SHE SAVED HIM CAN YOU SAVE HER – what does it mean?

If Rebecca Zahau’s murderer wanted to the coarse, hastily painted message on her bedroom door to mislead and distract, like the Ramsey note, it did just that. The misdirection begins when we try to fathom the message itself.

The folks on Websleuths have tried to figure this out:

The whole tone of message is taunting and sarcastic and is directed at Jonah. He was the mansion owner and was the most likely person to discover it and the gruesome scene behind the door. 

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Is the message directed at Jonah, or is it meant to appear that way [as the Ramsey Ransom Note was meant to appear to be a note to the Ramseys, when it was simply a staged note]? The him could refer to Max, but it could also refer to Jonah. Rebecca saved Jonah from someone else, now, can you save her?

Who is you? It’s unlikely the writer would change Jonah from him in the first line to you in the second, whether or not it’s directed at Jonah.  It does make sense then that:

SHE SAVED HIM refers to Rebecca saving Max [but not actually saving him]

CAN YOU SAVE HER refers to whether Jonah can save Rebecca [no one can].

If we take the taunt on face value, and answer it in its own terms:

SHE COULDN’T SAVE HIM.

YOU CAN’T SAVE HER.

Could it be that the message is trying to implicate someone else as the writer, besides whoever wrote it? The “she saved him” does sound like sarcasm and anger, because we know when the message was painted Max hadn’t been saved. He wasn’t dead, but he wasn’t in the clear either. But who else, besides Rebecca and Jonah, would care about Max’s fate, and be scornful of the notion that Rebecca had saved anyone? In fact just opposite, wasn’t Rebecca to blame?

Well, how about Dina, Jonah’s ex-wife?

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Fullscreen capture 20190617 052456

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The mysterious death of Rebecca Zahau: Where this bizarre case stands today as the civil suit goes before a jury – ABC

Vindicated’: Dina Shacknai Reacts to Removal from Rebecca Zahau Wrongful Death Lawsuit – NBC San Diego

And we know that in the aftermath, Dina hired a team of expert lawyers to make the case that her son Max was murdered. So we have incontrovertible fact proving Dina had an ax to grind with someone following Max’s death. Who would that be except Rebecca?

Rebecca herself told her sister Mary “Dina’s going to kill me” several times shortly before her murder.

Fullscreen capture 20190612 022912

This directly implicates Dina Shacknai in the murder of Rebecca Zahau, and at one point Dina and her sister were named in a lawsuit implicating them and Adam Shacknai. Dina and her sister were dropped from the lawsuit when hospital CCTV footage appeared to provide an alibi.

But let’s get back to the message on the door. There’s something else about that message that’s weird. It’s in the first letter of the message – the S – which almost looks like it was painted after the fact, or by someone else. The S is oversized and it’s the only letter tilted backwards. It’s also thin and almost dotted, as if the paint ran out, or another thinner brush was used, whereas all the other letters are bold and heavy.

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When we compare the S in the message to the two other S‘s we see exactly how out of proportion it is.

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There’s also something else missing – a question mark. It’s as if whoever wrote the message was asking a question but not really interested in the answer. And what’s that? A rhetorical question.

if we leave the S out of the original message we get:

HE SAVED HIM

Consider the possibility that this is a Freudian slip, where the murderer is trying to create an impression, but then slips up by writing what he’s actually thinking, and actually doing [saving himself – him saving himself].

Do you see that?

The message never pretends to be a suicide note. There’s no signature, and it doesn’t pretend to be written by Rebecca. If that was the intention it would read:

I SAVED HIM.

CAN YOU SAVE ME

The third person aspect seems to purposefully invite a theory of a third party involved, a murderer. The use of block letters seems to be about hiding the writer of the message, as if doing this in paint might be more effective and send the right kind of message than a handwritten message.

If the murderer wrote the message, why would he [or she] draw attention to the idea of a murder, given the effort to stage a suicide? Unless the misdirection is a double misdirection. A misdirection of a suicide, and the misdirection of a murder meant to direct focus away from one person by misdirecting it toward another…sdut-a-local-television-reporter-tal-20160902

10 thoughts on “SHE SAVED HIM CAN YOU SAVE HER – what does it mean?

  1. Which one of these people – Adam, Nina, Dina would you figure to be The Riddler? Because I see the paint scrawl message as meant to be cryptic and a riddle that someone would understand but not the public and that it’s more of a personal taunt versus a suicide note, which we have pretty much already determined. It’s possible Dina was there – Nina could have put on a black wig and gone to the hospital, she wouldn’t have to check in at the door, and as long as Jonah didn’t see her she could pass as Dina, but I don’t think Dina would have left Max’s side. And wasn’t Nina at the house earlier? Something about her knocking on the door, peering inside and according to her, she left – but if she truly wanted to get inside or confront Rebecca she could have easily gone around to the back of the house, and had a chat with Adam. To me the “S” in “She” wasn’t dipped in the black paint far enough – but the rest of the letters were so I don’t think the S was added later or an afterthought. Adam doesn’t strike me as a Riddler-type but one of those vicious women might have been.

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    • It could be that the S was written first or last. You may recall the Ramsey Ransom Note also had a false start. The first one began: Mr and Mrs Ramsey. The paint on the wall reminds me of the sort of thing spurned ex-girlfriends do. Question is, is it that or made to look like that?

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  2. It was made to look like that in the way in which Charles Manson would tell his followers to “leave something witchy.” But the S – was a false start in that there was not enough paint on the brush (imo). To say something purposely misleading would require a bit of complex thinking, something not sure Adam possessed but the accomplice may have had. So in that sense, the other person in the room may have tried to purposely mislead – but if so it’s an inside joke, and one no one would get. It certainly doesn’t sound like a suicide note so would the purpose be to point to murder? I don’t think they would want that. To me it’s an inside joke, like a dig, with some religious undertones but I’m open minded and will see where this leads.

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  3. Putting some facts together about Nina Romano’s timeline and her return from the hospital to Dina’s house, the text she sent to Rebecca, her statement that she walked to the mansion but then left a passerby says he saw someone there at that particular time but it fit the description of Dina, not Nina – I’m having my doubts Nina was there unless she did show up at the mansion and stayed there. There could have been three individuals present but I am leaning toward Dina now, not Nina – then Adam took the fall. Participated, but took the fall. That may be why he thought he could pass a polygraph. He helped, but didn’t instigate.

    Original complaint here yield some interesting ideas

    Case 3:13-cv-01624-W-NLS filed 7/8/14

    As we know both Dina and Nina were dropped from the plaintiff’s suit

    It must have enraged Dina that Nina tried to “get answers” by texting Rebecca at 9:41 p.m. from Dina’s house -although Rebecca’s incoming phone records indicate text at 10:41) and got no answer. I suspect both sisters were very worked up after spending the day at Ronald McDonald hospital and seeing Max hooked up to life support, bruised and battered. Also the passerby said the woman fits exactly the description of Dina, and was carrying a black bag, which you can see clearly in the hospital footage. Those two sisters are darned lucky Grier dropped them from the wrongful death civil suit.

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  4. I have a partial answer – he dropped Dina because of the security video footage – I’m assuming from the hospital.

    But – look at the time stamp on the two pictures you provided – 16:25 and 17:59. Was she leaving at 17:59? The neighbor heard “help me help me” at approx 11:40 p.m.

    What am I missing? And what about Nina? (thank you in advance)

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    • You know your stuff. Yes it was the timestamp in the CCTV from the hospital that supposedly cleared her. I believe that evidence was only fielded years later, though. I believe the police have dismissed the “help me help me” heard by the neighbor. If they hadn’t, that alone would disprove suicide.

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  5. What evidence did Grier use to exclude Nina Romano?
    I like attorney’s, especially when I agree with them, but I do know that they often fashion a story that they believe they can sell to a jury which might only be partially true and sounds good. If Grier originally believed Nina and Dina were there (sitting on Rebecca’s bed to weigh it down) then how can he go from that to a rebuffed sexual attack from an Ambien-addled Adam.

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    • I spoke to him last year. If I remember correctly, he said something along the lines that he felt it would be difficult to prove in court. So he stuck with the case he felt he could prove.

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  6. And that was wise. He strikes me as a very good attorney as well as kind. It’s really too bad the San Diego/Coronado police department are stubbornly sticking to their suicide story.

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