the sleepy seaside town to call law enforcement with any questions or information regarding the four murders.

The quadruple homicides come on the heels of the mysterious Spreckels Mansion deaths that rocked the quiet seaside community and grabbed national headlines last summer. The famous Coronado Mansion is owned by millionaire Jonah Shacknai, the CEO of Medicis Pharmaceuticals, a successful skincare company based in Arizona. The San Diego Sheriff’s Department determined that the death of six-year-old boy, Max Shacknai was an accident and that his father’s longtime girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau, committed a bizarre suicide after learning the boy may not survive his injuries. While the case remains closed by the San Diego Sheriff Department, Zahau’s family firmly believes Rebecca did not commit suicide and was a murder victim.

Anyone with information about these crimes is encouraged to call Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321/after hours at (858) 565-5200 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-TIPS (8477).

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

San Diego Mansion deaths take a new twist

After weeks of speculation, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department ruled two suspicious deaths of Max Shacknai, 6, an accident and Rebecca Zahau, 32, a suicide. However, the law enforcement ruling didn’t jibe with Zahau’s family.

Now that media have obtained Sheriff Department warrants and medical examiner reports the mysterious deaths have launched family, Coronado residents and conspiracy theorists to poke holes in the case that grabbed national attention this summer.

The deaths took place in a multi-million dollar mansion located in an upscale sleepy beach-side San Diego community and involve billionaire Jonah Shacknai, who earned his wealth in the lucrative beauty products industry.

A few weeks of tough media scrutiny regarding Shacknai’s possible involvement has prompted the billionaire took write a letter to the California Attorney General. Shacknai asked the state attorney to conduct a second review in order to end any more speculation that the deaths were nothing more than coincidental accidents.

San Diego authorities reported that the July 13 nude hanging death of Zahau, whose hands and feet were tied behind her back, were self-inflicted. The Sheriff concluded Zahau’s motive for suicide was the news she received via voicemail that the son of her billionaire boyfriend, who fell from the second story of the famous mansion two days earlier, would most likely succumb to his head injuries.

However, some investigators say there was no such call on her ATT phone bill. The medical examiner’s report also unrevealed new details the Sheriff Department failed to disclose at the conclusion of their investigation.

The first detail is tape residue on Zahau’s wrists and ankles. There was no tape recovered near the crime scene. And the second surprise were unexplained contusions to her head.

Once the new investigation elements were released, the media began the feeding frenzy that ultimately led Shacknai to write the attorney general and request another look into the “undeniably strange circumstances” surrounding his son and girlfriend.

“Following the enormous losses of Max and Rebecca, it is intolerable to sit back and watch my other children and the rest of my family, and my former wife Dina’s family, tormented with these unfounded rumors and accusations,” Shacknai said in a portion of the letter to the attorney general.

Leading the charge against the San Diego Sheriff Department’s ruling is Zahau’s sister, Mary, who repeatedly told authorities and the media that her sister would never take her life. Mary Zahau said her sister’s Christian religious beliefs would prevent her from taking her life and the fact she was found nude with a t-shirt stuffed in her mouth raised even more red flags.

“We just know truth prevails,” she said. “I’m in the process of finding out the truth about who killed my sister.”

Despite the family’s objections to the Sheriff Department investigation conclusion, Sheriff Bill Gore remains steadfast in his department’s abilities and said; “Science is our best witness in this case. It is not biased and it doesn’t lie.”

Stay tuned for updates…

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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