hello friends how are you
today I hope you’re having a wonderful day so far
happy Monday
my name is Bailey
Sarian and today is Monday
welcome to another
episode of Murder Mystery and Makeup Monday
if you are new here
every Monday I sit down I talk
about a true crime
story that’s been heavy on my noggin
and I do my makeup
at the same time I do my makeup because I it just like
keeps me busy doing something so that’s why I do it
and then we talk
about true crime
if you like true
crime and you like makeup
I would suggest
you subscribe today’s
story I want to talk
about Rebecca Za how
and her very mysterious
mysterious case there is just it’s just
it’s just like what the hell
that’s what it is it’s a what the hell case but
other than that
I will stop rambling and let’s get into this
tragic story
so this story
like I said is
about Rebecca Zahow
but there is also a lot that kind of went on in the
house most of my stories I kind of try and talk about
the whole family
background and get you give you an idea of
where they come from
essentially but
I just feel like there are so many different names and
people involved in this case that it
could get really overwhelming get to the
point Bailey get to the
point I’m gonna
start off with Max
Shaqnai and Max was a 6 year old boy in
2011 is when this happened
and his parents were
Jonah Shaqnai
and Dina Romano
Jonah who was 54 at the time
he was a wealthy CEO
of a pharmaceutical company
who mainly sold
Restelin cosmetic filler
he was a self made billionaire
he had a lot of
money he also had a very stiff face
no that’s not
funny so his
primary residence was in Arizona
he would vacation
pretty often
at the Spreckels mansion
in Coronado
California now Coronado
is for one beautiful but all the
houses are millions of dollars I mean
it’s for the very rich
and wealthy people
so Jonah and Dina
were together they were married
and then they had the son
named Max and they
divorced in 2008
Rebecca Zahaw
who was 32 her and Jonah Shaqni
were a couple they had met
at a job that Rebecca was working at in Arizona they
seemed very in love and very
happy Rebecca was staying at the Spreckels mansion
in Coronado for the summer
and she was with the family
Max and Jonah
and then her sister
Xena who was 13
she came to
visit from Missouri
so the Spreckels mansion
was the biggest and most beautiful
home in Coronado some reports say that it had
27 bedrooms but actually I looked it up
because it’s for sale
right now it has
10 bedrooms 11 bathrooms
right on the
ocean it’s beautiful
if I say it’s one more time
so on July 11th
2011 Rebecca was with her
sister who was
visiting and they were at the
spa breckel’s mansion Jonah
he was at work
max was a happy well developed 6 year old boy
his mother reports that he was not a daredevil at all
so somehow that day Max had
taken a pretty bad fall over the
second story banister of the Spreckels mansion
and then that turned into fatal injuries
nobody witnessed
Max fall it’s really unclear as to what
caused Max to go over
the banister
there are tons of theories
as to what could have happened he was riding his
scooter and he fell off and
foul play but what
we know for sure
is that Max was
found on the
first floor
with fractured facial bones and a spinal
cord injury
resting on max’s leg was his
scooter and the chandelier that was hanging from
the ceiling
it had broken off
and it had fallen
it wasn’t on him though
but it had fallen 2
other people present in
the home at the time of max’s fall was Rebecca and her
sister both of them reported that
they hadn’t
seen Max fall
they had no idea as to what happened Rebecca
had reported that she was in the bathroom at the time
and her sister was
getting ready to like take a shower
so rebecca’s in the bathroom and she just
heard just a really loud noise
and then she came running out and she saw that Max
was injured
she called over to her 13 year old
sister call 911
Rebecca says that when she ran out to
go find Max on the
floor that he was conscious and he was saying the word
ocean and Ocean was the name of their dog
so she thought
maybe he was trying to say that
it was the dog that did it
or something but she did tell
first responders
that he was saying the name ocean
first responders
they would later on
testify in court that they overheard
Rebecca saying dina is
going to kill me
and Dina was max
mother when Max was
taken to the children’s hospital
Max was unresponsive
and he wasn’t breathing
so a lot of people question Rebecca
like well how did he how was he saying ocean
if when he was being
transferred to the hospital
he wasn’t even
he wasn’t even breathing he wasn’t even responsible
a lot of people
started to kind of question
what really happened investigators reported
that Max he played on a scooter
he played with soccer balls like in the hallway area
that’s kind of
where he would
play a lot many
have alleged that Max was either like riding his
scooter in the
house and tripped
or either the dog came into
place somehow and he tripped
and fell and then that’s how he fell over the railing
grabbed onto the chandelier on his way down
and then there are
others who highly disagree that
this can’t even be possible
there’s no way that this happened max’s
mother ended up hiring a private firm
to really look into
max’s fall they concluded that max’s
center of gravity was far too low to
allow him to go over the railing
along with his
scooter also they said that the shag carpet
in the hallway
it was just way too
thick that it
would have prevented Max
to ride at a
speed that would
throw him over the banister
max he had no cuts on his hands
despite the fact that he supposedly
grabbed the chandelier on the way down but
after this private firm had looked
into max’s fall they couldn’t even like replicate
how this could have happened
and they concluded
it had to be foul play that was involved
but when the
scooter was
looked at it was shown that on the bottom of the
scooter there was like
white paint and
white markings and some
dents and it
lined up exactly with the
dents that were on the railing of
the staircase
there were some theories that Max was trying to
use his scooter and go down the railing
he ended up falling
and then he
grabbed onto
the chandelier and took that down with them remember
razor scooters
on YouTube and on TV and
stuff you would see
kids using the
scooters to go down
railings to go over
staircases pretty much just act a fool on
their scooters
so some theories were saying that
max was trying to go
down the railing or something and do one of
these tricks he saw
but unfortunately
he ended up falling police investigators
ended up concluding it a terrible and
tragic accident
max was rushed to a local
children’s hospital by
ambulance and was in critical condition in ICU
his parents
Dina and Jonah
were right there
by his side
like the entire time it didn’t look too good for
so Dina had called up her twin
sister Nina
and Nina flew into town to come
you know be there for her
sister be there for the family
Rebecca went to the airport to pick up Nina
and then Nina
would later say that Rebecca was acting
really strange
whenever she
asked her like what
had happened she was kind of beating around the bush
like she wasn’t giving a straight answer the next day
Rebecca also
went down to the airport
to pick up Jonah
his younger brother and his name is Adam
and Adam worked on the
River and he was a
tugboat pilot
since like 1997 so
she picked up Adam
that way the
whole family
could come in and be there to support
max remained on life support in ICU
his condition
did seem to be
stable or even improving Adam Jonah
Rebecca they all
went home for the
night and they had dinner
on July 12 2011
and then Jonah
the dad he went back to the children’s hospital
to being next to Max
Adam and Rebecca
ended up staying at the home by themselves
Adam stays out in the
guest house it’s fine though
cause the guest
house is massive too and then Rebecca was in the
large house by herself because her
sister had flown back the day before
okay I know
we’re getting there
so Adam is in the back
house he reported
saying that he took an Ambien
sleeping pill
and then he fell asleep around 8 pm on July 12
the next morning July 13th at 6 48 am
Adam he called 9 one
one so on this 9 one one call Adam says that he
found a body it was
bound gagged
nude and hanging from the second
story balcony
of the mansion
on the 9 one one call the
first thing you hear Adam say is
yeah got a girl
hung herself at the house
on Ocean Boulevard across
from the hotel
where you guys came yesterday for the boy
like the 911 call is
weird why did
he call her just a girl and he knew who she was
so the whole
thing was just
kinda that was
weird and that will come into play
later on Adam
said that he was
going to get
coffee and then that’s when he spotted Rebecca
Adam says when he
found Rebecca she was
completely nude
she was gagged by a long
sleeve blue
t shirt the body of the
t shirt was
wrapped around
her neck 3 times the
sleeves of the T
shirt were double knotted and
stuffed into
her mouth her hands were
bound behind her back and her feet were also bound
rebecca’s body was
hanging by a reddish orange rope tied around her neck
the same type of rope was used to bind
her hands and her feet as well the
other end of the rope was tied to the bed
frame in the bedroom in
which Rebecca was
staying Adam says when he saw rebecca’s body hanging
that he ran
to the kitchen
he grabbed a
knife and he
grabbed a 3 legged
table he brought it out there so he
could get on the
table and cut the rope
he then says he removed the
t shirt that was around rebecca’s neck and in her mouth
he removed that and then he began
to perform CPR
for some odd reason
I guess like this
story had gotten out to news
outlets and then they sent out like a news helicopter
and this helicopter went around the
house they captured
rebecca’s body which was
still outside and it
was she was
still naked
she wasn’t even covered
and then they showed it on TV
they blurred it
but what the
f are you guys doing
cause the police had already been there
you know I’m just a nobody but from my
understanding most of the times at a
crime scene they
cover the body with something but they
didn’t like they just left Rebecca
out there still nude
on the grass
this made the family extremely upset
I mean Frog
obvious reasons any of us
would be upset if that happened to like one of
our family members why were they showing it on the news
so the San Diego
Medical Examiner he
arrived on the
scene 12 hours
after adam’s original 911 call
for 12 hours
rebecca’s body was just
still outside
and she wasn’t she wasn’t
covered over 12 hours
this made a lot of people
upset they believed it was proof
of a compromised investigation
the medical
examiner he determined that rebecca’s official
cause of death was suicide by hanging on her
autopsy report it showed that she had
injury to her neck she had
fractures to the left arm
and also in the autopsy report
there were multiple
scattered like bruises and abrasions
on rebecca’s back
arms and legs
autopsy examiner believed that this
happen because Rebecca
Jenna go straight over the balcony
they believe that she fell at an angle
and when she fell she must have like hit
large plants
under the balcony
there really wasn’t much around the balcony
for her to hit so yeah
it just is like
hmm are you sure that
they also ran a
toxicology report
and it showed that she had no drugs or alcohol in her
system they
estimated that her time of
death was around 3 am
on July 13 2011
so if we go back
to rebecca’s bedroom
a red rope can be seen tied with a slipknot to one
leg of the bed
on the floor near the bed is a plastic garbage bag a
small paintbrush
and a large
paintbrush a
large kitchen
knife and a
small kitchen
knife under
the plastic bag was a tube of
black paint
so rebecca’s hands and her feet
they were widely reported in the
media to be nautical knots
the police investigators
they had said that the type of knots utilized
were a cleat
hitch knot and a slipknot
it isn’t exactly
inaccurate to describe
these as nautical knots
they’re not exclusively used in boating
but for the most part they are
used in boating a slipknot is extremely simple
to create but a cleat
hitch knot is
a bit more complicated
this type of knot is most commonly
used in Sailing Now
pop quiz do you remember when I said Adam did as a
profession in the beginning when I
introduced Adam
and he was a
tugboat pilot
since like 1997
now investors
came back and they were like
these are very common knots everybody knows how to use
these knots they’re not complicated
to do it’s completely overblown by the
media and when I
heard that I was like
bitch shut up no
if you’re familiar with Coronado at all it’s
right on the
water and a lot of people
do own boats there a lot of people do go out on the
water in their
fancy boats
a lot of people
were saying well Rebecca and her boyfriend they
would go out take the boat
and they would go out all the time like
Rebecca would know how to tie
these knots
but rebecca’s family
would say that Rebecca
would complain all the time like he
never takes
me out on the boat we only take it out like once a year
we never use the boat if you look at the
pictures like
these knots
they look kind of complicated so also
rebecca’s feet were very dirty
and they took a look at the balcony and the balcony
was very dirty
and her footprints
were shown like on the balcony you can see like a V
shape so they saw that
it lined up with why her feet were so
dirty and then they also saw like
little bit of a bootprint
now the police they said it was a police bootprint but
they they didn’t
test it or anything like that
they just assumed
that it was
the police boot
so we haven’t even
mentioned the
painted message
that was in the bedroom
a door in the bedroom there were words that were
painted like a
secret message
that was painted on the door
and it said
she saved him
can you save her
I was about to say suspicious
but like that’s just creepy the
whole thing it gives you the
creeps when you see it like what the kind of fucking
shit is going on everybody has
their theories
as to what it means
police have never
figured it out they did not find any
other DNA in the room
besides rebecca’s
so then a witness
comes forward
there was a next door
neighbor she had heard
screaming and it
sounded like a
woman and she was
screaming for help and she was just
there was a lot of
screaming she
heard a lot of
screaming happening
so when the
police interviewed this neighbor they were like
they pretty much told her that she was
wrong that she
heard screaming coming from a
different direction
and then they just pretty much
brush this lady off no one ever interviewed her
again rebecca’s family contacted
high profile Seattle attorney
her name was Anne
Bremner we’re just
gonna call her
Anne and that was in the fall of 2011
and then after reviewing the case details
and she agreed with rebecca’s family that the suicide
ruling was suspicious and
Anne actually offered to take rebecca’s case pro Bono
so Anne had some pretty like high
she brought in this guy
his name was Dr Uh
wech he was a doctor
a renowned forensic pathologist
and he had over 17 000 autopsies
under his belt
so like he’s
seen some shit
so she brings him in
so they decide to do a
second autopsy
but even though like she was
embalmed he
still had like several findings
so there were some
things that this guy
he agreed with
they both noted that there was a lot of damage
to rebecca’s
neck she had severely torn muscles in the
front and sides of her neck
well he agreed that
the findings regarding rebecca’s neck injuries
are consistent with hanging
they are not exclusive
to just hanging
hanging he believed that they
could also be consistent with strangulation
as the cause of
death and she
found it odd
that rebecca’s hair was tucked
under the noose
so she thought this was odd because
many people
especially women
with longer medium to long hair
in most cases they will pull out their hair
from whatever is around
their neck whether it’s a
shirt collar a noose
she said that most
women when they are
found if they did commit suicide
that their hair will be pulled out it was very
strange that rebecca’s hair was not pulled out which
I thought that was so interesting
cause it’s little
things like that that you don’t
think about
but are kind of big clues
you know I don’t want it to
sound like these are my words because it
they’re not my words this is coming from and like she’s
she’s saying that most women
if they were to commit suicide they
wouldn’t do it naked
and that was something that needed to be noted as well
also on both of the autopsy reports
there have been 4 areas like
on top of rebecca’s head that there was a hemorrhage
near the top of her
scalp when the
first autopsy was done there
was a theory that Rebecca did not fall straight down
over the railing that
she kind of felt
sideways remember at like an
angle and that
her head came into contact with trees or bushes
or the balcony itself
causing the small
the small hemorrhages
barely get it together
when the second autopsy
was done they were convinced that this was not the case
they believe it
could have been
caused by intentionally inflicted blows to the head
okay so then comes in
levity levity
is pulling of
blood in the body
after death causing purple
or like a purplish
discoloration of the skin so if a person dies on
their back most likely there will be a pool of blood
that would go with the position
of the deceased
so if you die on your back then there’s
gonna be a pool of
blood like on
your backside
medical examiners they will use levity
to help determine
the time of
death and what position the body was in at the time of
death also be used to determine if the body has been
moved at all
post mortem
levitity it may
begin as soon as 30 minutes
once the person has died becomes
like or permanent
05:56 hours
after death so
when the autopsy was done on Rebecca
the levitity
was fixed in rebecca’s back
if Rebecca had died as a result of hanging
then the levitity
would have been
fixed in the
lower limbs
so in the original
autopsy report they said that there was
blood present in
rebecca’s vagina
isn’t that suspicious
they know or they
think that Rebecca was on her period I know
watch all the guys in the room cringe
and thank God she was and we’ll
get into that then there was this doctor Dr Goodman
he was another like forensic analysis
but he looked at the images that were provided of the
scene and remember
earlier how we talked
about like there was another footprint
on the balcony
the police officer said well it was a police
boot it’s not another footprint it’s just a police boot
well this guy Doctor Goodwin he
looked at this
photograph of
the footprint and
then he compared it to like a police boot and whatnot
and he determined that the boot print was
not from police officers
it didn’t line up with police officers it didn’t
line up with Rebecca because Rebecca
was barefoot and he went on the Dr Phil show and
pretty much
broke down all of it didn’t make
sense there was somebody else on the balcony
and then oddly enough Dr Goodwin he got forced
off of rebecca’s case
but he never
fully explained like why he got forced off
mm hmm so then
guess what there’s more
okay when rebecca’s
death happened
they took in
you know computers and
stuff for evidence to look at and phones
to look and see
if they could kind of put some
pieces together
right so they took adam’s
phone because Adam was at the
house that night anyways so they take adam’s phone
and guess what they find on his phone
no I’m not judging
I’m not you’re allowed to like this kind of
stuff but like
it fits in with the
story they believe that sometime
on the night of July 12
or even the next like
early next day July 13th somebody
you can’t say Adam somebody
had searched terms like sexy
Asian girls and
bondage anime
so again even if he’s
like into that
I mean whatever
but the odd
come on him looking at it the night
before that she gets murdered and she ends up being
bound and what not like
and then of course
police investigators
because they seem to be on team Adam over here they say
that you know somebody must have accessed the computer
now Adam allegedly he did
admit to looking at pornography on
on his iPhone on the morning of July 13th
so then in 2010
rebecca’s family they had filed a $10,000,000
civil lawsuit they had
claimed that rebecca’s
death was a murder
civil lawsuit itself
named Nina Dina
and Adam and it
claims that
Rebecca was beaten gagged
and strangled before being thrown over the balcony
railing the lawsuit
would eventually drop both Nina and Dina
Nina and Dina both had
solid alibis at the hospital
by her son max’s side
video footage
of this as well so
it was pretty solid
and then Dina was at
nina’s house
but some like she had an alibi
I think the neighbor saw her
enter the house
but Adam didn’t have a
solid alibi so he
still is like the number one focus
so once Dina and Nina
their alibis had come out they came out with
their alibis
that’s when
oops that’s when
rebecca’s family
their attorney
Keith Greer
that’s when
he publicly apologized to both Nina and Dina at a
press conference honestly
it’s extremely unusual for an attorney to
make this type of public apology to former defendants
so I thought that was nice
is that the
right word it takes
a big person to
publicly apologize
rebecca’s family
alleged that Adam was solely responsible
for murdering Rebecca
in the early morning of July 13
2011 this lawsuit was permitted
to move forward
the civil wrongful
death trial
it began in February of
2018 does the
Hal family is
was being represented by
Keith Greer
the defendant
Adam he was represented by attorney Dan Webb
and Dan Webb
I understand you know
you know okay
it’s fine he’s
got a job to do Bailey get over it but Dan Webb
was considered like the best of the best he represented
a shit ton of
high profile cases and he was even contacted
by Donald Trump
but Dan had to turn him away because he was
quote unquote
too busy so Dan
tends to represent a lot of the bad guys
he’s really good at it too
and in the video I was
watching of the trial Dan
looks like he’s
about to die he
is intimidating
not that that matters
but it’s just a side note he looks like a toad
a side note
about civil
trials in criminal cases
the jury has to determine
that the defendant
is guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt civil
trials also very rarely result
in the defendant being incarcerated
civil trials
generally deal with monetary damages
against the defendant this was a
civil case was because the San Diego Police Department
determined that rebecca’s
death was a suicide and they were not willing to reopen
it in order to take Adam to
court so that’s why they went the
civil lawsuit way
but the reason the family was doing this wasn’t because
of the money
like they went into this knowing that Adam didn’t have
money he wasn’t a
rich guy his brother was but Adam wasn’t wealthy at all
they did it to pretty much
show everybody else
that he is responsible for this in hopes that they
could open this case
and then be able to
put him in jail so Adams lawyers
they argued in their
opening arguments
that there was
absolutely no evidence that placed
Adam at the scene
of rebecca’s
death and they had a
point honestly there was no fingerprints
no DNA nothing
and he stated that over and over and over
again to really like
drill it into the juror’s head I mean he’s not
wrong there isn’t any proof
so then Adam gets called to the witness
stand now he is just like
so nonchalant
the way he’s
speaking is just
it just sounds I don’t know it just is
what demeanor is like
I bet you if he
would have acted remorseful sad
shed some tears I bet you
it would have been a different outcome for him because
they played it so
heavy on the fact that there was no physical evidence
but the way he’s acting makes you feel like
what a douche
he’s not even like sad or
sorry about what happened
I mean that’s my opinion
so then they play the 911 call for the jury of course
because like
the 911 call is so weird
and when Adam calls 911 he
doesn’t even
refer to Rebecca
by her name he just says that
I’ve got a woman
here who’s hanged herself you know when they ask him
about that he’s just like well
she was a woman
and so they ask him like
about these
types of knots that are used on Rebecca like what
about these knots do you use
these often
and of course he says
no I have no idea how to tie
those knots
and you just want to roll your eyes to the back
of your head because you’re like dude you work on boats
I don’t know
anyways then April 2nd
we have like the closing
statements going down and
Keith Greer comes in
he brings in a realistic mannequin
of Rebecca to the courtroom
and it shows
I won’t show you the
image cause
yeah but it’s a lifelike doll
that looks like Rebecca
and it’s hanging and she’s naked and
you know it’s just adding more
shock to what really happened
Keith was able to like
piece together a
solid timeline
as to what happened that
night he believes that Rebecca was in the shower
she turned it off
and then there was a spot of
blood in the shower
from her period
so they know like the
water was off
cause it didn’t run the
blood down the
drain once Rebecca gets out of
the shower Adam then confronted her something happens
where she ends up on the opposite side of the house
they know this
because there are drops of
blood a dropped
towel and her cell
phone on the floor
so then they believe that she was
struck on the back of the head 4 times by Adam
by some kind of
object then she was
knocked out
unconscious she was
bound and she and gagged
and then sexually assaulted by Adam
and then he
proceeded to strangle her
before she was hanged
and they believed the motive was
due to rage
about what happened to Max
so then the defense
for their closing
statements and they just go in heavy with
saying over and over
again that there’s no evidence proving Adam did this
no fingerprints no DNA
nothing leading back to Adam
and the jurors
determined that Adam
was responsible for the
death of Rebecca
so how so they determined that Adam owed
the family over 5 million dollars in damages
and again they made it
clear in a statement that they knew Adam
didn’t have money
and it wasn’t
about money they just wanted
to get the sheriff’s department to open up this case
do their job
and that it
clearly wasn’t a suicide
Adam has always denied all the allegations and
initially appealed the jury’s
right after he comes out of
court the media asks him they interview
Adam he’s just like
angry right and he calls the
whole family posers
which it’s like what the hell does that mean
but it made a lot of people
upset if he
truly is innocent he’s being accused of
awful things that were done to Rebecca
of course you have a
right to be angry
he should have gotten like some kind of counsel
or something on how to
act because
the way he was acting towards the media
in certain interviews it’s like dude
what are you
doing you’re just making yourself look more guilty
he just comes off as a douche
however in February a
judge dismissed the case but noted
the verdict
against Adam
would remain
which I don’t
quite understand
why they did that
an attorney for Adam said that
while the verdict remains on file
it now lacks legal
standing and
cleared adam’s name
the San Diego
County sheriff’s Department
reopen the investigation but once
again they determined
in December of
2018 that Rebecca had
taken her own life that
is this awful
story about Rebecca Zhao and also
max poor Max
if foul play was involved with Max I feel so
awful because it
completely got overshadowed my own personal opinion
is I believe that Adam was involved physical evidence
but the fact that
a lot of their
stuff was wiped down is
super suspicious
the fact that the
knife had possibly
been inserted into her is
awful because
how she was tied up all of it is just
weird and then the
saying on the wall like what was that
so rebecca’s husband
he wanted the police department
to reopen the case because he did want some closure for
rebecca’s family
so he wasn’t against it
but he did pay for all the legal
to represent Adam
so that’s why he got like the best of the best attorney
he didn’t believe his brother did it at all but
the guy comes from a lot of
money right
like he’s a
self made billionaire
or whatever so he has
all the money in the
world to pay people off
I believe that
maybe he’s been
making donations to the police department
I don’t know like
maybe he has some kind of tie
to the police department
where they felt like they needed to be
loyal to him in a way
and that’s why
they just closed the case and didn’t look into it
because if they prosecute the brother then
maybe I don’t
know it just shows though like if you have
money you could get away with anything
and shit like that drives me
fucking bonkers
I would love to hear your theory on this case
but other than that
I appreciate you so much for hanging out with me
today I hope
that you have a really good day you make good choices
and I will be singing you
guys later bye