Max Shacknai Wiki
Max Shacknai Biography
A Coronado, California mansion was the scene of two fatal incidents in two days that have since captured public attention. NBC’s Dateline episode on Sunday night explores what happened at the mansion in July 2011 that led to the deaths of 6-year-old Max Shacknai and Rebecca Zahau, the 32-year-old girlfriend of Shacknai’s father.
On July 11, 2011, while Zahau and her younger sister were caring for Shacknai, the boy fell from the stairs or second-floor hallway and was rushed to hospital in critical condition. The 6-year-old boy died of his injuries five days later, on July 16. Just two days after Shacknai’s fatal accident, while still hospitalized, Zahau was found dead in the mansion from an apparent hanging, ABC News reported.
Due to the mysterious circumstances surrounding Zahau’s death and timing, numerous investigations and medical reports have looked at the deaths of Shacknai and Zahau.
How did Maxfield Shacknai die?
Shacknai Was Found at the Bottom of the Mansion’s Staircase by Rebecca Zahau & He Died of His Injuries Days Later
In the summer of 2011, Jonah Shacknai and his girlfriend of two years, Zahau, were living at Spreckels Mansion on Ocean Boulevard in Coronado, California, with Jonah Shacknai’s son, Max, from a previous marriage. On the day of Max Shacknai’s fall, Zahau was the only adult in the house and he was taking care of him and his 13-year-old sister Xena.
He said he was in a downstairs bathroom and Xena was in the shower in another bathroom when she heard a crash from the house, Town & Country wrote. Zahau said he found the boy at the foot of the stairs and called 911. Unfortunately, after he was hospitalized for five days, Shacknai died on July 16, 2011 of brain damage.
Seven weeks after Shacknai’s death, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said during a news conference that the boy’s death was considered an accident, ABC News reported. An investigation by the Coronado Police Department determined that Shacknai was running down the second floor hallway at the top of the stairs and over the railing, falling to the first floor.
AZ Central wrote that investigators said Shacknai struck the chandelier or tried to grab it before hitting a stair railing and then falling to the floor below. They couldn’t determine why he fell, but investigators said the family dog and a soccer ball were near the stairs and he may have tripped over one of them. The crystal chandelier fell to the ground next to him.
An autopsy determined that Shacknai’s death was due to an accidental fall from the stairs. The assistant medical examiner said he fell on his face, causing fractures to his facial bones and a major spinal cord injury that affected his heart rate and breathing, the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote. When Zahau found him, he was not breathing and was not responding.
Shacknai’s Mother Requested That an Investigation Into Her Son’s Death Be Opened Again in 2012
Shacknai’s mother, Jonah Shacknai’s second wife, Dina, was unhappy with investigators’ determination that her son’s death was accidental and requested in 2012 that her case be reopened, NBC San Diego reported. She said, “Things just don’t add up for me, so I hired independent experts to review the findings.”
She hired forensic pathologist Dr. Judy Melinek to investigate the fatal fall, and Melinek concluded that the way the 6-year-old died was “inaccurate.” She said: “It would be more accurate to certify that way as a homicide, where homicide is defined as death at the hands of another,” NBC reported. She suggested that Shacknai may have been assaulted at the top of the stairs before falling.
The Coronado Police Department refused to reopen the investigation, saying, according to the Phoenix New Times, “Was Max’s death a homicide? The answer is no. It was a tragic accident. ”
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, after the investigation concluded, Shacknai’s father said: “As long as the investigation is over, the emptiness and sadness in our hearts will remain forever. Max was an extraordinarily loving, happy, talented, and special boy. He brought joy to all who knew him, and we will desperately miss him. “