Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Puzzler on Tue May 29, 2012 6:25 pm

ThirdEye wrote:Having followed this case for a while, I think most people who have looked over the documents supplied by the SDSO realize that Rebecca Zahau did commit suicide - which is why it will not be reopened. So many of what has been posted here and elsewhere is rumor. Even that the case is filled under "Unsolved Homicides" here is a bit "hinky". If you look at the physical evidence that was found...it is clear that no one but Rebecca was involved in her death.

How would you explain a woman committing suicide by hanging and in rigor before being cut down...had NO booting (blood settling) in her feet/legs/hands/arms?
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Freckles on Tue May 29, 2012 6:26 pm

ThirdEye wrote:I think they want to believe anything except that Rebecca killed herself. I really feel for them, but to accuse innocent people of doing horrible things isn't the way to go, IMO.
Well, the family knew her best, I would say. And if they don't believe the "evidence" presented, why should the public?

I would agree it is terribly wrong to accuse innocent people of her murder.
It is just as wrong to accuse the victim, however, if she is innocent of her own death, right?

Let's do a proper investigation by a third party. Don't need any suspicion cast over a possible cover-up, tampering of evidence, etc. Surely, you would agree a new investigation is needed if only to remove the doubt of an improper collection of evidence and investigating? In the long run, it may avoid a most lengthy and costly (cash and reputations) trial.

Why oppose having light shone upon this matter?
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Jessica2 on Tue May 29, 2012 6:31 pm

I misunderstood and answered based on my misunderstanding. I am deleting it because I do not want to put wrong information out there.


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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Freckles on Tue May 29, 2012 6:38 pm

Welcome, Jessica!

She was reported to be in rigor by the EMTS. See their report.
This is the reason they did not do CPR and that time will figure into the time of death being estimated.

I don't save links so you may have to look for it.
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by ThirdEye on Tue May 29, 2012 6:48 pm

I don't oppose a 3rd party looking into it, but I haven't seen any new evidence that warrants that. I think it must be one of the hardest things on earth to accept that someone you loved committed suicide when there was no warning - or a goodbye note. Since the AG has already refused to reopen the case, I just don't see that happening...unless they have some physical evidence. And there was none, other than Rebecca's.

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Lash on Tue May 29, 2012 7:00 pm

Freckles wrote:Welcome, Jessica!

She was reported to be in rigor by the EMTS. See their report.
This is the reason they did not do CPR and that time will figure into the time of death being estimated.

I don't save links so you may have to look for it.

Lash wrote:Here is the link to Rebecca's AR that Puzzler provided. I forgot Puzzler posted most of the links to the warrants and reports starting back on page 2 of this thread. The rigor in her jaw is discussed on page 2 of the AR.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/64114521/Reports
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:)

Post by Jessica2 on Tue May 29, 2012 7:47 pm

Hi Freckles,
Thanks so much:) Actually, it does not matter whether a body is hanging or not for rigor mortis to set in. Rigor Mortis begins soon after death, regardless of the manner of death. Some of the factors that may influence rigor mortis are body temperature and metabolic rate, as well as physical activity before death.
According to the autopsy report, and when her exact time was estimated(which is usually not exact but is an approximate) she would in my opinion have had rigor mortis by the time the EMTs arrived.

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Still figuring out how to post on here:(

Post by Jessica2 on Tue May 29, 2012 7:49 pm

@Lash- Thank You


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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by HinkySD on Tue May 29, 2012 7:51 pm

Willow123 wrote:HinkySD on page 5 says it is the ME that concludes Suicide. I personally don't know that is true. And HinkySD did not give any information for us to check it out so I don't know that it is true.

There is a problem with this case in that people are not backing up their information with sources. There are lots of factoids on here.

Hi Willow - No problem.. (most of it known)

http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/me/legal.html


San Diego Medical Examiner's Office:

Legal Jurisdiction -

Under California law the Medical Examiner is both required and empowered to determine the cause and circumstance of certain deaths. For additional details, see Government Code Section 27491 and the Health and Safety Code 102850. In general, deaths of a sudden and unexpected nature are investigated.

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by HinkySD on Tue May 29, 2012 7:55 pm

Eileen_Dover wrote:Just for the record:

Under California law the Medical Examiner is both required and empowered to determine the cause and circumstance of certain deaths. (clipped)

While we try to accommodate all the wishes of family members and the decedent, occasionally the circumstances of the death necessitate that an autopsy be performed despite the oppositions of the family or the decedent. Common reasons include the involvement of a law enforcement agency, mandates specified in California Law, and our legal obligation to investigate deaths under our jurisdiction.
http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/me/legal.html

Aaahhhh... I see I should catch up before responding. Thanks for the help, Eileen!
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Freckles on Tue May 29, 2012 8:13 pm

Jessica2 wrote:Hi Freckles,
Thanks so much:) Actually, it does not matter whether a body is hanging or not for rigor mortis to set in. Rigor Mortis begins soon after death, regardless of the manner of death. Some of the factors that may influence rigor mortis are body temperature and metabolic rate, as well as physical activity before death.
According to the autopsy report, and when her exact time was estimated(which is usually not exact but is an approximate) she would in my opinion have had rigor mortis by the time the EMTs arrived.
Correct. Rigor WILL set in. Sometimes it can be retarded or sped up.
However, I believe the question pertained to blood pooling and the explanation for blood pooling in the back rather than booting.

This means, at the time rigor was setting in, Rebecca was NOT hanging but was flat on her back.
Rigor was reported by the emts.
The blood pooling had occurred and was NOT in her legs at 6:45 AM; it was in her back.

RZ was NOT hanging at the time of the rigor.
She was NOT hanging at 6:45 AM as reported.
Impossible.
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Jessica2 on Tue May 29, 2012 9:55 pm

@Freckles- Please forgive me, I am not understanding what you wrote. Rigor Mortis, and Livor Mortis are two seperate events after death.(The series of events that occur after death are confusing, I hope I explain this ok, but if not I will try to explain it in a more understandable way.)
Respectfully, Rebecca was not hanging when EMTs arrived. Rigor Mortis(when the muscles become increasingly rigid and the joints freeze) begins to occur within 1- 3 hours of death, and Livor mortis (pooling of the blood) is usually evident in 30 minutes to 2 hours, and becomes "fixed" at approximately 8-12 hours(generally because it can also happen before or after based on other factors). If the body is moved prior to becoming "fixed", livor mortis will shift.(For example, if a person died on their back, livor mortis will be on their back(posterior), but if the body is turned on its face, livor mortis becomes anterior. Livor mortis only becomes fixed when shifting no longer occurs.
Adam attempted CPR and the Police department administered CPR until the Fire department felt rigor mortis in Rebecca's jaw. They can only do CPR if she is lying flat on her back. In my opinion, according to the above information I typed, given the times documented, when EMTs arrived, the livor mortis was not "fixed" and the pooling of the blood shifted to her back when her body was placed on her back.
The autopsy report says that rigor and livor mortis were appropriate for the decendants position.


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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by HinkySD on Tue May 29, 2012 11:26 pm

There's so much to talk about!

The police reports state that Adam called 911 at 6:48am. 'Girl Hung herself!' This is also the time that Adam reportedly sent a text to Jonah. 'Girl hung herself.' It was not reported that Adam asked Jonah for HELP to SAVE Rebecca.

If Adam is in the MOOD to save Rebecca, (he is telling 911 that he wants to cut her down, ungag her, loosen her arm bindings, and give her chest compressions) why isn't he asking Jonah for HELP? Supposedly in his mind Rebecca is saveable, right? Where's the 'GET YOUR ASS HOME AND HELP ME!' text?

Why 'Girl Hung herself' to Jonah? Why did Jonah call Dina to report to her that Rebecca committed suicide? (Adam was going to save her, right?)

DURING Adam's important life saving excursion of moseying to the kitchen for knives, grabbing and dragging a small table for easier cutting? LIFE SAVING MODE??? What a LIE! If you want to save someone's life you do not text and make phone calls! You GET TO IT!

Reminder: 1) Adam never rushes to the body to take the pressure off the noose. 2) Adam never loosens the noose after he cuts Rebecca down.

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Freckles on Tue May 29, 2012 11:29 pm

Actually, Jessica, I must disagree with you.
At another site, we had expert opinions on rigor and livor mortis.
I will have to go with what I have learned from that location.

The blood will flow according to gravity and settle into that location when the body begins it rigor. Because the blood had pooled in her back, she had to have been cut down long before the 6:45 AM time.

The heart is not beating not pump the blood.
It is logical the blood will flow to gravity and remain there during rigor.
So if she was hung and left hanging until 6:45 as AS maintains, the blood would have drained to her feet and then her legs, NOT to her back.

Perhaps, you would care to agree to disagree?
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Freckles on Tue May 29, 2012 11:33 pm

Hinky, Adam had no compassion for his brother which I found rather odd.
He refers to Rebecca as "girl" and can't use her name despite supposedly sharing a meal with her the night before.He also refers to Max but never uses the child's name.

Supposedly, they went out for a meal. Yet, there is no food in her stomach undigested. Wonder if she only ate soup and salad?
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Puzzler on Tue May 29, 2012 11:37 pm

Jessica2 wrote:@Puzzler the first complaint made by those who believe Rebecca was murdered is that investigators took too long to reach the scene. There was no evidence she experienced rigor before being cut down, as she was already cut down by the time the authorities arrived. Respectfully, in which report did you read she was in rigor before being cut down?

There wasn't a delay with CPD responding.

Early on it was denoted that RZ was in rigor.

With her being in rigor right after being cut down, it's obvious that she was in rigor right before she was cut down. Afterall, rigor happens over a period of time and not from one minute to the next.
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Jessica2 on Tue May 29, 2012 11:44 pm

@Freckles- I am not going to disagree with you just yet:) I am not a forensic pathologist, or an expert, but it is area I was extensively exposed to and tested on. All of my forensic medicine and forensic pathology books state the same. Would it be too much to ask to tell me which site you learned the information you stated from? I will read it, and come back:)

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Freckles on Tue May 29, 2012 11:50 pm

ThirdEye wrote:I don't oppose a 3rd party looking into it, but I haven't seen any new evidence that warrants that. I think it must be one of the hardest things on earth to accept that someone you loved committed suicide when there was no warning - or a goodbye note. Since the AG has already refused to reopen the case, I just don't see that happening...unless they have some physical evidence. And there was none, other than Rebecca's.
And if others DO see a need, would you oppose the family requesting for an independent investigation?
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Freckles on Tue May 29, 2012 11:52 pm

Jessica2 wrote:@Freckles- I am not going to disagree with you just yet:) I am not a forensic pathologist, or an expert, but it is area I was extensively exposed to and tested on. All of my forensic medicine and forensic pathology books state the same. Would it be too much to ask to tell me which site you learned the information you stated from? I will read it, and come back:)
Yes, it would. I do not mention other sites here or persons who are not actively blogging.
It is a person well versed and well respected.
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by HinkySD on Tue May 29, 2012 11:52 pm

Puzzler wrote:
Jessica2 wrote:@Puzzler the first complaint made by those who believe Rebecca was murdered is that investigators took too long to reach the scene. There was no evidence she experienced rigor before being cut down, as she was already cut down by the time the authorities arrived. Respectfully, in which report did you read she was in rigor before being cut down?

There wasn't a delay with CPD responding.

Early on it was denoted that RZ was in rigor.

With her being in rigor right after being cut down, it's obvious that she was in rigor right before she was cut down. Afterall, rigor happens over a period of time and not from one minute to the next.

The investigators were there, the delay was waiting for the Medical Examiner who was attending a seminar that day.
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Jessica2 on Tue May 29, 2012 11:56 pm

Puzzler wrote:
Jessica2 wrote:@Puzzler the first complaint made by those who believe Rebecca was murdered is that investigators took too long to reach the scene. There was no evidence she experienced rigor before being cut down, as she was already cut down by the time the authorities arrived. Respectfully, in which report did you read she was in rigor before being cut down?

There wasn't a delay with CPD responding.

Early on it was denoted that RZ was in rigor.

With her being in rigor right after being cut down, it's obvious that she was in rigor right before she was cut down. Afterall, rigor happens over a period of time and not from one minute to the next.

@Puzzler- I completely misunderstood the post, and I answered wrong based on that wrong understanding. My post earlier did not make sense.
What I was trying to convey was that I have never read any reports of what experts may have explained about the signs Rebecca's body may have displayed before being cut down(based on the findings after she was cut down.) But I agree with you, it only makes sense that she was in rigor before she was cut down. I'm sorry about that:(


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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Jessica2 on Tue May 29, 2012 11:59 pm

Freckles wrote:
Jessica2 wrote:@Freckles- I am not going to disagree with you just yet:) I am not a forensic pathologist, or an expert, but it is area I was extensively exposed to and tested on. All of my forensic medicine and forensic pathology books state the same. Would it be too much to ask to tell me which site you learned the information you stated from? I will read it, and come back:)
Yes, it would. I do not mention other sites here or persons who are not actively blogging.
It is a person well versed and well respected.

Got you, and I understand. I thought it would be a medical site, or a site such as this. It's all good, I poured through my forensic pathology books, as well as online trying to find something different than what I wrote, but EVERYTHING states what I wrote. If a body is moved before livor mortis is "fixed" the livor morris will shift. It commonly happens where first responders turn a body to lay on the back to give CPR before livor mortis becomes "fixed", and livor mortis shifts to the back. Kindly Google "body moved before livor mortis is "fixed" " There are tons of articles, medical articles clearly stating the facts. I will put some links tomorrow. I agree to disagree about this point:)


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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Willow123 on Wed May 30, 2012 11:29 am

Is anyone intrested in talking about that mark in the carpet on the second floor hall (balcony)? That is one of those things that has never made sense to me ever.

The best thing I can come up with is someone said (I am sorry I don't remember who) maybe it was Max with his scooter going around in a circle with the back wheel. That would drive a parent crazy.

Sure looked like it had something to do with the chandelier to me.

I know we have talked this stuff to death; but, that was very Hinky to me. The reason I question this so much is because LE took a picture of it. They must have thought it was important also.

I know it is Max; but I feel the deaths are related so I hope I can post it here. If not feel free to remove it.

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by KZ on Wed May 30, 2012 1:05 pm

I haven't been following this thread, but a member contacted me and asked if I still have the RZ autopsy review I wrote for the Hinky Meter. I do have it, but it is quite long for a regular post, and includes several diagrams and pictures.

Based on the questions of the member, I will just repost a few paragraphs here about rigor and livor mortis. If anyone is interested in the whole article I wrote, please PM.

Written 9-9-2011 by me:


Livor mortis
Livor mortis is the dependent settling of blood after the heart stops beating. For a period of time, a few hours, livor mortis is not "fixed". If the position of the decedent is changed, the livor mortis will settle into dependent locations based on the position of the person. Some have said that RZ was killed laying on her back because the autopsy report states livor mortis "posteriorly", and they point out she was hanging from her neck, so the livor should be in her feet. But remember that she was cut down approximately 3 hours after death at about 6:50 a.m. and was laying on her back in the grass undisturbed until the Medical Examiner arrived 12 hours later at 1914. (7:14 p.m.) By then, the livor was "fixed" in her tissues, and further position changes would not cause new livor. Page 4 of the scene note states: "At 2000 (8 pm) hours rigor mortis was marked in the upper and lower extremities, neck, and jaw. Livor mortis was posterior, red, and fixed. Both rigor and livor mortis were appropriate for the decedent's position. There was cutis anserina of the legs."

Cutis anserina is "gooseflesh" caused by the erector pili muscles around each hair follicle being in rigor mortis.

Page 7 under "postmortem changes" of the autopsy report discusses a green discoloration of each lower quadrant of the abdomen. This is normal at 24-36 hours after death. She was autopsied on July 14 at 10:14 a.m., more than 24 hours after death. She was refrigerated once at the morgue. During the 12+ hours she lay on the lawn of the Spreckles Mansion, her intestines were already undergoing normal decompositional changes. There is a picture of this phenomena in the link referenced at the end of this article.

Rigor Mortis
This begins to set in at about 3 hours after death, and affects the jaw first before the arms and legs. Paramedics noted rigor in RZ's jaw upon their arrival at the scene, and so resuscitative efforts were abandoned.

Everything else in the physical finding of the autopsy report is that of a very healthy, muscular, slender young woman in peak physical condition. Her organs were impeccable. I'm not going to comment any further here about the dusty feet, paint on her skin, and sticky residue on her legs-- we can speculate about that, but none of that produced her death. She had no defensive wounds, but did have a few small bruises and scrapes. We can also speculate about those, but they didn't cause her death. The perineal blood is likely from either menstruation, or as a result of her IUD-- there was no evidence of sexual assault on the autopsy. She had a small uterine polyp that was an incidental finding.

There is a very good descriptive article about livor mortis and postmortem changes at the link I will provide below. But PLEASE decide carefully if you want to see the pictures contained in the article. They are clinical postmortem pictures of livor mortis and other PM findings, and they are very graphic. Some individuals may be disturbed by the photos, so consider your own sensibilities.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1680032-overview#aw2aab6b6
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Willow123 on Wed May 30, 2012 1:14 pm

Thanks KZ! You are the best.

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Jessica2 on Wed May 30, 2012 1:46 pm

@KZ- WOW awesome post!!! Thank you so much for posting it:)
Here is another link about Livor and Rigor Mortis

http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/0073401536/592412/Swanson10e_ch09.pdf

@Freckles-Actually when estimating the time of death, the paramedics must be asked if they moved the body for resuscitation efforts. You are correct that in Rebecca's case, when she was hanging, the blood should have pooled to her feet, however, she was cut down and was in the position of laying on her back (for C.P.R. efforts, and for a long time after) before the period of the livor mortis becoming "fixed" (this is when it becomes permanant and does not shift any longer, even if the body is moved. This happens in generally 8-12 hours). Therefore, the "pooling of blood" was appropriate for the position of her body.

"Let's also say that the woman is face up on the floor and that her livor pattern is on the side of her body facing the ceiling. In most cases, the body has simply been rolled over and checked for vitals by paramedics. Questioning the officers present or the paramedics themselves addresses this issue. If first responders deny rolling the body over, then the husband has some explaining to do. Handling the body or denying that he handled the body doesnt necessarily indicate foul play. Further questioning of the husband may reveal that he simply found his wife nude on the floor and wanted to clothe her before the ambulance arrived."-Coroner Stories
http://coroner.serializedkiller.com/2005/06/22/livor-mortis/

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Puzzler on Wed May 30, 2012 10:55 pm

One thing we non-medical posters can deduce by simply using our common sense:

If RZ had been hanging for hours, her blood would have begun settling in her ankles/feet and wrists/hands. Whether or not the blood was "fixed", the settling would be well into the process.

Pictures of RZ clearly show her on the ground (not flat because of her wrists being tied behind her back) and her legs were bent.

It's evident that rigor was also well into the process because pictures clearly show that her knees were separated. If her body had not been in rigor, the upper leg would have automatically fallen down against the other leg. That didn't happen.

We know that when a person is dead, the heart no longer beats and heartbeats are what carry blood throughout the body; therefore, blood settling in ankles/feet would "not" run up her leg to a bended knee and over the knee and back down to the hip area to finally settle in the back. Other blood in the body would settle in the back and slightly to one side (because of her not being able to lie flat on the ground).

The pictures show no indication of blood settling in the ankles/feet.

The Autopsy Report only indicates that the blood was settled in her back.

Common sense deduction clearly indicates that RZ was not hanging for any substantial amount of time, because no blood settling occurred in the ankles/feet.
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Jessica2 on Thu May 31, 2012 12:07 am

Puzzler wrote:One thing we non-medical posters can deduce by simply using our common sense:

If RZ had been hanging for hours, her blood would have begun settling in her ankles/feet and wrists/hands. Whether or not the blood was "fixed", the settling would be well into the process.

Pictures of RZ clearly show her on the ground (not flat because of her wrists being tied behind her back) and her legs were bent.

It's evident that rigor was also well into the process because pictures clearly show that her knees were separated. If her body had not been in rigor, the upper leg would have automatically fallen down against the other leg. That didn't happen.

We know that when a person is dead, the heart no longer beats and heartbeats are what carry blood throughout the body; therefore, blood settling in ankles/feet would "not" run up her leg to a bended knee and over the knee and back down to the hip area to finally settle in the back. Other blood in the body would settle in the back and slightly to one side (because of her not being able to lie flat on the ground).

The pictures show no indication of blood settling in the ankles/feet.

The Autopsy Report only indicates that the blood was settled in her back.

Common sense deduction clearly indicates that RZ was not hanging for any substantial amount of time, because no blood settling occurred in the ankles/feet.

@Puzzler-Good Points thank you, you wrote that so perfectly.
-You are right, RZ was not hanging for a long period of time. Someone please correct me if I am wrong but I read the time was estimated at approximately 3 hours. That is not even enough time for the livor mortis to be partially "fixed". So it would not be seen in the ankles and feet except when she was hanging.
-It would only settle in her ankles and feet and stay there even when the body was taken down if RZ was hanging 8-12 hours.
-It only becomes "fixed" in 8-12 hours, so even if it was present while she was hanging, it would shift once she was brought down. It would have only been "fixed" in the hours she was laying on the lawn. I have seen many many cases of hanging death.(All suicide, and all of them except for the ones that were only found days after death were the same. Blood pooled on the back when the body was placed on the back.)
-I agree with you that rigor had begun. Rigor occurs in 1-3 hours(in general), the eyelids and jaw are usually the first place to develop Rigor mortis, and if you look at the autopsy report, the jaw was the only area initially checked by fire personnel.
"Lividity is caused by stagnation of blood in the vessels. It lends a purplish color to the tissues. The blood, following the dictates of gravity, seeps into the dependent parts of the body--along the back and buttocks of a victim who is supine after death. Initially, this discoloration can be “shifted” by rolling the body to a different position, but by 8 to 12 hours, it becomes “fixed.” If a body is found face down, but with fixed lividity along the back, then the body was moved at least 8 hours after death, but not earlier or the lividity would have “shifted” to the newly dependent area."---Rebecca was moved to her back before the blood was fixed.
-"Blood pools in a corpse under the influence of gravity. After 8-12 hours it becomes "fixed", and does not shift if the body is moved."-> She was laying for many hours, and in this period of time, it became "fixed" and permanent in the back.

-I agree with you that RZ was not hanging for a substantial amount of time
(more than approximately 6-8 hours) because of the reasons you stated above.


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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Puzzler on Thu May 31, 2012 12:25 am

Then, there's the question of what the "true" time of death was.

I mean, only RZ's jaw was tested for rigor by EMTs...that is the "first" place rigor occurs.

The pictures indicate that rigor was more prominent than in just the jaw and that could very well mean that RZ had been dead up to several hours before 3:00 a.m., which as I understand it was an estimated time of death based on the time officials were on the scene and the number of hours for rigor to set in the jaw.

So, it's very likely RZ died up to several hours before 3:00 a.m.
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Freckles on Thu May 31, 2012 12:32 am

Puzzler wrote:Then, there's the question of what the "true" time of death was.

I mean, only RZ's jaw was tested for rigor by EMTs...that is the "first" place rigor occurs.

The pictures indicate that rigor was more prominent than in just the jaw and that could very well mean that RZ had been dead up to several hours before 3:00 a.m., which as I understand it was an estimated time of death based on the time officials were on the scene and the number of hours for rigor to set in the jaw.

So, it's very likely RZ died up to several hours before 3:00 a.m.
Do you recall what time the pictures were taken? When the helicopter was still overhead?
I was following that live on the news. At that time, her legs were in rigor and it wasn't late at night, either.
Bright daylight for the pictures.
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by KZ on Thu May 31, 2012 1:01 am

Determination of time of death is multifactorial—taking a number of physical factors into consideration. This is precisely an area where the PRESENCE of someone from the ME’s office SOONER, rather than LATER, would have gathered information that would have much more precisely identified TOD.

Algor mortis is the process of “cooling” of the body to ambient temperatures. The ME can obtain several measurements, such as core temperature, liver temperature, brain, etc. These numbers are used, along with information from the scene (ambient temp, humidity, wind, convection/ conduction/ evaporation, etc) to make a determination about TOD in a more accurate way than simply feeling the joints for the presence of rigor (which is highly subjective).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algor_mortis

http://forensics4fiction.com/2011/11/25/estimating-the-time-of-death-algor-mortis/

http://www.enotes.com/time-death-reference/time-death

This is the part where not having an ME at the scene sooner than 12 hours should be questioned at a very high level. That was simply inexcusable, imo. If the “on call” ME couldn’t come sooner than 12 hours from the discovery of the body in such a highly suspicious death, then he/ she had a responsibility and obligation (imo) to contact a neighboring county ME to come to the scene.

Yet another example of the shoddy (imo) police and investigative response to this death.
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Jessica2 on Thu May 31, 2012 2:09 am

Puzzler wrote:Then, there's the question of what the "true" time of death was.

I mean, only RZ's jaw was tested for rigor by EMTs...that is the "first" place rigor occurs.

The pictures indicate that rigor was more prominent than in just the jaw and that could very well mean that RZ had been dead up to several hours before 3:00 a.m., which as I understand it was an estimated time of death based on the time officials were on the scene and the number of hours for rigor to set in the jaw.

So, it's very likely RZ died up to several hours before 3:00 a.m.

@Puzzler- Your reasoning is good. So I am writing this respectfully:)
-Rigor Mortis(when the muscles become increasingly rigid and the joints freeze) begins to occur within 1- 3 hours of death-> In my opinion, the Rigor Mortis in Rebecca's jaw is appropriate for the time of death stated by autopsy report based on the time in which she was found.
-and Livor mortis (pooling of the blood) is usually evident in 30 minutes to 2 hours, and becomes completely "fixed" at approximately 8-12 hours(generally because it can also happen before or after based on other factors)
-> If Rebecca was hanging for several hours before 3 a.m. it is my opinion there would have been at least partial fixation of livor mortis in her ankles/feet, which there was not.
-In my opinion, based on the information of the autopsy report, Livor Mortis and Rigor mortis are appropriate for the position of Rebecca's body and the time in which she was found and the estimated time of death.

I do agree with KZ that the determination of the time of death is multifactorial, and even in cases where all the factors are known, it can never be an absolute. It will always be an estimate. The major factors are Rigor and Livor Mortis...but without the other factors, in my opinion it becomes even more difficult to make that estimate. At the very least, it would have been even more of a confirmation to the findings that were present to have occurred as stated. But in my opinion, I can say definitely that even without the other factors KZ posted, if the time of death was not approximately when stated, then the livor mortis(pooling of the blood) would have had a different pattern and would become "fixed" at a different time. Again, the rigor mortis present on her jaw was appropriate(but becomes more subjective without the other factors as KZ posted.)


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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by ThirdEye on Thu May 31, 2012 2:37 am

Ok, just have to stick my nose in...Puzzler, with all due respect, how can you tell anything from those pictures? None of the photos that have been released of Rebecca in the courtyard are sufficient for telling anything about rigor mortis. The shots taken from the helicopter are from such a height and angle, that you really can't tell how her legs were bent. They may appear a certain way to you in the blurry photo, but that may not be accurate and just an optical illusion. The reports from the first medics on the scene recorded the condition of her body from the perspective of those with experience in these types of suicides.

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Jessica2 on Thu May 31, 2012 2:47 am

ThirdEye wrote:Ok, just have to stick my nose in...Puzzler, with all due respect, how can you tell anything from those pictures? None of the photos that have been released of Rebecca in the courtyard are sufficient for telling anything about rigor mortis. The shots taken from the helicopter are from such a height and angle, that you really can't tell how her legs were bent. They may appear a certain way to you in the blurry photo, but that may not be accurate and just an optical illusion. The reports from the first medics on the scene recorded the condition of her body from the perspective of those with experience in these types of suicides.

@Third Eye- I did not even think of that. You are right, it is taken from a helicopter and from a hieght. I did not take that into account in my post. Even if we knew when the pictures were taken, it is still unreliable.
Excellent Point. The first reponders on the scene are the expert and reliable sources to follow regarding this.

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Eileen_Dover on Thu May 31, 2012 10:37 am

Sorry to burst your bubbles. Photos don't lie.



In top photo, note Rebecca's right and left heels are aligned yet right knee is NOT aligned with left knee, thus indicating the right knee is raised, not relaxed.

Middle photo shows dark space between thighs, increasing in a reclining "V" pattern to knee area, then decreasing as extends to ankles. Another indication her legs were not together, no matter what angle viewed from.

Bottom photo is reversed and can clearly see knees not together, thus physically impossible for right knee to be resting on the grass or resting on left knee or leg.

Unless Rebecca's right leg retracted in rigor between 6:45AM when Adam allegedly cut her down and a few hours later when these photos were taken, rigor had already set in prior to being cut down.

Photos taken July 13, 2011 early morning for KGTV (Channel 10 - ABC) San Diego by Phil Konstantin. He was up in helicopter from 6am to 7am. When breaking news of violent, suspicious death at 1043 Ocean Blvd, he immediately went back up and photographed.
http://americanindian.net/OverSanDiego/index.html

By sequence of Coronado photos at link below taken on July 13, 2011, the first was taken BEFORE police trucks arrived at scene (note tree shadows). Next photos, trucks already out front of Spreckels but onlookers had yet to arrive. Therefore early morning. Interesting that Mr Konstantin photographed the area extensively that morning, including beach, Hotel Del and yacht club, and chose to upload these specific images to his website. Hmmm...

http://americanindian.net/OverSanDiego/coronado/coronadonews.html
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Willow123 on Thu May 31, 2012 10:49 am

Too bad the so called experts didn't show up for eight to twelve or so hours.

Those pictures seem very clear to me that her legs are somewhat apart. You all do know you can enlarge the pictures and see that very clearly.

In my opinion just leaving Rebecca out there as she was is a sin that someone should pay for. I don't care the reason why LE said they did so. How would you like someone you love to be treated like that?

Just total incompetence and lack of respect. MOO

I see Eileen had posted while I was writing. See how very clear that is??????? Thank you Eileen.


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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Willow123 on Thu May 31, 2012 10:54 am

The trouble with this case is enough got out that we know something Hinky went on. There is no doubt about that.

Then trying to cover it up is an insult to our intelligence.

Sometimes double teaming works, sometimes it doesn't.

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Freckles on Thu May 31, 2012 12:00 pm

Eileen and Willow-
We have been over and over this case since it first broke.
Perhaps, "ThirdEye" and "Jessica" would like to do independent research to bring themselves up to speed? For us to go back and retrace all the facts and evidence would take another 6 months! lol

ThirdEye- I noticed, a page or so back, you responded to my questions.
I chose NOT to respond to your postings as I do not wish to argue with you. While you appear to ask "innocent" questions, you have already formed your own answers. So be it. I don't have a need to waste my time trying to persuade you to believe differently. We came to this board to find answers, share our thoughts, explore the facts and not to shove our personal opinions down another's throat. I won't engage with you in dialogue because of that.

HAGD.
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Freckles on Thu May 31, 2012 12:02 pm

Willow123 wrote:The trouble with this case is enough got out that we know something Hinky went on. There is no doubt about that.

Then trying to cover it up is an insult to our intelligence.

Sometimes double teaming works, sometimes it doesn't.
In the beginning, it WAS called a murder! Then someone softened that to a "possible" murder.
The best? When it was called a suicide "meant to look like a murder".
Ca-ching! Pay off time IMO.
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by ThirdEye on Thu May 31, 2012 1:31 pm

True, they did say it was suspicious in the beginning, but all the evidence told them otherwise - that it was a suicide. I have followed this case from the beginning, and I still believe the investigators got it right.

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Jessica2 on Thu May 31, 2012 1:47 pm

@ Eileen- Thank you for the pictures. Rigor Mortis is not reliable. If you are correct in that the pictures were taken approximately around 6:45 or 7a.m., and if the time of death was 3 a.m., in my opinion the rigor would not be pronounced in the knees(they should have still had some degree of flexibility). This is if those times are exact. I could definitely be wrong, so I will ask a forensic pathologist.
Rigor was not checked for anywhere other than the jaw when she was found. I read that the pictures began at 11:30, but I can no longer find that information.
KZ any thoughts?
I wonder why this was not brought up at the second autopsy.
Eileen, let us hypothetically say that rigor was present before she was cut down.(It is possible in my opinion because rigor mortis of the jaw was documented by first responders). What does that prove? Are you thinking she died earlier than what is the estimated time? And if so, how much earlier?


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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by HinkySD on Thu May 31, 2012 2:10 pm

BBM

Jessica2 wrote:
ThirdEye wrote:Ok, just have to stick my nose in...Puzzler, with all due respect, how can you tell anything from those pictures? None of the photos that have been released of Rebecca in the courtyard are sufficient for telling anything about rigor mortis. The shots taken from the helicopter are from such a height and angle, that you really can't tell how her legs were bent. They may appear a certain way to you in the blurry photo, but that may not be accurate and just an optical illusion. The reports from the first medics on the scene recorded the condition of her body from the perspective of those with experience in these types of suicides.

@Third Eye- I did not even think of that. You are right, it is taken from a helicopter and from a hieght. I did not take that into account in my post. Even if we knew when the pictures were taken, it is still unreliable.
Excellent Point. The first reponders on the scene are the expert and reliable sources to follow regarding this.


Lame! '..with experience in these types of suicides..'

EMTs need to have a high-school diploma, a valid driver's license and EMT training/cert.

Experts? No, the first responders are not the experts. They can check for a pulse though. Some can even recognize when a person is dead as a doornail! (Unlike trained and licensed career tugboat personnel.)

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Jessica2 on Thu May 31, 2012 2:13 pm

HinkySD wrote:BBM

Jessica2 wrote:
ThirdEye wrote:Ok, just have to stick my nose in...Puzzler, with all due respect, how can you tell anything from those pictures? None of the photos that have been released of Rebecca in the courtyard are sufficient for telling anything about rigor mortis. The shots taken from the helicopter are from such a height and angle, that you really can't tell how her legs were bent. They may appear a certain way to you in the blurry photo, but that may not be accurate and just an optical illusion. The reports from the first medics on the scene recorded the condition of her body from the perspective of those with experience in these types of suicides.

@Third Eye- I did not even think of that. You are right, it is taken from a helicopter and from a hieght. I did not take that into account in my post. Even if we knew when the pictures were taken, it is still unreliable.
Excellent Point. The first reponders on the scene are the expert and reliable sources to follow regarding this.


Lame! '..with experience in these types of suicides..'

EMTs need to have a high-school diploma, a valid driver's license and EMT training/cert.

Experts? No, the first responders are not the experts. They can check for a pulse though. Some can even recognize when a person is dead as a doornail! (Unlike trained and licensed career tugboat personnel.)


@HinkySD, leave cute Adam alone. Poor guy.
You are right, every point cannot be explained with the information available from when Rebecca was found.

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by ThirdEye on Thu May 31, 2012 2:53 pm

HinkySD, I don't think its lame to think that the people that were on the scene first who saw the body and made notes about the condition knew what they were doing. EMT's are trained to record what they find, and are professionals.

As far as Adam goes, I don't know how you think someone would know if she was dead or just unconscious when you see them hanging limp from a rope. How could you tell that? Please explain. And you also stated earlier that Adam should have called Jonah BEFORE calling 911? Why do you think that?

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by HinkySD on Thu May 31, 2012 3:06 pm

ThirdEye wrote:HinkySD, I don't think its lame to think that the people that were on the scene first who saw the body and made notes about the condition knew what they were doing. EMT's are trained to record what they find, and are professionals.

As far as Adam goes, I don't know how you think someone would know if she was dead or just unconscious when you see them hanging limp from a rope. How could you tell that? Please explain. And you also stated earlier that Adam should have called Jonah BEFORE calling 911? Why do you think that?

Wierd!?!

I SAID ... the worthless POS should have released the pressure from the noose!


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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by HinkySD on Thu May 31, 2012 3:10 pm

San Diego's Mayor race update:

31% Carl DeMaio
28% Bob Filner
23% Nathan Fletcher
11% Bonnie Dumanis (The current mute San Diego District Attorney)
3% Other
4% Undecided

Careful, careful, now.... Dumanis has billionaire Irwin Jacobs in her pocket. Anything could change, but let's hope not!

newspaper

Read for yourself at:
http://www.10news.com/news/31135747/detail.html?treets=sand&tml=sand_break&ts=T&tmi=sand_break_1_01570105312012
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Puzzler on Thu May 31, 2012 4:02 pm

It does appear that RZ died "before" 3:00 a.m.
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by Puzzler on Thu May 31, 2012 4:03 pm

Eileen_Dover wrote:Sorry to burst your bubbles. Photos don't lie.



In top photo, note Rebecca's right and left heels are aligned yet right knee is NOT aligned with left knee, thus indicating the right knee is raised, not relaxed.

Middle photo shows dark space between thighs, increasing in a reclining "V" pattern to knee area, then decreasing as extends to ankles. Another indication her legs were not together, no matter what angle viewed from.

Bottom photo is reversed and can clearly see knees not together, thus physically impossible for right knee to be resting on the grass or resting on left knee or leg.

Unless Rebecca's right leg retracted in rigor between 6:45AM when Adam allegedly cut her down and a few hours later when these photos were taken, rigor had already set in prior to being cut down.

Photos taken July 13, 2011 early morning for KGTV (Channel 10 - ABC) San Diego by Phil Konstantin. He was up in helicopter from 6am to 7am. When breaking news of violent, suspicious death at 1043 Ocean Blvd, he immediately went back up and photographed.
http://americanindian.net/OverSanDiego/index.html

By sequence of Coronado photos at link below taken on July 13, 2011, the first was taken BEFORE police trucks arrived at scene (note tree shadows). Next photos, trucks already out front of Spreckels but onlookers had yet to arrive. Therefore early morning. Interesting that Mr Konstantin photographed the area extensively that morning, including beach, Hotel Del and yacht club, and chose to upload these specific images to his website. Hmmm...

http://americanindian.net/OverSanDiego/coronado/coronadonews.html

Eileen - TY
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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by ThirdEye on Thu May 31, 2012 5:04 pm

HinkySD, funny how you see Adam as a "POS" and I see him as someone who valiantly tried to save Rebecca...all before he'd even had a cup o' joe. That's a hero to me.

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

Post by ThirdEye on Thu May 31, 2012 5:06 pm

HinkySD, you didn't say WHY you thought Adam should have called Jonah for help BEFORE he called 911...wouldn't that have been hinky?

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Re: Rebecca Zahau Found Dead at Historic Mansion 7/13/11

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