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Shacknai Mansion Death: Suicide Finding Won't End the Drama

Even though police have ruled the naked hanging death of Medicis (MRX) CEO Jonah Shacknai's girlfriend a suicide, the family of Rebecca Zahau Nalepa insists she was murdered and that the police are lying about her death. A suicide verdict should have allowed Shacknai to put the deaths behind him and move on with his business, as he said he was doing on his Q2 earnings call. But the accusations of the Zahau family will continue to keep the issue alive, providing an ongoing distraction to Medicis management.

Zahau Nalepa's sister has been emphatic about the death of Rebecca, whose nude body was found hanging at Shacknai's Coronado, Calif., mansion, with her hands and feet tied. The Zahau family said the suicide theory is "ridiculous," "doesn't pass the smell test," and "a big lie." Rebecca's sister, Mary Zahau-Loehner, told NBC, "My sister did not commit suicide ... She was murdered."

The San Diego Sheriff's Department said today there was a ambiguous note message found painted on a door at the scene that might be a suicide letter, that Zahau routinely slept in the nude and had been distraught because she was in the bathroom when Shacknai's 6-year-old son Max died after a "planking" stunt went wrong (according to the Zahau family lawyer), and that there were no signs of a struggle.

The family disputes that the message was in Rebecca's handwriting and says Rebecca was upbeat and planning things for the next day.

The PR problem for Shacknai and Medicis is that the Zahau family isn't alone in believing Rebecca's death was not a suicide. Under every story published on the deaths, comments boards fill up with notes from readers expressing disbelief that Zahau killed herself in such a bizarre manner.

Updated Timeline of Deaths at Jonah Shacknai's Coronado Mansion:

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