Rebecca Zahau Found Bound & Hanged at California Mansion: Murder or Suicide?



​For the past few years, 32-year-old Rebecca Zahau (also known as Rebecca Nalepa) had been dating Jonah Shacknai, the multimillionaire founder of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation, which makes treatments for acne and wrinkles. He’d bought a $13 million mansion in Coronado, California…

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Two days before Rebecca was found hanged, her boyfriend Jonah Shacknai’s 6-year-old son fell down a stairway. Reports say he may be brain-dead.

​Rebecca was staying there last week, and no one seemed to notice that she was feeling down or suicidal.

Then Adam Shacknai, Jonah’s brother, found her naked and hanging from a rope off the balcony. She was already dead.

But what makes this story different is that when police were summoned, they found her hands bound behind her back. Her feet were also bound together.

Police still aren’t sure if it was a murder or a suicide. It would seem unlikely that a woman would strip naked before killing herself. It would also seem unlikely that she would physically be able to hang herself with her hands bound behind her back. But stranger things have happened.

Detectives are awaiting toxicology reports.

Adding to the mystery is that just two days before, medics were again summoned to the mansion. This time they found Jonah’s 6-year-old son not breathing and unconscious. It seems that he’d fallen down a stairway.

His parents announced this morning that he had died.

What’s even weirder is that neighbors say there was a loud party at the mansion on Tuesday night, the day after the little boy was injured, and the day before Rebecca was found hanged. (Special thanks to reader Mecede for the tip.)

See our last story from the Unsolved file: Amy Ahonen Missing in Colorado: Jeep Found Abandoned on Highway.