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