In 2011, at the Spreckels Mansion on the Southern California Coast, there were two unexpected deaths that have since raised many doubts and endless speculation. On July 11, 32-year old Rebecca Zahau was at the Spreckels Beach House along with her sister when her boyfriend’s 6-year old son fell over a second-floor banister. Sadly, he would die in the hospital days later.
On July 12, understandably distraught, Rebecca picked up her boyfriend’s brother, Adam Shacknai, from the airport and brought him back to the mansion. There were reports of loud music coming from the house that evening. A neighbor claimed to hear a woman screaming.
The next morning, Adam called 911, stating that he found Rebecca nude, hanging from a balcony, a supposed suicide. But the scene was unusual, to say the least. Rebecca’s ankles and wrists were bound with rope, she was gagged with a t-shirt, and she was completely nude.
That fall, Rebecca’s death was ruled a suicide and 6-year old Max’s death was ruled an accident. Police held a press conference to announce that neither death involved foul play. But this year, Adam Shacknai was found responsible for Rebecca’s death in a civil suit filed by Rebecca’s family. Police have not filed any charges.
Our quiet end discussion today is a mystery. What happened at the mansion back in July 2011? Are we talking about an accident and a suicide, an accident and a murder, a murder and a suicide, or two murders? Let’s pour ourselves a brew and mull it over.