July 13, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut
Spreckels Mansion On Coronado Sealed Off With Police Tape
Update – September 2, 2011: Her death has been ruled a suicide. See my new blog post with my murder-by-suicide theory.
Across the street from the Hotel Del Coronado at 1043 Ocean Boulevard, is Spreckels Mansion where earlier today I caught an impromptu press conference of San Diego Sheriff Homicide Capt. Tim Curran speaking about a woman that died in the mansion earlier in the day. The woman turned out to be Rebecca Zahau, the girlfriend of the owner, Jonah Shaknai.
He described how paramedics and firefighters responded to a 911 call at Spreckels Mansion to find a woman in distress, attempt life saving measures with the help of firefighters and ultimately pronounce her dead. He went on to say, “The scene indicated a suspicious type of death.” This gave Coronado police cause to contact the San Diego Sheriff to investigate the scene as a homicide, which is normal procedure since Coronado PD has no standing homicide unit. He would not say what “in distress” was but he did say, “Right now I’m not going to go into details but suffice it to say it appears to be some kind of a violent death.” and later on added, “Obviously she had been injured.” He also added that whoever made the 911 call knew the deceased, that no one reported hearing anything such as screaming or gunfire and that police had no subjects of interest or suspects.
When I take all this in and it leads me to believe that Rebecca Zahau, the dead woman inside Spreckels Mansion committed suicide. You heard it here first. The sheriff didn’t say we have to worry about a murderer running around Coronado and they have not arrested anyone, including the reporting party. That means anyone else in the mansion at the time has been cleared. Capt. Curran actually seemed to indicate that the reporting party was the only other person present anyway. I wish I would have had the presence of mind to ask Capt. Curran if there was a weapon found near the deceased.
The Scene In Front Of The Spreckels Mansion
When I arrived, at about 11:30 a.m., there was still a great view of the mansion since the Coronado Police and San Diego Sheriff’s command center RV’s were parked slightly up Ocean Boulevard, as you can see in the first photo for this post. While I was there, the police filled in that space with large Coronado PD SUVs. The photo above shows the police moving their yellow tape to allow for their vehicles to park, as well as beautiful Coronado beach right across the street and Point Loma in the distance.