SEARCH

Entries in Coronado (6)

Wednesday
Jan042012

Navy Fighter Pilot Implicated in Coronado Murder-Suicide

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(CORONADO, Calif.) -- A Navy fighter pilot is implicated in the shooting deaths of three others and himself in Coronado, Calif., according to new information released by authorities Wednesday.

Police say that John Robert Reeves, 25, is the only one of the four to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and his death is ruled a suicide, while the three others are classified as homicides.

Reeves, an F-18 Navy pilot who was sharing a home with fellow pilot David Reis in Coronado, died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, police said. Reis, 25, along with his sister Karen Reis, 24, and a third man, Matthew Christopher Saturley, 31, all died of shots to their heads, chests, and torsos, police said.

The shooting took place around 2:30 a.m. on New Year's Day after the foursome had been out celebrating the holiday in San Diego bars, sources told ABC affiliate KGTV. Neighbors called police after hearing shots ring out, and police arrived to find the four bodies, police said.

A next-door neighbor, Don Hubbard, said that police told him it was a murder-suicide and that a weapon had been recovered. Police would not confirm that it was a murder-suicide, but said that there was no outstanding suspect.

Police said they are continuing their investigation.

Tom Reis, the father of the two siblings killed, said David Reis was an F-18 pilot who had just taken his first official flight in December, while his sister was a recent graduate of the University of California-San Diego and a volleyball coach.

"We don't know the circumstances," Reis said. "We don't know what happened. We only know that they're no longer with us."

Reeves' family was not able to be reached for comment.

The shooting is the second mysterious incident to happen in the typically quiet beach community in six months. The condo home where the four victims were found is not far from the Coronado mansion of Jonah Shacknai, whose girlfriend Rebecca Zahau was found hanging, nude, in July, two days after his 6-year-old son suffered a fatal fall while under her care.

Authorities ruled her death a suicide, but a pathologist hired by Zahau's family said later that he had doubts she killed herself.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan032012

Coronado, Calif., Shooting Kills 4, Including 2 Navy Pilots, Sister

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(CORONADO, Calif.) -- A shooting in Coronado, Calif., that left four people dead, including two Navy pilots and one of their sisters, is being investigated as an apparent murder-suicide.

The New Year's Day shooting in a condo there claimed the lives of siblings David and Karen Reis, 25 and 24, respectively, as well as David's roommate, John Reeves, 25, and a fourth unknown man.

David Reis and Reeves were both pilots in the Navy, and shared the condo home in Coronado, sources told ABC affiliate KGTV. The other dead man is a 31-year-old civilian who lives in Chula Vista, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office.

The siblings and Reeves went out together in downtown San Diego to celebrate New Year's Eve Saturday night, and returned to the condo with the fourth man, whose identity has not been released, the sources said.

A retired Navy pilot who lives next door to the condo told KGTV that he heard seven shots early Sunday morning. "There were two shots, about a five-second pause, and then five more," Don Hubbard said.

Hubbard said he spoke with police after the shooting, who said they believed the crime was a murder-suicide and that they had found the murder weapon.

"I was very concerned because here we had a killing in my backyard," Hubbard said. "I asked them and they all seemed to think that it was a murder-suicide."

Hubbard said David Reis moved in during the summer and the second pilot who was killed had only lived there a couple of months.

San Diego County Sheriff Lt. Larry Nesbit said police officers responded to a report of shots fired at the residence around 2:20 a.m. and arrived to find an adult male victim, with an apparent gunshot wound, lying in the doorway of the building. He had no signs of life, Nesbit said.

After a robot inspection of the residence, police and SWAT team members searched and found three other bodies inside the residence. Nesbit would not comment on whether a weapon was found or gunfire was exchanged, but said the police do not believe there are any outstanding suspects.

The Coronado Police Department, Naval Criminal Investigative Services, the sheriff's Homicide Detail and sheriff's Crime Lab were participating in the investigation.

Tom Reis, the father of the two siblings killed, said David Reis was an F-18 pilot who had just taken his first official flight in December, while his sister was a recent graduate of the University of California-San Diego and a local volleyball coach.

"We don't know the circumstances," Reis said. "We don't know what happened. We only know that they're no longer with us."

The shooting is the second mysterious incident to happen in the typically quiet beach community in six months. The condo home where the four victims were found is not far from the Coronado mansion of Jonah Shacknai, whose girlfriend Rebecca Zahau was found hanging, nude, in July, two days after his 6-year-old son suffered a fatal fall under her care.

Authorities ruled her death a suicide, but a pathologist hired by Zahau's family said later that he had doubts she killed herself.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov022011

Coronado Mansion Death Probe Becoming a Book?

Horizon Eye Specialists & Lasik Center(CORONADO, Calif.) -- The lawyer representing the family of Rebecca Zahau, the dead woman found bound, naked and hanging from her boyfriend's mansion in Coronado, Calif., is working with a literary agent and may commission a true crime author to write a book about the case.

The news comes days after lawyer Anne Bremner confirmed that Zahau's family had exhumed her body and would be appearing on Dr. Phil in November to discuss a second autopsy, which was conducted by renown forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht.

Jonah Shacknai, Zahau's boyfriend and owner of the Coronado mansion, declined to comment through his spokesman, Terry Fahn.  Shacknai has kept a low profile since Zahau's death, which came two days after his 6-year-old son Max toppled over a balcony railing at the top of a staircase at the mansion.  He died from injuries he suffered later that week.

ABC News affiliate KGTV reported Tuesday that Shacknai has sold the historic mansion to "an unidentified group of investors at an undisclosed sale price."

Bremner has a history of adapting her high profile cases into books, TV appearances, and most recently, a movie.  And Zahau's death, which sparked lurid headlines,"doesn't pass the smell test" according to Bremner.

Zahau's body was found bound and gagged with her hands tied behind her back hanging from a mansion balcony.  Her death was ruled a suicide by the San Diego Sheriff's Department, and Max's death was ruled an accident.

Zahau's family, however, doesn't believe she killed herself, and hired Bremner to spearhead efforts to get the investigation reopened.

The family and Bremner have established two websites about Rebecca Zahau, one of which solicits donations and is overseen by Sharlene Martin, a literary manager from Martin Literary Management in Seattle.

Martin told ABC News there is no Zahau book currently in the works, but if there was her agency would handle it.

Ann Rule, the author of 32 non-fiction books about homicide and other crimes, told ABC News that she recently met with Bremner and during dinner they discussed the possibility of writing a book about the Zahaus.

Rule, who said she has been a close friend of Bremner for 25 years, noted Martin's involvement in the family website "seems really odd" and that she's "never heard of such a thing."

The probability of writing a book about the Zahaus, however, is about "50/50 -- if charges were brought," she said.  "It's a difficult thing because the little boy's father is very, very wealthy so for legal reasons it's kind of a mine field."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep062011

Mystery Mansion Death: Autopsy Reveals Startling Details

Horizon Eye Specialists & Lasik Center(SAN DIEGO) -- New details have emerged about the mysterious death of 32-year-old Rebecca Zahau, who was found hanged, bound and naked at a California millionaire's historic mansion.

On Friday, investigators announced the case was closed and ruled her death a suicide, but Zahau's last cryptic message and information from the autopsy that had not been divulged during Friday's press conference have raised new doubts about the sheriff's conclusion.

The message, painted in black on the door of the bedroom near where Zahau was found hanging said, "She saved him can you save her?"

In addition, the autopsy report revealed there were hemorrhages under Zahau's scalp, tape residue and blood on her legs, and the T-shirt that was wrapped around Zahau's neck had been partially stuffed in her mouth.

Zahau's family has hired Seattle lawyer Anne Bremner and are asking police to reopen the case.

Bremner told ABC News on Monday that the message scrawled in black paint is just one of the many reasons why Zahau's death warrants further investigation.

"The single most important thing is there has never been a reported suicide of a female like this.  Bound hands and feet.  Gagged.  A noose around her neck.  Naked.  Blood down her legs.  A shirt wrapped three times around her neck.  Tied to a bed with neat slip knots and square knots," Bremner wrote in an email to ABC News.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department was not immediately available for comment.

The body of Zahau was found on the grounds of the Spreckels Mansion in Coronado, Calif., on July 13.  When police arrived, they found Zahau on the back lawn, her hands tied behind her back and her feet bound.  Her body had been cut down by her boyfriend's brother, Adam Shacknai, who was staying at the home.  He also allegedly removed the T-shirt from her mouth.

Zahau was the girlfriend of pharmaceutical mogul Jonah Shacknai.  Her death came two days after Shacknai's 6-year-old son Max fell down the stairs at the historic Spreckels Mansion owned by Shacknai.  The boy died of his injuries on July 16.  Police ruled his death an accident.

Bremner told ABC News Zahau had not expressed guilt about Max's accident to her family.

Zahau was "very religious.  She did believe if you commit suicide you go to hell," Bremner said.  "The case is being prematurely closed."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul182011

Second Spreckels Mansion Death as Boy, 6, Dies from Injuries

Stockbyte/Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(CORONADO, Calif.) -- Millionaire Jonah Shacknai, already grieving for his girlfriend who was found hanged in his California mansion last week, has said that his young son has died from injuries suffered in the mansion.

Max Shacknai, 6, was injured at the historic Spreckels mansion in Coronado, Calif., last Monday. He was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries, and his death was announced Sunday.

Two days after Max was injured, Jonah Shacknai's girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau, was found dead, hanging naked from a balcony at the mansion.

Police are investigating whether Zahau's death was a murder or a suicide. During a press conference last week, San Diego Sheriff spokesman Tim Curran said the crime scene appeared "suspicious."

At the time they did not believe there was a connection between Zahau's death and Max's injuries.

Jonah Shacknai sent out a statement Sunday, asking for privacy as he and his ex-wife Dina, Max's mother, grieve for their son affectionately known as Maxie.

"Despite heroic efforts on the part of paramedics and hospital staff, he was unable to recover from the injuries suffered early last week. His loving, kind and vibrant spirit will forever be in our hearts and those whom he touched every day. The loss to our families, Max's many friends of all ages and teammates, and the community is immeasurable," he wrote.

The couple is planning a private memorial service, according to the statement, and they asked that any memorial contributions be made to Whispering Hope Ranch Foundation. The statement concludes: "On behalf of Dina, myself and our families, please know of our appreciation for the tremendous outpouring of support provided during this very difficult time."

On July 11, police received a call from a woman at the mansion whom they would not identify requesting medical aid for Max.

The child "had fallen from stairs and was not breathing and did not have a pulse," Coronado Police Chief Louis Scanlon said last Thursday.

Paramedics performed CPR and the boy was hospitalized.

"At this time, we have no information that would lead us to believe this is anything other than a tragic accident with the child," Scanlon said.

In between the boy's accident and the discovery of Zahau's body, neighbors told ABC News affiliate KGTV, a loud party took place at the mansion on Tuesday night. However, police said last Thursday they were not aware of any parties.

Two days later, police received a call from Shacknai's brother, Adam Schacknai, that he found Zahau hanging from the balcony. When police arrived at the mansion they found the 32-year-old's body on the lawn in the backyard. Shacknai told them he had cut her down.

Police announced last week that an autopsy has been completed and they are still awaiting results from the forensics investigation and lab work.

Since 2007, the mansion has belonged Jonah Shacknai, the 54-year-old multimillionaire founder and CEO of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation in Scottsdale, Ariz., a company that makes treatments for acne and facial wrinkles.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul142011

Dead Woman Found Naked, Bound at Historic Mansion

Stockbyte/Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(CORONADO, Calif.) -- Police are investigating the death of Rebecca Zahau, 32, who was found bound and naked at a multimillion-dollar, historic mansion in Coronado, Calif., where a six-year-old also suffered a severe head injury earlier in the week.

"This is a very bizarre death, there's no doubt about it," San Diego Sheriff's Capt. Tim Curran told reporters regarding Zahau's death.

Even so, police cannot say if these circumstances will lead to a criminal investigation.

"There are some very unique ways" people might kill themselves, Curran said. "If it was determined to be a suicide, people will do some very bizarre things."

Authorities discovered Zahau on Wednesday, July 13, after a house guest, Adam Shacknai, told police he found her with a rope around her neck hanging from a balcony off the main house.

When police arrived at the historic Spreckles Mansion, they found Zahau's body on the lawn in the backyard. Shacknai told them he had cut her down. He is thought to have been the only person home, and may have been the last person to see her alive, investigators said.

Since 2007, the mansion has belonged to Shacknai's brother, Jonah Shacknai, the multi-millionaire founder and CEO of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation in Scottsdale, Ariz. Police said it may have been his summer home.

Zahau's hands were bound behind her back and her feet were bound, but her hands and feet did not appear ever to have been bound together, police said. Though Adam Shacknai said she was hanging from a rope, investigators did not disclose what kind of material bound her hands and feet.

The home's balcony, which lies outside of a bedroom, is about 10 to 15 feet from the ground. Police were not immediately aware how Zahau's body would have been anchored if, indeed, it had been hanging. If it was a suicide, it was unclear how Zahau could have hung herself while also binding her hands and feet.

Zahau's death caps an eventful week at the mansion.

On Monday morning, Coronado police received a call from a woman there requesting medical aid for a six-year-old boy believed to be the son of Jonah Shacknai's ex-wife. The child "had fallen from stairs and was not breathing and did not have a pulse," Coronado police chief Louis Scanlon said Thursday. Paramedics performed CPR and the boy was hospitalized.

"At this time, we have no information that would lead us to believe this is anything other than a tragic accident with the child," he said.

Police said they don't see any connection between Zahau's death and the boy's injuries.

In between the boy's accident and the discovery of Zahau's body, neighbors told ABC News affiliate KGTV, a loud party took place at the mansion on Tuesday night. However, police said Thursday they were not aware of any parties.

Investigators said there remains forensic work to be done, and they were awaiting the results of an autopsy from the San Diego medical examiner.

However, Curran said Thursday, there is "no information indicating this is anything more than an isolated incident in the city of Coronado."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio