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In Bizarre Legal Reversal, Vista Man Who Doused Ex-Wife with Gasoline and Attempted to Set Her on Fire Is Released

"Actually, it was an attempted suicide."

BY THE PUMPS AT A VISTA CHEVRON - Locals are still reeling over the stunning acquittal and release of Danny Vinci, convicted in July of assault with a caustic chemical, making a criminal threat and corporal injury to a spouse or roommate. The conviction, which earned Vinci a 17-year prison sentence, stemmed from a March 2010 incident in which Vinci approached ex-wife Cheryl Kopp and poured gasoline on her while threatening her and attempting to ignite a lighter.

Amazingly, the acquittal is not the result of any new evidence regarding the events themselves, but on the motivations behind them. "Based on our best examination of the case in light of our new findings," said Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe, "it seems that Vinci was really just a hapless pawn in Kopp's strange and Byzantine plot to commit suicide. It was only after he failed to successfully carry out Kopp's plan that she turned on him and accused him of assault."

Authorities refused to divulge the exact nature of the evidence that led them to their startling conclusion, except to say that it involved a collection of heavily annotated magazine articles clipped from old copies of Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and the German newsweekly Der Spiegel found in Ms. Kopp's self-storage unit. (SD on the QT has learned that friends of Kopp dispute whether the handwriting on the articles belongs to her, and further allege that she is unable to read German. More on this story as it develops.)

When pressed as to how the District Attorney's office managed to construe a man pouring gasoline on a woman and threatening to set her on fire as a suicide attempt, Watanable replied simply, "Why don't you ask the San Diego Sheriff's Department how they managed to conclude that Rebecca Zahau took her clothes off, bound her own hands and feet, then tied a rope to a bed, put a noose around her neck, stuffed a t-shirt in her mouth, left the bedroom, knocked herself in the head a couple of times, and then hurled herself over a balcony to her death? I think you'll find that the answers are remarkably similar."


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ateles2000 Sept. 6, 2011 @ 8:33 p.m.

My theory: This is a clear case of murder and cover up. The day after his son's fatal fall Jonah called his loser brother to convince him to come to california to exact his revenge. The night of the murder Rebecca had already fallen asleep when Adam who had access to the home bound Rebecca first with duct tape then rope and pulled her shirt she had worn to bed over her neck and wrapped around her neck three times but did not remove it because the noose had already been tied, he removed her underwear she was wearing because she was menstruating (thus no other menstrual blood throughout the house or room) he then carried her over his shoulder and took her to the window. He set her down on her feet and then with a shove pushed her over. He then turned up the music and went to work attempting to create a crime scene that in some way could be construde as a suicide. Including the strange writing on the wall... The knots are the tell tell sign, he used complex boatsmen knots Rebecca would not have known but he as a crewman on a tug boat in memphis would know well.

Adam the brother was never seriously questioned and his DNA was dismissed because he admitted to touching her supposedly to perform CPR. Though the entire suicide theory is based on a voice mail message that supposedly made her so distraught no voice mail was ever recovered and the only information we have on the voice mail is what was provided by Jonha. Johna himself stated the message just stated that his son had taken a turn for the worse and probably would die, not that he was dead. Strangely though Jonha and rebecca dated for two years none of his comments since her death have ever showed any real signs of remorse or loss for Rebecca. There also is no mention of Adam's saliva or DNA on Rebecca's lips or in her mouth which would have been present if he truly did attempt CPR. Adam either coerced her to touch the rope and other items or it was done forcibly or after she expired. I expect in the excitement of the moment he messed up the suicide scroll he was told to leave by Johna. A more likely message would have read "I killed him can you save me".. For the SD Sheriff to not consider these facts along with the fact they never interviewed her immediate family or performed any polygraph on Jonha, Dina, or Adam while the case was still considered suspect leads me to believe foul play.


hmezei Nov. 4, 2011 @ 5:25 a.m.

Excelent article -----This was Foul Play for sure Yes suri".....ADAM ---the Person seeing Her Last @ Founf Her ---where did He disappear ?? Never to be taken as a Person of Interest ????? Who are they Kidding ?????? [email protected] with out Jonah covering for Him ---He would Be ( Person of Highly suspicsious....)


nan shartel Sept. 6, 2011 @ 9:08 p.m.

ditto ateles2000

no one will ever convince me it was suicide


Visduh Sept. 11, 2011 @ 10:21 a.m.

This is either incompetence or a coverup. The sheriff's dept once was very weak on homicide investigations, although now it is supposedly doing good work. If it is a coverup, why is it being done, and who paid whom to hide it?


hmezei Nov. 4, 2011 @ 5:41 a.m.

Hi ---I totally agree with Watanable".....the Person in the above article ----How come ----the DA has rulled it suicide...when the Man Has Obviously tried Killling this woman ---so as a eply..He reminded about the case of Rebeccca Zahau ---Yes ---very similar ! Does Not makes sense at all...Goes againt all common sense...So It's wrong. The People in a posision of Power..If they Missuse It --will have to answare to It One day. In the Rebecca Z case ---It's clearly Homicide"...If someone wants to Paint it in the Untrue colour of suicide"..they atwould have to go to Length...find things" to make it look like that. Why "Sell Joseff for a Piece of cloth" ?? does that bring Honor to anyone ?? ADAM shacknaii who was there In a quiet way --came @ disappeared"...Saw Her Last +++"Found Her..+++Tampered with DNA...+++Is Tugboat worker (the fancy knotts...) ++Other who are closest to Her --SHOULD have had Polygraph at least. This was a Man's "Job"...It appears..Investigations Should have been to the Householder,His Brother..++ anyone else suspiscious There......


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