The wrongful-death Zahau lawsuit has been dismissed with prejudice. Zahau hanging case “has been resolved,” The man who became the focus of the civil trial, Adam Shacknai – the brother of Zahau’s then-boyfriend, Jonah Shacknai – said outside court that his insurance company “did an end-around” on him, and that the settlement was for far less (“a pittance”) than the $5.1 million jury award.

“They were tired of throwing money at it,” he said. Both he and his lawyer, Seth Weisburst, said Shacknai himself was not paying out any money. The wrongful-death lawsuit going to trial in San Diego would have revisited the 2011 hanging death of Zahau at a mansion on the Coronado peninsula two days after Max Shacknai fell to his death there. The lawsuit was filed by the mother and sister of Zahau, the girlfriend of pharmaceuticals tycoon Jonah Shacknai.

[  Shacknai mansion death ruled suicide   ]

Shacknai stairs

Shacknai stairs

ex-wife's evidence

ex-wife’s evidence

Rebecca Nalepa

Rebecca Nalepa

A woman found hanging naked two days after her millionaire boyfriend’s six-year-old son was fatally injured while in her care, committed suicide, police sources have revealed.

Rebecca Zahau, 32, was found hanging with her hands and feet bound at pharmaceutical tycoon Jonah Shacknai’s Coronado, California, mansion on July 13.

The millionaire had been questioned about the death, but detectives are now reasonably confident that the death was suicide, reported NBC San Diego.



[April 20 2017] A wrongful death lawsuit involving Rebecca Zahau, whose nude body was found hanging from a Coronado mansion balcony in 2011, has been amended to focus on her boyfriend’s brother and eliminates two sisters as accomplices.The lawsuit, formally amended in March, now alleges that Adam Shacknai alone beat Zahau unconscious, stripped off her clothes, bound her hands and feet, gagged her and hanged her from the balcony.

Adam Shacknai reported to police that he found her hanging, and cut her down from the strand of red rope that was tied off to a bed.

Attorney C. Keith Greer declined to ascribe a motive for killing Zahau, saying he would reserve that for trial, which is scheduled for February 2018


[September 2 2011]

Adolph B Spreckels III

Adolph B Spreckels III

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department September 2 will announce its findings in the bizarre death of Rebecca Zahou, the girlfriend of Scottsdale-based Medicis CEO Jonah Shacknai. Zahau-Loehner said she spoke with her sister the night before her body was found and she gave no hint that she planned to take her life. She said she planned to bring Jonah Shacknai breakfast and a change of clothes the next morning to the hospital where his son was being treated.

Zahau also told her sister that she would call her parents in the morning on the way to the hospital. She emailed another sister in Germany to say she would be updating throughout the next day.

“Too detailed planning for someone who’s planning to end their life that night,” Zahau-Loehner said.

The home was built in 1908 and named for its original owner, John D. Spreckels, who also owned the newspapers, the San Diego Union and San Diego Tribune.
Born in 1949, Adolph B Spreckels III – great grandson of a Germany-born sugar baron, railway tycoon and publisher, Claus Spreckels – grew up in the lap of luxury. When he was five, the world’s most famous man became his stepfather. Clark Gable schooled him in the art of hunting and revealed the illusory insanity of the image factory to his young charge. Following Gable’s death in 1960, he would use the star’s Oscar as a doorstop. his excesses caught up with him, at the age of just 27
June 27, 1949
In a small, green-carpeted room of San Francisco’s Bank of America, one of the biggest sugar deals in West Coast history was quietly sealed. Last week, for $5,250,000, husky, handsome Charles Edouard de Bretteville, 36, and associates announced that they had picked up the choicest pieces of the disintegrating J.D. & A.B. Spreckels companies, a sprawling empire founded by bearded Claus Spreckels in 1863, which once held some 50 companies worth $60 million.
Claus Spreckels, formally Adolph Claus J. Spreckels (July 9, 1828 – December 26, 1908), (his last name has also been spelled as Spreckles[ was a major industrialist in Hawai’i during the kingdom, republican and territorial periods of the islands’ history. He also involved himself in several California enterprises, most notably the company that bears his name, Spreckels Sugar Company.

Dan K. Webb is chairman of the Chicago law firm Winston & Strawn

Dan K. Webb is chairman of the Chicago law firm Winston & Strawn

meanwhile, across the water, The News of the World hired a specialist private investigator to run covert surveillance on two of the lawyers representing phone-hacking victims as part of an operation to put pressure on them to stop their work. A News International spokesperson said : “News International’s enquiries have led the company to believe that Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris were subject to surveillance. While surveillance is not illegal, it was clearly deeply inappropriate in these circumstances. This action was not condoned by any current executive at the company.” here

Dan K. Webb of the law firm Winston & Strawn LLP sent to Anne Bremner, a lawyer working for the Rebecca Zahau family without fee, warning that “your false public statements constitute defamation, per se, and under law, entitle Mr. Shacknai to recover from you, and your law firm, substantial damages.”Dan K. Webb is the chairman of the Chicago law firm Winston & Strawn, and is widely considered one of the top trial attorneys in the United States. Effective immediately, the advocacy program at Loyola’s School of Law will be called the Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy to honor his distinguished career, and to recognize his significant contributions to the School of Law, including a recent major financial commitment.”
Simultaneously, an unnamed source claimed Anne was working with a literary agent and “may commission” a true crime author to write a book about the case. “We’re not representing the book effort,” said Martin. “[Anne Bremner] asked me since she’s working pro bono if I would help her get the website up for family which I’ve done, and I’m helping to coordinate media requests.”

“What is most concerning are recent false public statements you have made that Mr. Shacknai, because of his business success, has somehow improperly influenced the investigations… You have further made public comments that these agencies have applied a different standard in conducting their investigations because of Mr. Shacknai’s wealth,” the letter said.

Webb called Bremner’s statements “highly insensitive on a human level. Mr. Shacknai and his family have suffered two tragic losses under the harsh and unkind glare of a national media frenzy you have now helped sustain.”

“I haven’t said anything about his wealth nor have I said anything that could be considered false or defamatory … We are simply seeking the truth and justice.” A police investigation determined Zahau’s death was a suicide, but her family has hired lawyer Anne Bremner who has raised questions about the death and has pressed police to reopen the case.

Nalepa found hanging over a balcony and cut  down to a courtyard

Nalepa found hanging over a balcony and cut down to a courtyard

The woman, Rebecca Nalepa, 32, was found nude, with a rope around her neck and her hands and feet bound at Shacknai’s home at the former Spreckels Mansion, 1043 Ocean Boulevard, Capt. Tim Curran of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department homicide unit said today at a briefing. Shacknai’s brother, Adam, told police he saw Nalepa hanging over a balcony and cut her down to a courtyard, Curran said. Nalepa was the girlfriend of Jonah Shacknai, the founder and chief executive officer of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp.

“This is a very bizarre death, no question about it,” Curran said.

Jonah Shacknai was apparently not in the house when Nalepa was found, Curran said. He had been spending considerable time at a San Diego hospital where his 6-year-old son was recovering from an apparently unrelated tumble down a staircase.