Mansion Autopsy Show Delayed

November 10, 2011 by staff 

Mansion Autopsy Show Delayed, The results of a second autopsy in the hanging death of Rebecca Zahau at a Coronado mansion will now be aired on the “Dr. Phil” television show in two parts on Monday and Tuesday, rather than on Thursday as previously scheduled, a show spokeswoman said.

Rebecca Zahau — AP The episodes were taped today at the show’s studio in Los Angeles with Zahau’s family and their attorney, Anne Bremner. Private pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, who was hired to perform the second autopsy, appeared on the show remotely to release the findings, according to Bremner.

A studio audience was not present for the taping, according to a report by KFMB-TV 8 journalist Phil Blauer, who was allowed to attend the filming.

Blauer agreed not to reveal the results of the autopsy until the show airs but hinted at “surprising new evidence” discussed on the show.

In an e-mail Tuesday night, Bremner said the taping went well, and that the show’s producers “recognized that the case is so complex – one hour wasn’t sufficient to cover everything,” and that two shows were needed.

Zahau was found in July hanging from a balcony of the Spreckels mansion, owned then by her boyfriend, Arizona millionaire and pharmaceutical tycoon Jonah Shacknai.

The county Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Zahau bound her wrists and ankles and hanged herself, apparently distraught over the grave injuries suffered by Shacknai’s 6-year-old son in an accidental fall at the mansion days earlier. The boy, Max, later died.

Zahau’s family has been adamant in their belief that she did not commit suicide.

Wecht said the investigative files from both the Sheriff’s Department and the medical examiner would contribute to any conclusions he would make on the case.

The Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday that no new evidence has been presented to them to compel them to reopen the investigation.

Blauer reported that the episodes next week will include the final text messages between Zahau and her sister, Mary Zahau-Loehner, as well as a recording of the 911 call by Shacknai’s brother, Adam, who discovered the body.

Blauer said Loehner broke into tears during the taping as she viewed video of her sister’s body being exhumed in Missouri for the second autopsy.

In an interview with Blauer in the studio, Phil McGraw said the Zahau family had reached out to his show twice seeking help.

The episodes are scheduled to be on KFMB-Channel 8 at 3 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

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