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The Coronado police?

They shouldn’t be involved. They don’t have the intel to do that. And they don’t have the intellect. No, these are traffic cops. They shouldn’t be investigating a missing dog. They should turn it over to the sheriff. Seriously. This police department can’t even find a missing bicycle in town.

So, not the greatest admirer?

Oh, I think it’s the greatest police force in the world. They know the traffic code.

If it’s so clear to you, why are the cops still talking “accident/suicide”?

They know a lot. But to us, they say, “We’re looking at a suicide and an accident. We don’t think they’re connected.” They don’t want the tourists to think that Coronado’s tarnished. The Golden City. Playing it down, just like the mayor of Amity Island in Jaws.

If I was in charge, I would probably put out some leads to the underground world. They would find out for me.

I think he’s a person who has pissed off somebody. And that’s what they did. They took the dearest thing to him. The dearest thing is the little boy. Now he’s going to suffer because of it. A cute little guy, too.

* * *

KELLEN, works at Bay Books.

I’ve lived in Coronado for about seven years now. I never heard of anything like this. This is serious. I think there’s been one other murder since I’ve been here. Not much crime. But I don’t think that we should be worried or threatened by it. Because it seemed to be a personal thing. I don’t think it was a murderer on the rampage. I think someone knew her. I guess he has a history of domestic violence. I don’t know how they’re going to be able to live here anymore. If they’re innocent.

Who did it? The only person you can think of is the guy. But why would he do that? Because he’s so successful and why would he want to threaten his success? Because he’s obviously going to be pointed at.

* * *

BOB, landscape architect/gardener, ex-military.

I only get the news from the stock market. The story there is that he made a lot of money transfers a week before the [deaths].... Stocks went down as soon as it happened. Now the stocks are going back up again. He’s moved a lot of money out and sold a lot of shares.

But it could be a suicide. People can tie their hands in front and then step over it, if you have enough agility. Tie your feet first, then put a long rope and tie it around your neck, and tie it to the railing, and then the last straw is to tie your hands, and then put your feet over, one at a time. Not everybody has that dexterity. But she certainly looked like she could. That’s a possibility. But the reason I find that doubtful is that most women are vain enough that they would not commit suicide in the nude. They’d be wearing good makeup, good jewelry.

* * *

Desi Ochoa, trainer at Hollywood Fitness, points out equipment used by Zahau.

DESI OCHOA, a trainer at Hollywood Fitness, a gym near the Hotel Del, where they say Coronado’s smart set goes to muscle up. Jonah and Rebecca were regulars.

Rebecca came here and would do the step mill, the elliptical, and she probably did some of the weights. Yes, she was actually in the gym with her boyfriend on that last Friday, the 8th. He seemed a little standoffish. I got a weird vibe from him.

She seemed like she was very nice. Laid back, down to earth. And she worked out a lot, so she was in pretty good shape. I kind of got a vibe from him that he’s rich, don’t try to be too friendly. So, I never really got to talk with them. She’s only been with the gym for a year. He was in good shape; not ripped, but not bad, either.

Who did it? I think, with the brother living in the house, maybe she was messing around with his brother, and that set things going. The kid falling down the stairs? Don’t know. But here’s the thing: one of our trainers saw Jonah here two days after it happened, after Rebecca died. He was here at the gym by himself.

* * *

CAROL LEBEAU, Channel Ten’s retired anchor, is standing in line at Rite Aid.

I know a little about suicide. My mother killed herself when I was 26 and she was 54. She had untreated, end-stage depression when it wasn’t talked about. We have depression that runs in our family. But, let me tell you, nobody — nobody, especially a woman — is going to commit suicide by stripping naked and binding hands and feet and hanging themselves.

* * *

Brant Sarber outside his Costa Azul restaurant, probable watering hole for Rebecca Zahau and Jonah Shacknai

BRANT SARBER, owner, Costa Azul restaurant. I meet him on Orange Avenue. We sit down at the 901 bus stop bench.

The two of them looked so familiar in photographs that I think they’ve been in to Costa Azul, as a couple.

In all the scandal-mongering, people forget how tragic it is to lose a son. That’s just a tragedy, and the boy sounded like a great little kid, from what I’ve read. I mean, that’s two terrible things, and...wait a bit, this is happening here in Coronado?

And reaction? Oh, my goodness! Customers are coming in here from everywhere. Like from Boston. They’re going, “Oh, my God! How about the murder! What do you know about the murder?” Nobody’s ever asked me that question before.

What an interesting event for our sleepy little town.

* * *

ALEX is sitting with his wife Lydia at the Café Madrid on Orange Avenue. He has been in Special Forces and is now in business.

Who did it? It must have been the butler [kidding]. Or someone who has a vendetta against the owner. Because the girl couldn’t have tied herself up to commit suicide. I think somebody else perpetrated the deed. A professional.

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x76 July 27, 2011 @ 3:55 p.m.

Does anyone not think that the Coronado PD are handling this is a kind of... JonBenet Ramsey type of way?


Visduh July 27, 2011 @ 8:51 p.m.

The Coronado PD immediately called in the SD County Sheriff to handle this. CPD has no homicide investigators. So, the question is whether the Sheriff can botch this case, ala JonBenet Ramsey. The answer is yes they can. Thirty years ago or so, the SD Sheriff's Dept was woefully weak on basic police tactics and they made a total mess of a number of murder investigations. More recently they have done better. But when the cop in charge of the investigation says he's treating the kid's injury (at the time) and the hanging as unconnected issues, it worries me greatly. Of course they are connected! The hanging followed directly from the kid's injury! So, coppers, figure out the connection and you will have solved the case. This woman did not lynch herself from that balcony. No way! She was murdered. Where is Columbo when you need him?


Javajoe25 July 28, 2011 @ 11:02 a.m.

It's not a fable. There are two dead bodies to prove it.

I will not be surprised if little is said or done with this. This is a crime that occurred in "rich people's land," and things operate differently there: time moves slower for the rich; police are less inquisitive with the rich; and in rich people's land, evidence disappears like magic, and bodies dissolve into the ether. Pretty soon, you ask "What ever happened with those people that died in Coronado?" and the answer you get is "What people? What death?"


Visduh July 28, 2011 @ 3:46 p.m.

It is an observable fact that crimes affecting the very poor and dispossessed get little attention and end up "unsolved." Seems you are saying that way up at the other end of the income/net worth spectrum much the same things happen. If you could produce a few examples of that from recent years it would go far to convince me. I do remember that a member of the local Fletcher clan (of Home Federal Savings fame), an almost lifelong alcoholic, shotgunned a couple of his friends to death in his home in Borrego Springs and was convicted of murder and sent up for life. So, his wealth and connections didn't get him off or declared insane or incompetent.


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