Rebecca Zahau did not commit suicide, jury finds

Adam Shacknai found legally responsible for brother’s girlfriend’s death; ordered to pay over $5 million in damages

A civil jury has found that Adam Shacknai is legally responsible for the death of his brother’s girlfriend Rebecca Zahau, who was found dead by hanging at Jonah Shacknai’s Coronado mansion in July 2011.

NBC San Diego reports that a civil jury voted yes to two key questions in a wrongful death suit against Adam Shacknai: Did Adam Shacknai touch Rebecca Zahau before her death with the intent to harm her? And, did that touching cause the death of Rebecca Zahau? On both questions, the jury voted yes 9-3.

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department determined that Zahau’s death was a suicide, but her family filed a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against Adam Shacknai, who was staying in the guest house of his brother’s mansion the morning Rebecca was found.

At the time, Jonah Shacknai was staying at a hospital where his six-year-old son Max, was fighting for his life following a fall from a staircase at the mansion, while he was in Rebecca’s care. The boy later died.

Adam Shacknai called 911 on July 13, 2011, to report that he had found Rebecca hanging from a balcony, nude and bound. Written on a nearby door in paint were the words, “She saved him can you save her.”

The jury decided that Adam Schacknai owes approximately $5,167,000 in damages to Rebecca’s mother, Pari Zahau. Rebecca had reportedly been providing her family with financial support before she died.



[Feature image: Rebecca Zahau/Handout]