Death on Ocean Boulevard: Inside the Coronado Mansion Case Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The call came on the morning of July 13, 2011, from the historic Spreckels Mansion, a lavish beachfront property in Coronado, California, owned by pharmaceutical tycoon and multimillionaire Jonah Shacknai. When authorities arrived, they found the naked body of Jonah's girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau gagged, her ankles tied, and her wrists bound behind her. Jonah's brother, Adam, claimed to have found Rebecca hanging by a rope from the second-floor balcony. On a bedroom door in black paint were the cryptic words: She Saved Him Can You Save Her.
Was this scrawled message a suicide note or a killer's taunt? Rebecca's death came two days after Jonah's six-year-old son, Max, took a devastating fall while in Rebecca's care. Authorities deemed Rebecca's death a suicide resulting from her guilt. But who would stage either a suicide or a murder in such a bizarre, elaborate way?
Award-winning investigative journalist Caitlin Rother weaves stunning new details into a personal yet objective examination of the sensational case. As compelling as it is troubling, this controversial real-life mystery is a classic American tragedy that evokes the same haunting fascination as the JonBenet Ramsey and O.J. Simpson cases.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 11 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||April 27, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #83,163 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#531 in Murder True Crime
#1,849 in Murder & Mayhem True Accounts
Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2022
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On July 13, 2011, thirty-two year old Rebecca Zahau's naked body was found bound, gagged, and hanging from the second-story balcony of her multimillionaire boyfriend, Jonah Shacknai's San Diego mansion by his brother, Adam Shacknai. What ensues is an intricate and multi-layered story of Rebecca's mysterious death, an inept investigative process, and the ongoing suicide-murder debate that continues to befuddle the public for the past ten years since her death.
Death On Ocean Boulevard is a riveting story that easily draws the reader in from the start, keeping them captivated as the author weaves a thoroughly intriguing and intricate recounting of a highly publicized true crime case. I remember seeing this case profiled on the NBC Dateline investigative / mystery show, so when I saw that the author was writing an in depth true crime novel based on this case, it peaked my interest and I knew that I had to read it.
You can't help but get drawn into this complicated, fascinating, and multi-layered story, it is a gripping account into the mysterious death of Rebecca Zahau, and whether her death was a suicide or a murder. The author provides the reader with a fascinating and richly detailed and in depth look into the back stories and lives of each participant; an extensive research of the shoddy investigative, legal and financial aspects of the case.
After an extensive and determined investigation into this case, the reader follows the author's accounting of a haunting tale of one woman's tragic and senseless death, and the ongoing pursuit of her family to change the cause of death from suicide to undetermined, with the hope to reopen the investigation focused on a criminal case. In addition, the reader is also provided with information of Jonah Shacknai's six year old son Max's tragic accidental death while under the care of Rebecca two days before Rebecca's death, and the speculation that both deaths are either a coincidence or could be connected.
The author provides an impartial account of the mysterious death, while leaving it up to the reader to form their own opinion on whether Rebecca's death was a suicide or a murder. After reading both sides of the suicide-murder debate, I found myself waffling back and forth on this debate, and I fear that this conundrum will never be resolved.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I loved the author's vivid description of Coronado's history, and the landmarks on this picturesque peninsula locale along the San Diego Bay.
Death On Ocean Boulevard is a gripping and haunting account of a tragic and mysterious death that is a must read for all true crime fans.
The tragedy that Jonah went through losing both his son and the woman who finally seemed to make him happy (at least on the surface) was not as palpable as it could have been, but as you read the story, you find that there's a reason for that.
When this happened, I didn't follow the case closely. I did know the outcome, but I was not aware of all of the intricate details that are shared here, or of the controversy. I knew there was a wrongful death case filed, but thought it was against Jonah (the owner of the property, her bf) & had no idea it was against his brother who was only visiting and had just arrived.
This case will probably forever be stuck in limbo as the only people who truly know what happened are, sadly, gone. But at least I believe that the author has given an absolutely complete account of every single bit of evidence, and spoken with absolutely every single person who was willing to speak with her about the case.
Leaving no stone unturned, Ms. Rother has done a fabulous job of giving the reader all the facts to make up our own mind about whodunnit. Although I'm still wondering.
I'm asking her and all other writers in this genre to PLEASE keep writing true crime! Several have begun writing mystery (like Gregg Olson, who WRONGLY markets his fiction books under the true crime category), and we NEED you to continue with true crime! We have sadly lost Ann Rule, and hopefully Leslie continues her legacy but she has her own niche, so Caitlin, please don't betray your LOYAL TRUE CRIME FANS like "some" author's have! I, for one, don't want to have to choose new faves!
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However, who can say where her mind went upon receiving the voicemail from Jonah that night ? I believe Max's death was only a terrible accident. He was often known to play ball indoors and mess around and I believe he could've been playing with Rebecca's dog or her sister and just made a grab for his ball and went over the rail. Plus he'd been diagnosed with a heart problem, something I had never heard till now.....the mention of his postmortem exhibiting an affect similar to drowning I was puzzled by, though.
The message on the door I think Rebecca painted because of the broken sort of English utilised, but I don't really know what she meant by it in all fairness. I was worried about Ocean so I am happy the author gave us an update on him as I looked online and couldn't find any news. The table with its 3 legs also bothered me as I really can't see how it held Adam up. I wouldn't have climbed onto a 3-legged table !! I had spotted the lividity on the backs of her legs in close-up photos and that doesn't ring true, either, for the hanging idea......so very, very confusing altogether. We never learned what happened to the ring Jonah had gifted Rebecca, either, which I found strange.
I googled Restalyne but it seems it should read Restylane, there were a few needless spaces in words and one apostrophe error but that was all I noticed regarding mistakes, which is to be commended.
The author made me laugh aloud at her Ambien aside after her conversation with Adam. I watched him on the news and he did himself no favours whatsoever, in all honesty. He came across as bloody abrasive and rude, and didn't care about Rebecca's death at all. I was saddened to read of her own loss, though it gave her an intriguing insight herself. She has done a lot of research but I still left the ending not really knowing what she thought had actually happened. I doubt none of us will ever know, now.
a bit of a struggle to get through. The reason was instead of the authors reasoning being put
throughout the story, it was collected together at the end. Or most of it was.
For example Caelainn Hogan, who wrote republic of shame, told of her investigation as it went along.
She took you to convents throughout country . From waiting at bus stops in the rain to writing up her notes,
in s!easy and cold hotel rooms, and the opposition she encountered with obstinate nuns.
I prefered that layout but that's just me, others will find the layout of the author much better.
This book has been meticulously investigated