Is it a case of extraordinary coincidence or sinister foul play? A millionaire's young son and girlfriend died a few days apart on July 11 and 13, 2011, in the same mansion and stunningly, law enforcement had ruled none as foul play.
Now a new independent medical report has ruled 6-year-old Max Shacknai's death a homicide. What was ruled as an accidental fall from his father's Coronado, Calif., mansion by the state, is now classified as a brutal murder; for his injuries are allegedly consistent with being beaten and thrown off a balcony or him jumping off in terror to escape the brutal beating. These findings come nine months after his mother Dina Shacknai, dissatisfied with the state's findings, had an independent investigation into her son's sudden death.
The initial story was father's girlfriend, 32-year-old Rebecca Zahau was in the shower when she heard a crash, only to find Max lying seriously hurt surrounded by a broken chandelier. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died of his injuries four days later. His death was ruled as an accidental fall down the stairs.
The tragic events took a turn for the bizarre when two days later girlfriend Zahau was found dead, hanging naked, with her hands and feet bound, in the courtyard of the same mansion. Stunningly, her death was ruled a suicide. How did she kill herself with both pair of limbs tied?
The plot has many twists, for incidentally, Shacknai's brother Adam was staying in the mansion's guest house at the time, and he was the one who reportedly found Rebecca and called the police.
The deaths of young Max, son of Jonah Shacknai, CEO/founder of Medicis Pharmaceuticals and girlfriend Rebecca Zahua have haunted many and critics can't understand how Coronado authorities could rule Rebecca's death a suicide. Why they did not connect it to Max's and kept the investigation alive.
Rebecca's family vehemently denies she took her own life for they said she was staunchly religious. They were seen late last year on Dr. Phil's television show pleading for help in uncovering what they called "the truth" about both tragedies.
So who threw Max over the mansion's bannister? How did Rebecca kill herself by hanging with both hands tied? Why did police rush to this bizarre conclusion? Why haven't they reopened both cases? Where does millionaire Jonah Shacknai fit in all this?
There are several scenarios, all sinister, floating out there. The original hypothesis by police was Rebecca may have been so distraught by Max's accident on her watch and subsequent death, that she couldn't live with the painful guilt anymore.
Other allegations run from the dad hurting young Max, then killing his girlfriend to keep her from talking, to the plot of him killing her as revenge for her causing the death of his son literally or blaming her for it indirectly.
There are also reports that the twin sister of Shacknai's ex-wife was at the mansion hours before Rebecca was found hanging, but this angle has not been officially corroborated.
It's all wild speculations and theories at this point, but according to the independent medical report, one thing is certain right now and that is Max's death was no accident.
Rebecca's family is also fiercely fighting for answers and have hired their own independent investigators as well as having her body exhumed. This new autospy performed by Dr. Cyril Wecht allegedly show that the young woman did not die from hanging for her neck was not fractured. There were also signs of blunt trauma to the head. Wecht recommends the cause of death be changed from suicide to "undetermined." The coroner did not heed this advice, for reportedly the official cause of death remains the same.
If her neck wasn't fractureed and she was hit on the head, why did Coronado's coroner rule the death as suicide by hanging? The plot thickens and gets murkier and murkier.
Meanwhile CEO Jonah Shacknai is under investigation for questionable business practices pertaining to stocks, inflating his company's value, a trust fund and company insurance.
Read more on this bizarre and dramatic real-life tragedy here: