Shacknai Boy’s Mother Questions His Cause of Death

Dina Shacknai, left, stands behind attorney Angela Hallier, as Hallier speaks about callling on Coronado police for a meeting regarding their suspicions about the July 2011 death of Dina's son Max, 6.

The mother of the child who died following injuries he suffered at the Spreckels mansion last year said Monday she does not believe her son died as the result of an accident.

Dina Shacknai and her attorneys have formally requested a meeting with the Coronado police department regarding the agency’s findings in Max Shacknai’s death, which were announced 10 months ago.

“We are certain that the accident scenario put forth by the Coronado Police Department is inaccurate,” said Angela Hallier, one of Shacknai’s attorneys, during a news conference in Phoenix.

The group, however, would not release details of their private investigation pending the meeting with the police. A complete video of the news conference is available on, a CBS affiliate.

Shacknai hosted the news conference to discuss her concerns and announce that she has established a foundation, Maxie’s House, in her son’s name. The organization would aid families dealing with the complexities of divorce and blended families.

Max Shacknai, 6, died one year ago following a July 11 fall at the mansion, owned by his father, Dina Shacknai’s ex-husband Jonah.

Two days after his fall, Jonah Shacknai’s girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau, was found dead to the rear of the property, bound and nude. 

Coronado police investigated the boy’s death, while the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department conducted the probe into Zahau’s death. Max’s death was determined to have been an accident, while Zahau’s was deemed a suicide.

Zahau’s family rejects that finding and has pushed since last year for a new investigation into her death. The state Attorney General’s Office is reviewing a formal request by attorneys who represent her loved ones.