Coronado Mansion Owner Hires PR Firm

Jonah Shacknai Hires Sitrick And Company After Son Max Dies

While the two deaths at a Coronado mansion are still under investigation, the mansion's homeowner, Jonah Shacknai, has hired a high-profile public relations agency.

10News learned Shacknai hired Sitrick and Company – a powerful public relations firm out of Los Angeles – the day after his son died.

Shacknai's son, 6-year-old Max, suffered a now fatal fall down the grand staircase of his father's mansion more than a week ago. Coronado police have ruled the boy's death a tragic accident.

Last Wednesday, Shacknai's girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau, was found hanging naked from a courtyard balcony of the same home. Investigators still cannot say if her death was a homicide or suicide.

The firm hired by Shacknai is the best PR firm money can buy, with a client list 13 pages long and the founder considered the king of spin.

The firms' clients included Michael Jackson, Paris Hilton and Major League Baseball.

10News wanted to know why Shacknai hired the agency. A Sitrick executive told 10News Shacknai is getting hundreds of calls and wanted to be able to grieve and take care of two funeral services. All other questions were rebuffed.

"I think they have major feelings about protecting their own interests," said retired San Diego police detective Rick Carlson.

Carlson spent 35 years with the San Diego Police Department and saw his share of suicides. Carlson even wrote a book about them.

10News asked Carlson asked him about Zahau's bizarre death.

"It certainly appears that somebody wanted to send a message," he said.

"Whether it was the victim's anger or if it was a homicide… there appears to be a lot of anger there," he said.

Carlson believes suicide is possible but not probable.

"The average person would not want them to find them like that," he said. "They tend to, in my experience, look for a place to hide."

The Medical Examiner will not release Zahau's cause of death until further tests are back.

As for suicide, Zahau's family is not buying it.

Her sister told RadarOnline, "There is no way my sister committed suicide. I spoke to her just before the incident and she was fine. She was the type of person who was full of life."

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