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Spreckel Mansion Death/Suicide


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#16    regi

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:46 PM

View PostDuncansmom, on 23 December 2012 - 03:51 PM, said:

It seems a little strange the father was absent so often.  His son had died just 2 days prior to this and he's gone again all night?

Reports I've read from ABC and CNN state that the incident involving the son occurred two days prior to the hanging- that the father was at the hospital with his son when the hanging occurred- and that his son died five days after his injuries.
At a PC (and referencing the morning of her death), authorities stated that "Rebecca received news regarding Max's grave condition at about ten minutes till one in the morning."

Also, info. I've read is that the boy was stated to have simply fallen down the stairs....I've seen no mention of a skateboard, nor have I read about any other circumstances surrounding that incident.

Edited by regi, 23 December 2012 - 04:47 PM.


#17    Antilles

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 05:48 AM

There appears to be quite a few contradictory accounts of this case. Maybe that's why Rule is so interested.


#18    regi

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:08 PM

The circumstances of this case are indeed unusual, so I think right off the bat, that's reason enough for an immediate interest for any true crime writer.
I've read that Rule's a longtime friend of the attorney who's representing Zahau's family, and I'd prefer that not be the case...
Obviously, Rule questions the suicide ruling, but it has to do with interpretation. She cites "the physical evidence, her injuries, the way she was tied up..."
I know there are other things she finds questionable, but as I recall, those things have to do with perception, so that's subjective, also.
An article reported that despite Rule's "extensive" research, if it was homicide, she doesn't know who could have done it. I think that's huge considering the severe limitation of a potential "POI pool" to begin with.
The big picture is that if there's no evidence of any kind which points to anyone else involved in the death- and taking into account all the evidence that IS there, and that it points to only Zahau- then it's an obvious conclusion.

All reports about the boy simply falling down the stairs appear to be inaccurate.
Apparently, it was determined he went over the top railing.
A chandelier in the center of the "U" configuration of the two stairways (and situated below the top railing) was broken.


#19    Vincennes

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:51 PM

http://www.radaronli...elp-hours-cops-

Give this link a look if you have a minute.

Earlier, I was reviewing the news on this topic and I know I found a more recent article that talked about the location of
the skateboard which was at the bottom of the stairs to the left as you look at the staircase.  It looked to whoever was writing the article that it was in the correct placement to indicate the little boy might have been trying to use it to slide down the banister.  

I've never read that the chandelier was damaged - but it would seem to be that those facts might be indicative of the same thing.  If the little boy placed the skateboard on the top of the railing and then tried to lay across it both might have gone down and either the skateboard or kid could have hit the chandelier on their way to the bottom.  I will keep looking for the article re. skateboard.


#20    regi

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:55 PM

Correction to my post #18: The article reported that Rule "talked extensively with Zahau's loved ones", not that her research itself was extensive.
http://www.coronado....-zahau-shacknai

I've spent hours reading investigative documents regarding both deaths (located on another forum), among other articles and interviews, and I don't know where to start.

People are intrigued by- and skeptical of- the unusual circumstances of Zahau's death, but to me, the circumstances of Max's death appear more sinister, and more so in light of Zahau's death, and considering the circumstances of both deaths.

Re: the chandelier...it wasn't just broken; it was crashed on the floor.

When first responders arrived, Max was essentially dead- no breathing, no pulse.
There was the back part of a scooter across one of his shins, and the chandelier was on the floor near his body with scattered broken pieces all around.

Only two other people were in the home at the time of the incident; Zahau, and Zahau's 13 yr. old sister.
Zahau stated that she'd been in a first floor bathroom for about 10 minutes when she heard a crash... that she found Max, and that she called for her sister to call 9-1-1. (The sister was said to have been just out of a shower on the second floor.)

Authorities theorize that Max had been riding the scooter on the second floor hallway, crashed into the railing...that he was propelled over the railing, and apparently, the scooter went over with him.
There were nicks on and near the corner of the railing, and paint chips on the carpeting.
(The hallway, stairs and foyer were covered with the same think carpet.)
Zahau stated that Max had been told not to ride the scooter in the hallway, and that the last time she saw the scooter was the day before, on the second floor.
She stated that Max said one word, "Ocean", which was the name of the dog in the house.

The sister had stitches for an injury said to have occurred when she was handling the chandelier/pieces, and she left San Diego the next day.

In an audio interview, Max's aunt (his mother's fraternal twin sister) said that after Max's injury, Zahau picked her up from the airport and dropped her off at the hospital. The sister said she was confused because Zahau wasn't forthcoming about what had happened...that when she asked her about what happened, she just wouldn't talk about it. She wasn't able to see Max that night because of ICU rules.
She saw Max the next day and stunned by the critical condition of her nephew, she wanted to get a thorough account from Zahau.
She texted Zahau at 9:41pm (the evening before Zahau's death) and Zahau didn't respond. She decided to walk over to Zahau's house, which was only a 4-5 minute walk from where she was staying at Max's mother's house.
She said she knocked several times, but got no answer. She said the bottom part of the house was dark, but there was a light on on the second floor.
She said that Zahau's car was there, but that she knew Max's uncle (Max's father's brother) was in town and was staying in the guesthouse, and so she figured that either they might have gone out for dinner- that walking anywhere isn't unusual in that area- or that Zahau simply didn't want to talk to her.
Before she walked back to her sister's house, she walked around to see the back area of the house. It was dark, and she said the only light on was that in the bedroom with the balcony.
She said the news the flollowing day that Zahau was dead was another perplexing event (I don't recall the words she used), but she never questioned that it was suicide.
Re: the excessive nature of the circumstances of the death, she said she didn't know Zahau very well, but that Zahau struck her as someone who if was determined to do something, would do so "balls to the wall."
She said she believes that Zahau knew more than she told about Max's death. Zahau said she performed CPR, and she believes that was a lie.

The fact that Zahau's body was naked is a point that Zahau's family (and others) cite as something she- or any woman- wouldn't do.
There's apparently not been much research on that specific aspect of a suicide, but it certainly has happened.
Interestingly, there's indication that it most often occurs with hanging.
There's biblical reference..."Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked I shall return." Job 1:21
There are other theories at the following link, and there's more info under another link from that article under the heading "Why Naked Suicide."
http://www.jaapl.org...t/36/2/240.full

Edited by regi, 26 December 2012 - 06:02 PM.


#21    Antilles

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:21 AM

Great post regi. Thanks for all the background info. I think Zahau must have had something more to do with the child's death than she let on. But was she definitely found fully naked or was she partially clothed because the latter is what I read in an earlier link.


#22    Vincennes

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 03:13 PM

Regi:  That truly was a great post!!  I feel more of a scenario around it than I ever have.  I followed this daily when it happened and I don't
know where you picked up the info but it wasn't out there at the time.  I felt from the beginning it was one of those cases that had a tight lid on it because of the amount of money in the family.  I had to look around each day for articles on what was happening.  I'm so sorry that I missed the interviews on Dr. Phil but I did.

The description you gave on the scene of Max's death was what I did find more recently.  I had never thought of an involvement of Rebecca but it sounds like it might be there.  My first thought on reading you post was that in view of Rebecca's sister' age.  Maybe the kids were playing.  A 13 year old will get into play with a kid Max's age and maybe there was an accident in that play.  However, Rebecca's sister has been one of the most vocal in saying something is wrong Rebecca was not suicidal.  That doesn't work if she is covering an involvement.  However, you had one other thing that the sister was in the shower right before the accident was found.  That seems to leave things more open for an involvement by Rebecca.

That still leaves Max's mother open to having a reaction to the accident.  She seems to have had a temper in the area of domestic desputes.
Hanging Rebecca naked outside would seem to me to be good way to humilate her.


#23    regi

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 03:17 PM

Thanks, Antilles.
This links to the Investigative Report and Autopsy Report.
http://www.scribd.co...4114521/Reports

EMS, Pre-Hospital Care Report re: the incident involving Max.
http://www.maxshackn.../CFD_Report.pdf


#24    regi

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 03:51 PM

Thanks, Duncansmom.
You know, I'm coming at these cases after much has been established, and so there's lots of information available now which wasn't previously available, so it's easier going into it with questions already answered.

Zahau's sister, Zena, was the one in the home the day of the incident with Max, and now I'm not sure if she was 13 or 14, but it was Zahau's sister, Mary, who's been outspoken about her sister's death.
I think Zahau has several sisters...

Max's mother was at the hospital with Max. There's witness statements to support that, and cellular records also back that up, and remember, those recs. also help verify all witness statements of their contact with one another, and where they all were during critical hours.
As I can only try to imagine, Max's mother's sole concern/focus during the time her son was in the hospital was for/on her son, and from what I've gathered, she rarely left his bedside, except to try to eat or rest... which her sister (Nina) later said was essentially futile.

Since I think Zahau's death was suicide, I have a different take on that aspect. Of course, I don't know the "why" of it specifically in her case, but there are many possible theories.

The painted message on the bedroom door is what I find most intriguing.


#25    Vincennes

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:33 PM

Yah, painted message makes no sense that I can give it  -  Except maybe if you read it with malice toward Rebecca  -Has anyone found there was someone with Max's mother - A bodyguard, a driver perhaps for some reason that comes back to me there was someone with her during this time.


#26    regi

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:34 PM

Link to audio interview of Max's aunt, Nina Romano, his mother's fraternal twin sister.




#27    Vincennes

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:32 PM

Good Lord this woman sounds totally truthful.  My only thought is that I worked in a juvenile facility  for 10 years everyone there had to be qualified in  CPR  I would remember to clear the airway  -  but other than that  ----  What makes it seem that Rebecca gave correct CPR  tried -  I would just be running around in a circle  -  maybe doing breaths  - (correctly...? prob  no )  and I have been certified every year for 10 years   -    but in life or death  - look for me out there screaming for help  ----   Would an ambulance driver responded if  I had given CPR & he responded so, I wold doubt it  ..... I never said I was a nurse....but I did have CPR qualificastionfor 10 yrs.  could I perform it here as Rebecca seems to have been expected to - NO      

Great clip  Thanks, Regi  and I feel the truth is there somewhere  !


#28    regi

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:03 PM

You're welcome.
You know, that interview didn't have to be nearly so long, but that guy conducting the interview was almost unbearably annoying as several times, he asked her to go over things she'd already thoroughly explained!

And yes, absolutely. Romano struck me as entirely credible (and very patient with that interviewer!)

Re: what you said about behavior in a crisis...
I don't think anyone can predict how they will react in a crisis. They can say how they think they might, or how they would like to, but until they've experienced it, they couldn't know.
However, that's beside the point.
The point is that Rebecca (apparently) said that she performed CPR.
Her sister, Mary, stated in an interview that she did, but the EMS report stated that CPR was not performed.
According to Max's aunt, the 9-1-1 call offers no indication that CPR was even attempted.


#29    Antilles

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 05:11 AM

Thanks DM and regi for all the links.

I'll just add my 2 cents worth about the CPR at the moment.

The EMS report stated that no CPR had been attempted.

Hard to say. Maybe she did try but didn't really know what she was doing and is was ineffective. Maybe she did try but was so panic stricken she didn't give CPR well enough to help the child.

Hard one to call but you have 2 women saying that CPR had been performed and the report saying it hadn't.


#30    regi

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:24 PM

You know, Antilles, I really don't know what to make of the EMS report stating that CPR wasn't performed.
It seems clear that if it was attempted, it wasn't successful.
On the third day of hospitalization, the neurologist stated that the severity of brain damage indicated that the brain did not receive oxygen, and I take that to mean in a timely manner.
What's strange about that is Zahau stated that Max actually uttered a word...of all words, Ocean. So apparently, he was conscious to speak immediately following the injury, but upon arrival of EMS, Max presented no breathing, no pulse, and dilated pupils.
The 9-1-1 operator (according to the aunt) was never able to establish whether Max was breathing or not.
Indeed, very strange information from that scene.





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