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.



Adam Shacknai

Sheriff Bill Gore issued a statement Monday, April 16, saying that while no new evidence was presented in the trial, there was new analysis of existing evidence.
According to the statement, the decision came after “a productive conversation” with the Zahau family’s attorney, C. Keith Greer.
“We’re very excited,” Greer said Monday night. “I had a great discussion with Sheriff Gore. He was very professional, very accommodating. He seemed genuinely interested in doing the right thing.”


[ April 9 Aftermath ]

“You’re left with the thought the Sheriff’s Department must have done an inadequate job in the investigation.”

“I, like a lot of people, thought the conclusions by law enforcement were preposterous, absurd,” said Brett Schreiber, with the law firm Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire and a past president of Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.

“It never appeared to be a suicide. I think there were a lot of questions in the legal community and elsewhere. Their explanation raised more questions than it did answers.   Social media became ground zero for conspiracy theories, including one that investigators didn’t want to prosecute anyone in a rich man’s family. Jonah Shacknai was the billionaire CEO of Medics Pharmaceutical Corp. out of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Another theory: she was killed because she had failed to adequately supervise her boyfriend’s young son, who took a fatal fall at the mansion.

[April 5 Judge waives punitive damages ]

Adam Shacknai ordered to pay more than $5 million. Judge waives punitive damages in Rebecca Zahau death case.    A jury found her boyfriend’s brother responsible for her death.

Rebecca Zahau, also known as Rebecca Nalepa, 32. Nalepa, the girlfriend of Arizona pharmaceuticals tycoon Jonah Shacknai,


Judge Katherine Bacal


[ April 4  Jury deliberating ]

Closing arguments in the wrongful death civil lawsuit about the mysterious death of Rebecca Zahau finished Tuesday, April 3, and the case is now in the hands of a jury.


[March 30 closing arguments ]

Closing arguments in the wrongful death case of Rebecca Zahau are set for Monday, April 2.


[ March 23 trial may end week of March 25 ]

Plaintiff’s attorney C. Keith Greer rested his case on March 18, after Shacknai testified for several hours and denied harming or killing Zahau. Testimony to continued. Attorneys said they may finish with the trial as soon as Tuesday, March 26. The San Diego Sheriff’s Department has been adamant, that after a thorough investigation, Zahau’s death was a suicide. There is no criminal case.

[March 14 trial in third week ]

The civil case in the Rebecca Zahau trial continues into its third week, In response to the question of a botched investigation, the SD County Sheriff’s office responded, “We completed a comprehensive and professional investigation and stand behind it. We have no further comment about this civil lawsuit. You can find many resources [on our website]. Thank you.”



Six men and six women have been selected as jurors in this trial expected to last a month.   Attorneys C. Keith and Dan Webb delivered opening statements




Civil trial over the death of Rebecca Zahau begins]

Jury selection began Monday,February 28 2018,  in the civil trial over the death of Rebecca Zahau.
On Monday, Juror questionnaires were handed out to 45 potential jurors who took them home to fill out overnight.Those people will return Tuesday morning and questioning will continue. The jury could be seated by the end of the day Tuesday with opening statements occurring as soon as Wednesday or Thursday, March 1.

[Sheriff’s Department: no connection between the two deaths at Coronado Mansion.

Rebecca Nalepa was found in the courtyard of the mansion on July 13. The Sheriff’s Department has said it cannot yet conclude whether her death was suicide or a “criminal event.”
Separately, the Coronado Police Department is investigating the death of 6-year-old Max Shacknai, the son of the owner. The boy fell down the stairs at the mansion on July 11 and was rushed to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, where he died July 17.
The Coronado police have tentatively labeled the boy’s death accidental. Investigators have said they have found no connection between the two deaths.
Until 2010, Nalepa, who also went by her maiden name, Rebecca Zahau, was employed as a technician at Horizon Eye Specialists & Lasik Center, which has four Valley offices.

Two days before her death, Jonah Shacknai’s 6-year-old son was seriously injured in a fall down a stairway in the main home, known locally as the Spreckels Mansion. Curran said there was no evidence the incident was related to Nalepa’s subsequent death.

Shortly after 10 a.m. Monday, officers and medics responding to an emergency call made by a woman at the estate found the child unconscious, without a pulse and not breathing, Coronado Police Chief Lou Scanlon told reporters.

The boy was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. His condition has not been made public.

The injured youngster’s grandmother told the Arizona Republic he was with Nalepa at the time of the accident.

The man who made the emergency call about Rebecca, Adam Shacknai, told investigators he found Nalepa hanging from a second-floor bedroom balcony over a central courtyard and cut the rope or cord attached to her neck to get her down
A well-known San Diego defense attorney arrived at the mansion Wednesday night and told the media at the crime scene that he represented someone involved in the case.

Paul Pfingst, who was the San Diego County district attorney from 1995 to 2008, would not identify his client. However, he specifically said his client was not Jonah Shacknai.

Xena Zahau, with older sister Rebecca

Xena Zahau, with older sister Rebecca

Nina Romana, Sister of Dina

Nina Romana, Sister of Dina

Pathologist Cyril Wecht disputed the original postmortem, saying that he found evidence of blunt trauma to Zahau’s head, which could have been caused by an attacker The San Diego County Medical Examiner interpreted the head injuries differently, saying that they were “relatively minor.
[November 11]The twin sister of Jonah Shacknai’s ex-wife was at the mansion in the hours leading up to her death. Xena Zahau, younger sister, was in the shower at the time of Max’s accident

Nina Romano, whose sister was married to Miss Zahau’s Billionaire boyfriend before they divorced several years ago, said she went to the house in San Diego to get answers about six-year-old Max’s death.
Nina Romano was the last person to text Miss Zahau, asking if she could come over. Miss Zahau did not reply.
She was staying at her sister’s house, which is in close proximity to the mansion.

Miss Zahau and her teenage sister Xena were the only people at home at the time of Max’s accident.

Police contend that Rebecca was in the bathroom at the time of Max’s accident, and that Xena was in the shower.

Mr Shacknai has two children with his first wife, Kimberly. Max was his only child with his second wife, Dina, whom he divorced in 2008.
Adam Shacknai, the younger brother of pharmaceuticals tycoon Jonah Shacknai, flew to Coronado following the accident of Jonah’s 6-year-old son, Max. He was also in the house. Adam Shacknai was given a lie detector test, inconclusive to some, but will not be given another.

Homicide Chief Nesbit, since May

Homicide Chief Nesbit, since May

Early helicopter shot: no rope, table location

Early helicopter shot: no rope, table location

Further investigation would be helpful in “bringing some clarity, dignity, and ultimately closure to the devastating deaths,” Jonah Shacknai, wrote in a letter sent to the attorney general September 19.

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.