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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

REBECCA ZAHAU, MYSTERIOUS DEATH: Mogul Mansion Mystery Deepens!
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Christine Pelisek, / Jul 27, 2011 6:00 AM EDT.


Two weeks after Rebecca Zahau was found hanging naked from a balcony of her boyfriend's estate, the circumstances of her death are more baffling than ever. Christine Pelisek reports.

In the heavy air of a heat wave that drove the temperature up to 100 degrees, family and friends gathered on Saturday in tiny St. Joe, Mo., to lay to rest the body of 32-year-old Rebecca Zahau. 
It had been 14 days since she was found hanging from the second-floor balcony of the palatial estate of her pharmaceutical-executive boyfriend, Jonah Shacknai. Shacknai was at the memorial ceremony, his life turned upside down in recent weeks by the mysterious deaths of not only his girlfriend but also his 6-year-old son, Max, at the historic Spreckels mansion in tony Coronado, Calif. 
A source familiar with the situation told The Daily Beast that the 54-year-old Shacknai—who amassed his fortune making acne treatments and Dysport, a competitor of Botox—sat next to Zahau’s family members during the afternoon service. The source described him as in a “state of shock about his son and his girlfriend, [whom] he cared about very much." Max had been buried last Wednesday. 

Questions have been raised as to whether Shacknai had anything to do with his girlfriend’s death. But so far, the police don't seem to think so, and he has not been named as a suspect. 
“Would you sit with or grieve with someone who you thought was in any way complicit with the death of a loved one?” asks the source. “The answer is, of course not. No one has said he is a suspect, and the family certainly doesn’t blame him.”  
But because of the bizarre nature of the deaths, there has been widespread speculation as to what really happened to Zahau, and detectives are still trying to figure out whether she committed suicide or if something more nefarious happened to her. 
Answers to those questions are still weeks away, according to San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Roy Frank. Frank says detectives are still waiting for toxicology and forensic evidence taken from Zahau’s death scene.   

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