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time
08-09-2012, 11:13 AM
Dina Shacknai has release a Summary of Reports (14 pages) purportedly synthesized from two independent experts evaluation and opinion on Max Shacknai's manner and cause of death. Those reports were written by Dr. Robert Bove, an injury biomechanics, and Dr. Judith Melinek, a pathologist.

I have attached the Summary of Reports here, another amateur eval, and the CPS related search warrant. As I said a couple of times, this appears to be a summary written by Dina's lawyer that includes references and quotes to two reports. As far as I know, we do not have the original reports and Dr. Bove's report appears to be quite lengthy (> 23-24 pages) while Dr. Melinek's report is > 4-5 pages based on the cites included at the end of the report.


Aug. 6, 2012

Melinek said that Max’s injuries were inconsistent with a fall and “it would be more accurate to certify that manner (of death) as a homicide.”
Bove said that Melinek proposed a scenario in which Max was assaulted, resulting in his facial and forehead injuries, with his back then contacting the stair railing.

Hallier [Dina's Attorney] said “an assault scenario is the only scenario that Dr. Bone and Dr. Melinek, in collaborative consultation, could identify that accounts for the multiple planes of injuries on Max’s body and the scene findings.”

However, Bove said he had "not taken a position" as to whether the incident that resulted in Max's injuries was intentional.
[/quote]http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/aug/06/shacknais-mom-says-sons-death-possible-homicide/

I'm hoping we can use this thread to actually evaluate what has been claimed in the one document we have, other related evidence, what has been claimed in the media, and any other relevant ideas.

Perhaps everyone can move relevant posts over here.

time
08-09-2012, 11:21 AM
Reposting

I am rereading the Summary Report, although, quite frankly even with a science background, I'm not sure how far I will get.

It seems Dr. Judy Melinek is making just 3 or 4 basic claims. One of them that is made over and over to try to say this was an assault instead of an accident are the number of "planes of injury" and that the more planes of injury the more likely it is an assault. I briefly tried to look up any literature about this, but didn't find much worth citing yet.

My question about all of this is if you would expect more planes of injury if...

1. there is a more complex accident involving multiple objects
2. you possibly can't say whether there were some injuries that were not a result of an assault, but were fairly recent - he was a boy!
3. if you come into contact with some unusual object like a chandelier which itself has multiple planes

I think #3 is the one that is bothering me the most. If you were tangled up in some object like a chandelier and presumably it fell on you or you fell on it or both, with both your body and the object tumbling around - let alone somehow there is a scooter involved also, might you to expect to have more planes of injury?

time
08-09-2012, 11:23 AM
REPOSTED

JJENNY: Dr. Gomez's theory doesn't involve a scooter at all. If you look at the drawing, it has Max running and then going over the portion of the railing where the railing dips. There is no scooter in that scenario.

time
08-09-2012, 11:25 AM
REPOSTED

Originally Posted by *Lash* http://www.websleuths.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8241937#post8241937)
In my opinion this article appears to point to a disagreement between Bove and Melinek.


Melinek said that Max’s injuries were inconsistent with a fall and “it would be more accurate to certify that manner (of death) as a homicide.”

Bove said that Melinek proposed a scenario in which Max was assaulted, resulting in his facial and forehead injuries, with his back then contacting the stair railing.

Hallier said “an assault scenario is the only scenario that Dr. Bone and Dr. Melinek, in collaborative consultation, could identify that accounts for the multiple planes of injuries on Max’s body and the scene findings.”

However, Bove said he had "not taken a position" as to whether the incident that resulted in Max's injuries was intentional.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/...ible-homicide/ (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/aug/06/shacknais-mom-says-sons-death-possible-homicide/)Well, this seems huge to me if one of the experts is saying the "Summary Report" circulated does not accurately represent his opinion. If you look back at that report, it cites Bove's large report far more times that Melinek, but we have not seen either of their actual reports. What we are seeing, I believe, is what the attorney put together. For all we know at this point, it could be a cut and paste hack job on what Bove reported and left out the context. It also sounds to me like he was asked to prove Melinek's theory of assault ... "Melinek proposed a scenario in which Max was assaulted, resulting in his facial and forehead injuries, with his back then contacting the stair railing."

Since Bove clearly states he had not come to that conclusion, then the attorneys claim that this was based on the science is bogus. At most, it sounds like Dr. Melinek should have said she thought Max's death should be undetermined, not a homicide.

I hope we get to see the full and original reports from both Dr. Melinek and Dr. Bove.

time
08-09-2012, 11:32 AM
REPOSTED

*LASH*: Snip- When reviewing the autopsy report, the medical examiner's findings explained why Peterson thought suffocation was the cause of death. The autopsy said: "A spinal cord injury at this level can cause cardio-respiratory arrest (cessation of heart activity and/or breathing)," which would explain the suffocation theory suggested by Peterson.

http://www.10news.com/news/29268087/detail.html[/quote]

time
08-09-2012, 11:34 AM
REPOSTED

QUESTOR: Did LE recover the chandelier and check it for human tissue/blood/DNA?

If so, was that tissue/blood/DNA found on the upper portion of the chandelier, as though MS fell on top of it, or on the lower portion, as though the chandelier fell on top of MS? TIA

time
08-09-2012, 11:37 AM
About DNA - From Dr. Drew show


KATHY, CALLER FROM OHIO: Yes. Dr. Drew, my question is this -- I was wondering if there was any DNA found possibly that would connect the lady who had also died, Rebecca, with the son`s death?

PINSKY: Well, as you know, the San Diego investigators did not feel there was any wrongdoing. I know there was all kinds of consternation over the DNA on the rope that they found Rebecca tied to, but, Angela, maybe you can sort of clear that up real quick.

HALLIER: Yes. It`s our understanding from the records we have been given access to that DNA was taken from underneath Max`s fingernails but we have no indication that it was ever tested.
I think it's ridiculous it was never tested!

***
CINDY: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. For both Max and Rebecca, I wanted to say with Max, the diagram of that child trying to get over a wall and grab a chandelier and fall like that just seems like an impossibility. And I did want to ask was the chandelier fingerprinted or DNA taken off of it to prove the child had grabbed it?

PINSKY: I don`t know if -- Ann is shaking her head no and the -- Dina`s attorney said they had tested under the fingernails but did not test -- they did not have any DNA result. Thank you for that call.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIP.../ddhln.01.html (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1208/07/ddhln.01.html)

time
08-09-2012, 11:41 AM
REPOSTED

QUESTOR: Could MS have been hanging by his hands from the chandelier when the chain broke, pinning him to the floor with his head stuck upright in the chandelier? Could that help to explain the vertical injuries to his face and marks/injuries to his back? TIA

time
08-09-2012, 11:46 AM
Max Official Autopsy Documents SDSD

time
08-09-2012, 12:29 PM
Dr. Melinek Report

http://media.utsandiego.com/news/documents/2012/08/06/Dr.Melinek_Report.txt


Judy Melinek, M.D
PathologyExpert.com
3739 Balboa Street #102
San Francisco, CA 94121

(415) 850-7056
July 16,2012

Angela Hallier, Esquire
Hallier & Lawrence PLC
3216 North Third Street, Suite 300
Phoenix, 4285012

RE: Maxfield Shacknai

Dear Ms. Hallier,

I have reviewed the following material and conducted the following informational
interviews regarding the above case:

1 . County of San Diego Office of the Medical Examiner Autopsy Report (dated 912111
authored by Jonathan R. Lucas, M.D.), lnvestigative Report, Neuropathology and
Toxicology Report for ME#: 11-1542 Maxfield Aaron Shacknai
2. Coronado Police Department Investigations Division Death Investigation Case
Number 2011-1467 July 11,2011 1043 Ocean Boulevard Coronado, CA Power Point
Presentation.
3 . Statement from Sheriff Bill Gore of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department dated
September 2,2O11
4 . Powerpoint Presentation entitled "Autopsy of Max Shacknai" by Jonathan Lucas
M.D.
5 . Biomechanics advanced report entitled "Expert Report by Mark A. Gomez, Ph.D. Re:
Mr. Maxfield Shacknai" by Mark A. Gomez, Ph.D dated 9119111
6. Photograph of proposed fall mechanism from this report on sdsheriff.net from http://
www. sdsh eriff . net/coro nado/i mag es/msO 1 .j pg
z. Powerpoint Presentation titled "July 13th, 2011" about Rebecca Zahau's death.
B. Pediatric Medical records for Max Shacknai from Camelback Pediatrics P.C.; Laura
Norton Petrovich, M.D.; and Valley Pediatric Triage dated from 6/10/05 to 5126111.
9. Pre-Hospital Care Report for Maxfield Shacknai from the Coronado Fire Department
dated 0711112011 at 10:12 QCS 4192431 Run #: 2011-59527
r0. Sharp Coronado Hospital records for Maxfield Shacknai MR# 00-23-97-92 | from
admit date7l11l2O11
rr . Children's Hospital -San Diego Radiology Repor-ts from Maxfield Aaron Shacknai
dated 7 111 12011 through 7 11612011 .

12 . County of San Diego Office of the Medical Examiner Autopsy Report (dated 912111
authored by Jonathan R. Lucas, M.D.), Investigative Report and Toxicology Report
for ME#: 11-1517 Rebecca Mawii Zahau
13 . Exponent Failure Analysis Associates Draft Reports by Robert T. Bove, Ph.D. dated
December 20,2011 and June 15,2012.
14 . On March 16, 2012 we visited the Coronado Police Department and reviewed in the
presence of Commander MichaelT. Lawton allthe scene photographs in the case

file, as well as photographs of the hospitalízed Maxfield Shacknai. I also reviewed
several police interviews and reports not included in the above files including a child
protective services report and an interview of Xena conducted after the death of the
Rebecca Zahu.Included in the materials was a drawn diagram by the first responder
indicating the positions of Max, Rebecca and the chandelier prior to them being
moved by emergency personnelfor access.

15 . Photographs of Maxfield Shacknai taken in the hospital entitled "Max_back1"
through "Max_back5;" "Max_hospitall" through "Max_hospital5;" and "Maxie_pic1"
and "Maxie_pic2."

16 . Photographs of Maxfield Shacknai taken the day before his death by a family friend,
as well as memorial photo-books belonging to Dina Shacknai.
17 . I have had an opportunity on multiple occasions to personally interview Dina
Shacknai about the circumstances surrounding the death of her son, his physical
abilities and behavior.
1B . Dr. Dean Hawley "Death by Strangulation" 9 pages

19. "Death in a Mansion: Was it Murder" from "People" magazine dated August 15,
2011.
20 . e mail from Nina Romano dated March 1 9, 201 2 about what transpired July 11 ,
2011 documenting her first conversation with Rebecca Zahau after Max's injury.
21 . Phone conversation with Dr. Bove on March 26; approximately 50 minutes
22.Partially
redacted Investigation file of Maxfield Shacknai from the City of Coronado
Police Department.

2 3 . Rady Hospital Medical Records
24 .CD containing photos from the Medical Examiner's Office including scene photos for
Maxfield Shacknai case # 11-01542

25 .27 photographíc prints of Maxfield Shacknai from the hospital, reportedly taken by a
nurse in the Intensive Care Unit
2 6. Entire Coronado Police Department Investigative file with Bates stamp numbers
and associated CDs numbered 1,2,3,8, 10, 11,12,13 (1 of 2),13(2oÍ2),14,17,
18,19,20
21 .Various informational sheets and forum discussions from the internet dated 317112
including : http ://www.scotsdalesoccer.com/Tournament/Max_Shacknai?
index_E.html; http://www.lefthandedkitten.freeforums.oeg/things-that-are-suspiciousabout-
max-s-death-t7.html; http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/discrepancies-inrebecca-
s-versions-of-events-tS9.html; http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/max-sinjuries-
and-cause-of-death-t58.html; http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/mystery


of -the-benzo-132. htm I
2 B . Various informational sheets from the internet including:
. Aussie Jujitsu: Principles of Pressure Point Application http://
aussiejujitsu.blogspot.coml20ll/03/principles-of-pressure-point.html 712812011
. Brad Parker "The Ten Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Moves Every Cop Should Know" http://
www. g rapplearts. co m/BJ J -f or-Pol ice. htm 7 128 | 20 1 1
. "Pressure Points" from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressure_ point
7128/2011
. "Anatomy of a Choke" by E. Karl Korwai, MD from 8/1 12011 http://

www.o nth emat. com/p rinIlTT I 4
. http://www.scotsdalesoccer.com/Tournament/Max_Shacknai?index_E.html
. http://www.lefthandedkitten.freeforums.oeg/things-that-are-suspicious-about-max


s-death-t7.html


. http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/discrepancies-in-rebecca-s-versions-of


events{59.html

. http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/max-s-injuries-and-cause-of-death-t58.html

. http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/mystery-of-the-benzo-t32.html

I am a forensic pathologist who works as an independent consultant in both criminal and
civil matters. My education is notable for my undergraduate degree from Harvard
University, a medical degree (with honors) from UCLA Medical School and pathology
residency at UCLA Medical Center. I trained in forensic pathology at the Office of Chief
Medical Examiner in New York City from 2001-2003, during which time I identified
remains from the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on 9/1112OO1. I have published in
the medical literature on the topics of pathology, surgical complications, transplantation
surgery and immunology. I have been qualified as an expert witness in the fields of
pathology, forensic pathology and cause of death determination over 80 times in
California, New York, Florida and Texas. I am currently licensed to practice medicine in
both California and New York. I am board certified in anatomic, clinical and forensic
pathology and I routinely interpret autopsy reporls, toxicology reports, medical records
and police reports to determine the cause of death and sign death certificates.

After reviewing the above-mentioned sources in this case, and working in collaboration
with Dr. Robert Bove, Ph.D., it is my opinion that Maxfield Shacknai's injuries are not
consistent with the scenario depicted in the biomechanics report generated by Dr.
Gomez. Max's center of gravity would have been too low to go over the banister with the
scooter unassisted, even when taking into account the extra height of the scooter. The
pattern of injury on Max's back is not consistent with an impact/slide against the
descending banister as depicted in Dr. Gomez's scenario, as there is no deep muscle
injury as would be expected from a fall onto the back from a height; the skull fracture
contusion indicates that the primary fall impact was against the top (vertex) of the head,
and not the right front; and the hands have no "dicing abrasions" from grasping at the
chandelier. ln the autopsy photographs, the injuries on Max's back aggregate in a
somewhat "7" shaped angled configuration, more in line with the height and shape of
the banister on the second floor, from whence he fell. The damage to the newel post at
this floor indicate that this is the original site of the fall, and Max's resting position on the
ground immediately below suggests this as well.

The fall alone, in the any of these scenarios, would not account for the abrasions and
contusions along the right forehead, inner eye and lids, the left ala, or the right shoulder
and neck, which are each in additional planes of injury. The more planes of injury, the
more likely that an incident is the result of an assault rather than a simple or even an
complex fall. A fall would not explain injury to a recessed or protected area (as in the
inner right orbit or neck). An unassisted accidentalfall, as depicted in Dr. Gomez's
scenario, does not explain the subsequent resting position of the Razor scooter on top
of Maxfield's leg (where there is no bruising or injury) and the complete lack of glass
shard "dicing" injury to Maxfield's body. The Gomez scenario also does not account for
how a facial impact can cause a frontal fracture and bruise at the midline vertex, or
hyperextension of the neck, if the body has collapsed ahead of the face.

A more reasonable scenario, one that is both consistent with the injuries observed on
the deceased and consistent with the scene measurements. is that Maxfield was


assaulted by another person at the hallway, near the banister on the second floor. The

perpetrator injured his face and shoulder and Maxfield then was pushed against or

backed into the second story railing, causing the patterned injuries along his back.

Then, he was either lifted over the banister or he escaped over the banister, falling

down to the front entryway, below. He landed on the top of his head and collapsed with

his legs following, rather than with his legs first and his face second, as in Dr. Gomez's

scenario. A fall onto the top of the head could cause the cervical contusion from axial

loading, without gross hyper-extension or flexion. The cervical contusion could also

occur if the vertex-impact was followed by gross hyper-extension or hyper-flexion of the

upper neck, as the rest of the body collapsed downward. This assault scenario was

discussed with and supported by the findings of Dr. Robert Bove, a biomechanics

experl, and most importantly, is the only scenario we could come up with in

collaborative consultation that could account for all the planes of injuries and the scene
findings in this case. The presumptive positive benzodiazepine screen of antemortem

specimens might be explained by the administration of Versed in the hospital, but is

more likely a false positive given the lack of confirmation by HPLC, a more specific

laboratory analysis. lt does not support that over-medication of the child in any way was

involved in the assault. Additionally, the location of the injury to the top of the cervical
cord makes it incredibly unlikely that Maxfield would have been able to clearly articulate
the word "Ocean" after the fall, a process which requires intact upper cervical cord

neurons.

My review of all these materials therefore inform me within reasonable medical
probability that while the Medical Examiner's cause of death determination is accurate,
the manner of death is not. lt would be more accurate in my opinion, based on my

review of all this additional information, to certify that manner as a homicide, where

homicide is defined as death at the hand of another. Homicide is a forensic term used
by medical examiners and coroners to indicate another person's involvement in the
death and does not distinguish between legal gradations in intent such as involuntary
manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide or murder. The apparent suicidal death of
the supervising caregiver two days after the incident, combined with the inconsistencies
in her verbal reports about the incident; her comment to her sister that "Dina's going to
kill me;" her knowledge of where Max fell when she spoke to Dina's sister Nina; and the
multiple planes of injury on the child's body all support Rebecca Zahau's direct
involvement. A thorough psychological assessment of her mental state or inquiries into
previous aggressive acts or a pre-existing violent temperament are all notably absent
from the material I reviewed in Max's case file or in the material supplied to me about
Rebecca Zahau's death.

The absence of half of the link from the chandelier, which is clearly visible in the scene
photos but is missing from the evidence collected and photographed at the police
department, may limit analysis of the tensile strength of this link. According to Dr. Bove,
he saw the other half when he examined the chandelier. Photographs alone cannot
accurately convey whether the link would suffer metal fatigue with a yank produced by a
44 pound falling child, or would need the assistance of a greater weight. The difference
in Max's weight between the autopsy report and the pediatric medical records is
consistent with weight gain from fluid resuscitation during hospitalization and organ
procurement with subsequent tissue edema. The pediatric chart dry weight is likely
more accurate. Only metal analysis by a qualified failure analyst can confirm whether a


sw¡nging chandelier could deposit its broken link on the opposite stairway landing, yet
fall downward, only slightly displaced from where it was originally hanging in the
stairwell alcove.

The pertinent facts of the case that lead me to this conclusion are:

1. According to personal interviews with Dina Shacknai, Maxfield was a careful child;
not a risk{aker or dare-devil. She reported that the soccer balls in the photos were
always scattered around the house and it was not unusualto see them there. Both
Dr. Bove and Dina Shacknai described the carpeting of the residence as being a
thick pile carpet, which would make it difficult for Max to ride his razor scooter at a
high rate of speed. Dina Shacknai reported that her sister Nina was told by Rebecca
Zahau that Maxfield had fallen from the second story on the day of the fall, prior to
any police report. She also reported that told
her that Rebecca had a quick temper and knew ju-jitsu. reported incidents
where Rebecca would put in a "hold" and would have to "tap out" to be
released from the hold.
2. Medical records for Max Shacknaifrom Camelback Pediatrics P.C.
documented his height at 45 inches and a weight of 44.1 pounds.
3 . Photographs of the Razor scooter depict white paint on the wheel and side similar in
color and size to the nicks in the upper banister at the top of the second story.
4. Scene photos depict a golden-colored open link, consistent with the chandelier chain
link on the carpeted landing between the first and second floors. Photographs of the
chandelier show a soldered metal loop at the top, but no residual chain. This
indicates that the chain broke at the final loop, where it attached to the top of the
chandelier.
5 . According to the police department interview with Xena, Rebecca Zahau sister,
Maxfield was "smart like a 7 or I year old" and did not ride his Razor scooter near
the edge of the stairs or down the stairs. She said he could not ride fast because the
floor was carpeted. She also reported that her sister told her "Dina is gonna kill me"
when they returned to the house.
6. According to the Coronado Police Department and the Medical Examiner scene,
autopsy and hospital photographs, there is a large subgaleal contusion at the top of
the head, associated with the largest gap in the sagittally oriented skullfracture. The
front edge of the skull fracture is at the midline and does not reach the right lower
frontal forehead area, where the abrasions and contusions begin on the face. There
are healing abrasions on the left thoracic back, some angled, suggesting a pattern:
configured roughly in a figure "7" as the back is viewed in the upright position.
Photographs of the extremities do not demonstrate any sharp force injury or "dicing"
abrasions, typical of glass shard injury. Deep muscle dissection of the back
(130836.jp9 and 130837.jp9) show no deep muscle hemorrhages beneath the
superficial abrasions noted on the back.

7 . From a review of the witness statements it is unclear whether Max was found face
up or face down. When paramedics arrived he was face up but he may have been
rolled over by Rebecca Zahau prior to their arrival.

B . The wet tissue shows sagittal sinus thrombosis and no brain matter contusion at the
vertex, subjacent to the fracture line. There is no grossly appreciable subdural or
subarachnoid hemorrhage. The spinal cord contusion is localized to the upper
cervical segments and there is no epidural hemorrhage. Other organ tissue
fragments are grossly unremarkable.

9. The microscopic slides confirm the presence of a healing abrasion to the right
shoulder, lacking refractile foreign material. The left finger skin has slightly refractile
foreign material on the surface, which have the appearance of fibers, suggestive of
gauze or hospital adhesive tape. The lung sections have a pronounced aspiration
pneumonia with numerous multi-nucleated giant cells phagocytosing foreign
material, including some plant material. The heart sections have scattered areas
with contraction-band necrosis, but without myocytolysis, edema, fibrosis or
inflammatory reaction. The cervical spinal cord segments confirm a recent spinal
cord contusion and associated edema. The brain sections are markedly edematous
indicating an acute anoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
10 . According to Sharp Coronado Hospital records 3 mg Versed was given in the
emergency room at 1146 on7l22l2o01 following endotracheal intubation. Hospital
records indicate an unknown down time and the radiological scans are negative for
cervical spinal fracture. Radiological scans of the head describe a left frontal non-
depressed fracture. Hospital physicians believed the injuries were inconsistent with
the report of an accidentalfall and reported the case to Child Protective Services.
The subsequent report relied on the Medical Examiner's conclusion of the manner of
death that this was an accidental fall and the case was closed.
11 . Medical Examiner Toxicology Report is presumptively positive by ELISA for
bezodiazepines, but this is not confirmed by HPLC.
These opinions are to a reasonable degree of medical probability and are based on my
experience and training, as well as my knowledge of the peer-reviewed medical
literature. I am relying on the information you have provided me at the present time;
thus, my opinions are liable to change if other information is offered to me for review.

I am available to testify to these opinions in deposition or at trial, if necessary. Please
feel free to contact me at the above address and phone number if you have any
questions or need further clarification.

Sincerely,


Judy Melinek, M.D.

time
08-09-2012, 12:33 PM
Dr. Bove Report

http://www.4sd.signonsandiego.com/news/2012/aug/06/shacknais-mom-says-sons-death-possible-homicide/?ap

time
08-09-2012, 12:40 PM
Dr. Bove Report

http://www.4sd.signonsandiego.com/news/2012/aug/06/shacknais-mom-says-sons-death-possible-homicide/?ap


He was allowed to inspect the site of the accident on October 13, 2011.

time
08-09-2012, 12:48 PM
Dr. Bove, P6

Describes the scene more from photos, etc. and listening to XZ's interview

Soccer balls on first floor and a wooden ruler, broken link on chandelier chain found on landing, broken branch found inbetween spindles of railing (landing), recent damage to banister, paint chips ( the last two - Jonah said were not there the day before). XZ said Max showed her how he could ride his scooter in the upstairs hallway the night before.

time
08-09-2012, 12:54 PM
Dr Bove Report, Pg 7

time
08-09-2012, 12:58 PM
Pics of the stairs, landing and area... too bad they do not include the chandelier.

I thought this picture was the most interesting - Looking down from the second story near where the banister dips onto the landing and first story.

Is it possible because of where the damage is on the banister, that the scooter made it? I don't know, it looks to me if you feel from above, you could easily hit the chandelier as well as other parts of t he banister on the way down, possibly getting flung over to the opposite side of the staircase (lower staircase when you hit the chandelier or other railing)? IDK

time
08-09-2012, 01:05 PM
Dr. Bove, P6

Describes the scene more from photos, etc. and listening to XZ's interview

Soccer balls on first floor and a wooden ruler, broken link on chandelier chain found on landing, broken branch found inbetween spindles of railing (landing), recent damage to banister, paint chips ( the last two - Jonah said were not there the day before). XZ said Max showed her how he could ride his scooter in the upstairs hallway the night before.

I forgot to include the attachment

time
08-09-2012, 01:13 PM
Looking at this photo (attached again), I don't see why someone didn't propose that Max was running down the upstairs hallway as Ocean was running up the stairs and they collided about where the banister starts to drop. It could have made Max go airborne and over the railing into the chandelier? Or perhaps the opposite?

time
08-09-2012, 01:37 PM
I have to say I am a little dumbfounded that Dr. Melenik was provided these: :waitasec: - not sure if I am allowed to say anything about extremely hate filled pages, but... (from MSM link to her Report)

21 .Various informational sheets and forum discussions from the internet dated 317112
including : http ://www.scotsdalesoccer.com/Tournament/Max_Shacknai?
index_E.html; http://www.lefthandedkitten.freeforu...spiciousabout- (http://www.lefthandedkitten.freeforums.oeg/things-that-are-suspiciousabout-)
max-s-death-t7.html; http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.o...ies-inrebecca- (http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/discrepancies-inrebecca-)
s-versions-of-events-tS9.html; http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/max-sinjuries-
and-cause-of-death-t58.html; http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/mystery


of -the-benzo-132. htm I
2 B . Various informational sheets from the internet including:
. Aussie Jujitsu: Principles of Pressure Point Application http://
aussiejujitsu.blogspot.coml20ll/03/principles-of-pressure-point.html 712812011
. Brad Parker "The Ten Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Moves Every Cop Should Know" http://
www. g rapplearts. co m/BJ J -f or-Pol ice. htm 7 128 | 20 1 1
. "Pressure Points" from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressure_




point
7128/2011
. "Anatomy of a Choke" by E. Karl Korwai, MD from 8/1 12011 http://

www.o (http://www.o/) nth emat. com/p rinIlTT I 4
. http://www.scotsdalesoccer.com/Tourn...i?index_E.html (http://www.scotsdalesoccer.com/Tournament/Max_Shacknai?index_E.html)
. http://www.lefthandedkitten.freeforu...ious-about-max (http://www.lefthandedkitten.freeforums.oeg/things-that-are-suspicious-about-max)

s-death-t7.html

. http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.o...-s-versions-of (http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/discrepancies-in-rebecca-s-versions-of)

events{59.html

. http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.o...death-t58.html (http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/max-s-injuries-and-cause-of-death-t58.html)

. http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.o...benzo-t32.html (http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/mystery-of-the-benzo-t32.html)

time
08-09-2012, 02:18 PM
The Summary Report describes some back injuries as critical to the assumption of an assault.

In the official autopsy report (page 9) there are quite a few abrasions described as healing or scabbed on Max's back. Some of the injuries are described as having a brown healing scab. I cannot see that his back injuries would have done any healing, but then again I am not a medical expert. I am wondering if these are different injuries than what they are talking a bout in this report. A picture of Max's back (hospital) shown on Dr. Drew did not look like injuries from a railing to me. many of them were vertical not horizontal, but they went by quickly so IDK.

Here is a sample from the autopsy:

TORSO:

On the mid thoracic back there is a vertically oriented 5 1/2 inch x 3/4 inch array of healing abrasions and thin, brown scabs. ... Also on the midline over the upper lumbar back there is a 1/14/ inch x 2/8 inch diameter brown, healing scab.

I very perplexed at how they propose an assault scenario (saying it had to happen because of injuries he could not have sustained during the fall) and then proceed to say "He was either lifted over the banister or (he) escaped over the banister, falling down to the front entry way." If he could have escaped from someone or a dog, let's say, then why couldn't he do that with no one present?

Furthermore, in one scenario they present Max as backing into the banister as the conclusion as he was escaping someone - why wouldn't any discussion of perhaps playing with the dog be entertained?

And how do they magically come to the conclusion at the end that this was not only a homicide but that Rebecca did it? Is Dr. Melinik qualified, as a pathologist, to make the sorts of comments on RZ having direct involvement? I have never heard of a pathologist doing this, period.

time
08-09-2012, 02:42 PM
I just want to highlight one more thing, then I'll stop!

The Summary Reports (pg 10, ii. cite # 62) highlights a quote from Dr. Melinek's report (pg 4) that states Max was either "pushed against or backed into the second story railing"

Again, an option is stated where Max did something on his own not requiring a perpetrator - backed into the railing on his own.

MyBelle
08-09-2012, 02:49 PM
I just want to highlight one more thing, then I'll stop!

The Summary Reports (pg 10, ii. cite # 62) highlights a quote from Dr. Melinek's report (pg 4) that states Max was either "pushed against or backed into the second story railing"

Again, an option is stated where Max did something on his own not requiring a perpetrator - backed into the railing on his own.

She meant he was forcibly backed into the railing, imo.

"On his own" doesn't support her conclusion of homicide.

time
08-09-2012, 02:49 PM
I think having this in jpg form might work out better.

gypsychild
08-09-2012, 03:48 PM
I think having this in jpg form might work out better.

IMO the marks on this railing seem like they would have come from something hard scraping against it. I would not think a person backed up into this would create these gouges.

time
08-09-2012, 04:32 PM
IMO the marks on this railing seem like they would have come from something hard scraping against it. I would not think a person backed up into this would create these gouges.

I thought the same thing when I looked at it. I'm finding the report a bit confusing, but I thought at one point they claimed the scooter made marks. A child's back would not make those marks no matter how hard they hit the railing. If it was the scooter or some other object, then the marks appear to be going from the end post upstairs straight downward towards the landing (parallel with the stair railing)?? That's what it looks like to me. I'm not sure how that fits any of the scenarios we have heard.

Also, we can't be 100% certain those marks have anything to do with Max's fatal accident.

The broken ring off the chandelier was on the landing.

In Dr. M's report

3 . Photographs of the Razor scooter depict white paint on the wheel and side similar in
color and size to the nicks in the upper banister at the top of the second story.

4. Scene photos depict a golden-colored open link, consistent with the chandelier chain
link on the carpeted landing between the first and second floors. Photographs of the
chandelier show a soldered metal loop at the top, but no residual chain. This
indicates that the chain broke at the final loop, where it attached to the top of the
chandelier.

gypsychild
08-09-2012, 04:43 PM
3 . Photographs of the Razor scooter depict white paint on the wheel and side similar in
color and size to the nicks in the upper banister at the top of the second story.

This is what confuses me. Are they claiming the marks on that post are from the scooter?? Or from his back?
All in all I think the report is a bit confusing. Are they trying to claim MS was backed into the post, then tossed over the railing, then his scooter tossed over the railing thereby hitting (and taking down) the chandelier?
Do we know if there was glass on top of MS or underneath him?

jjenny
08-09-2012, 04:58 PM
This is what confuses me. Are they claiming the marks on that post are from the scooter?? Or from his back?
All in all I think the report is a bit confusing. Are they trying to claim MS was backed into the post, then tossed over the railing, then his scooter tossed over the railing thereby hitting (and taking down) the chandelier?
Do we know if there was glass on top of MS or underneath him?

I don't think Max had any scratches from the glass. At least I can't see any scratches on the photos provided.

jjenny
08-09-2012, 05:01 PM
I think having this in jpg form might work out better.

My interpretation of the report:they admit here that despite the center of gravity he could have fallen over that lower area of the railing (as claimed by police). Although they claim that some of the rest of the scene doesn't exactly fit with that. But since they weren't there, how could they know? Just because they haven't come up with how the rest of the scene could fit, does it mean that's it impossible? I personally don't think so.

time
08-09-2012, 05:08 PM
My interpretation of the report:they admit here that despite the center of gravity he could have fallen over that lower area of the railing (as claimed by police). Although they claim that some of the rest of the scene doesn't exactly fit with that. But since they weren't there, how could they know? Just because they haven't come up with how the rest of the scene could fit, does it mean that's it impossible? I personally don't think so.

Yeah, I think there are a lot of scenarios that could possibly 'fit', t hey tried to counteract that by saying this is the only one that takes in their chosen variables. However, it could also be that one of those is not a must to include or their case is a little shaky/overstated. I was glad to here the biomechanics guy say he had not come to a conclusion there had to be a perpetrator present/assault.

jjenny
08-09-2012, 05:13 PM
Yeah, I think there are a lot of scenarios that could possibly 'fit', t hey tried to counteract that by saying this is the only one that takes in their chosen variables. However, it could also be that one of those is not a must to include or their case is a little shaky/overstated. I was glad to here the biomechanics guy say he had not come to a conclusion there had to be a perpetrator present/assault.

We have a scooter, a dog, a ball, and a chandelier. So, many possible combinations. And by the way, where is the re-enactment of the assault scenario that perfectly fits with all the data? Did I miss it?

time
08-09-2012, 05:20 PM
This is what confuses me. Are they claiming the marks on that post are from the scooter?? Or from his back?
All in all I think the report is a bit confusing. Are they trying to claim MS was backed into the post, then tossed over the railing, then his scooter tossed over the railing thereby hitting (and taking down) the chandelier?
Do we know if there was glass on top of MS or underneath him?

I couldn't put all that together either from the Summary Report (attorney) or Dr. Melinek. I can't even determine where they are claiming he went over on his back if the scooter had to be there also (and I think going in a direction that would be 90 degrees from his body?). Clearly, they are claiming at some point he couldn't have gone over the railing at the lower height railing (because of the marks on the banister or being able to get up momentum - UGH?). The momentum thing doesn't work for me because of them saying be could have backed into the railing (for some reason) and escaped over it... that sounds passive itself. The marks the railing thing doesn't work because they don't look like a body, how would the scooter be in that position and forced somehow to make those marks, I forgot my last point!

I haven't read Dr. Bove's report from beginning to end, but maybe it is more clear. If so, and he hasn't concluded a perpetrator or assault had to have occurred, then I'd say the Summary Report is possibly cut and pasted in a way that misrepresents what Dr. Bove said.

time
08-09-2012, 05:25 PM
We have a scooter, a dog, a ball, and a chandelier. So, many possible combinations. And by the way, where is the re-enactment of the assault scenario that perfectly fits with all the data? Did I miss it?

No, I didn't see any re-enactment.

time
08-09-2012, 05:35 PM
Dr. Bove says in his conclusion that essentially he doesn't think Gomez's scenario is consistent with the injuries Max sustained but Dr. Melinek are consistent.

He states on pg 29 of the report:

"I cannot affirmatively state exactly what happened in the subject matter. I also am unable to determine the initiating event and who was at fault at the time of the subject accident. Although I have ruled out certain types of accidental events or actions..., I have not take a position as to whether the actual incident that resulted in Maxfield Shacknais' injuries was intentional."

jjenny
08-09-2012, 05:37 PM
And what is Dr. Melinek's scenario? How did he escape if somebody backed him into the railing? How did the chandelier go down? I don't understand what the scenario is?

time
08-09-2012, 05:40 PM
And what is Dr. Melinek's scenario? How did he escape if somebody backed him into the railing? How did the chandelier go down? I don't understand what the scenario is?

Good question, I'm not sure there is a scenario now that you asked that! I'm a little weary with going through this stuff so I think I'll take a break and look at it anew later.

I still say, they never even considered taking a possibly rambunctious dog into account.

time
08-09-2012, 05:54 PM
Ok jjenny... thought about the scenario, but will check my thoughts later.

I think Melinek presents possibilities. Like this happened or this, and then this happened. But it's not a clear path from beginning to end for me - maybe because of the confusing aspects we've discussed and because there is are no re-enactments that take into account her various variables. I sense if it was reenacted on one of those sets of variables there would be NO perpetrator involved. Of course, then she would say some scratches on Max's face weren't accounted for.

Quester
08-09-2012, 05:57 PM
From Dr. M’s report, can someone please interpret what the following means? TIA:

… The lung sections have a pronounced aspiration pneumonia
with numerous multi-nucleated giant cells phagocytosing foreign material,
including some plant material. …

jjenny
08-09-2012, 06:00 PM
From Dr. M’s report, can someone please interpret what the following means? TIA:

… The lung sections have a pronounced aspiration pneumonia
with numerous multi-nucleated giant cells phagocytosing foreign material,
including some plant material. …

Coma is one of the things that can lead to aspiration pneumonia. And he was in a coma for several days.

"Aspiration pneumonia occurs when foreign materials (usually food, liquids, vomit, or fluids from the mouth) are breathed into the lungs or airways leading to the lungs."


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001179/

time
08-09-2012, 06:21 PM
So, the 'plant material' was food perhaps?

Quester
08-09-2012, 06:23 PM
From Dr. M’s report, can someone please interpret what the following means? TIA:

… The lung sections have a pronounced aspiration pneumonia
with numerous multi-nucleated giant cells phagocytosing foreign material,
including some plant material. …
Coma is one of the things that can lead to aspiration pneumonia. And he was in a coma for several days.

"Aspiration pneumonia occurs when foreign materials (usually food, liquids, vomit, or fluids from the mouth) are breathed into the lungs or airways leading to the lungs."


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001179/

Thanks jjenny!

How about the "plant material" part? Would he have had to have eaten some plant material on the morning of his fall as he probably was on a liquid diet / feeding tube while in hospital? Where did that plant material come from? TIA

screecher
08-09-2012, 06:54 PM
Perhaps an older sibling dared him to eat 'plant material' before the fatal dare/accident?

jjenny
08-09-2012, 06:59 PM
I think if he ate a plant prior to accident that wouldn't have caused pneumonia. Once he was in a coma he could have inhaled dust containing plant material.

"Pneumonitis is a term that also refers to inflammation of the lungs. It may be due to infection, an allergic reaction (caused by inhalation of dust containing animal or plant material), exposure to radiation, accidental inhalation of vomit or other liquid (aspiration pneumonia), or as a rare side effect of certain drugs (acebutolol, azathioprine)."
http://www.nmihi.com/p/bacterial-pneumonia.htm

Jessica2012
08-09-2012, 07:05 PM
Deleted because it is on the wrong thread. So sorry.

Jessica2012
08-09-2012, 07:13 PM
I couldn't put all that together either from the Summary Report (attorney) or Dr. Melinek. I can't even determine where they are claiming he went over on his back if the scooter had to be there also (and I think going in a direction that would be 90 degrees from his body?). Clearly, they are claiming at some point he couldn't have gone over the railing at the lower height railing (because of the marks on the banister or being able to get up momentum - UGH?). The momentum thing doesn't work for me because of them saying be could have backed into the railing (for some reason) and escaped over it... that sounds passive itself. The marks the railing thing doesn't work because they don't look like a body, how would the scooter be in that position and forced somehow to make those marks, I forgot my last point!

I haven't read Dr. Bove's report from beginning to end, but maybe it is more clear. If so, and he hasn't concluded a perpetrator or assault had to have occurred, then I'd say the Summary Report is possibly cut and pasted in a way that misrepresents what Dr. Bove said.

@Time- What if the scooter was not involved at all in Max's fall? The experts did say it would not land in the position Max was found in. So to me, that means it was placed there after the fall. How would he gain momentum with a scooter on a carpeted floor anyways? XZ said he showed her the day before how to ride the scooter Police asked her how could he ride on a carpeted floor, and she responded he rode it very slowly.

Jessica2012
08-09-2012, 07:14 PM
Perhaps an older sibling dared him to eat 'plant material' before the fatal dare/accident?

Or perhaps the only person alive did, since the older siblings were not there at the time of Max's fatal accident.

K_Z
08-09-2012, 07:23 PM
I have to say I am a little dumbfounded that Dr. Melenik was provided these: :waitasec: - not sure if I am allowed to say anything about extremely hate filled pages, but... (from MSM link to her Report)

21 .Various informational sheets and forum discussions from the internet dated 317112
including : http ://www.scotsdalesoccer.com/Tournament/Max_Shacknai?
index_E.html; http://www.lefthandedkitten.freeforu...spiciousabout- (http://www.lefthandedkitten.freeforums.oeg/things-that-are-suspiciousabout-)
max-s-death-t7.html; http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.o...ies-inrebecca- (http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/discrepancies-inrebecca-)
s-versions-of-events-tS9.html; http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/max-sinjuries-
and-cause-of-death-t58.html; http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/mystery


of -the-benzo-132. htm I
2 B . Various informational sheets from the internet including:
. Aussie Jujitsu: Principles of Pressure Point Application http://
aussiejujitsu.blogspot.coml20ll/03/principles-of-pressure-point.html 712812011
. Brad Parker "The Ten Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Moves Every Cop Should Know" http://
www. g rapplearts. co m/BJ J -f or-Pol ice. htm 7 128 | 20 1 1
. "Pressure Points" from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressure_




point
7128/2011
. "Anatomy of a Choke" by E. Karl Korwai, MD from 8/1 12011 http://

www.o (http://www.o/) nth emat. com/p rinIlTT I 4
. http://www.scotsdalesoccer.com/Tourn...i?index_E.html (http://www.scotsdalesoccer.com/Tournament/Max_Shacknai?index_E.html)
. http://www.lefthandedkitten.freeforu...ious-about-max (http://www.lefthandedkitten.freeforums.oeg/things-that-are-suspicious-about-max)

s-death-t7.html

. http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.o...-s-versions-of (http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/discrepancies-in-rebecca-s-versions-of)

events{59.html

. http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.o...death-t58.html (http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/max-s-injuries-and-cause-of-death-t58.html)

. http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.o...benzo-t32.html (http://lefthandedkitten.freeforums.org/mystery-of-the-benzo-t32.html)

Well, if there was ever any doubt that the individuals from LHK are directly asociated with DS, this dispels it! ROFLMAO! That's absolutely hilarious!

The bigger question is, how much are they paid for this activity?

Trolls. Paid trolls, or unpaid, not exactly a fair and balanced, expert set of opinions, now is it? LMAO! This is Dina's bombshell?? A nasty, hate filled bitty little forum of laypeople, with about 10-20 members (banned from everywhere else), has cracked this case wide open? Experts schmexperts-- all we need are a few LHKers with opinions!

Oh my. I have no words. Only laughter, and pity.

time
08-09-2012, 07:28 PM
@Time- What if the scooter was not involved at all in Max's fall? The experts did say it would not land in the position Max was found in. So to me, that means it was placed there after the fall. How would he gain momentum with a scooter on a carpeted floor anyways? XZ said he showed her the day before how to ride the scooter Police asked her how could he ride on a carpeted floor, and she responded he rode it very slowly.

It appears to be Dina's experts who say it is involved and they have accounted for it's position, yet I can't see where they make any claim it is essential to what they claim could have occurred. Although I think they do claim he couldn't gain momentum on the scooter because of carpet. You are correct, even XZ said he was riding it up there but wasn't going very fast.

I could hypothesize that if something fell on a Scooter, it might pop it up and turn it over and who knows where and how it would land.

I don't see anything to be gained by someone placing the scooter on Max after he fell when no one can even prove it was important in the scheme of some fatal accident.

jjenny
08-09-2012, 07:56 PM
The hospital might be only 2 minutes from the home. But what does that prove, exactly? Autopsy estimates 25-30 minutes before pulse returned. I don't doubt this takes into account paramedics working on him before they were able to restore circulation.
According to autopsy, he had acute hemorrhagic necrosis of the spinal cord. Necrosis means cell death. And once cells of the spinal cord die, they are dead. Doesn't sound like an injury that was going to resolve spontaneously to me.

Jessica2012
08-09-2012, 08:03 PM
Deleted because post does not belong here

katydid23
08-09-2012, 08:07 PM
It appears to be Dina's experts who say it is involved and they have accounted for it's position, yet I can't see where they make any claim it is essential to what they claim could have occurred. Although I think they do claim he couldn't gain momentum on the scooter because of carpet. You are correct, even XZ said he was riding it up there but wasn't going very fast.

I could hypothesize that if something fell on a Scooter, it might pop it up and turn it over and who knows where and how it would land.

I don't see anything to be gained by someone placing the scooter on Max after he fell when no one can even prove it was important in the scheme of some fatal accident.

The only reason I can see is if it had nothing to do with the incident, but muddied the waters. Just like RZ saying that Maxie said "Ocean" right before he passed out. Does anyone believe that?

jjenny
08-09-2012, 08:09 PM
The paramedics would not have to work on him for that long if help were immediately called for. Second, taking into account the time paramedics took to restore circulation, with the hospital only being two minutes away, there is no possible way that Max could have had global hypoxia on presentation(again, this is a very late finding) if help were called for immediately. He did not have acute hemmorhagic necrosis of the spinal cord on presentation. That developed way later, all as a result of the initial lack of oxygen which eventially caused the fatal injuries. What I am trying to say is that the amount of swelling in his brain at the first hospital was massive. He had global hypoxia...those signs would not show up until way later after the insult.(I am taking into account the time paramedics worked on him.)

I fail to understand these arguments. It doesn't take long for brain to start dying. In fact vast, vast majority of people who go into sudden cardiac arrest outside the hospital are going to die.

"Brain cells are extremely sensitive to a lack of oxygen. Some brain cells start dying less than 5 minutes after their oxygen supply disappears. As a result, brain hypoxia can rapidly cause severe brain damage or death."
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001435.htm

time
08-09-2012, 08:12 PM
The paramedics would not have to work on him for that long if help were immediately called for. Second, taking into account the time paramedics took to restore circulation, with the hospital only being two minutes away, there is no possible way that Max could have had global hypoxia on presentation(again, this is a very late finding) if help were called for immediately. He did not have acute hemmorhagic necrosis of the spinal cord on presentation. That developed way later, all as a result of the initial lack of oxygen which eventially caused the fatal injuries. What I am trying to say is that the amount of swelling in his brain at the first hospital was massive. He had global hypoxia...those signs would not show up until way later after the insult.(I am taking into account the time paramedics worked on him.)

As it has been said many times, nothing could have saved Max because of the type injury he had.

I worked very hard to make this thread about discussions of the reports. The arguments you are bringing up, as you well know, have been discussed ad naseum in the last few days on other thread.

The report offered by Dina's experts concurs with what Max's condition was.

Jessica2012
08-09-2012, 08:23 PM
Deleted, repeat post.

Jessica2012
08-09-2012, 08:31 PM
As it has been said many times, nothing could have saved Max because of the type injury he had.

I worked very hard to make this thread about discussions of the reports. The arguments you are bringing up, as you well know, have been discussed ad naseum in the last few days on other thread.

The report offered by Dina's experts concurs with what Max's condition was.

Ok, time, I apologize, I was responding to questions asked of the posts I made why I, experts and all doctors I have discussed this case with believe Maxie could have, would have and should have been saved. He absolutely did not die on impact. I am sorry I posted on the wrong thread:) I can't delete it now though:(

Mrs. Holmes
08-09-2012, 08:33 PM
Does anyone recall if MS is right or left handed?

One scenario I thought of is what if MS was reaching for the chandelier with the ruler while on the scooter at the railing and up on his tip toes? If he is holding tight to the scooter handle and with the other hand reaching way out to try and grab the chandelier with a ruler...... and what if the dog jumps on him from behind...? Would MS fall over still holding onto the scooter...dragging against the railing bannister making those marks...as MS flips over.... the scooter flips up and gets tangled in the chandelier for a split second while MS swings out holding onto the scooter now stuck in the chandelier ... and then when the chandelier gives way.... the boy, the scooter and the ruler crash to the ground...

I find the ruler to be a fascinating piece of new evidence.... exactly what a boy might try to use to reach that dazzling chandelier....and pull it over to have a good look.. or actually hang off of it....

and thanks so much Time for setting this up.... very interesting reading...

that door on the middle landing... always open... does it lead to the garage? I need to double check...

time
08-09-2012, 08:36 PM
IMO the marks on this railing seem like they would have come from something hard scraping against it. I would not think a person backed up into this would create these gouges.


This is from Dr. Melinek's report:

ln the autopsy photographs, the injuries on Max's back aggregate in a somewhat "7" shaped angled configuration, more in line with the height and shape of the banister on the second floor, from whence he fell. The damage to the newel post at this floor indicate that this is the original site of the fall, and Max's resting position on the ground immediately below suggests this as well.
BBM - I'm assuming that means the damage to the post on the second floor - it's written oddly - and it appears she is saying that damage to the post was done by his body so I am scratching my head. :waitasec:

The report goes on:

An unassisted accidental fall, as depicted in Dr. Gomez's scenario, does not explain the subsequent resting position of the Razor scooter on top of Maxfield's leg (where there is no bruising or injury) and the complete lack of glass shard "dicing" injury to Maxfield's body.How does her scenario explains where the scooter is? Where was it before?

Quester
08-09-2012, 08:37 PM
Fmr. LAPD detective [Fuhrman] weighs in on [ S ] case

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/19236125/fmr-lapd-detective-weighs-in-on-shacknai-case

time
08-09-2012, 08:53 PM
And what is Dr. Melinek's scenario? How did he escape if somebody backed him into the railing? How did the chandelier go down? I don't understand what the scenario is?


This paragraph appears to contain the basic 'scenario(s)' (from Dr. Melinek's report):

Maxfield was assaulted by another person at the hallway, near the banister on the second floor. The perpetrator injured his face and shoulder and Maxfield then was pushed against or backed into the second story railing, causing the patterned injuries along his back. Then, he was either lifted over the banister or he escaped over the banister, falling down to the front entryway, below. He landed on the top of his head and collapsed with his legs following, rather than with his legs first and his face second, as in Dr. Gomez's scenario.


If I parse this out into one of the possibilities (I changed it slightly):

Maxfield was assaulted by another person at the hallway, near the banister on the second floor. The perpetrator injured his face and shoulder and Maxfield then backed into the second story railing, causing the patterned injuries along his back. Then, he went over the banister, falling down to the front entryway, below. He landed on the top of his head and collapsed with his legs following

Other than face and shoulder injuries then, e.g., no perpetrator/assault - and remember Dr. Bove said he could not determine the initiating events - it becomes:

Something happened in the upper hallway to make Maxfield back into the second story railing, causing the patterned injuries along his back. Then, he went over the banister, falling down to the front entryway, below. He landed on the top of his head and collapsed with his legs following

time
08-09-2012, 08:55 PM
Fmr. LAPD detective [Fuhrman] weighs in on [ S ] case

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/19236125/fmr-lapd-detective-weighs-in-on-shacknai-case

Can't get it - what did he say?

Quester
08-09-2012, 09:01 PM
Can't get it - what did he say?

Fuhrman gives commentary at the end of the choppy tape. He just starts in and the feed cuts off for me. I've tried to listen to it 3-4 times and still can't get to the end. Also, there seems to be no way of just jumping to the end of the tape. Ugh!

time
08-09-2012, 09:05 PM
Fuhrman gives commentary at the end of the choppy tape. He just starts in and the feed cuts off for me. I've tried to listen to it 3-4 times and still can't get to the end. Also, there seems to be no way of just jumping to the end of the tape. Ugh!

I go to the same point you did with it after 3 tries and gave up!

i.b.nora
08-09-2012, 09:20 PM
He said, regarding Rebecca, that he thinks hers was a suicide because of the paint transfer in three spots, one being on her back. Which actually caused me to go hmmmm.
Admittedly, my mind was on other things while listening to the part about Max, so I would need to listen again which I just can't do right now.
The hosts of the show tried to get him to conclude that her suicide automatically implied that she was guilty of murder. The clip ended.

Mrs. Holmes
08-09-2012, 09:23 PM
Fmr. LAPD detective [Fuhrman] weighs in on [ S ] case

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/19236125/fmr-lapd-detective-weighs-in-on-shacknai-case

Wow Fuhrman is missing a few key FACTS. There was a teenage girl also in the home the day of the Max Shacknai accident. There were also people living in the guest suite at the back of the property who could have easily entered the home. And in the Rebecca Zahau case there were several "other" foot prints on the balcony floor and most importantly... the dust on the outdoor railing was barely marked... if a naked, hand and foot bound woman hopped to that balcony railing and leaned onto to it to go over... her torso would have moved a signifigant amount of dust... instead there were two narrow spots... only enough for the rope... and then we can discuss how the bed did not move far enough....I don't think RZ ever went over that railing... I think she was carried downstairs.... and some of the scrapes on her may be from being carried down the back outside staircase and then strung up.... she could have already been choked to death with that t-shirt... so to hide the rage murder they had to carry her down and string her up so the fact that she was strangled would be covered up by the fake hanging...

jjenny
08-09-2012, 09:28 PM
This paragraph appears to contain the basic 'scenario(s)' (from Dr. Melinek's report):




If I parse this out into one of the possibilities (I changed it slightly):



Other than face and shoulder injuries then, e.g., no perpetrator/assault - and remember Dr. Bove said he could not determine the initiating events - it becomes:

Lifted or escaped are not one scenario. But two different scenarios.
And we talked about it already, but escaped? How did he escape? Wouldn't he have to turn around? Did he climb on the railing? Which of these two different scenarios is consistent with all the evidence, as they seem to imply?

Mrs. Holmes
08-09-2012, 09:34 PM
He said, regarding Rebecca, that he thinks hers was a suicide because of the paint transfer in three spots, one being on her back. Which actually caused me to go hmmmm.
Admittedly, my mind was on other things while listening to the part about Max, so I would need to listen again which I just can't do right now.
The hosts of the show tried to get him to conclude that her suicide automatically implied that she was guilty of murder. The clip ended.

I work iin paint all the time. I am an oil painter. In my experience it smeers.. there aren't just dabs here and there... the dabs here and there indicate someone was setting the stage..

jjenny
08-09-2012, 09:36 PM
Fmr. LAPD detective [Fuhrman] weighs in on [ S ] case

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/19236125/fmr-lapd-detective-weighs-in-on-shacknai-case

After all this time, the writer of this article claims the only other person at home was Rebecca? That's not someone who knows much of anything about the case.

arielilane
08-09-2012, 09:47 PM
I see that the summary (first post of this thread) was written by other doctors; however, reading a few certain sentences on page three of the first attachment jumped out at me.

Just above and below the picture of the electrical plug these two sentences caught my attention:

"Why couldn't the specialized doctors in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit save him?"

Then next paragraph:

"No one could save Max, once he fell."

A bit odd...are those Dina's words?
May be am reading too much into it.:blushing:

CuriousGeorgia
08-09-2012, 10:40 PM
Wow Fuhrman is missing a few key FACTS. There was a teenage girl also in the home the day of the Max Shacknai accident. There were also people living in the guest suite at the back of the property who could have easily entered the home. And in the Rebecca Zahau case there were several "other" foot prints on the balcony floor and most importantly... the dust on the outdoor railing was barely marked... if a naked, hand and foot bound woman hopped to that balcony railing and leaned onto to it to go over... her torso would have moved a signifigant amount of dust... instead there were two narrow spots... only enough for the rope... and then we can discuss how the bed did not move far enough....I don't think RZ ever went over that railing... I think she was carried downstairs.... and some of the scrapes on her may be from being carried down the back outside staircase and then strung up.... she could have already been choked to death with that t-shirt... so to hide the rage murder they had to carry her down and string her up so the fact that she was strangled would be covered up by the fake hanging...



Sorry, I hate to keep repeating this, but the only people in the house were Rebecca and her sister. No one was living in the guest suite. There was one footprint besides Rebecca's on the balcony that was one of the SDSO detectives. The dust on the railing had a mark where she slip over on her hip. The bed moved exactly how she planned it to.

There are other threads if you believe that Rebecca was murdered and you want to discuss that. This thread is about Max and if Rebecca or her sister assaulted him.

I believe that Rebecca hurt Max, staged the scene to cover up what she did, sent XZ home the next day, boarded her dog, didn't call back the detective, wouldn't tell anyone in the Shacknai or Romano family what happened, and then killed herself to avoid prosecution.

CuriousGeorgia
08-09-2012, 10:42 PM
Could Rebecca have hit Max with that potted plant? Why did he have plant debris in his lungs? The pot of that would have made quite a wallop on that little child.

time
08-09-2012, 10:43 PM
Lifted or escaped are not one scenario. But two different scenarios.
And we talked about it already, but escaped? How did he escape? Wouldn't he have to turn around? Did he climb on the railing? Which of these two different scenarios is consistent with all the evidence, as they seem to imply?

Yes, two different scenarios at least. Let's not forget there is also "pushed against or backed into the second story railing."

I would think he'd have to turn around or else somehow go over back first and head first if he escaped?

Does "lifted" instead of escaped mean much anyway? If he was lifted, then what? It begs for, "He was liften and then thrown?" "He was lifted and heaved?", or He was lifted and tilted over the balcony then they let him drop?

Why do I have a feeling this is no different, or at least not saying much more than he got up on the railing and fell. That post does not look damaged by his back, the scooter maybe. Maybe he put his scooter up there then tried to heave himself up and both went over. Or like I said somehow the dog interacted.

It just looks to me like the "assault" damage could be explained in other ways and not be from an assault. IDK - it just appears to be the least of it, but crucial to claim this was not an accident. Unfortunately, we can't refer to pictures and such.

CuriousGeorgia
08-09-2012, 10:46 PM
Did you see the pictures of Maxie's poor little face? That did not happen the way CPD said it did. No way. The child was assaulted.

jjenny
08-09-2012, 11:21 PM
Yes, two different scenarios at least. Let's not forget there is also "pushed against or backed into the second story railing."

I would think he'd have to turn around or else somehow go over back first and head first if he escaped?

Does "lifted" instead of escaped mean much anyway? If he was lifted, then what? It begs for, "He was liften and then thrown?" "He was lifted and heaved?", or He was lifted and tilted over the balcony then they let him drop?

Why do I have a feeling this is no different, or at least not saying much more than he got up on the railing and fell. That post does not look damaged by his back, the scooter maybe. Maybe he put his scooter up there then tried to heave himself up and both went over. Or like I said somehow the dog interacted.

It just looks to me like the "assault" damage could be explained in other ways and not be from an assault. IDK - it just appears to be the least of it, but crucial to claim this was not an accident. Unfortunately, we can't refer to pictures and such.

Yep. They didn't come up with one "scenario." It's several scenarios. Where is the explanation for all the evidence? How did the chandelier come down? If the injuries are from the assault, are they then claiming that the fall didn't cause any of the injuries to the back or face?

MyBelle
08-10-2012, 09:07 AM
Did you see the pictures of Maxie's poor little face? That did not happen the way CPD said it did. No way. The child was assaulted.

Have there been photos released of his injured face? Are they linked? Thanks!

gypsychild
08-10-2012, 10:34 AM
Have there been photos released of his injured face? Are they linked? Thanks!

I am wonering if there are pictures of his injuries also. Also, in these reports there are many sources cited including Xena interviews. Are any of these reports available? Have any of Xena's statements been released?

time
08-10-2012, 10:58 AM
He said, regarding Rebecca, that he thinks hers was a suicide because of the paint transfer in three spots, one being on her back. Which actually caused me to go hmmmm.
Admittedly, my mind was on other things while listening to the part about Max, so I would need to listen again which I just can't do right now.
The hosts of the show tried to get him to conclude that her suicide automatically implied that she was guilty of murder. The clip ended.

I'm really disappointed in this and that's just a ridiculous reason. I've painted quit a bit in the past and I'm messy with it, mostly acrylics, or even the house and I've never gotten paint on my back
.

time
08-10-2012, 11:26 AM
Yep. They didn't come up with one "scenario." It's several scenarios. Where is the explanation for all the evidence? How did the chandelier come down? If the injuries are from the assault, are they then claiming that the fall didn't cause any of the injuries to the back or face?


Geez, I am reading through (to page 24 so far) and all I can say without spending hours going through the possibilities is that Dr. Bove says the scooter may or may not have moved over the railing with Max, body rotation may or may not have been caused by movement over the railing or interaction with the chandelier, and so on...

"The chandelier, the stairwell railing and the steps descdeing from the landing to the first floor and the first floor itself are all potential primary contact points for a falling scooter. In the scenario proposed by Dr. Melinek, contact with Maxfield Shacknai's body and/or the scooter would have resulted in the chandelier falling to the first floor (pg 24)"

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 12:00 PM
REPOSTED

QUESTOR: Did LE recover the chandelier and check it for human tissue/blood/DNA?

If so, was that tissue/blood/DNA found on the upper portion of the chandelier, as though MS fell on top of it, or on the lower portion, as though the chandelier fell on top of MS? TIA

The DS investigator was allowed to view the Chandelier and the scooter but not take photos. I do not remember seeing the Chandelier on the evidence list for
RZ's death.

I am assuming they viewed these items when they were allowed entry into the mansion in October. Sadly AB's team was never allowed back in as they were told SDLE had to be there. Was the SDLE present when the DS team was allowed in?

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 12:10 PM
Could Rebecca have hit Max with that potted plant? Why did he have plant debris in his lungs? The pot of that would have made quite a wallop on that little child.

The only potted plant I have seen was on the first floor. I thought that debris got there when he landed, some could have gotten on his shirt and then entered during the semi chaos in trying to revive him.

In fact the plant debris points to MS having landed face down on the first floor accounting for the marks on his forehead.

time
08-10-2012, 12:25 PM
Here is what I think, my opinion, after reading all the documents we have available with Dina's Independent experts reports:


1. I think Dr. Bove probably did a good job of showing that the initial LE investigation and recreation is not adequate.

2. I think Dr. Melinek may have a good point about how Max's head hit the floor, assuming he did fall off a railing. However, I'm not sure I have reconciled all this with the official autopsy.

3. From Dr. Bove's report, I've pretty much concluded there are too many variables and not enough explained to think these reports explain any certain scenario, only possibilities. This all does a much better job of saying what didn't happen and many possibilities on what could have happened.

Having said this, I feel they discounted a lot or just basically or totally excluded a lot of variable: the dog Ocean, the balls, the ruler, the piece of plant on the balcony, whether some other object or interaction caused the marks on his back, maybe got injuries to his face by rough housing earlier in the day or a different accident scenario caused them and on and on.

Most notably, they excluded possibilities related to Max's behavior that he could have climbed on top of the railing, was reaching over it with his scooter, trying to get on his scooter, whatever - seems the entire justification is that he was not a risk taker?

4. As far as an assault happening because of unexplained and possibly minor injuries, I think the assault scenario is really weak. Further, it is weak because of #5

5. No where can I find that Max had to be thrown or catapulted or whatever over the banner. In fact, going over the railing in the first place seems to be described as a fairly passive event. The main concern seems to be getting over the railing with center of gravity concerns? But my head starts swimming when trying to put all they are saying together.

6. The reports seem iffy on how the scooter and the chandelier even interacted with Max falling except that they could explain the resting spot of the scooter - that does not seem definitive to me as there could be many explanations that explain it.

7. The damage on the upper railing is not adequately dealt with, let alone if and how that damage occurred due to Max going over the railing. They claimed there was damaged paint, and possible paint on the scooter, but it's difficult to tell if the damage matches up to where the paint is and no one seems to have tested what was on the scooter to see if it is paint or, in particular, of the same formula as the railing paint.

8. Per the chandelier, Dr. Bove's report gives us it's diameter of 30", it sat in a space (a plane of 6 x 8 feet), basically between the two side stairs cases, and it was 3 feet from the back landing/railing. Of course, this is not 3D space exactly. We know from this that the chandelier was at most about 21" away from the landing.

Also, there appears to be a couple of unknowns per the chandelier. How did the ring that broke end up on the landing, and is that possible their proposed scenarios? How vulnerable was that ring in the first place, e.g., was it getting ready to break or already weak and how much weight could it withstand with more on it.


***

I have a lot of questions and these reports only create more questions. It basically tells us that no one has given an adequate account of what happened that day. Perhaps it IS impossible to do because of too many possibilities.

I think the current reports should only have claimed that the original scenario presented was inadequate because of xyz and here is some of what is reasonably certain scientific fact related to this case. There's some good stuff in the reports, but it also muddies the waters. Instead, they tried to turn it into a murder scenario instead of showing reasons the investigation should be reopened and it stretched it too far.

They are misrepresenting the science and what was actually found in the media. This is sad for Max just as it is sad if LE did not adequately determine how this happened int he first place

Maybe there is something that discounts this, but is it possible Max reached over the railing with the scooter and it got caught in the chandelier?

Is it possible, and I would say yes, that the damage to the upper railing, or other variables they have claim must be included in any scenario, were not even involved in Max's accident directly?

Other questions.... to be continued

freespeech
08-10-2012, 12:55 PM
The DS investigator was allowed to view the Chandelier and the scooter but not take photos. I do not remember seeing the Chandelier on the evidence list for
RZ's death.

I am assuming they viewed these items when they were allowed entry into the mansion in October. Sadly AB's team was never allowed back in as they were told SDLE had to be there. Was the SDLE present when the DS team was allowed in?

Good question about whether SDSO was present for Dina's investigators.

Also, there was a search warrant for the chandelier on one of the more recent threads of another forum. It was found in the trash by the investigator who was looking into Max's injuries and subsequent death.

freespeech
08-10-2012, 01:20 PM
The only potted plant I have seen was on the first floor. I thought that debris got there when he landed, some could have gotten on his shirt and then entered during the semi chaos in trying to revive him.

In fact the plant debris points to MS having landed face down on the first floor accounting for the marks on his forehead.

I also tend to believe that Max ended up face down because of the external facial injuries and the frontal skull fracture.

Apparently, Rebecca was asked if she turned him over but she claimed she didn't remember. She could have been so hysterical that she did it automatically with out thinking. However, if his spinal cord was injured then quickly turning him over the wrong way could have caused further and fatal damage to it. So in that scenario she could be blamed for his death for incorrectly turning him over to attempt CPR.

Ideally, if he was found on his face then the best action would have been to immediately call 911 to avoid further possibility of damage to the neck.

As to the back injuries I couldn't say except that he and the scooter were tangled up with the chandelier during the fall and his back could have been scratched from that. What happened to the tee shirt he wore when he fell? Was it ripped up?

Also, if the scooter was on the floor beside him could Rebecca have inadvertently pushed it on to the front of his leg when she knelt down beside him to turn him over.

The way the first responders described her she sounded hysterical to me, crying and calling his name.
I don't get the impression that she thought clearly or was calm after she found him on the floor. I wonder if the 911 call could clarify whether or not she was hysterical during the incident.

freespeech
08-10-2012, 01:38 PM
I see that the summary (first post of this thread) was written by other doctors; however, reading a few certain sentences on page three of the first attachment jumped out at me.

Just above and below the picture of the electrical plug these two sentences caught my attention:

"Why couldn't the specialized doctors in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit save him?"

Then next paragraph:

"No one could save Max, once he fell."

A bit odd...are those Dina's words?
May be am reading too much into it.:blushing:

Her words seem odd to me as well.

K_Z
08-10-2012, 01:51 PM
Just to dispel any further speculation, the words arielilane quoted above are mine (not Dina's) from the article I wrote reviewing and interpreting for a lay audience the findings and terminology in Max's autopsy report. This article was originally posted in Sept 2011 on The Hinky Meter, and has been posted and quoted elsewhere as well.

The article is linked on page 1. I will also offer that back in 2011, Valhall had it previewred by several physician experts (one of them a prominent neurologist) before it was originally posted to ensure my interpretation was accurate.

freespeech
08-10-2012, 02:01 PM
Regarding the alleged Ocean utterance:

Could Max have uttered Ocean before/if Rebecca turned him over? Because if she did turn him over she may have further damaged the spinal cord, that damage then causing the cardio pulmonary cessation.

Also, could she have been so hysterical that she thought "Ocean" but in her altered stated of consciousness thought she heard it instead of just thinking it? That could happen to anyone in a highly charged situation and especially if she was overtaken by hysteria. I think hearing the 911 call would shed light on Rebecca's state of mind during the incident.

time
08-10-2012, 02:25 PM
Regarding the alleged Ocean utterance:

Could Max have uttered Ocean before/if Rebecca turned him over? Because if she did turn him over she may have further damaged the spinal cord, that damage then causing the cardio pulmonary cessation.

Also, could she have been so hysterical that she thought "Ocean" but in her altered stated of consciousness thought she heard it instead of just thinking it? That could happen to anyone in a highly charged situation and especially if she was overtaken by hysteria. I think hearing the 911 call would shed light on Rebecca's state of mind during the incident.

You bring up some good possibilities.

I also wondered if Max possibly just made a noise (like a woosh or shannn sound), but she thought it sounded like 'Ocean'... is it possible he could have made a noise even if he could not say a word? I'm not convinced yet it's impossible he said it, we only have once opinion on that and I think she said it was unlikely.

freespeech
08-10-2012, 02:29 PM
Regarding the alleged Ocean utterance:

Could Max have uttered Ocean before/if Rebecca turned him over? Because if she did turn him over she may have further damaged the spinal cord, that damage then causing the cardio pulmonary cessation.

Also, could she have been so hysterical that she thought "Ocean" but in her altered stated of consciousness thought she heard it instead of just thinking it? That could happen to anyone in a highly charged situation and especially if she was overtaken by hysteria. I think hearing the 911 call would shed light on Rebecca's state of mind during the incident.

Also, if Rebecca was hysterical could it be due to the emotional bond that had developed between the two. She had stated that she saw Max as her own son. This would account for a hysterical reaction as opposed to a calm, cool collected reaction, no?

*Lash*
08-10-2012, 02:30 PM
REPOSTED

QUESTOR: Did LE recover the chandelier and check it for human tissue/blood/DNA?

If so, was that tissue/blood/DNA found on the upper portion of the chandelier, as though MS fell on top of it, or on the lower portion, as though the chandelier fell on top of MS? TIA

The question about whether DNA was recovered from the chandelier was asked a few times on the August, 7th Dr. Drew show.

First Time -

KATHY, CALLER FROM OHIO: Yes. Dr. Drew, my question is this -- I was wondering if there was any DNA found possibly that would connect the lady who had also died, Rebecca, with the son`s death?

PINSKY: Well, as you know, the San Diego investigators did not feel there was any wrongdoing. I know there was all kinds of consternation over the DNA on the rope that they found Rebecca tied to, but, Angela, maybe you can sort of clear that up real quick.

HALLIER: Yes. It`s our understanding from the records we have been given access to that DNA was taken from underneath Max`s fingernails but we have no indication that it was ever tested.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1208/07/ddhln.01.html

Second Time -

CINDY: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. For both Max and Rebecca, I wanted to say with Max, the diagram of that child trying to get over a wall and grab a chandelier and fall like that just seems like an impossibility. And I did want to ask was the chandelier fingerprinted or DNA taken off of it to prove the child had grabbed it?

PINSKY: I don`t know if -- Ann is shaking her head no and the -- Dina`s attorney said they had tested under the fingernails but did not test -- they did not have any DNA result. Thank you for that call. Cassidy in Alabama -- Cassidy.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1208/07/ddhln.01.html

freespeech
08-10-2012, 02:40 PM
You bring up some good possibilities.

I also wondered if Max possibly just made a noise (like a woosh or shannn sound), but she thought it sounded like 'Ocean'... is it possible he could have made a noise even if he could not say a word? I'm not convinced yet it's impossible he said it, we only have once opinion on that and I think she said it was unlikely.

If Max's spinal cord were damaged to the extent that caused cardio pulmonary cessation then he probably would likewise not be able to voluntarily speak.

If he made and inadvertent "shoon" sound with a a final exhalation she could have interpreted that as sounding like Ocean while maybe also thinking and wondering if Ocean tripped him or knocked him over while he was playing.

Kids fall and have accidents all the time. Accidental death is the #1 cause of childhood fatality.

Her potential hysterical reaction when she found him could easily be the cause of her perplexing statement.

CuriousGeorgia
08-10-2012, 02:42 PM
I'm really disappointed in this and that's just a ridiculous reason. I've painted quit a bit in the past and I'm messy with it, mostly acrylics, or even the house and I've never gotten paint on my back
.

Furhman was saying that the paint transferred from the rope to her back when she put her hands behind her and slipped them in the top loops. That is was consistent with her tying her own self up.

time
08-10-2012, 02:56 PM
Furhman was saying that the paint transferred from the rope to her back when she put her hands behind her and slipped them in the top loops. That is was consistent with her tying her own self up.

Thanks! But that doesn't sound like it excludes someone else getting paint on the rope and transferring it.

Anyway, maybe we should move this discussion in another to an exisitng thread that is relevant to investigating the evidence of Rebecca's death.

CuriousGeorgia
08-10-2012, 02:59 PM
Some photos of Max's injuries are in this video. They are disturbing and may ruin your day. Poor little child had just turned six.

http://www.cbs8.com/category/155799/video-landing-page?clipId=7584855&autostart=true

time
08-10-2012, 03:07 PM
Can you please move discussion about Rebecca's death here that mods made yesterday:

Rebecca's Death - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

THANK YOU

time
08-10-2012, 03:09 PM
Damage to Upper Railing and Post Pic from Dr. Bove's report.

I just don't see how the damage on the railing post is related to Max going over the railing in any of the scenarios.

What this pic made me wonder - what is directly behind that upper railing, is a door into a room and I don't know how wide that hallway ont he second floor is (probably can find out)? Is it possible Max came running out of one of them, if so, and went over the upper railing at more of a 45 - 90 degree angle with the skooter in hand? Maybe Ocean was running behind him and helped bump/flip him up and over? I may be wrong but the damage on the post appears to be going at some angle that is downward and not across the railing.

CuriousGeorgia
08-10-2012, 03:30 PM
The second shoe print belonged to a police officer, it was matched up and noted in the reports. There also are other things the Zahau lawyers, who in my opinion are not in the least bit credible... brought up which were investigated, explained and are not evidence of a homicide. That's why Gore said they had no new evidence.

I totally agree with your assessment of the Zahau lawyers and experts.

time
08-10-2012, 03:35 PM
Here is the Second Story Floor Plan around the Hall and Stairway area.

i.b.nora
08-10-2012, 04:02 PM
That doorway from the main staircase landing leads to the stairway that goes up to the room with the balcony. And, you can't see it in that section you posted, but the doorway also leads to a stairway that goes into the kitchen. Rebecca last saw Max in the kitchen, as I recall.

Charterhouse
08-10-2012, 05:09 PM
If I recall correctly the initial reports stated that Max was eating breakfast while Rebecca and Z were in the bathrooms.

jjenny
08-10-2012, 05:14 PM
Damage to Upper Railing and Post Pic from Dr. Bove's report.

I just don't see how the damage on the railing post is related to Max going over the railing in any of the scenarios.

What this pic made me wonder - what is directly behind that upper railing, is a door into a room and I don't know how wide that hallway ont he second floor is (probably can find out)? Is it possible Max came running out of one of them, if so, and went over the upper railing at more of a 45 - 90 degree angle with the skooter in hand? Maybe Ocean was running behind him and helped bump/flip him up and over? I may be wrong but the damage on the post appears to be going at some angle that is downward and not across the railing.

I can see the damage but I sincerely doubt that damage is going to be caused by pushing a child into the railing. I have no idea what made it otherwise. If there is paint on the scooter then scooter is a suspect in making the damage.

Charterhouse
08-10-2012, 05:23 PM
Does anyone know where the door with the chain latch was leading? Is this the door that you were just talking about?

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 06:31 PM
I can see the damage but I sincerely doubt that damage is going to be caused by pushing a child into the railing. I have no idea what made it otherwise. If there is paint on the scooter then scooter is a suspect in making the damage.

I agree.

CuriousGeorgia
08-10-2012, 06:57 PM
There was lots of mixed DNA. No fingerprints... very odd... like the room had been wiped down.... and then someone turned out the lights.... I find that strange...

No, there was only Rebecca's and Max's DNA/fingerprints in the room. There was obviously older DNA that was too low to even be measured (? - not sure that's what they call it). So only Max and Rebecca had been in that room recently. The DNA and fingerprints tell the whole story. They were on the door frames, paint brushes, paint tubes, rope KNOTS, and the bed leg, as well as other placed. As one detective put it, "you'd have to be in a hovercraft to not leave anything". NO WAY anyone else was in the room. You really can't argue "what ifs" against DNA and fingerprints. Also, Rebecca could tie knots and she just tied until she got it done.

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 07:05 PM
Regarding the alleged Ocean utterance:

Could Max have uttered Ocean before/if Rebecca turned him over? Because if she did turn him over she may have further damaged the spinal cord, that damage then causing the cardio pulmonary cessation.

Also, could she have been so hysterical that she thought "Ocean" but in her altered stated of consciousness thought she heard it instead of just thinking it? That could happen to anyone in a highly charged situation and especially if she was overtaken by hysteria. I think hearing the 911 call would shed light on Rebecca's state of mind during the incident.

Those are good points. The report the way it is written could be misconstrued or RZ misunderstood.... it always seemed to be she was trying to say what she heard.... and MS could have shouted out "Ocean" at the time she heard the crash... just as when NR recalls RZ said something about the bedroom... I got the impression she thought MS was playing in his bedroom when she went to the bathroom... and the next thing she hears Ocean and a big crash.. comes out of the bathroom to find MS on the floor...

It would be a very natural reaction to turn him over... especially if he is not responding in anyway... not moving.. not speaking for groaning... and you have to turn him over to do CPR... if he was moaning or responsive in some way.. I might not turn him over... Just my thoughts..

inthedark14
08-10-2012, 07:12 PM
No, there was only Rebecca's and Max's DNA/fingerprints in the room. There was obviously older DNA that was too low to even be measured (? - not sure that's what they call it). So only Max and Rebecca had been in that room recently. The DNA and fingerprints tell the whole story. They were on the door frames, paint brushes, paint tubes, rope KNOTS, and the bed leg, as well as other placed. As one detective put it, "you'd have to be in a hovercraft to not leave anything". NO WAY anyone else was in the room. You really can't argue "what ifs" against DNA and fingerprints. Also, Rebecca could tie knots and she just tied until she got it done.

Hi CG. Can you please provide a link to back this up? TIA

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 07:27 PM
That doorway from the main staircase landing leads to the stairway that goes up to the room with the balcony. And, you can't see it in that section you posted, but the doorway also leads to a stairway that goes into the kitchen. Rebecca last saw Max in the kitchen, as I recall.

Oh that is interesting..... was RZ in the bathroom underneath that staircase area I wonder... she might have heard Max going upstairs.. presumably to his bedroom...

and about that chanelier and where it was hanging the SDLE diagram shows it well below the second floor... while it was 30 inches in diameter... if you were reaching for it on the second floor... to grab the chain area... it would have been say 53 inches to reach it.... a little boys arm would need to reach way out and maybe need that ruler to try and grab it... it is exactly what a boy would do... I had a little boy in my home this afternoon...9 he is.. and he wanted to grab that chandelier in my stairwell... and the first thing out of his mouth was can I swing from it.... :what:

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 07:37 PM
The thing about Max is WHY would anyone want to hurt him that badly? If you believe an assault scenario.. was it the two kids roughhousing arugueing.... RZ losing her temper with him and assaultinghim... well WHY...

and that door from the middle landing leads to the kitchen down a set of stairs... who could have gotten in the house.... and came up them and assaulted Max? That note on the door "speaks" to both of them.... "she saved him" meaning RZ saved Max... "can you save her?" wow.... at the time of RZ's death... outsiders would not have known how grave the medical situation with MS was.. it still could have been an outsider somene wanting to hurt JS who shoved MS over that railing... scooter and all and when that didn't seem to pan out they came in and hurt RZ..... what if one of his daughter's local boyfriends had had a run in with JS and wanted to hurt someone in the family to get back at him.... there are many possible scenarious...in fact once the perpetrator realized how EASY it was to get in the house.. maybe they did come back and esculate the violence with a sexual fantasy about RZ..... that is still a possibility...

that being said... it doesn't seem like anyone had any reason to hurt Max badly... but once Max was hurt that badly... and in fact that Tuesday night... NR said a doctor told both DS and JS that Max would NEVER walk again... at that point many people had reasons to harm RZ....

Salem
08-10-2012, 07:51 PM
I just removed an entire page of posts for being off-topic. I don't have time to move the posts to the appropriate thread right now, maybe later. So.... if you said anything important, no one will get to read it.

This thread is about THE DOCUMENTS RELATING TO MAX'S DEATH AND INJURIES. It is not about Rebecca, except as her presence relates to Max's death. It is NOT about AS. There are thread for those discussions - this is NOT the thread.

Please put your discussion in the appropriate threads or they won't be around long enough for anyone to read.

Salem

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 08:18 PM
Damage to Upper Railing and Post Pic from Dr. Bove's report.

I just don't see how the damage on the railing post is related to Max going over the railing in any of the scenarios.

What this pic made me wonder - what is directly behind that upper railing, is a door into a room and I don't know how wide that hallway ont he second floor is (probably can find out)? Is it possible Max came running out of one of them, if so, and went over the upper railing at more of a 45 - 90 degree angle with the skooter in hand? Maybe Ocean was running behind him and helped bump/flip him up and over? I may be wrong but the damage on the post appears to be going at some angle that is downward and not across the railing.

Similiar to the SDLE scenario... but we see evidence of the sccoter scraping the railing... as it went over? hmmm

Confused.... taken in October or by SDLE right after the accident?

Those photos are odd.... they were taken in October.... so who knows why that plant material is there on the middle landing. It seems like some kind of modern ficture has replaced the chandelier... they probably needed to get some kind of light working there for safety.... and then
in the last photo something appears on the floor of the second landing....

with people moving things in and out of the house... are these SDLE photos or the October photos? I mean... with construction going on... that railing could have been easily damaged at anytime... it would be very prudent to determine if the paint on the scooter matches the railing...

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 08:40 PM
From the Dr. Judy Melinik report...

1. According to personal interviews with Dina Shacknai, Maxfield was a careful child;
not a risk{aker or dare-devil. She reported that the soccer balls in the photos were
always scattered around the house and it was not unusualto see them there. Both
Dr. Bove and Dina Shacknai described the carpeting of the residence as being a
thick pile carpet, which would make it difficult for Max to ride his razor scooter at a
high rate of speed. Dina Shacknai reported that her sister Nina was told by Rebecca
Zahau that Maxfield had fallen from the second story on the day of the fall, prior to
any police report. She also reported that told
her that Rebecca had a quick temper and knew ju-jitsu. reported incidents
where Rebecca would put in a "hold" and would have to "tap out" to be
released from the hold.

This is astounding.... NR said this or DS? Really RZ would put NR in a ju-jitsu hold.. and she had a quick temper... I wonder what the RZ family would say to this?

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 08:42 PM
oh... Dr. Melnik goes on to kind of dispell RZ being violent noting any evidence of this was notably absent in the informaton she reviewed... almsot contradicting DS and NR...

"A thorough psychological assessment of her mental state or inquiries into
previous aggressive acts or a pre-existing violent temperament are all notably absent
from the material I reviewed in Max's case file or in the material supplied to me about
Rebecca Zahau's death."

Yoda
08-10-2012, 08:51 PM
Does anyone recall if MS is right or left handed?

One scenario I thought of is what if MS was reaching for the chandelier with the ruler while on the scooter at the railing and up on his tip toes? If he is holding tight to the scooter handle and with the other hand reaching way out to try and grab the chandelier with a ruler...... and what if the dog jumps on him from behind...? Would MS fall over still holding onto the scooter...dragging against the railing bannister making those marks...as MS flips over.... the scooter flips up and gets tangled in the chandelier for a split second while MS swings out holding onto the scooter now stuck in the chandelier ... and then when the chandelier gives way.... the boy, the scooter and the ruler crash to the ground...

I find the ruler to be a fascinating piece of new evidence.... exactly what a boy might try to use to reach that dazzling chandelier....and pull it over to have a good look.. or actually hang off of it....

and thanks so much Time for setting this up.... very interesting reading...

that door on the middle landing... always open... does it lead to the garage? I need to double check...

I don't remember ever reading about the ruler before. Someone posted long ago about maybe he was trying to get a soccer ball that was stuck in the chandelier (yes, this has happened at my house a few times). What if he was using the ruler to try to knock the soccer ball out of the chandelier? What if he couldn't reach and climbed up on the banister with the ruler? And what if an excited young dog wanted to play too and accidentally knocked him off balance? He could have yelled oceans name as he grabbed at the chandelier. Or if he did say it when RZ got to him maybe that explains why his last word was the dogs name. His momentum could have swung him into the landing banister where he could have tried to steady himself and then fell the rest of the way when the chandelier gave way. When RZ turned him over it could have knocked his foot into the scooter and that fell on him. I would think she would be more concerned with his head/breathing then what was laying across his shin. This is just another possible scenario trying to use the info we have.

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 08:53 PM
Okay the plant material inbetween the spindles on the middle landing.. bothered me.... BUT the plant on the main floor sits high enough that the leaves would actually stick out through the railings... no issue here... not plant being thrown.

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 09:09 PM
I don't remember ever reading about the ruler before. Someone posted long ago about maybe he was trying to get a soccer ball that was stuck in the chandelier (yes, this has happened at my house a few times). What if he was using the ruler to try to knock the soccer ball out of the chandelier? What if he couldn't reach and climbed up on the banister with the ruler? And what if an excited young dog wanted to play too and accidentally knocked him off balance? He could have yelled oceans name as he grabbed at the chandelier. Or if he did say it when RZ got to him maybe that explains why his last word was the dogs name. His momentum could have swung him into the landing banister where he could have tried to steady himself and then fell the rest of the way when the chandelier gave way. When RZ turned him over it could have knocked his foot into the scooter and that fell on him. I would think she would be more concerned with his head/breathing then what was laying across his shin. This is just another possible scenario trying to use the info we have.

Very good point..... soccer ball in chandelier good motivation..... to get at it... maybe he tried the ruler.. it fell to the ground... didn't reach so he hoisted his scooter up.... while standing at the corner area where the stair railing meets the main newel post at the top of the stairs..

DS's experts actually say MS could have gone over at that spot... this is from the Exponent report....

"The center area of this photograph depicts the inclined portion of railing where a person of Maxfield Shacknai’s stature could theoretically travel over the railing given sufficient horizontal velocity."

If MS stands there at that top stair and tries to use his scooter to grab at the Chandelier,....he scrapes the newel post and railing as he tries to get it over..... maybe to get a soccer ball or just to play with the Chandelier and then the dog gets excited and jumps at his while he is leaned over and trying to reach.... he falls the scooter gets caught in the chandelier for a bit MS may have held on and then falls... I believe the SDLE believed he snapped is neck on the middle railing before landing on the main floor.... by the way somone pointed out that that floor on the main landing is made of Cement... it would be cement coverd by carpeting.... much more unforgiving than a wood type floor material.

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 09:43 PM
I have read through the reports but I must admit the injury stuff relating to the autopsy just boggles me...

this thought keeps niggling at me... essentially an excited dog could have "assaulted" MS at the stairs... and could any of the mystery injuries on his back have been caused by the dog? The nails dragging on his back?... MS could have been pushed into the railing face first by the dog causing the head injuries and then as he tries to get up again he loses his balance and goes over that side railing on the top stair....still holding the scooter as it scrapes the newel post and top railing...? possible....

Mrs. Holmes
08-10-2012, 09:48 PM
I have read these reports and watched the interviews, including the press conference and I find this whole thing orchestrated to point solely at RZ... regardless of the valueable expertise and scientific analysis that could get to the truth of the death of MS.

arielilane
08-10-2012, 09:55 PM
I don't remember ever reading about the ruler before. Someone posted long ago about maybe he was trying to get a soccer ball that was stuck in the chandelier (yes, this has happened at my house a few times). What if he was using the ruler to try to knock the soccer ball out of the chandelier? What if he couldn't reach and climbed up on the banister with the ruler? And what if an excited young dog wanted to play too and accidentally knocked him off balance? He could have yelled oceans name as he grabbed at the chandelier. Or if he did say it when RZ got to him maybe that explains why his last word was the dogs name. His momentum could have swung him into the landing banister where he could have tried to steady himself and then fell the rest of the way when the chandelier gave way. When RZ turned him over it could have knocked his foot into the scooter and that fell on him. I would think she would be more concerned with his head/breathing then what was laying across his shin. This is just another possible scenario trying to use the info we have.

Yoda, this is very feasible and from the video of Maxfield's injuries would be consistent with this type of accident.

arielilane
08-10-2012, 09:59 PM
Some photos of Max's injuries are in this video. They are disturbing and may ruin your day. Poor little child had just turned six.


By no means am I an expert, but the injuries appear to be consistent with a fall rather than a beating.
The abrasions/ scrapes down the middle of the back are consistent with falling and hitting the stairway/banister as are the face injuries (only one side).

scorekeeper
08-10-2012, 10:07 PM
oh... Dr. Melnik goes on to kind of dispell RZ being violent noting any evidence of this was notably absent in the informaton she reviewed... almsot contradicting DS and NR...

"A thorough psychological assessment of her mental state or inquiries into
previous aggressive acts or a pre-existing violent temperament are all notably absent
from the material I reviewed in Max's case file or in the material supplied to me about
Rebecca Zahau's death."

BBM

Why would a doctor hired to give an opinion about MS's death also be reviewing material about RZ's death????

Wonder what the doctor's opinion is/was about that material reviewed???

Yoda
08-11-2012, 01:42 AM
Some photos of Max's injuries are in this video. They are disturbing and may ruin your day. Poor little child had just turned six.

http://www.cbs8.com/category/155799/video-landing-page?clipId=7584855&autostart=true

I looked at the photos and I can't make sense out of the injuries.
There looked to be a bruise straight across his back under his shoulder blades. That looks like it could be from his back hitting a banister from a fall, not being pushed up against. Jmo. The scrapes skin abrasions along the spine could be from the bannister too, but I can't figure out how he got the two combined. And was there any record of finding blood/skin anywhere in the stairwell? He did have quite a large amount scraped off. There had to be evidence somewhere on the bannister/stairs. And if there wasn't then where did the scrapes come from? And if LE didn't find it then that is just hinky. Jmo

Quick question for any medical people- should they be moving him around like that to take photos if he has a back/neck injury? It looked like he still was in his clothes and not a gown.

K_Z
08-11-2012, 03:24 AM
I think Dr. Bove did a pretty good job of enumerating the physics involved—my criticism is that Dr. Bove appears to have a very limited imagination as he ran various scenarios. But perhaps he was not given that intellectual freedom—he may have been asked to run only a limited set of scenarios.

For instance, I would be interested in running the numbers for a scenario that could include horseplay such as straddling the railing with an intrinsic loss of balance, a reaching loss of balance, or an external variable such as the dog. I can easily envision multiple planes of injury with a vertex impact in that scenario. What about a child hanging upside down from the railing with legs (knees or feet) entwined in the spindles—either at the top railing of the spindles, or lower, near the bottom railing of the spindles?? I’m not saying I strongly feel any of these are what happened—my opinion is some kind of horseplay lead to the fall, which was unintended. I do commend Dr.Bove for stating very clearly that he could not determine if whatever happened was intentional. That was very ethical and professional.

I was attentively following Dr. Melinek right up to the point that Dina’s wallet biopsy results came in—when she mentioned Rebecca Zahau by name as the likely perpetrator of a possible assault on Max. I would put more weight in what she had stated if she had said more generally that “someone”, in her opinion, assaulted Max. I feel she overstepped the bounds of an ME by naming RZ specifically—if she had simply advocated for reclassifying Max’s death as a homicide, for example, WITHOUT naming RZ, I would place more value on her comments. I feel she loses a lot of credibility when she names a specific person as a possible perpetrator. Law Enforcement investigators are charged with connecting the dots of an ME’s physical findings and medical interpretation—so for her to specifically name RZ as the perpetrator is disingenuous and demonstrates her wallet biopsy bias, imo.

Additionally, with the revelation that Dr. Melinek was provided with Wikipedia printouts, and postings from an anonymous internet forum as “support and evidence”, I feel she was professionally remiss not to include statements dismissing these items as part of her analysis and interpretation. I would place more weight on her comments IF she had clearly stated something such as the following (which she did not):

“While this reviewer was provided with additional materials for consideration, which include Wikipedia sources and anonymous internet forum postings, these materials were not, and cannot, be given any weight or consideration in the analysis, or final conclusions, because they lack scholarly rigor, and do not represent of a review of the relevant professional literature.”

That would be the scholarly, professional, and ethical way to address the forum postings and Wikipedia entries she was provided with, IMO. Even graduate students can’t use THOSE sources to document and validate their student papers.

Then again, Dina paid her big bucks to review Wikipedia entries, and anonymous internet forum postings! ROFLAMO! Who exactly got the better end of that deal-- Dr. Melinek or Dina?! That is hilarious, when I stop to think about it critically!

Sheesh.

CuriousGeorgia
08-11-2012, 03:26 AM
oh... Dr. Melnik goes on to kind of dispell RZ being violent noting any evidence of this was notably absent in the informaton she reviewed... almsot contradicting DS and NR...

"A thorough psychological assessment of her mental state or inquiries into
previous aggressive acts or a pre-existing violent temperament are all notably absent
from the material I reviewed in Max's case file or in the material supplied to me about
Rebecca Zahau's death."

That doesn't mean she wasn't violent, it just means the police did not do a mental assessment of her. Because Rebecca would not call them back.

CuriousGeorgia
08-11-2012, 03:31 AM
I think Dr. Bove did a pretty good job of enumerating the physics involved—my criticism is that Dr. Bove appears to have a very limited imagination as he ran various scenarios. But perhaps he was not given that intellectual freedom—he may have been asked to run only a limited set of scenarios.

For instance, I would be interested in running the numbers for a scenario that could include horseplay such as straddling the railing with an intrinsic loss of balance, a reaching loss of balance, or an external variable such as the dog. I can easily envision multiple planes of injury with a vertex impact in that scenario. What about a child hanging upside down from the railing with legs (knees or feet) entwined in the spindles—either at the top railing of the spindles, or lower, near the bottom railing of the spindles?? I’m not saying I strongly feel any of these are what happened—my opinion is some kind of horseplay lead to the fall, which was unintended. I do commend Dr.Bove for stating very clearly that he could not determine if whatever happened was intentional. That was very ethical and professional.

I was attentively following Dr. Melinek right up to the point that Dina’s wallet biopsy results came in—when she mentioned Rebecca Zahau by name as the likely perpetrator of a possible assault on Max. I would put more weight in what she had stated if she had said more generally that “someone”, in her opinion, assaulted Max. I feel she overstepped the bounds of an ME by naming RZ specifically—if she had simply advocated for reclassifying Max’s death as a homicide, for example, WITHOUT naming RZ, I would place more value on her comments. I feel she loses a lot of credibility when she names a specific person as a possible perpetrator. Law Enforcement investigators are charged with connecting the dots of an ME’s physical findings and medical interpretation—so for her to specifically name RZ as the perpetrator is disingenuous and demonstrates her wallet biopsy bias, imo.

Additionally, with the revelation that Dr. Melinek was provided with Wikipedia printouts, and postings from an anonymous internet forum as “support and evidence”, I feel she was professionally remiss not to include statements dismissing these items as part of her analysis and interpretation. I would place more weight on her comments IF she had clearly stated something such as the following (which she did not):



That would be the scholarly, professional, and ethical way to address the forum postings and Wikipedia entries she was provided with, IMO. Even graduate students can’t use THOSE sources to document and validate their student papers.

Then again, Dina paid her big bucks to review Wikipedia entries, and anonymous internet forum postings! ROFLAMO! Who exactly got the better end of that deal-- Dr. Melinek or Dina?! That is hilarious, when I stop to think about it critically!

Sheesh.

BBM


Sorry, but I don't find anything about Dina's trying to find out what happened to her little 6-year old boy hilarious.

K_Z
08-11-2012, 03:41 AM
Really CuriousGeorgia? You can't appreciate the absurdity of asking (paying) a prominent forensic medical examiner to look at, and consider Wikipedia printouts, and anonymous internet forum postings?

Really?

CuriousGeorgia
08-11-2012, 04:05 AM
Not when they are about the death of that cute little 6-year old. Not funny to me.

K_Z
08-11-2012, 04:21 AM
I agree. Max deserves reference sources better than Wikipedia and anonymous internet forum postings.

At last we agree on something.

screecher
08-11-2012, 08:12 AM
Absolutely K_Z, it is absurd and unbelievable an "expert" would use those two sources to reach the conclusion she did. Unbelievable.

stmarysmead
08-11-2012, 08:40 AM
There would be no stone I would leave unturned, no matter WHAT it was, if I were a Mother that lost her only child in this manner. The references to these experts being paid...I find curious. What Mother in this position would not pay anything, read everything, use anything and everything at her disposal to get answers? If some of these things are in the report...they can be investigated and discounted if inaccurate. But as a grieving Mother...I would ignore NOTHING.

DS is a victim of this tragedy...without any doubt. She has suffered what I consider to be about life's greatest tragedy. There are no other children to comfort her. There is no husband to console her. It does not demean the grief of RZ's family to recognize the enormity of DS's loss. Why the hostility?

I respect this grieving Mother and admire everything she is doing to get answers. These experts have not relied just on Wikipedia and blog posts...so one can discount those if desired...but the totality of their reports would leave any grieving Mother doing just what DS is doing. What should she do if she feels her child was murdered? Take up golf and forget it? No, she is using her resources, her time, and energies to try to get answers to her questions. Just as RZ's family has done. Why is one effort criticized and the other praised,or vice versa? None of us have the answers so we cannot pick out the villians with certainty.

Families of crime victims have pleaded with the public to share anything, no matter how insignificant it seems...in hope it might lead to answers. That is all that has been done here.

And I agree there is nothing funny about the grief of a Mother who has lost her only child and her attempts to find out why. The grief of both families should be respected IMO...in light of our own ignorance of the true facts of this case.

Yoda
08-11-2012, 09:43 AM
There would be no stone I would leave unturned, no matter WHAT it was, if I were a Mother that lost her only child in this manner. The references to these experts being paid...I find curious. What Mother in this position would not pay anything, read everything, use anything and everything at her disposal to get answers? If some of these things are in the report...they can be investigated and discounted if inaccurate. But as a grieving Mother...I would ignore NOTHING.

DS is a victim of this tragedy...without any doubt. She has suffered what I consider to be about life's greatest tragedy. There are no other children to comfort her. There is no husband to console her. It does not demean the grief of RZ's family to recognize the enormity of DS's loss. Why the hostility?

I respect this grieving Mother and admire everything she is doing to get answers. These experts have not relied just on Wikipedia and blog posts...so one can discount those if desired...but the totality of their reports would leave any grieving Mother doing just what DS is doing. What should she do if she feels her child was murdered? Take up golf and forget it? No, she is using her resources, her time, and energies to try to get answers to her questions. Just as RZ's family has done. Why is one effort criticized and the other praised,or vice versa? None of us have the answers so we cannot pick out the villians with certainty.

Families of crime victims have pleaded with the public to share anything, no matter how insignificant it seems...in hope it might lead to answers. That is all that has been done here.

And I agree there is nothing funny about the grief of a Mother who has lost her only child and her attempts to find out why. The grief of both families should be respected IMO...in light of our own ignorance of the true facts of this case.

I agree that as a mother I would look at everything, everything! But if I am hiring an expert to analyze the scene and come to a conclusion why would the expert be referencing what was said on Internet blogs? If the expert needs to assess RZ's background, temperament, etc then friends, family, coworkers should be interviewed. If they refuse to cooperate then note that and conclude temperament can not be determined. The impartial expert lost credibility, IMO, when opinions on blog sites were a factor in the analysis. Jmo
I still don't agree/understand LE's findings on how MS was injured and would like to see the case reopened.

stmarysmead
08-11-2012, 10:52 AM
'Then again, Dina paid her big bucks to review Wikipedia entries, and anonymous internet forum postings! ROFLAMO! Who exactly got the better end of that deal-- Dr. Melinek or Dina?! That is hilarious, when I stop to think about it critically!"

No, there is nothing "hilarious" about anything surrounding the the death of a child, especially an only child, or the attempts of his Mother to understand why.Most of us would use every penny we possess..."big bucks" if we had them. We might assume that even those who felt the death was an accident would at least have compassion.

Where is the compassion...for both families? Why the animosity when NO ONE has the facts yet?

Maybe Dina wanted to be sure that every thing she read ANYWHERE was not overlooked...again as grieving parents often ask for ANY detail, any rumor...ANYTHING in their desparation.

And if one believes that it was a waste of money, or DS was taken advantage of...is that "hilarious?" No, our compassion for a grieving mother should make that profoundly sad. Why not hope that DS will find the answers to her questions and RZ's family will as well?

bourne
08-11-2012, 11:08 AM
I was attentively following Dr. Melinek right up to the point that Dina’s wallet biopsy results came in—when she mentioned Rebecca Zahau by name as the likely perpetrator of a possible assault on Max. I would put more weight in what she had stated if she had said more generally that “someone”, in her opinion, assaulted Max. I feel she overstepped the bounds of an ME by naming RZ specifically—if she had simply advocated for reclassifying Max’s death as a homicide, for example, WITHOUT naming RZ, I would place more value on her comments. I feel she loses a lot of credibility when she names a specific person as a possible perpetrator. Law Enforcement investigators are charged with connecting the dots of an ME’s physical findings and medical interpretation—so for her to specifically name RZ as the perpetrator is disingenuous and demonstrates her wallet biopsy bias, imo.

Agree. Dr. Melinek showed clear bias when she outright named Rebecca as assaulting and killing Max. No objective scientist who wanted to be taken seriously would have named anyone as a suspect unless they had solid, irrefutable proof. Dr. Melinek is a paid joke.

time
08-11-2012, 11:22 AM
Of course, I agree with comments that Dr. Melinek appears biased and unprofessional. It lowers her credibility in my opinion. I have never seen a pathology report as a review or as an original that looks like this for the various reasons mentioned. The results are also overstated - to put it mildly. I'm not sure Dr. Melinek was paid as she does this pro bono for parents of murdered children - but that begs the question of whether that is where the bias is coming in and if the info that was given her, plus, relying on Dina as the only source of some info (jiujitsu?) shows selection bias/influence. I do believe she was given some scenario and then worked to prove it. And, possibly after refinement, Dr. Bove was given a scenario and asked to show it COULD have happened. I do not think either proved this is true because, as I have said there are a few missing pieces not to mention it doesn't appear everything is explained. Whoever gave her the forum content also shows a bias because I do not think anyone on that forum really ever considered Rebecca not guilty, although I have to profess after one or two readings a long time ago and having read comments by the same posters on Patch articles, I declined to go there any more.

K_Z
08-11-2012, 11:27 AM
A few posters have missed my point entirely. I find absolutely nothing funny about a mother's grief, or quest to find comfort and understanding about the death of her only child. But that is not at all what I said, if you scroll back and read my post. My comments are about Dr. Melinek's use of the Wikipedia articles and blog posts, which have little to nothing to do with Dina, except that Dina paid for her review.

What I find hilarious is the concept of paying (or BEING paid) to consider Wikipedia articles and anonymous blog posts as part of a serious scientific review of a child's death.

And I DO find it very odd that Dr. Melinek admits that these sources were included in the materials she was asked to review, AND that she does not make any statements about the inability of relying in any way on those materials. Because by NOT making that statement, she has de facto admitted that she DID give merit and reliability to Wikipedia articles and blog posts.

How exactly would that hold up in court-- criminal OR civil? She would be absolutely excoriated and discredited by opposing counsel. A jury might even laugh or smirk.

No serious scientist or law enforcement professional should rely on internet blog posts, no matter how brilliant, as any sort of foundation for their research or case. Read, say "hmmm", and then go search for the REAL scholarly or scientific basis for the finding.

Can yiou imagine a dissertation or a professional journal submission that uses Wikipedia in the bibliography? An editorial committee wouldn't be able to stop laughing.

These are not serious references that any physician should be using to make determinations about anything. THAT is my point. I cannot fault DINA for providing them to Dr. Melinek-- but I CAN fault Dr. Melinek for not professionally commenting about dismissing them. Dina gave them to her, so she has to put that in her report somewhere. Dr. Melinek was very remiss for not dismissing them.

And that is what I have done.

time
08-11-2012, 11:48 AM
And I DO find it very odd that Dr. Melinek admits that these sources were included in the materials she was asked to review, AND that she does not make any statements about the inability of relying in any way on those materials. Because by NOT making that statement, she has de facto admitted that she DID give merit and reliability to Wikipedia articles and blog posts.



I think this is a major point. She includes them as if they are valid 'reference' materials in writing up a scientific opinion.

CuriousGeorgia
08-11-2012, 12:52 PM
How is using these sources any different from how Mary Zahau has believed every internet rumor out there (forget science!), and then used them as reason to reopen Rebecca's case on Dr. Phil and in every news article on Radar Online she can get in?

CuriousGeorgia
08-11-2012, 02:08 PM
Well we all have an opinion, don't we?

scorekeeper
08-11-2012, 02:16 PM
I agree that as a mother I would look at everything, everything! But if I am hiring an expert to analyze the scene and come to a conclusion why would the expert be referencing what was said on Internet blogs? If the expert needs to assess RZ's background, temperament, etc then friends, family, coworkers should be interviewed. If they refuse to cooperate then note that and conclude temperament can not be determined. The impartial expert lost credibility, IMO, when opinions on blog sites were a factor in the analysis. Jmo
I still don't agree/understand LE's findings on how MS was injured and would like to see the case reopened.

BBM

Wouldn't talking to JS or RZ's family be a resource for RZ's background? I know that the Doc was paid by DS but wouldn't they want to draw their conclusions after talking to all that knew RZ? I guess the Doc was paid to prove that RZ murdered MS - I wonder if someone had paid the Doc to prove that DS murdered RZ what those conclusions would have been?

Before you hit me with eggs :please:, I'm just asking "was the Doc paid to say one thing only"??

Jessica2012
08-11-2012, 02:17 PM
How is using these sources any different from how Mary Zahau has believed every internet rumor out there (forget science!), and then used them as reason to reopen Rebecca's case on Dr. Phil and in every news article on Radar Online she can get in?

I don't understand what the big deal is in using sources other than high profile, paid experts/attorneys. If the site and what is written, and who has written is verified, I see nothing wrong with using those opinions to support a valid conclusion, and using them as references. If the opinions are ones that are scientifically proven, backed up with references, then what is wrong with using it?

time
08-11-2012, 03:20 PM
I don't understand what the big deal is in using sources other than high profile, paid experts/attorneys. If the site and what is written, and who has written is verified, I see nothing wrong with using those opinions to support a valid conclusion, and using them as references. If the opinions are ones that are scientifically proven, backed up with references, then what is wrong with using it?


Wikipedia hardly constitutes expertise on a topic although I'm not sure what was to be gleaned about jiujitsu by a Pathologist or why it was important in her examination.

There are articles and research in the unreliability of Wikipedia information and it is forbidden to cite it as an authoritative source in most cases. Wikipedia is edited by anyone and while there is a process by which entries can be reviewed or changed, no one knows if that has occurred at all or if the article was factual at the time it was copied.

katydid23
08-11-2012, 03:25 PM
Wikipedia hardly constitutes expertise on a topic although I'm not sure what was to be gleaned about jiujitsu by a Pathologist or why it was important in her examination.

There are articles and research in the unreliability of Wikipedia information and it is forbidden to cite it as an authoritative source in most cases. Wikipedia is edited by anyone and while there is a process by which entries can be reviewed or changed, no one knows if that has occurred at all or if the article was factual at the time it was copied.

Wait...are we now saying the new reports were based upon wiki cites or something?

Jessica2012
08-11-2012, 03:56 PM
Wikipedia hardly constitutes expertise on a topic although I'm not sure what was to be gleaned about jiujitsu by a Pathologist or why it was important in her examination.

There are articles and research in the unreliability of Wikipedia information and it is forbidden to cite it as an authoritative source in most cases. Wikipedia is edited by anyone and while there is a process by which entries can be reviewed or changed, no one knows if that has occurred at all or if the article was factual at the time it was copied.

But was it used as an actual source? Correct me if I am wrong, but there was actual experts who wrote that report- it is their opinion that the report is based on. They did not quote opinions from Wikepedia. Don't they have to make note of every single thing they use? I don't see any direct quotes from anywhere. And honestly, many medical forensic pathology books have noted wikepedia...it is not the only source, it's a source, that they might have used only one word from.But they have to make note of it right?

jjenny
08-11-2012, 04:31 PM
I don't believe Max was assaulted and murdered. Although it probably didn't happen like in the drawing presented by the police either. He probably wasn't just running and fell.
Seems the scooter was somehow involved if there is paint on it.
Looking at you tube, number of videos of young males doing stunts on these scooters.

Jessica2012
08-11-2012, 04:44 PM
The Summary Report describes some back injuries as critical to the assumption of an assault.

In the official autopsy report (page 9) there are quite a few abrasions described as healing or scabbed on Max's back. Some of the injuries are described as having a brown healing scab. I cannot see that his back injuries would have done any healing, but then again I am not a medical expert. I am wondering if these are different injuries than what they are talking a bout in this report. A picture of Max's back (hospital) shown on Dr. Drew did not look like injuries from a railing to me. many of them were vertical not horizontal, but they went by quickly so IDK.

Here is a sample from the autopsy:



I very perplexed at how they propose an assault scenario (saying it had to happen because of injuries he could not have sustained during the fall) and then proceed to say "He was either lifted over the banister or (he) escaped over the banister, falling down to the front entry way." If he could have escaped from someone or a dog, let's say, then why couldn't he do that with no one present?

Furthermore, in one scenario they present Max as backing into the banister as the conclusion as he was escaping someone - why wouldn't any discussion of perhaps playing with the dog be entertained?

And how do they magically come to the conclusion at the end that this was not only a homicide but that Rebecca did it? Is Dr. Melinik qualified, as a pathologist, to make the sorts of comments on RZ having direct involvement? I have never heard of a pathologist doing this, period.

Hi time, I did not understand it as they are saying Rebecca committed homicide. They are questioning the original conclusion, and the story told of what happened, and voiced concerns of the way the events happened or if certain things happened at all, and that assault had taken place first, but no one was named as a suspect or accused. JMO.

freespeech
08-11-2012, 05:35 PM
But was it used as an actual source? Correct me if I am wrong, but there was actual experts who wrote that report- it is their opinion that the report is based on. They did not quote opinions from Wikepedia. Don't they have to make note of every single thing they use? I don't see any direct quotes from anywhere. And honestly, many medical forensic pathology books have noted wikepedia...it is not the only source, it's a source, that they might have used only one word from.But they have to make note of it right?

Wikipedi is not a expert source but more of a quick reference. See Wikipedia Disclaimer below C&P from Wikipedia on Wikipedia:

"Wikipedia disclaimers apply to all pages on Wikipedia. However, the consensus in Wikipedia is to put all disclaimers only as links and at the bottom of each article. Proposals to have a warning box at the top have been rejected. Some do not like the way it looks or that it calls attention to possible errors in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia, in common with many websites, has a disclaimer that, at times, has led to commentators citing these in order to support a view that Wikipedia is unreliable. A selection of similar disclaimers from places which are often regarded as reliable (including sources such as Encyclopædia Britannica, Associated Press, and the Oxford English Dictionary) can be read and compared at Non-Wikipedia disclaimers. Wikipedia content advisories can also be found here."

K_Z
08-11-2012, 10:21 PM
Well, just to inject some humor, here are 2 wikipedia links explaining how wikipedia is not a credible or reliable source for academic use.

(I would characterize a scientific investigation by a physician into a child's death to be at least as important as an academic paper-- a whole lot more impoortant, imo.)

Wikipedia:Academic use - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reliability of Wikipedia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wendy101
08-12-2012, 01:23 AM
BBM

Wouldn't talking to JS or RZ's family be a resource for RZ's background? I know that the Doc was paid by DS but wouldn't they want to draw their conclusions after talking to all that knew RZ? I guess the Doc was paid to prove that RZ murdered MS - I wonder if someone had paid the Doc to prove that DS murdered RZ what those conclusions would have been?

Before you hit me with eggs :please:, I'm just asking "was the Doc paid to say one thing only"??

Well, the saying goes "You get what you pay for"

Salem
08-12-2012, 02:18 AM
Knock off the bickering. It derails the thread and interrupts the flow. STOP.


Salem

Salem
08-12-2012, 02:22 AM
It is against TOS to attack other posters or discuss other posters like they can't read what is being said about them.

If a post is against TOS, alert it and MOVE ON! Do not respond to it. By responding, you continue the derailment of the discussion and you subject yourself to consequences.

I'm becoming weary of posting warnings, so please follow the rules. There is good discussion to be had here.

Thanks,

Salem

Amalie
08-12-2012, 01:01 PM
I don't believe Max was assaulted and murdered. Although it probably didn't happen like in the drawing presented by the police either. He probably wasn't just running and fell.
Seems the scooter was somehow involved if there is paint on it.
Looking at you tube, number of videos of young males doing stunts on these scooters.

I see the stunts all the time on scooters and skateboards but look at the surface they are on.
The problem I have with a stunt on the scooter is that the hall is carpeted.

time
08-12-2012, 02:27 PM
I see the stunts all the time on scooters and skateboards but look at the surface they are on.
The problem I have with a stunt on the scooter is that the hall is carpeted.

There is no carpet on the top of the banister. Carpet would have nothing to do with a scooter handle (assuming it had one) being used to try and knock a ball out of hte chandelier and so on.

jjenny said ... "Seems the scooter was somehow involved if there is paint on it." If there is paint on it that matched the banister/post, which I don't think was actually tested, then the scooter did not make the marks on the railing because Max was just riding it on the carpet.

i.b.nora
08-12-2012, 02:41 PM
No one was allowed to take pictures of the scooter but I can't help but wonder about possible damage to the scooter or other evidence on the scooter itself that it fell from the second floor landing. What if it was already in the foyer maybe propped up against the potted plant and fell on top of Max's shin/s after he and the chandelier plummeted to the floor? I realize that it was stated that the scooter was last seen on the second floor the night before. Just some thoughts prompted by reading the 'reports'.

time
08-12-2012, 03:18 PM
No one was allowed to take pictures of the scooter but I can't help but wonder about possible damage to the scooter or other evidence on the scooter itself that it fell from the second floor landing. What if it was already in the foyer maybe propped up against the potted plant and fell on top of Max's shin/s after he and the chandelier plummeted to the floor? I realize that it was stated that the scooter was last seen on the second floor the night before. Just some thoughts prompted by reading the 'reports'.


Nora... I think it could very well be the case that the scooter was not really involved except for what you say BBM.

jjenny
08-12-2012, 03:19 PM
Nora... I think it could very well be the case that the scooter was not really involved except for what you say BBM.

Then how did the paint get on it?

time
08-12-2012, 03:33 PM
Then how did the paint get on it?

I'd have to reread, I'm not sure it was proven to be paint? Or that the composition of paint if it was on it i matched the banister or was matched to anything. Maybe I missed something?

Dr. Bove say there was white transfer marks and "a small flake, consistent with a flake of white paint was located adjacent to one of the white transfer marks" (report pg 11).

I don't know, but did he just see a small flake (which is what a part of a paint chip and what size) in photos?

Was it noted in the LE report? Could it just have landed on the scooter from some other source in the accident, come from the carpet, IDK? Where the transfer marks tested for paint and did anyone say they weren't there before? Then you would need to test to see if it was paint on the scooter, does it match the paint they are talking about.

I'd like to know the answers before saying the scooter even caused that damage or had paint on it because of that damage. But also, it could have happened anytime since the day before if Jonah actually does remember the damage was not there. The scooter could also have paint from the walls or the banister on it, but that's still not what caused the damage.

Dr. Bove said he inspected the scooter, I just don't see any forensic testing on paint, period.

time
08-12-2012, 03:45 PM
Did Dr, Bove get the scooter from LE evidence or was it perhaps returned to Joanh or Dina and he got it from them? Why would he not be allowed to take pictures?

Description of white transfer marks on scooter:

Front wheel - several white transfer marks on lateral faces of the wheel (largest being 2 inches)

White transfer marks on the top and bottom of the front face of the hub (connecting front of deck to vertical shaft)


Generic Razor Cruiser Scooter Pic

Tink56
08-12-2012, 03:45 PM
Has anyone read about whether or not LE tested to dog for DNA?

If the dog was accidently kicked or hit with the scooter would it become defensive? Would that frighten the child enough that he would run up against the banister?

Frankly, I can think of several possible scenarios for the child's fall besides being thrown over. Some not so over the top possibilities include using the scooter to knock down a ball caught in the chandelier. Maybe throwing the ruler at it first...There are so many possibiities that I find it difficult to conceive that a professionally based report would identify Rebecca as the person who is responsible for Max's death.

In some ways, it appears that this suit is designed to counter Rebecca's family queries. Who knows....???? It is all very sad, IMO.

time
08-12-2012, 04:25 PM
It's highly possible in my mind that the dog could be invovled unless Rebecca or her sister said he was in the bathroom with him. Those kinds of dogs are kind of hyperactive IIRC so he was probably following Max around.

I cannot figure out how paint got on the scooter the way the white transfer is explained in conjunction with only the damage on the banister/post. Dr. Bove says that both lateral faces of the wheel had transfer on them - doesn't that mean on opposite sides of the wheel? He also said both the top and bottom of the front face of the hub. We are still trying to figure out exactly where that is on the scooter we have - very similar to the Razor Scooter.

I can't come up with any scenario where the paint would have transferred to all these spots based on the banister damage. You might get it on both sides of the wheel if you stuck it in between the banister spindles? Maybe someone else can come up with an explanation.

Also, if you look at the pic I've attached again, there may have been marks on the wall from a scooter of something (lower left hand corner of the pic). There is also a painted over chunk missing from the Banister post.

Do we know this is the actual condition of the banister as it was at the crime scene?

And, that the scooter was still in evidence when Dr. Bove examined it?

*Lash*
08-12-2012, 05:16 PM
I don't understand what the big deal is in using sources other than high profile, paid experts/attorneys. If the site and what is written, and who has written is verified, I see nothing wrong with using those opinions to support a valid conclusion, and using them as references. If the opinions are ones that are scientifically proven, backed up with references, then what is wrong with using it?

One problem I see is the bias that can exist on ANY forum/site/blog. While reading even a thorough presented valid conclusion on a post, it is difficult to skip past all the other bias and name calling posts. In my opinion these types of posts can influence the reader. Objectivity can be lost and fact less mean spirited posts can be left in the mind of the reader. Too many posts that are not based on science or facts.

jjenny
08-12-2012, 05:23 PM
Has anyone read about whether or not LE tested to dog for DNA?

...

The dog definitely was not tested for DNA. My understanding that nothing was tested for DNA at all in Max's case. Even whatever was under his fingernails was apparently not tested.

Betty P
08-12-2012, 07:13 PM
After reading the reports and listening to Furman's interview, I have a few questions.

What is the nature of the web forum "Left-Handed Kitty" quoted numerous times in Dr. Melinek's report? She makes several references to "Left Handed Kitty" as a source for "information sheets" used in her report. What kind of information? Where did it come from? Is it credibly sourced? My review of the site revealed it appears to be little more than a gossip forum.

What is the Powerpoint Presentation about RZ's Death? In the sources, Dr. M lists a reference "Powerpoint Presentation titled "July 13th, 2011" about Rebecca Zahau's death." It doesn't show the source for the presentation or who developed it. Did it come from someone at Left Handed Kitty?

How did Dr. M reach the conclusion that RZ assaulted MS? There doesn't appear to be any real evidence to back up that claim.


Who is paying Mark Furman for his expertise? I found his opinions on the case to be pretty muddled and lacking in some factual information. Is he criticizing Coronado PD and SDSO's investigation?

Who does DS and her experts want to handle a new investigation? Is she asking for SDSO to re-investigate the case? If so, they've already declined to do so. Does she want the California AG's office to oversee a new investigation?

Which cases does DS want re-opened? Just MS's case or RZ's as well? It would be difficult to re-open one without the other.

Why was the Spreckels Mansion sold and remodeled? If DS and JS didn't feel the investigation into MS's death was inadequate, why did they allow the mansion (and any possible evidence) to be stripped, painted, remodeled, etc.? Such a process would destroy important evidence not gathered in the original investigation.

Overall, I found Dr. Melinek's report lacking in credibility. It was poorly written, filled with typos and misspellings and had significant problems with the sources cited. It leaves more questions than answers.

time
08-12-2012, 08:52 PM
Which cases does DS want re-opened? Just MS's case or RZ's as well? It would be difficult to re-open one without the other.


As far as I know Dina has never said anything about wanting RZ's case reexamined or reopened. Dr. Drew mentioned on his show that both should be reopened and it was sort of a deer in the headlight look from her.

K_Z
08-13-2012, 04:15 AM
Dr. Melinek has indicated in writing that she is available and willing to serve as an expert witness in any future litigation. This is expected and understandable, as she was retained privately to conduct a review of Max’s death over the past 9 months or so. While a quest for understanding and comfort is often the catalyst for retaining such experts, common sense also indicates that there is likely civil litigation being strongly considered, and these experts analyses retained by DS (Bove and Melinek) are part of laying foundation for any potential litigation. It is also logical to conclude that these experts, having performed a collaborative review, would be retained together as experts for DS as a plaintiff, if litigation proceeds.

One of the things I think should be a bit concerning for DS, is Dr. Melinek’s recent history as a plaintiff expert (both in the Burford case, and the Overton case.) There is a possibility that her testimony may be challenged and disregarded, due to improper inferential leaps. I respect Dr. Melinek’s credentials. Dr. Melinek has a very celebrated career and a laudable CV—she is a well respected expert by many measures. I cannot, and will not fault any of her career positions or resume—she appears to be a consummate professional, and legitimately concerned about her clients, from what is available on the internet on cases she has participated in. She is a “rock star”. So why be concerned that she could potentially have any difficulty as an expert witness? A recent history of improper inferential leaps, and a less than robust written report, that resulted in her testimony being dismissed in the Burford case, and problematic testimony in the Overton case.

Dr. Melinek’s very laudable CV and notoriety may possibly be interfering with her ability to be an effective expert witness. She may be reaching too far in her opinions. Hard, humble, and intensive work is needed by experts to persuade juries and judges that their opinions are based in hard science, and not subjective belief, unsupported inferences, or speculation.

Dr. Melinek was retained by plaintiff as an expert in the Burford v Glaxo Smith Kline suit. One can conclude that any case that involves a suit against a manufacturer as large and prominent as Glaxo Smith Kline should have a large chunk of attention by any expert retained—particularly if one is testifying for the plaintiff. In Jan 2011, the judge in the case, Cynthia M. Rufe, granted the defendant’s (GSK) request to exclude Dr. Melinek’s opinion in a civil suit brought by the estate of the plaintiff against the pharmaceutical manufacturer. In this opinion, the judge stated:

Dr. Melinek is a forensic pathologist who is an Assistant Medical Examiner in San Francisco, CA. In a very brief report, the substance of which covers less than two pages, Dr. Melinek opines that Burford suffered a fatal myocardial infarction due to a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary artery, and further opines that Avandia was a significant contributing cause of his death. To form her opinion, she relied upon general research on Avandia, package inserts and warnings for Avandia published by GSK, the reports and testimony of other experts, Burford's death certificate and the medical examiner's reports, a hospital autopsy report, and her own analysis of Burford's tissue samples from prepared slides. She also had access to Burford's medical records dated January 3, 1991 through his death on November 21,2006.

The problem for this Court is not that Dr. Melinek fails to identify that Avandia as the sole cause of Burford's myocardial infarction. Rather this Court is troubled by the fact that Dr. Melinek points to nothing more than the epidemiological research to support her opinion that Avandia played a role in Burford's fatal myocardial infarction. Turning to Dr. Melinek's deposition testimony, the Court finds no testimony from which it can conclude that Dr. Melinek used reliable methods to conclude that Avandia was a contributing cause of death in this specific case.

The Court concludes that Dr. Melinek made an improper inferential leap from general causation to specific causation in her report, without any evidence to show that Avandia caused or even contributed to Burford's myocardial infarction. Accordingly, the Court will not permit Dr. Melinek to testify as to her opinion regarding the role of Avandia in Burford's death.

http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/MDL/MDL1871/opinions/Specific%20causation%20opinion.pdf

Now, if we compare that recent history (which I would characterize as a professional tongue lashing), and consider Dr. Melinek’s recent report commissioned by Dina Shacknai, the concerns about the use of sources and references in her opinion, such as a People Magazine article, personal memorial photobooks, multiple discussions from an anonymous, non-professional, (and hate filled) internet chat forum, and Wikipedia articles, becomes rather magnified in significance, IMO.

IMO, Dr. Melinek’s opinion written for DS would have much more weight, and relevance, if she had referenced even a single forensic text, website, or professional journal article as part of her opinion that an assault happened. We already know that it was Dr. Melinek’s opinion that an assault may have occurred that shaped and framed the analyses of Dr. Bove.
It appears from these sources (and others with identical wording) that Dr. Melinek completed her review first, and then proposed her scenario to Dr. Bove, the second independent expert retained by Dina Shacknai (DS).

http://wtop.com/209/2457746/Mother-of-boy-who-died-at-mansion-seeks-new-probe-

“Bove reported that Melinek proposed a scenario in which the boy was assaulted and "moved or was moved" over the railing, according to the press statement.”

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/06/4699061/new-information-provided-by-independent.html

“Dr. Bove reports, "Dr. Melinek has proposed a scenario in which Maxfield Shacknai was assaulted, which resulted in the facial and forehead injuries sustained by Maxfield Shacknai. In her scenario, as a result of this assault…..”

Dr. Bove was directed, imo, in his work to take a speculative inference, and run the numbers until they fit well enough that he said “uncle”. After several days of reading, I believe he was NOT given complete license to run the numbers on many DIFFERENT scenarios; rather, only the target scenario of the theory of assault. I think it is very noteworthy that Dr. Bove is not willing to say anything intentional happened. He breaks ranks with Dr. Melinek at that point in the process.

So, we are left with the question, has Dr. Melinek, once again, made an improper inferential leap? To what extent did the People Magazine article, anonymous internet forum discussions, and Wikipedia articles contribute to this improper inferential leap? This is little more than rumor and innuendo. What percentage of Dr. Melinek’s opinion rests on these sources?

Surely an opposing attorney will ask many, many questions about how she processed and interpreted, and assigned relevance to the anonymous, unsubstantiated internet forum discussions, and Wikipedia and People articles.

Surely Dr. Melinek must understand on some level how terribly embarrassing that line of questioning would be for her professionally in a deposition or in court—so the question begs, why??

Why include frivolous, unsubstantiated, unreliable, anonymous sources in this report? Why not run the scenario instead past several of her established professional colleagues, and include them by name in her report? I was right there with her in the report—right up until the People magazine citation. From that point on, I was simply baffled that she would even admit that she read or received the blog discussions, Wiki entries, etc. It’s like she started writing a scholarly review of the case records, but then digressed into a middle school social studies project.

It’s not the caliber and quality I would expect from a professional at her level, IMO. If I were a jury member, I’d want to hear a whole lot of explanation about why those sources were somehow better than using established scholarly professional references to support her opinions. It feels like “junk science”—that’s the best description I can give. An improper inferential leap.

screecher
08-13-2012, 09:11 AM
It is almost as if the report was written by two different people.

"It’s like she started writing a scholarly review of the case records, but then digressed into a middle school social studies project."

Perhaps where the report begins to digress is where the report is authored by someone else? It's not outside the realm of possibilities considering all the factors in these two cases.

It is hard for me to imagine Dr. Melinek risking her professional reputation by citing those sources in her report. And surely "Dr." Dina Romano would question why Dr. Melinek would use those sources?

time
08-13-2012, 10:05 AM
K_Z: Dr. Bove was directed, imo, in his work to take a speculative inference, and run the numbers until they fit well enough that he said “uncle”. After several days of reading, I believe he was NOT given complete license to run the numbers on many DIFFERENT scenarios; rather, only the target scenario of the theory of assault. I think it is very noteworthy that Dr. Bove is not willing to say anything intentional happened. He breaks ranks with Dr. Melinek at that point in the process.

When I read his report, I thought it felt strained. Part of that seems to be from discounting a lot from the beginning. First, if there are unaccounted for injuries on Max, any possibilities should be looked at. Dr. Melinek did not convince me they had to have come from an assault - and the injuries are inextricably connected to what scenario you are willing to entertain, right?

Melinek's report appears somewhat petty I hate to say because she is also making some conclusion that not only would it be impossible for Max to say 'Ocean', but that Rebecca said that as some sort of coverup. Ironic since the dog is a variable that is not even considered in any of scenarios. Also, the idea that Rebecca said Max uttered Ocean for some nefarious purposes doesn't really make logical sense as the dog also doesn't need to be part of any scenario to explain an accident. Of course, everything else in the room is discarded as involved also.

MyBelle
08-13-2012, 10:25 AM
When I read his report, I thought it felt strained. Part of that seems to be from discounting a lot from the beginning. First, if there are unaccounted for injuries on Max, any possibilities should be looked at. Dr. Melinek did not convince me they had to have come from an assault - and the injuries are inextricably connected to what scenario you are willing to entertain, right?

Melinek's report appears somewhat petty I hate to say because she is also making some conclusion that not only would it be impossible for Max to say 'Ocean', but that Rebecca said that as some sort of coverup. Ironic since the dog is a variable that is not even considered in any of scenarios. Also, the idea that Rebecca said Max uttered Ocean for some nefarious purposes doesn't really make logical sense as the dog also doesn't need to be part of any scenario to explain an accident. Of course, everything else in the room is discarded as involved also.

I don't believe the dog was part of a scenario to explain an accident but was, instead, part of a scenario to disguise a criminal act as an accident.

JMO

bourne
08-13-2012, 11:06 AM
I'd have to reread, I'm not sure it was proven to be paint? Or that the composition of paint if it was on it i matched the banister or was matched to anything. Maybe I missed something?

Dr. Bove say there was white transfer marks and "a small flake, consistent with a flake of white paint was located adjacent to one of the white transfer marks" (report pg 11).

I don't know, but did he just see a small flake (which is what a part of a paint chip and what size) in photos?

Was it noted in the LE report? Could it just have landed on the scooter from some other source in the accident, come from the carpet, IDK? Where the transfer marks tested for paint and did anyone say they weren't there before? Then you would need to test to see if it was paint on the scooter, does it match the paint they are talking about.

I'd like to know the answers before saying the scooter even caused that damage or had paint on it because of that damage. But also, it could have happened anytime since the day before if Jonah actually does remember the damage was not there. The scooter could also have paint from the walls or the banister on it, but that's still not what caused the damage.

Dr. Bove said he inspected the scooter, I just don't see any forensic testing on paint, period.

Agree. In Websleuth talk radio yesterday, Zahau lawyer Rudoy said that Max regularly rides the scooter around the stairs inside the house. Could be that the paint chip and damage are from other times.

It'd be helpful to determine when the damage was made.

time
08-13-2012, 11:07 AM
It is almost as if the report was written by two different people.

"It’s like she started writing a scholarly review of the case records, but then digressed into a middle school social studies project."

Perhaps where the report begins to digress is where the report is authored by someone else? It's not outside the realm of possibilities considering all the factors in these two cases.

It is hard for me to imagine Dr. Melinek risking her professional reputation by citing those sources in her report. And surely "Dr." Dina Romano would question why Dr. Melinek would use those sources?

Perhaps those kinds of references are ok to use at Argosy, then again, we have never seen any research paper authored by Dina except with her added as fourth author, so we don't know how she would write up something.

time
08-13-2012, 11:23 AM
K_Z... thank you for another very informative post!

I also found this:

Two expert witnesses on specific causation were the subject of GSK’s challenge in Burford: Dr. Nicholas DePace and Dr. Judy Melinek. The court readily dispatches Dr. Melinek, who opines that Mr. Burford’s fatal cardiac event, which she characterizes as a heart attack, was caused by Avandia because Avandia causes heart attacks. The court correctly noted that this inference was improper because risk does not equal causation in a specific case.

http://schachtmanlaw.com/the-other-shoe-drops-for-gsk-in-avandia-mdl-hand-waiving-on-specific-causation/

time
08-13-2012, 12:01 PM
Agree. In Websleuth talk radio yesterday, Zahau lawyer Rudoy said that Max regularly rides the scooter around the stairs inside the house. Could be that the paint chip and damage are from other times.

It'd be helpful to determine when the damage was made.

I can't imagine a 6 year old riding a scooter in the house and not bumping into things, especially walls, molding, and banisters, let alone furniture.

i.b.nora
08-13-2012, 12:23 PM
It's too bad Bove didn't illustrate the actual scooter in its entirety in relation to the stairwell railing, the newell post and the bannister. It would be interesting to see where the handlebars of the scooter fall. Instead, he provides only a line indicating the height of the foot platform to illustrate the center of gravity theory.

I also would like to see better, more close up pictures of the damage. Actually, I would prefer to see it in person. It is not clear to me exactly what the brown tones are. Especially as it surrounds the split in the Newell post. I am not convinced that the scooter went over the railing that day. I am more inclined to think that the damage to the railing already existed and that the accident included a dog, a soccer ball, and a ruler. JMO.

katydid23
08-13-2012, 12:27 PM
It's too bad Bove didn't illustrate the actual scooter in its entirety in relation to the stairwell railing, the newell post and the bannister. It would be interesting to see where the handlebars of the scooter fall. Instead, he provides only a line indicating the height of the foot platform to illustrate the center of gravity theory.

I also would like to see better, more close up pictures of the damage. Actually, I would prefer to see it in person. It is not clear to me exactly what the brown tones are. Especially as it surrounds the split in the Newell post. I am not convinced that the scooter went over the railing that day. I am more inclined to think that the damage to the railing already existed and that the accident included a dog, a soccer ball, and a ruler. JMO.

But how does the scooter end up on the boy's leg at the bottom of the stairs?

I agree that it probably did not figure into the initial accident, but why did it end up there if the boy was trying to get a ball off of the chandelier or something like that?

i.b.nora
08-13-2012, 12:32 PM
But how does the scooter end up on the boy's leg at the bottom of the stairs?

I agree that it probably did not figure into the initial accident, but why did it end up there if the boy was trying to get a ball off of the chandelier or something like that?
See my post Number 148, this thread.

katydid23
08-13-2012, 12:36 PM
See my post Number 148, this thread.

But what about this:
Description of white transfer marks on scooter:

Front wheel - several white transfer marks on lateral faces of the wheel (largest being 2 inches)

White transfer marks on the top and bottom of the front face of the hub (connecting front of deck to vertical shaft)


It sounds like it was thrown from the 2nd story, imo.

Betty P
08-13-2012, 12:37 PM
But how does the scooter end up on the boy's leg at the bottom of the stairs?

I agree that it probably did not figure into the initial accident, but why did it end up there if the boy was trying to get a ball off of the chandelier or something like that?

One theory that was considered early on was that it was parked on the first floor in the stairwell area. It seems a logical spot for him to leave his toys, near the front door. When MS and the chandelier fell to the stairwell floor, it may have tipped over and fallen on him. Those scooters are lightweight and fall over easily.

IIRC, one of the early scenarios (before the SDSO reports) considered was that his soccer ball had gotten caught in the chandelier and he was standing on the banister, trying to use the ruler to knock it free when he fell.

freespeech
08-13-2012, 01:10 PM
REPOSTED

QUESTOR: Did LE recover the chandelier and check it for human tissue/blood/DNA?

If so, was that tissue/blood/DNA found on the upper portion of the chandelier, as though MS fell on top of it, or on the lower portion, as though the chandelier fell on top of MS? TIA

Could the chandelier that fell beside him have sheared against his back during the fall? That could have caused the back abrasions. If the chandelier was loose it could have been knocked out just by the motion of Max somehow catapulting into it.

The facial injuries most likely came from landing face down. If the scooter was also invovled it may have landed close by him also but possibly ended up of top of Max's leg if Rebecca turned him over.

Are there any other planes of injury that were not already mentioned?

time
08-13-2012, 01:44 PM
Could the chandelier that fell beside him have sheared against his back during the fall? That could have caused the back abrasions. If the chandelier was loose it could have been knocked out just by the motion of Max somehow catapulting into it.

The facial injuries most likely came from landing face down. If the scooter was also invovled it may have landed close by him also but possibly ended up of top of Max's leg if Rebecca turned him over.

Are there any other planes of injury that were not already mentioned?

Free ... I don't know if I can answer because I'm not sure I have the expertise or we have enough info. I'm not sure any of the experts, including from the initial conclusions, explored all the possibilities of how various injuries occurred (face, back).

I also always wondered about alternative scenarios like if Max grabbed the chandelier somehow and swung back against the landing railing - could he get injuries to his back that way that are consistent. Is it possible he initially hit his back on the railing after swinging into it, he hit into it and then was flung forward and a bit to the side of the chandelier that fell. This might at least take into account how he didn't have that much contact with the chandelier, why the broken ring ended up on the landing, and Max still was jolted forward and could have landed on his head.

Maybe the broken ring is the elephant in the room that really needs accounting for?

I'm not saying this to claim it covers everything, but neither does Dr. Bove and Dr. Melinek's scenarios obviously as it would seem key to explain the ring on the landing. In my mind the face and back injuries could probably be explaned in quite a few different ways base on what the public knows.

Too bad we can't go back and ask Rebecca - I'm wondering if Max could have hit the floor and ended in a side position not completely on his tummy. That could explain why Rebecca was unclear about moving him if she was, e.g., he was rolled a bit but not turned completely over. Depending on where the scooter was when she did that it could have just moved with him and ended int hat position.

bourne
08-13-2012, 04:43 PM
I can't imagine a 6 year old riding a scooter in the house and not bumping into things, especially walls, molding, and banisters, let alone furniture.

Agree. That's why it would be important to note when the damages were made and by what objects.

Mrs. Holmes
08-13-2012, 06:34 PM
But how does the scooter end up on the boy's leg at the bottom of the stairs?

I agree that it probably did not figure into the initial accident, but why did it end up there if the boy was trying to get a ball off of the chandelier or something like that?

It might be that the "seven" shape on MS's back may have come from the scooter when it landed on him after the fall. It is imperative to find out what came down in what order, boy, scooter, chandelier... would be my guess.

The boy and scooter go over the railing at the top stair corner. Scooter scrapes newel post, gets caught in chandelier, boy holding to scooter caught in chandelier swings out and boy crashes into middle landing railing, chandelier gives way from ceiling, boy falls do ground with scooter and then chandelier landing on him.

time
08-13-2012, 07:11 PM
It might be that the "seven" shape on MS's back may have come from the scooter when it landed on him after the fall. It is imperative to find out what came down in what order, boy, scooter, chandelier... would be my guess.

The boy and scooter go over the railing at the top stair corner. Scooter scrapes newel post, gets caught in chandelier, boy holding to scooter caught in chandelier swings out and boy crashes into middle landing railing, chandelier gives way from ceiling, boy falls do ground with scooter and then chandelier landing on him.

Thanks for commenting - I can't find it, was the scooter handle open? I'm assuming it was. If so, that is a 7 shape when laid on it's side.

Frankly, I missed them saying it appears as a 7 shape on Max's back. I did see the pic of his back (briefly shown on Dr. Drew) and didn't see a 7 shape. If anyone has a quote, that would be great.

Dr. Bove's report say the injuries on Max's back are primarily midline and left of midline. He talks about the vertical location of the uppermost injury on his back being consistent with the height of the railing along the second floor hallway (he doesn't say consistent with the post height). And he talks about there being additional geometric relationships between the back injuries and the shape of the railing and spindles. I'm a little confused about this as the large post, of course, has no spindles so Max would either have to be to one side of it in the upper hallway or down the stairs from the post? And, I'm not sure how either of those jive with the damage on the post.

i.b.nora
08-13-2012, 07:32 PM
Can you please tell me where the number 7 thing is mentioned?
I was wondering too.

Melinek says it in her report:
"... Suggesting a pattern: configured roughly in a figure "7" as the back is viewed in an upright position. ..."

However, I can find nothing about it being "an exact impression mirroring it to a portion of the railing" etc. More made up 'scientific' stuff, IMO.

time
08-13-2012, 07:38 PM
I was wondering too.

Melinek says it in her report:
"... Suggesting a pattern: configured roughly in a figure "7" as the back is viewed in an upright position. ..."

However, I can find nothing about it being "an exact impression mirroring it to a portion of the railing" etc. More made up 'scientific' stuff, IMO.

Hmm... I just don't remember the pic on Dr. Drew even looking like a number 7?

time
08-13-2012, 07:57 PM
Still cant find it in Bove's report, but he does talk about the injuries on Max's back being superficial and could have occurred at different times, locations, and because of different structures.

time
08-14-2012, 09:49 AM
I watched Dr. Drew 2 last night, not much info to be gained. I did think it was odd they asked Dr. Melinek why Max's death was murder and her total reply stemmed around a very brief, generic description of planes of injury (not explained as to how that connects to an assault scenario) and Max hitting his head differently on the floor than what LE claimed. Disappointing as the later doesn't have anything to do with an 'assault scenario'.

I've looked back through her report and I do not find any reference to medical journal articles (or any reference, period) to the literature on planes of injury or, more specifically, planes of injury related to homicides/assaults vs. accidental deaths/accident.

Form Melinek's report, "The more planes of injury ... the more likely that an incident is the result of an assault rather than a simple or even complex fall."

time
08-14-2012, 12:08 PM
I have spent about two hours Googling, to find any literature that supports Dr. Melinek's claim that...

* The more planes of injury ... the more likely that an incident is the result of an assault rather than a simple or even complex fall.

I eliminated any results that contained the term 'Shacknai' in my second search.There may be literature/research that supports what she is claiming, but I have been unable to find it nor anything that supports a simpler version of that statement.

Dr. Melinek has made a clear and definitive causal statement "The more planes, the more likely" as if it is a known mathematical/statistical relationship, but I believe it is not.

Claiming these sort of things is not good science as it is not even supported by science. It's not even inference in this case, it's worse. It's making a universal causal or correlational claim with no basis for making that claim. But she doesn't stop there, she adds on "even in a complex fall".

Granted if there are planes of injury that obviously cannot be explained by a certain incident and accompanying scenario, then you look elsewhere for explanations. In Max's case, you would look at other accident scenarios for an explanation. And, in Max's case there are so many possibilities precisely because it was a 'complex fall'. No one may be able to figure out what combination of events actually occurred - that would not be surprising. But there is NO basis for eliminating some possible variables and objects from the get go. I believe it is unethical to be claiming Max was murdered because someone is claiming they came up with one scenario where they forced the evidence to fit their theory.

Wendy101
08-14-2012, 12:21 PM
I have spent about two hours Googling, to find any literature that supports Dr. Melinek's claim that...

* The more planes of injury ... the more likely that an incident is the result of an assault rather than a simple or even complex fall.

I eliminated any results that contained the term 'Shacknai' in my second search.There may be literature/research that supports what she is claiming, but I have been unable to find it nor anything that supports a simpler version of that statement.

Dr. Melinek has made a clear and definitive causal statement "The more planes, the more likely" as if it is a known mathematical/statistical relationship, but I believe it is not.

Claiming these sort of things is not good science as it is not even supported by science. It's not even inference in this case, it's worse. It's making a universal causal or correlational claim with no basis for making that claim. But she doesn't stop there, she adds on "even in a complex fall".

Granted if there are planes of injury that obviously cannot be explained by a certain incident and accompanying scenario, then you look elsewhere for explanations. In Max's case, you would look at other accident scenarios for an explanation. And, in Max's case there are so many possibilities precisely because it was a 'complex fall'. No one may be able to figure out what combination of events actually occurred - that would not be surprising. But there is NO basis for eliminating some possible variables and objects from the get go. I believe it is unethical to be claiming Max was murdered because someone is claiming they came up with one scenario where they forced the evidence to fit their theory.

BBM: I totally agree. This Dr is printing what she has been paid to print.. "Money talks"...This is the answers Dina is looking for.. The question is why? Why does she want Rebecca to be responsible for Maxie's accident. never mind that! She is actually accusing Rebecca of MURDER now.. Why? What is she after? Jonah's money? IF Dina can pay enough people to put in writing that Rebecca killed Maxie, Dina can sue Jonah?? is it for her own person need to feel justified for what happen to Rebecca??

time
08-14-2012, 01:01 PM
BBM: I totally agree. This Dr is printing what she has been paid to print.. "Money talks"...This is the answers Dina is looking for.. The question is why? Why does she want Rebecca to be responsible for Maxie's accident. never mind that! She is actually accusing Rebecca of MURDER now.. Why? What is she after? Jonah's money? IF Dina can pay enough people to put in writing that Rebecca killed Maxie, Dina can sue Jonah?? is it for her own person need to feel justified for what happen to Rebecca??

I honestly don't know why Dr. Melinek would do this, she went beyond what they needed to do to get the case reopened. I think Dina is sinking her own boat by claiming this was an assault and a murder. It obviously means more media coverage because it wouldn't be as sensational if they just claimed a major injury on the head had to happen differently than what the original report claimed.

Motive for Dina? I don't know and can only speculate. My first thought is that because of the evidence she should be a suspect in Rebbecca's death. It is not an uncommon strategy to try and preempt efforts of blame by doing your own blaming. The recent headlines do sort of exact empathy for Dina and possibly dislike or hatred toward a woman who is now purported to have killed a child. I believe Dina is also trying to implicitly promote the idea that this is more evidence for why Rebecca would have committed suicide (god knows, something has to counteract the bizarre facts of that in the public's mind) - because she is claiming Rebecca had guilt and was in a situation she couldn't get out of.

This also has provided Dina with national media coverage where she can get away with vague innuendo's about Rebeca's character - saying she was concerned because of a 'feeling' about her, claiming she is a criminal (but not even saying it was for shoplifting), claiming Rebecca didn't give her her real name in this country (whatever that means), and so on. What the public hears is really blown out of proportion in relation to what the truth actually is or might be.

This is a planned media blitz including the announcement of the nonprofit. I think she was unwise to do that because it could be interpreted as just using the media to get donations or as too concerned abut her own image.

I'm off track of the thread theme now, but I do believe there was more motivation in all this than simply getting the SDSD to reexamine the evidence based on the 'science' presented. If you want to base it on good science, you don't start muddying the waters with a lot of other possibly erroneous, nefarious, vague or unsupported and sensational claims.

time
08-14-2012, 01:49 PM
Could we please stay on topic here. Some of these posts are just completely off topic.

Salem
08-14-2012, 01:57 PM
I've moved some posts from this thread to other threads because they were off topic. This thread is about the documents and the medical expert opinions.

Discussion about DS wanting to reopen the case, RZ's death, etc. needs to be in those threads. I (and the other mods) don't always have time to move posts around, so sometimes the posts will just be removed, never to be seen again. If you say something important and you want others to read it, be sure you put it in the right thread.

Salem

jjenny
08-14-2012, 03:23 PM
I watched Dr. Drew 2 last night, not much info to be gained. I did think it was odd they asked Dr. Melinek why Max's death was murder and her total reply stemmed around a very brief, generic description of planes of injury (not explained as to how that connects to an assault scenario) and Max hitting his head differently on the floor than what LE claimed. Disappointing as the later doesn't have anything to do with an 'assault scenario'.

I've looked back through her report and I do not find any reference to medical journal articles (or any reference, period) to the literature on planes of injury or, more specifically, planes of injury related to homicides/assaults vs. accidental deaths/accident.

Form Melinek's report, "The more planes of injury ... the more likely that an incident is the result of an assault rather than a simple or even complex fall."

And with all that energy of trying to prove fall as outlined by the police didn't happen-where are the stimulation of how it happened with the supposed assault? And we are still told the child could have escaped this supposed assault, or that he could have been thrown by whoever assaulted him-two very different scenarios-so there was very little energy devoted to figuring out of how he went over the stairs in combination with this supposed assault.

time
08-14-2012, 03:54 PM
And with all that energy of trying to prove fall as outlined by the police didn't happen-where are the stimulation of how it happened with the supposed assault? And we are still told the child could have escaped this supposed assault, or that he could have been thrown by whoever assaulted him-two very different scenarios-so there was very little energy devoted to figuring out of how he went over the stairs in combination with this supposed assault.

Yeah, I agree, I can't form a picture in my mind of what they are saying even. It's one thing to have a bunch of different pieces, but another to show they fit together in a smooth simulation from begining to end.

K_Z
08-14-2012, 10:52 PM
I have spent about two hours Googling, to find any literature that supports Dr. Melinek's claim that...

* The more planes of injury ... the more likely that an incident is the result of an assault rather than a simple or even complex fall.

I eliminated any results that contained the term 'Shacknai' in my second search.There may be literature/research that supports what she is claiming, but I have been unable to find it nor anything that supports a simpler version of that statement.

Dr. Melinek has made a clear and definitive causal statement "The more planes, the more likely" as if it is a known mathematical/statistical relationship, but I believe it is not.

Claiming these sort of things is not good science as it is not even supported by science. It's not even inference in this case, it's worse. It's making a universal causal or correlational claim with no basis for making that claim. But she doesn't stop there, she adds on "even in a complex fall".

Granted if there are planes of injury that obviously cannot be explained by a certain incident and accompanying scenario, then you look elsewhere for explanations. In Max's case, you would look at other accident scenarios for an explanation. And, in Max's case there are so many possibilities precisely because it was a 'complex fall'. No one may be able to figure out what combination of events actually occurred - that would not be surprising. But there is NO basis for eliminating some possible variables and objects from the get go. I believe it is unethical to be claiming Max was murdered because someone is claiming they came up with one scenario where they forced the evidence to fit their theory.

Thank you to fellow WSer "time" for taking the "time" to attempt to find supporting studies for the "inferential leap" described in Dr. Melinek report to DS. That kind of effort is the beginning of what Dina should have gotten, imo.

I personally would have been quite interested to read an exhaustive forensic analysis of Max's injuries, most particularly his skull fracture and spinal cord injury. In my small amount of experience as a paid expert and consultant for several civil med cal cases, my role has been to support any opinion I would be willing to testify to with extensive references.

For instance, it isn't enough for me to say an act "did/ did not meet standard of care". Rather, in the cases I have participated in, it is essential to demonstrate exactly how a given act did or did not meet standard of care. That might be by omission, or commission. In substantiating opinions, many experts use a number of references, some of which include published standards set by professional practice groups, as well as a review of the relevant literature. On occasion, I have contacted authors of pertinent studies for more information, as well, and urged the attorney I was working for to add these individuals to the case as experts, as well. In looking up the last case I did, the duration was 3.2 years of my involvement, and during that time I authored several hundred pages of documents and supporting references for the attorneys I was working for. Now, I bring this up not to pat myself on the back, or pad my billable hours, but to demonstrate on a very small scale that most experts that I'm aware of are required to provide substantial academic documentation to support their opinions. That is why I was fairly astonished that Dr. Melinek provided a report in the Burford case that was barely 2 pages in substantive content, according to the judge's decision. And in the report for Dina Shacknai, I cannot find any supporting scholarly references beyond Dr. Bove's analysis.

It is very surprising to me that Dr. Melinek did not include any supporting references for her opinion about the analysis of the skull fracture and cervical cord damage suffered by Max. Now, I'm sure she is more than capable of doing this, and probably would even get a small herd of Medical Students to volunteer to help with research, if she bought them dinner twice a week, and agreed that they could use her as a professional reference. That's cheap, educated research labor.

An exhaustive report, with extensive references would have been MUCH more persuasive, IMO, to the law enforcement investigators when Dina and her attorney presented their petition to reopen Max's death investigation. Moreover, it would have given the law enforcement investigators a place to begin if or when they reopen the investigation. Now, in fairness, Dr. Melinek's report does include assault as ONE possibility. Rather than a general statement that multiple planes of injury point toward assault, I wish she would have connected those dots for the intended and incidental audience. We're not all as smart as she is, so we all rely on experts to not only opine, but to support their opinions with the opinions and research of others-- that's what being part of a profession is all about. No man (or woman) is an island.

If we put aside the theories of assault for a minute, there is a great deal of physical damage to Max's skull and spinal cord that we really need a forensic expert like Dr. Melinek to explain. Such as, what kind of forces are necessary to produce a non-comminuted 7 1/2 inch vertex sagittal fracture, WITHOUT any cervical vertebral damage, in a 6 year old with a normal skull? (Where force equals mass times acceleration.) And then perhaps an analysis of mass, acceleration, and directionality in VARIOUS models of injury (both accidental and intentional) to explain the above. That kind of analysis would have, imo, lent a great deal of confidence to her opinion that an assault occurred, and not an accident.

A very brief google search demonstrated to me that there is indeed literature on skull fracture forces-- a great deal of it. In fact, my very brief and decidedly non-expert search reveals that Michigan State University has been awarded (in 2011) a 2 year, $682,000 grant to forensically study pediatric skull fractures for the National Institute of Justice (among many other sources of forensic articles).

Now, it is certainly possible that the lead investigator , Dr. Todd Fenton, could have been contacted as a reference colleague, even without the study being complete, right? That is just one simple example, from one simple minded health professional of the direction I believe Dr. Melinek's scientific second opinion review should have taken-- that is, if she were approaching the issue as a scientist, and not wasting her time reading People magazine articles, Wikipedia articles, and one anonymous internet non-professional chat forum as part of her research into the case. What Dina SHOULD have received from her expert is a veritable tsunami of sources substantiating her opinion of assault. THAT would be the most persuasive approach to reopening Max's case, imo. Absolutely BURY the investigators in scientific evidence supporting assault. But from where I sit, that report didn't even begin to do that. It's not like I"m a dentist explaining neurosurgery, or some such thing. Both Dina and Dr. Melinek essentially put all her eggs in one basket, rather than rallying support from the field of scientists. If a simple minded advanced practice nurse anesthetist can think of this-- what can a prominent expert like Dr. Melinek produce?? Wow, that is exciting to think about! It wouldn't have cost that much either-- med students work for food, lol! Let them do the research-- then the BIG expert can make the important phone calls to the OTHER experts. The more experts and scientists who agree, the stonger your case is.

So anyway, this is getting kind of long for a post, but here is just a smidgen of relevant sources about pediatric skull fractures , not even using a real database. ** Pay particular attention to the abstract for this first study-- because it's seeking to explain pediatric skull fractures and impact trauma, which is controversial, and not at all an established field of study (or else our tax dollars would presumably not be funding a $682,000 study.) But I guess maybe this study and it's PI could not have substantiated an assault scenario put forth by Dr. Melinek.

http://www.nij.gov/nij/topics/forensics/forensic-awards-abstracts-fy11.pdf
2011‐DN‐BX‐K540
Michigan State University
“Pediatric Fracture Printing: Creating a Science of Statistical Fracture Signature Analysis”
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Todd Fenton
fentont@msu.edu
Funding Amount:
$681,147 for 2 years

Abstract: In medicolegal death investigations, current techniques for interpreting pediatric cranial trauma are of questionable reliability due to a lack of baseline data that matches pediatric cranial fracture patterns with known impact scenarios. This research will address this significant gap in best practice through a multidisciplinary effort that: (1) continues the development of experimental data from an experimental animal model, to help correlate input forces and cranial fracture patterns; (2) develops a pattern recognition method for ‘fracture‐printing’ to be used in the identification of injury causation, initially based on this “ground truth” data from an animal model; and (3) collects data on human pediatric deaths involving blunt force cranial fracture and known impact scenarios from current forensic case files at medical examiner offices across the country to establish a database (The Pediatric Cranial Fracture Registry).
This research will develop automated pattern recognition methods to classify cranial fracture patterns based on contact interface, impact energy, and head constraint condition based on subject age. The predictive analysis will use classification models that are generated using experimentally produced data (e.g. digital images of cranial fractures) and are accompanied with the “ground truth” data (i.e. contact interface, impact energy, and head constraint condition). The ultimate aim of this research will be that for a given cranial fracture pattern in a subject of a given age, we will be able to compute a statistical probability that a particular impact condition was the cause. Future studies will develop a computer program that will automatically generate a fracture feature set based on pediatric human fracture pattern inputs that can be compared to a known database, to help predict the most likely cause of a particular fracture print in a forensic case.
This proposal brings together a team of established researchers in forensic pathology, forensic anthropology, orthopaedic biomechanics, pattern recognition and machine learning, and database
development to work on this significant gap in best practice. This research builds on studies that have been performed during a recently funded NIJ research project titled “A Forensic Pathology Tool to Predict Pediatric Skull Fracture Patterns” (Award No. 2007‐DN‐BX‐K196).
NIJ Point‐of‐Contact
Program Manager: Danielle McLeod‐Henning
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/dissertations/AAI3495798/
Computational simulation of skull fracture patterns in pediatric subjects using a porcine modelChristina DeVito Wagner, Wayne State University
Abstract
In cases of suspected child abuse with skeletal trauma, it is often the role of the injury biomechanist, forensic pathologist, clinical radiologist, and forensic anthropologist to determine the mechanism of injury when the child victims cannot speak for themselves. This is a challenging task, especially for the head, as comprehensive biomechanical data on skull fracture in infants and children do not currently exist, and frequently the determination regarding cause of injury is based on anecdotal evidence from the medical literature and unsubstantiated eyewitness accounts. The current process may result in unreliable autopsy interpretation and miscarriages of justice due to a lack of scientific verification in expert witness testimony. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://gradworks.umi.com/14/71/1471830.html

Material property documentation and fracture analyses of the developing skull
by Baumer, Timothy G., M.S., MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY, 2009, 100 pages; 1471830
Chapter 5 uses a simplified porcine cranial model and the finite element method to predict experimentally documented fracture patterns developed during impact loading to the parietal bone. The material properties of the cranial model were taken from the previously obtained results from Chapter 2. The experimentally inflicted fractures to the cranium from Chapter 3 were used for comparison with the theoretically developed principal stress and strain directions.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://jivresearch.org/jivr/index.php/jivr/article/viewArticle/46/107
Skull fracture and haemorrhage pattern among fatal and nonfatal head injury assault victims a critical analysis
Abstract:
Background: The global incidence of fatal head injuries as the result of assault is greater than the number of non-fatal cases. The important factors that determine the outcome in terms of survival of such head injury cases include the type of weapon used, type and site of skull fracture, intra cranial haemorrhage and the brain injury. The present study aims to highlight the role of skull fractures as an indirect indicator of force of impact and the intra cranial haemorrhage by a comparative study of assault victims with fatal and nonfatal head injuries.

Gosh, I guess that's enough for one post. Thanks to anyone brave enough (or stupid enough, lol!) to read all of it!

greenpalm
08-14-2012, 11:10 PM
Gosh, I guess that's enough for one post. Thanks to anyone brave enough (or stupid enough, lol!) to read all of it!

thank you for a very informative thoughtful post. It was a nice detailed and reasoned & experienced explanation of what was for me just a hunch. The report certainly seemed weakened because of the emphasis on one opinion, and what amounted to guess work.

Nice to see it all neatly explained.

screecher
08-15-2012, 12:18 AM
Excellent post K_Z. Very informative. Thank you.

Poor Dina. It's pretty evident she got the wrong end of the stick.

Perhaps she can sue Dr. Melinek for ineptness?

K_Z
08-15-2012, 01:21 AM
I will continue to hold the opinion that those who have been deemed experts by our courts based on their education, training and experience are far more reputable than those who "google" and deem themselves experts.

I have yet to see any court in this nation allow jurors to "google" anything at all.

JMO

Nor should any court or law enforcement agency accept People magazine, wikipedia, and a hate-filled, anonymous internet chat forum as any kind of contributing evidence to a scientific second opinion of a death investigation that then LEAPS to the conclusion of assault and/ or murder! Yikes!

Nor should anyone in this country, juror, private citizen, judge, or attorney, allow anyone who holds themselves out as an expert to say they hold any professional opinion just because they say so-- without substantial support from their own profession, and the scholarly literature, IMO. No one is "that much" of an expert that the rest of us should just say, "ok-- of course you're right. No need to explain. We're too dumb to understand any explanations, so don't bother."

<modsnip>.

Oh-- and just because an expert has been certified by the court as an expert in certain cases, does not mean they are experts in ALL cases. Using that same logic, should we dismiss ALL of Dr. Melinek's opinions in THIS case because her opinions in the Burford v Glaxo Smith Kline case (Avandia and a patient death) were dismissed? It cuts both ways.

Because if we dismiss ALL of Dr. Melinek's opinions in THIS case, she flat out agrees with Dr. Lucas about cause of death. Agrees. That puts a lot of speculation to rest, don't you agree?

MyBelle
08-15-2012, 01:35 AM
Nor should any court or law enforcement agency accept People magazine, wikipedia, and a hate-filled, anonymous internet chat forum as any kind of contributing evidence to a scientific second opinion of a death investigation that then LEAPS to the conclusion of assault and/ or murder! Yikes!

Nor should anyone in this country, juror, private citizen, judge, or attorney, allow anyone who holds themselves out as an expert to say they hold any professional opinion just because they say so-- without substantial support from their own profession, and the scholarly literature, IMO. No one is "that much" of an expert that the rest of us should just say, "ok-- of course you're right. No need to explain. We're too dumb to understand any explanations, so don't bother."

<modsnip>

Oh-- and just because an expert has been certified by the court as an expert in certain cases, does not mean they are experts in ALL cases. Using that same logic, should we dismiss ALL of Dr. Melinek's opinions in THIS case because her opinions in the Burford v Glaxo Smith Kline case (Avandia and a patient death) were dismissed? It cuts both ways.

Because if we dismiss ALL of Dr. Melinek's opinions in THIS case, she flat out agrees with Dr. Lucas about cause of death. Agrees. That puts a lot of speculation to rest, don't you agree?

No. Her opinion is that Max died as a victim of homicide. Her opinion in the Glaxo Smith Kline case is of no interest to me because it has absolutely no bearing on this case. I don't believe any court in THIS CASE will reject the experts supplied by DS.

<modsnip>?

JMO

Salem
08-15-2012, 02:40 AM
Don't bicker in here. It is not necessary and it disrupts the thread.

Salem

Karmady
08-15-2012, 02:48 AM
No. Her opinion is that Max died as a victim of homicide. Her opinion in the Glaxo Smith Kline case is of no interest to me because it has absolutely no bearing on this case. I don't believe any court in THIS CASE will reject the experts supplied by DS.

<modsnip>?

JMO

The simple truth is that you can pay an expert to say almost anything any day of the week. I've had ONE case in my entire career where an expert would not support the theory advocated by the attorney attempting to hire him.

screecher
08-15-2012, 02:50 AM
Maxie is absolutely deserving a thoughtful, solid and convincing opinion from an "expert" who is able to ground that opinion with findings and facts from respected sources.

People Magazine? Wiki? LeftHandedKitten? Seriously? Really?

Jeesh. Perhaps Dina has grounds to sue Melinek?

time
08-15-2012, 02:37 PM
This thread is about discussing the reports.

Most posters here, I believe, think Max's death needs to be reinvestigated and have said as much and so do the Zahau's attorneys because the initial explanation did not seem to explain it well.

I don't see anything that is promoting anything but a good investigation in any comments about Max's death. I do not think the current experts have any real evidence to conclude there was an assault nor do I think they made a good case for Max's falling in any of their scenario possibilities.

<modsnip>

*Lash*
08-15-2012, 05:43 PM
In these new reports we have learned about a ruler at the scene of Maxie's accident. Why was the ruler not taken into evidence during the search warrant as the scooter and soccer balls?

screecher
08-15-2012, 06:12 PM
Possibly Maxie was using the ruler in the same manner as a bat, taking swings at his soccer ball?

Salem
08-15-2012, 08:44 PM
Please link the "7" shape discussion or stop it now. I don't remember anything, in any of the docs I've seen that say abrasions were in the shape of a 7. If you can't link it, the discussion stops here.

Thanks,

Salem

time
08-15-2012, 09:00 PM
Please link the "7" shape discussion or stop it now. I don't remember anything, in any of the docs I've seen that say abrasions were in the shape of a 7. If you can't link it, the discussion stops here.

Thanks,

Salem

Salem, thank you.

I was perplexed about the '7 shape' discussion. It does appear one place (only), that is in Dr, Melinek's report.


ln the autopsy photographs, the injuries on Max's back aggregate in a
somewhat "7" shaped angled configuration, more in line with the height and shape of the banister on the second floor, from whence he fell. The damage to the newel post at this floor indicate that this is the original site of the fall, and Max's resting position on the ground immediately below suggests this as well.

i.b.nora
08-15-2012, 09:02 PM
I was wondering too.

Melinek says it in her report:
"... Suggesting a pattern: configured roughly in a figure "7" as the back is viewed in an upright position. ..."

However, I can find nothing about it being "an exact impression mirroring it to a portion of the railing" etc. More made up 'scientific' stuff, IMO.

Dr. Melinek describes a figure "7" in her report.

time
08-15-2012, 09:10 PM
Dr. Melinek describes a figure "7" in her report.

I guess she references it more than once, but I still don't see anything validating actually matches the post. And, as I said before, I sure didn't see that shape when the pictures of Max's back were shown.

i.b.nora
08-15-2012, 09:17 PM
I guess she references it more than once, but I still don't see anything validating actually matches the post. And, as I said before, I sure didn't see that shape when the pictures of Max's back were shown.
I am glad between the two of us we managed to capture all her references to it. I had only seen the previous one that I posted earlier. Plus, it's a drag to have to type out stuff from her report. It looks like it was scanned by an optical reader. And, I didn't see or notice that either but my view of the pictures was very abbreviated.

time
08-15-2012, 10:22 PM
I am glad between the two of us we managed to capture all her references to it. I had only seen the previous one that I posted earlier. Plus, it's a drag to have to type out stuff from her report. It looks like it was scanned by an optical reader. And, I didn't see or notice that either but my view of the pictures was very abbreviated.

Maybe the show was taped...I'll look tomorrow.

K_Z
08-16-2012, 12:49 AM
Has it been established with certainty who put together/ authored the "Summary of Reports"?

Angela Hallier?

bourne
08-16-2012, 09:36 AM
I honestly don't know why Dr. Melinek would do this, she went beyond what they needed to do to get the case reopened. I think Dina is sinking her own boat by claiming this was an assault and a murder. It obviously means more media coverage because it wouldn't be as sensational if they just claimed a major injury on the head had to happen differently than what the original report claimed.

Motive for Dina? I don't know and can only speculate. My first thought is that because of the evidence she should be a suspect in Rebbecca's death. It is not an uncommon strategy to try and preempt efforts of blame by doing your own blaming. The recent headlines do sort of exact empathy for Dina and possibly dislike or hatred toward a woman who is now purported to have killed a child. I believe Dina is also trying to implicitly promote the idea that this is more evidence for why Rebecca would have committed suicide (god knows, something has to counteract the bizarre facts of that in the public's mind) - because she is claiming Rebecca had guilt and was in a situation she couldn't get out of.

This also has provided Dina with national media coverage where she can get away with vague innuendo's about Rebeca's character - saying she was concerned because of a 'feeling' about her, claiming she is a criminal (but not even saying it was for shoplifting), claiming Rebecca didn't give her her real name in this country (whatever that means), and so on. What the public hears is really blown out of proportion in relation to what the truth actually is or might be.

This is a planned media blitz including the announcement of the nonprofit. I think she was unwise to do that because it could be interpreted as just using the media to get donations or as too concerned abut her own image.

I'm off track of the thread theme now, but I do believe there was more motivation in all this than simply getting the SDSD to reexamine the evidence based on the 'science' presented. If you want to base it on good science, you don't start muddying the waters with a lot of other possibly erroneous, nefarious, vague or unsupported and sensational claims.

I agree with everything you've written here. Dina is making a preemptive strike.

time
08-16-2012, 02:48 PM
Has it been established with certainty who put together/ authored the "Summary of Reports"?

Angela Hallier?

IDK if Hallier or colleagues have claimed that in the media... the "Summary of Reports" itself is not signed/authored.

I was surprised to find out the other day that she is actually a divorce attorney, not a criminal attorney. I also think she and Dina admitted she was Dina's attorney for her divorce. Maybe everyone else already knew this.

time
08-16-2012, 03:16 PM
I am glad between the two of us we managed to capture all her references to it. I had only seen the previous one that I posted earlier. Plus, it's a drag to have to type out stuff from her report. It looks like it was scanned by an optical reader. And, I didn't see or notice that either but my view of the pictures was very abbreviated.


I found the video with the pics of his back (start at about 6:15 minutes in to the video)

http://www.hlntv.com/video/2012/08/07/death-san-diego-execs-son-foul-play-or-accident

I can see a sort of 7 shape if you include a general area that is just red to one side. I'd have to look again to see if I could make sense of this matching the post - and trying to see what measurements were given.

arielilane
08-17-2012, 09:37 PM
I hope it's ok that I post this photo. Please remove if need be. The seven mark is seen with the top of the "seven" beginning at the top right side.

Sort of a seven laying on its side.

freespeech
08-18-2012, 12:37 AM
I don't think I understand how Max got the linear abrasions to his back. None of the explanations really make sense to me at this point. However, that may change with more information. At this point I tend to think his back came into contact with the chandelier during the fall. Was the chandelier ever tested for blood or DNA? That could certainly shed some light on this question.

OT but here is a very informative article on spinal cord injury/contusion with cardiac arrest in children over a year old. The title is 'A critical analysis of outcome for children sustaining cardiac arrest after blunt trauma'. Below is an excerpt. Below that is the link.

"Injury is the leading cause of cardiac arrest in children older than 1 year. Previous findings suggest that children who require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) administered by paramedics for any reason rarely survive to hospital discharge. The authors evaluated the outcome of children sustaining cardiac arrest after blunt trauma in a Regional Pediatric Trauma Center."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11819195

Mrs. Holmes
08-18-2012, 08:40 AM
The 7 mark as I have written earlier this week..... could it have come from the Scooter? If it went over the railing with MS it could have landed on his back. The scooter could have been resting against the newel post at the top of the stairs if MS tripped while running he may have reach out to grab the railing but instead got the scooter.. gripping it he would have dragged it over the railing with him.. making the marks on the newel post... the scooter could have gotten caught in the chandelier with MS holding it... causing him to swing out and hit the middle level railing... then the boy, scooter and chandelier crash to the ground in that order... once the chandelier gives way...?

Those marks look like the scooter to me... you can even see what could be the marks from the wheels.. at the top of the seven...?

time
08-18-2012, 12:26 PM
The 7 mark as I have written earlier this week..... could it have come from the Scooter? If it went over the railing with MS it could have landed on his back. The scooter could have been resting against the newel post at the top of the stairs if MS tripped while running he may have reach out to grab the railing but instead got the scooter.. gripping it he would have dragged it over the railing with him.. making the marks on the newel post... the scooter could have gotten caught in the chandelier with MS holding it... causing him to swing out and hit the middle level railing... then the boy, scooter and chandelier crash to the ground in that order... once the chandelier gives way...?

Those marks look like the scooter to me... you can even see what could be the marks from the wheels.. at the top of the seven...?


I think the scooter making the mark could be entirely possible if the dimensions match. I'm looking at our scooter here and it does have about the same angle, e.g., they do not open to a 90 degree angle but a slanted angle.

I am not sure how the post/railing could make that slanted angle?

freespeech
08-18-2012, 12:33 PM
The 7 mark as I have written earlier this week..... could it have come from the Scooter? If it went over the railing with MS it could have landed on his back. The scooter could have been resting against the newel post at the top of the stairs if MS tripped while running he may have reach out to grab the railing but instead got the scooter.. gripping it he would have dragged it over the railing with him.. making the marks on the newel post... the scooter could have gotten caught in the chandelier with MS holding it... causing him to swing out and hit the middle level railing... then the boy, scooter and chandelier crash to the ground in that order... once the chandelier gives way...?

Those marks look like the scooter to me... you can even see what could be the marks from the wheels.. at the top of the seven...?

Thank you Mrs. Holmes for your analysis. It makes sense. Your scenario is the first that I've read that I can actually visualize happening.

Your scenario would explain the marks to the back and also the newel post. I also believe that Max and the scooter together could bring down the chandelier.

This seems to have been a tragically freak accident and certainly every parent's nightmare. I don't know how preventable something this freakish would be. Unfortunately accidents are the number one cause of childhood mortality in this country. . .

K_Z
08-18-2012, 04:46 PM
As part of her review of Max Shacknai's death, Dr. Melinek was provided with what appears to be Max's entire medical records, including his outpatient pediatric visits (which she quoted). So, I am assuming she spent a considerable amount of time reviewing Max's medical records, particularly the records that begin with the paramedics arriving at the scene of the accident, the enroute care Max received on the way to the Coronado hospital, care at the Coronado hospital, transfer to Rady Children's, and continuing until Max's death.

That is a considerable amount of information, with many different levels of providers documenting care and assessments, as well as all of the diagnostic procedures and results, and opinions about prognosis. I think it is very noteworthy that Dr. Melinek made no comments at all about any aspect of Max's care-- noteworthy in a very good way. Dr. Melinek had no criticism of any aspect of the care Max received, nor any of the documentation. Perhaps it is a leap of logic, but to me, that indicates that she believes Max received the highest level of care that was possible, given his injuries, and the excellent resources available at Rady Children's Hospital.

I have said before that I have absolutely no doubt that Max received superb care from a very professional, experienced, and dedicated group of professionals-- and that includes everyone from the paramedics, to the Rady doctors and nurses and staff who cared for Max. Any time a child is injured this gravely, it is a tremendously emotional experience for medical providers, also, who truly want nothing more than to be able to fix the injuries and return a small child to the energetic, vivacious child they were before the injuries. Health care providers are deeply saddened, too, for the loss of a beautiful child's life, and sometimes angry for what has been lost. Parents look to them for all of the answers. They cling to their every word that could possibly indicate hope for their child, even when the overwhelming circumstances lead ever closer to the inevitable outcome of the child's death. In their anger and grief, it isn't uncommon to search for blame, particularly in the cases of accident and trauma. "How could this happen" is probably the most common question every parent asks over and over.

I don't believe any provider ever held out real hope to Dina or Jonah that Max could survive, from nearly the moment he was admitted. I don't believe anyone persuaded them Max had a condition where he would fully recover, and return to his typical activities in a few months. I believe Dina and Jonah had many, many conversations with the staff at Rady, as Max lay dying.

Sharing a devastating prognosis with the parents of a previously healthy child is difficult, under any circumstances. The time when the extent of the injuries is being determined is excruciating for parents, as each piece of information that comes to them is less hopeful. Conversations about beginning the process of establishing brain death are painful to the core, and further add to the realization that the outlook is so grim, that any real hope of any level of recovery is pretty much gone. I'm confident all of this is well documented in Max's medical records.

In cases like Max's, this isn't a situation where a doc comes by once or twice a day for a 30 second conversation, and the rest of the time the parent is left to sit there while nurses provide care-- quite the opposite. Intensivists (like Brad Peterson and his excellent colleagues) are working, visible, and personally available in the unit 24/7-- that's what an intensivist does. They are available on a minute to minute basis right in the ICU, coordinating care, ordering tests and meds, doing procedures, consulting with other specialists, and that also includes ongoing, nearly continuous communication with parents and family members. When parents are present, staff are constantly asking if they need anything, do they have questions, can something be explained. Many parents are in nearly constant communication with caregivers-- asking about equipment, what does "this" mean, how does it work, what does it do, and most importantly, questions about whether or not their child is showing signs of improvement.

Which makes it all the more puzzling that Dr. Melinek chose to overlook any documented comments about Max potentially being anything but a victim of a tragic accident. In fact, her comment about the original autopsy is that she AGREES with the cause of death documented by the ME, Lucas. She quantifies this agreement in the same paragraph that she addresses the presumptive positive benzodiazepine result (attributed to versed at the first hospital, and not a factor in Max's death). She goes on to say in the same paragraph that it would have required intact upper cervical cord neurons to articulate the word "Ocean"-- and Max's upper cervical cord neurons were not intact. She stops short of clearly stating that this injury also would produce cardiac arrest, which Dr. Lucus did state in his report-- although she clearly states she agrees with Lucas' cause of death.

Why did she not state that cardiac arrest would be attributed to this upper cervical cord injury? Because that would counter the negative comments about Rebecca not performing CPR well enough, or that somehow Rebecca delayed initiating CPR. Hmmm.

So after what I hope was an exhaustive study of ALL of Max's diagnostic studies and hospital course, she agrees that the original cause of death was accurate. And to review, that was documented as a massive skull fracture, a spinal cord contusion that lead to a cardiac arrest, a prolonged cardiac arrest, eventual heart resuscitation by paramedics, and subsequent global hypoxic encephalopathy. So that is why I think it is very interesting to look at a few very pertinent things that Dr. Melinek did NOT say in her report to Dina Shacknai.

What Dr. Melinek did NOT say is:

1. That Max suffered injuries that could have been recoverable.

2. That ANY level of care, from Rebecca finding Max, through the paramedics care, the Coronado hospital care, and the Rady Children's Hospital care, would have saved Max. I think that this effectively puts to rest any speculation that somehow Rebecca's efforts would have saved Max "if only" she had done them differently, better, faster, or more skillfully. Because if Dr. Melinek had valid criticism about Rebecca's efforts impeding Max's ability to recover, I have every confidence she would have documented that extensively and critically in her report.

3. Dr. Melinek makes no comments at all about the remarks of Dr. Brad Peterson. None. She neither states she agrees with whatever he said or documented, nor does she disagree with anything said or documented by Dr. Peterson. And over and over, Dr. Peterson is the one who has been named as initially stating concerns about how Max's accident occurred.

Now, that is VERY curious. Because Dr. Melinek has concluded that Max was assaulted. Further, she has concluded that a specific person was heavily involved in this speculative assault. Many reports now state that she collaborated and directed Dr. Bove to conduct an analysis that not only seeks to disprove Dr. Gomez' analysis of the fall, but further seeks to attempt to explain that an assault "could have" occurred.

Dr. Bove refuses to speculate as to whether this speculative assault could have been intentional. I think that was very ethical on his part-- he stands his ground as to making accusations against ANY person in particular, or making speculative accusations about intent. That is huge, imo.

Getting back to Dr. Peterson's speculation, we first learned of his concerns when the search warrants were unsealed back in September 23, 2011. This was right after Jonah asked the California AG to review the SDSO's findings. As we know, the AG declined (which was not unexpected, from comments in the media).

http://www.10news.com/news/29268087/detail.html

Among the information presented is a potential factor in the death of Max Shacknai suggested by Dr. Brad Peterson, the head of the Intensive Care Unit at Rady Children's Hospital, that hadn't been made public previously.
Det. Thomas Atkins of the Coronado Police Department wrote, "... Dr. Peterson did not feel the visible injuries were consistent with the cardiac arrest and brain swelling experienced by Shacknai. Dr. Peterson expressed concerns made based on the -- the above factors, suffocation may have occurred prior to Shacknai’s fall."

Peterson's conclusion was a possibility given the young man’s outward appearance and was consistent with the medical examiner's findings.

When reviewing the autopsy report, the medical examiner's findings explained why Peterson thought suffocation was the cause of death. The autopsy said: "A spinal cord injury at this level can cause cardio-respiratory arrest (cessation of heart activity and/or breathing)," which would explain the suffocation theory suggested by Peterson.

Now, what WE do not know is when and how Dr. Peterson first communicated this to Dina and Jonah, and documented this in Max's records. But, Dr. Melinek DOES know, since she performed an exhaustive review of Max's records. We also know that this was an opinion Dr. Peterson documented in Max's medical records as part of the rationale for forwarding Max's case to social services. A social services referral in the case of an unwitnessed accident that leads to grave injury, and death, is a mandatory report by hospital, and is a separate issue from his suspicions of suffocation. We don't know when Dr. Peterson and his colleagues referred Max's case to social services, but Dina has indicated that this occurred very early on in Max's admission at Rady. I think it is also extremely likely that Dr. Peterson's comments and suspicions about suffocation occurred within minutes or hours of Max's admission-- not several days after admission. In fact, I think it is highly likely that Dr. Peterson's suffocation comments to Dina and Jonah, and whatever documentation exists to support his conversation/s, occurred in this same time frame-- minutes to hours after admission, before the extensive diagnostic studies had been completed. And before the extent of the high spinal cord contusion was known. Spinal cord injuries evolve over time, with both a primary and secondary injury pattern. I have asked both a radiologist and a neurologist who specializes in head and spinal cord injuries to comment on the earliest time that a high spinal cord contusion like Max's would be evident on diagnostic studies, and when I receive their answers, I will post here.

But getting back to Dr. Melinek's complete omission of any comments about Dr. Peterson's suspicions, I think that this is because there is nothing that Dr. Peterson's comments would bring to benefit the assault scenario put forth by Dina and Dr. Melinek. Dr. Peterson would definitely be named as a witness in any civil or criminal trial that might occur after reinvestigation of EITHER Max's OR Rebecca's deaths. Dr. Peterson is on the record with, at a minimum, a police interview about his suspicions of suffocation. (Comments from Det. Thomas Atkins of Coronado PD.)

Dr. Peterson is on record with 2 items that would be highly interesting:

1. He believed Max's injuries were not "consistent with the cardiac arrest and brain swelling".
2. "Dr. Peterson expressed concerns made based on -- the above factors, suffocation may have occurred prior to Shacknai's fall".

http://www.10news.com/news/29268087/detail.html

And deposition of Dr. Peterson, by either side, will focus on those 2 issues. And that is very problematic for supporters of having either Max or Rebecca's death reopened. His testimony would be damaging to either side.

Dr. Melinek did not look to Dr. Peterson's comments in Max's records to lend support to her scenario, because I believe that what she discovered is that the evidence documented in Max's hospitalization AFTER those comments were made, combined with the evidence at autopsy, demonstrate that suffocation was clearly NOT the cause of Max's death-- either accidental suffocation, OR suffocation by another person. For whatever reason, professional camaraderie or otherwise, Dr. Melinek was very reluctant, imo, to criticize Dr. Peterson's comments, which have been widely quoted and circulated in the media. Now, Dr. Melinek COULD HAVE criticized his interpretation of suffocation, and cut him slack because it was too early in the clinical picture to be making that kind of determination when the child had suffered an out-of hospital arrest in excess of 30 min. She could have focused on how Dr. Peterson (and any others who expressed this) were correct to refer the case to social services, because the evidence indicated the situation was more complicated than an accidental fall. But she didn't do that, either. Curiously. She ignores Dr. Peterson all together. Could that be because Dr. Peterson's comments would ultimately not be able to support the assault scenario? I think so.

Dr. Peterson's comments, ignored by Dr. Melinek, are problematic because he can very likely be shown by other experts to have made an error in speculating about suffocation, as well as the very real concern that his comments could have been the the motive for murdering Rebecca. That's why, IMO, Dr. Peterson has been silent in support of Dina's petition to reopen the case. That's why Dr. Melinek could not use his concerns and police interview to her advantage and support in her written report. Certainly attorneys for the hospital have urged him to remain out of the media, which he has done. It is virtually a certainty that he would be called as a witness in any litigation or criminal charges, for EITHER Max or Rebecca's deaths.

The suffocation theory has been largely put to rest by Dr. Melinek agreeing with Dr. Lucas, the ME, as to cause of death, based on review of the medical records. What Dr. Melinek has stated is she disagrees with the MANNER of death. She doesn't believe in the suffocation theory-- she has advanced a NEW theory that someone caused Max to go over the railing, and that this represents homicide-- "death at the hands of another." She stops JUST short of overtly accusing Rebecca of homicide in HER report, but instead states "support Rebecca Zahau's direct involvement." Who exactly is she accusing of the assault, then? I think anyone familiar with the case can figure that out-- she is not accusing Rebecca of assaulting Max, but holding her responsible for the actions of some OTHER unnamed person. It is only in the SUMMARY OF REPORTS, which is unsigned, and quotes both Dr. Melinek and Dr. Bove in the 3rd person, that Rebecca is named 12 times. Twelve times in the last 2 pages of narrative of the Summary. Six times by name, and 6 times by pronoun. Twelve times-- and Rebecca is dead, so going "after" Rebecca solves nothing.

So WHO exactly authored the Summary of Reports, and why? This document was released FIRST, in advance of the 2 actual reports from Bove and Melinek. Widely circulated, with focus on the accusations against Rebecca. Released by the Martz PR agency retained by Dina (the same agency that represents her publicity for the nonprofit she started)-- which initially stated that media could only receive the original reports and photographs by contacting them.

So WHO exactly authored the Summary of Reports? The PR aqency? Angela Hallier, Dina's attorney? Dina? Dr. Melinek or Dr. Bove?-- that's unlikely. This document should be completely discredited by any LE or media agency. None of us need a "Summary" of reports that are brief in length, that attempts to say something the original reports did not say-- by saying it multiple times. Page 11 of the summary repeats the same statement 3 time in a row in the outline format. The Summary of Reports goes far beyond what either Dr. Bove or Dr. Melinek stated in their reports. The summary would not be admitted as evidence in any legal proceeding-- yet it is the summary, written anonymously, that was shopped around FIRST.

I do hope Max's investigation is reopened, in parallel with reopening Rebecca's investigation. The 2 deaths are forever intertwined, and one cannot be examined without looking at the entire situation of both deaths. I hope they will be reopened, but I am very doubtful that either one will be.

Thanks to anyone who read this all the way through!

time
08-18-2012, 06:55 PM
K_Z ... thank you for taking the time and effort to post.

I think it's strange to say the least that the "Summary of Reports' has no stated author and that the actual reports were withheld. For myself, I was surprised when I saw both reports. It also seems that some of what was contained in Dr. Bove's report was hidden in the "Summary of Reports" and int he media appearances.

time
08-18-2012, 07:00 PM
Reposting htis here from Trisha's Radio show with Rudoy as a guest

Interesting, Zahau's attorneys had a report on Center of Gravity six months ago (Max?) but it doesn't agree with Dr. Bove's report?

*Lash*
08-19-2012, 04:42 PM
KZ - Thank you so much for your detailed research. I agree Dr. Melinek leaving out Dr. Peterson's thoughts and reporting is very interesting.

Jessica2012
08-19-2012, 05:54 PM
It is my understanding that the medical information which may prove Maxie did not die the way Rebecca said he did belongs in court, not in a request to re open the investigation. In the present request, they would concentrate on the discrepencies in the original investigation. After they obtain permission for a reinvestigation, if it is proven that the manner of death was not as concluded, then they would move to reclassify the death as homicide. It is during this time that medical experts would testify on what they believe caused Maxie's death. I also think the information made public is very limited. All my opinion.

katydid23
08-19-2012, 05:58 PM
The 7 mark as I have written earlier this week..... could it have come from the Scooter? If it went over the railing with MS it could have landed on his back. The scooter could have been resting against the newel post at the top of the stairs if MS tripped while running he may have reach out to grab the railing but instead got the scooter.. gripping it he would have dragged it over the railing with him.. making the marks on the newel post... the scooter could have gotten caught in the chandelier with MS holding it... causing him to swing out and hit the middle level railing... then the boy, scooter and chandelier crash to the ground in that order... once the chandelier gives way...?

Those marks look like the scooter to me... you can even see what could be the marks from the wheels.. at the top of the seven...?

I agree that the marks on his back look like they came from the scooter. But I disagree that a falling boy could 'drag' a scooter over the balcony rail with him. Scooters are very bottom heavy.

Imo, it was thrown or dropped over the railing after the boy fall. Maybe as a staging ploy. Or perhaps in anger.

time
08-19-2012, 07:56 PM
It is my understanding that the medical information (and there is ALOT) which proves Maxie did not die the way Rebecca said he did belongs in court, not in a request to re open the investigation. In the present request, they would concentrate on the discrepencies in the original investigation. After they obtain permission for a reinvestigation, if it is proven that the manner of death was not as concluded, then they would move to reclassify the death as homicide. It is during this time that medical experts would testify on what caused Maxie's death. I also think the information made public is very limited. All my opinion.


What medical information is that? You are stating it as if it is a fact.

Jessica2012
08-19-2012, 08:13 PM
What medical information is that? You are stating it as if it is a fact.

@time- Respectfully, I was referring to what Dr. Peterson hypothesized. You don't think that's a lot? In my opinion, I think that a medical conclusion of an accident vs. one of homicide is A LOT of medical discrepency, and would need a lot of information to prove. But later in court, not now. I have written my statement is all my opinion.

Jessica2012
08-19-2012, 08:17 PM
Reposting htis here from Trisha's Radio show with Rudoy as a guest

Meaning that the center of gravity did not match the conclusion in Rebecca's case? Or in Max's or both?

Jessica2012
08-19-2012, 08:28 PM
I agree that the marks on his back look like they came from the scooter. But I disagree that a falling boy could 'drag' a scooter over the balcony rail with him. Scooters are very bottom heavy.

Imo, it was thrown or dropped over the railing after the boy fall. Maybe as a staging ploy. Or perhaps in anger.

Katy, in my opinion, if it was thrown over the railing after Maxie fell, it would not land in a perfect way on his back to make a symbol similar to the number 7 . Maybe the scooter was not involved at all in the fall, and the marks on it were made at an earlier point? Maybe the marks on Max's back were caused by some entirely different reason. I just don't think anyone would throw the scooter after he fell, even in anger.

time
08-19-2012, 09:09 PM
@time- Respectfully, I was referring to what Dr. Peterson hypothesized. You don't think that's a lot? In my opinion, I think that a medical conclusion of an accident vs. one of homicide is A LOT of medical discrepency, and would need a lot of information to prove. But later in court, not now. I have written my statement is all my opinion.

Oh, ok. Thank you. I believe that Dr. Peterson realized he was wrong when the autopsy was done. Having said that, I believe he probaby changed his mind. Had he stuck with his opinion, then I think it still would have to be proven it was a homicide. Since the autopsy showed he was wrong, the only thing pertinent in my opinion concerning Dr. Peterson's original diagnosis is when did he tell that to Dina and Jonah. And, could what he said possibly be connected to Rebecca's death.

screecher
08-19-2012, 09:13 PM
Thank you K_Z for your post. It is most informative, explained in the most simplest of terms, so even a matted hair-brain (just a term I sometimes use referring to myself LOL) should understand it.

screecher
08-19-2012, 09:14 PM
It is my understanding that the medical information (and there is ALOT) which proves Maxie did not die the way Rebecca said he did ...

Link please

screecher
08-19-2012, 09:21 PM
K_Z, did Maxie present with petechiae?

time
08-19-2012, 09:21 PM
Meaning that the center of gravity did not match the conclusion in Rebecca's case? Or in Max's or both?

I'd have to relisten but I thought it didn't agree with Dr. Bove's report. I think they also had someone, maybe the same person, work on the dynamics of Rebecca's case. I'm guessing but possibly the bed frame movement and the whole balcony, going over the rail possibilities.

katydid23
08-19-2012, 09:23 PM
Link please

I think her 'link' is in the subject title of this thread.

Jessica2012
08-19-2012, 09:24 PM
Oh, ok. Thank you. I believe that Dr. Peterson realized he was wrong when the autopsy was done. Having said that, I believe he probaby changed his mind. Had he stuck with his opinion, then I think it still would have to be proven it was a homicide. Since the autopsy showed he was wrong, the only thing pertinent in my opinion concerning Dr. Peterson's original diagnosis is when did he tell that to Dina and Jonah. And, could what he said possibly be connected to Rebecca's death.

@time- I agree with you, even if Dr.Peterson had stuck with his opinion, it would still in my opinion have to be proven to be a homicide. I think if there is a re investigation into these cases, what Dr. Peterson hypothesized would be pertinent if the spinal cord contusion is proved not to be the cause of death in Maxie's case, and as you said, when he told Jonah and Dina in Rebecca's case. My opinion:)

screecher
08-19-2012, 09:26 PM
Has it been established with certainty who put together/ authored the "Summary of Reports"?

Angela Hallier?


Nah. No author/authoress.

They're thinking/hoping we're all dumber than dirt and wouldn't know what to do with a pail of nails with a hammer along side it. O_o

time
08-19-2012, 09:27 PM
@time- I agree with you, even if Dr.Peterson had stuck with his opinion, it would still in my opinion have to be proven to be a homicide. I think if there is a re investigation into these cases, what Dr. Peterson hypothesized would be pertinent if the spinal cord contusion is proved not to be the cause of death in Maxie's case, and as you said, when he told Jonah and Dina in Rebecca's case. My opinion:)

I'm a bit confused how that would come about, even Dr. Melinek agree with the cause of death. Or are you saying, no matter what Dr. Peterson would be called to testify? Or that some other pathologist will come along and claim some different cause of death that we have yet to hear from?

Jessica2012
08-19-2012, 09:42 PM
I'm a bit confused how that would come about, even Dr. Melinek agree with the cause of death. Or are you saying, no matter what Dr. Peterson would be called to testify? Or that some other pathologist will come along and claim some different cause of death that we have yet to hear from?

@time- this is all purely my opinion and speculation so please take it as such:)
In my opinion, Dr. Melinek agrees with the cause of death in the original report (which is Anoxic/Ischemic Encephalopathy) but she does not agree with the manner of death. In other words, how the Anoxic/Ischemic Encephalopathy came about. In my opinion, they may question whether the spinal contusion causing cardiopulmonary arrest is what led to Maxie's brain death. I am not saying no matter what Dr. Peterson will be called to testify. Dr. Peterson is not a forensic pathologist. They would have to bring in a new pathologist in Maxie's case regardless because of the information obtained through autopsy. Dr. Peterson in my opinion may only be called in Maxie's case if they want to question for the record why he had the opinion that he did. I'm not a lawyer though, and I have absolutely no legal knowledge:) I do agree with you about Rebecca's case that he may be called to state when he stated his opinion to Jonah and Dina.

screecher
08-19-2012, 10:44 PM
Link please

I think her 'link' is in the subject title of this thread.

I think not.

The scenario put forth in the summary report is a theory.

Where is the evidence? Where are the facts? Where is the proof.

Oh. Okay.

No link.

time
09-25-2012, 11:27 AM
Maybe I am just having a brain blip here, but do we have this document?

Expert Report by Mark A. Gomez

time
09-25-2012, 11:49 AM
The Summary Report describes some back injuries as critical to the assumption of an assault.

In the official autopsy report (page 9) there are quite a few abrasions described as healing or scabbed on Max's back. Some of the injuries are described as having a brown healing scab. I cannot see that his back injuries would have done any healing, but then again I am not a medical expert. I am wondering if these are different injuries than what they are talking a bout in this report. A picture of Max's back (hospital) shown on Dr. Drew did not look like injuries from a railing to me. many of them were vertical not horizontal, but they went by quickly so IDK.

Here is a sample from the autopsy:

TORSO:

On the mid thoracic back there is a vertically oriented 5 1/2 inch x 3/4 inch array of healing abrasions and thin, brown scabs. ... Also on the midline over the upper lumbar back there is a 1/14/ inch x 2/8 inch diameter brown, healing scab.

I very perplexed at how they propose an assault scenario (saying it had to happen because of injuries he could not have sustained during the fall) and then proceed to say "He was either lifted over the banister or (he) escaped over the banister, falling down to the front entry way." If he could have escaped from someone or a dog, let's say, then why couldn't he do that with no one present?

Furthermore, in one scenario they present Max as backing into the banister as the conclusion as he was escaping someone - why wouldn't any discussion of perhaps playing with the dog be entertained?

And how do they magically come to the conclusion at the end that this was not only a homicide but that Rebecca did it? Is Dr. Melinik qualified, as a pathologist, to make the sorts of comments on RZ having direct involvement? I have never heard of a pathologist doing this, period.

If anyone wants to tackle trying to match the scooter or the railing to the injuries on Max's back, here are some possible measurements.

For me, it's the angle shown and the marks that possible match the scooter (wheels?) that are most telling. I don't see how that angle would correspond at all to the staircase elements/banister.

bourne
09-25-2012, 12:15 PM
If anyone wants to tackle trying to match the scooter or the railing to the injuries on Max's back, here are some possible measurements.

For me, it's the angle shown and the marks that possible match the scooter (wheels?) that are most telling. I don't see how that angle would correspond at all to the staircase elements/banister.

Thanks for the info. Do we also have the measurements of the bannister?

I wonder if the official ME report had experts do a 3D comparison of the bannister, scooter, and Max's injuries?

time
09-25-2012, 12:17 PM
http://www.websleuths.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=25619&d=1344902216

Reposting this - What Dr. Bove has to say about Max's back injuries. Interesting.

time
09-25-2012, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the info. Do we also have the measurements of the bannister?

I wonder if the official ME report had experts do a 3D comparison of the bannister, scooter, and Max's injuries?

I think those are in Dr. Bove's report?

bourne
09-25-2012, 12:28 PM
http://www.websleuths.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=25619&d=1344902216

Reposting this - What Dr. Bove has to say about Max's back injuries. Interesting.

Dr. Bove basically says that the back injuries were "superficial", and could have happened at any time, with any object or multiple objects, not necessarily flat. He outright states that "the abrasions and bruising on his back could have been sustained at different times due to contact with different structures."

So I don't understand why Dr. Melinek definitively stated in her report that Max only sustained the back '7' from the bannister! Even her own co-expert stated the ambiguous nature of where, when, and with what different objects Max could have came into contact with. Why did Dr. Melinek push the bannister as the only object? Dr. Melinek's conclusion is so wrong on so many different levels!

bourne
09-25-2012, 12:43 PM
I think those are in Dr. Bove's report?

Thanks for this.

On the Dr. Phil show, Dr. Melinek claimed that Max was shoved against the spindles of the railing on the second floor. According to Dr. Bove's report, the spindles are approximately 2 inches apart. This doesn't seem to match the abrasions on Max's back (5 1/2 inch x 3/4 inch array of healing abrasions and thin, brown scabs. ... Also on the midline over the upper lumbar back there is a 1/14/ inch x 2/8 inch diameter brown, healing scab).

But to be more accurate, we need to take into account the 3-dimensions of the spindles and Max's injuries, which I can't do here because those dimensions are not given.

time
09-25-2012, 12:44 PM
Dr. Bove basically says that the back injuries were "superficial", and could have happened at any time, with any object or multiple objects, not necessarily flat. He outright states that "the abrasions and bruising on his back could have been sustained at different times due to contact with different structures."

So I don't understand why Dr. Melinek definitively stated in her report that Max only sustained the back '7' from the bannister! Even her own co-expert stated the ambiguous nature of where, when, and with what different objects Max could have came into contact with. Why did Dr. Melinek push the bannister as the only object? Dr. Melinek's conclusion is so wrong on so many different levels!

I know, thank you for quoting him. I don't get it either. I think I got through all of Dr. Bove's report and I think he had some good points about Dr. Gomez's report that should be considered. I don't find a lot to even support what Dr. Melinek claimed except a very few tidbits that related to some small points.

I hoped that any shows about all this would include Dr. Bove, I take it he does not want to be on them? That wouldn't preclude an expert commenting on what he does say in his report. Bove's report is 29 pages long and heavily quoted, relied upon, in the Summary of Reports (written by Hallier?). Dr. Melinek's report is short and is only referenced a few times in contrast. But the magic is in the cut and pasting and rearranging into the story they want, methinks.

bourne
09-25-2012, 01:38 PM
I want to be fair and objective here, as Max's death also deserves thorough understanding. And if Max's death was not an accident, I'd like to know what exactly happened.

So what interests me the most about Dr. Bove's report are his following statements:

"In the absence of a mechanism to raise Maxfield Shacknai's center of gravity, no events or actions involving only Maxfield Shacknai and initiated at floor level, including those that involved riding the scooter, could be identified that were consistent with all aspects of the incidence scene and would result in an accidental fall to the first floor." (1st page of report)

"Other activities that would sufficiently raise his center of gravity so that it was higher than the railing, such as jumping, sitting on the railing, standing on a soccer ball or standing or riding on the dog must also be considered as potential contributing factors to an accidental fall, however, any these types of activities would have to also be associated with a sufficient horizontal speed and the proper trajectory to result in interaction with the chandelier. Any such alternative scenario would also have to account for the rest position of the scooter as discussed below. In other words, while a scenario such as standing on soccer ball is within the realm of possibility, one would have to be standing on the soccer ball while still traveling down the hallway with a forward horizontal velocity while also holding the scooter."(Page 18 of the report)

The first quoted paragraph suggests that Max could not have gone over the railing if he were initially standing at floor level.

I would ask what if Max first put the scooter on top of the bannister, perhaps still holding onto it or perhaps just resting it on top (a scooter is narrow and lightweight enough to sit on top of the railing without toppling over), then climbed atop it, and then rode the scooter down the railings? Standing on top of the railing would make Max was no longer merely standing on floor level, and that his fall could then occur, correct?

Or is Dr. Bove saying Max cannot climb atop the bannister? I find that hard to believe, particularly because according to Anne Bremner, one side of the railing was as low as 26 inches? That's a little more than 2 feet. And Max was what? close to 4 feet tall?

Also, there are nooks and crannies in the spindles of the bannister. Why can't Max put his feet in between the spindles to use them as a stepladder to get on top of the railing? I know I was a daredevil when I was young, and I'd put my feet anywhere that had any edge or gap to climb up! What's to prevent Max from doing the same?

Perhaps because the day before when Max was demonstrating riding the scooter on the carpet to Rebecca's sister XZ and he could only ride it slow due to carpet drag, Max decided to practice riding on the uncarpeted bannister so he could later show XZ when she came out of the showers? So Max placed the scooter on top of bannister railing. Then he climbs the spindle edges, gets on top of scooter and starts riding the scooter down the railings. Ocean the dog gets excited seeing Max atop the bannister, jumps at Max, knocking him over. Max screams out, "Ocean!" and manages to grab hold of the chandelier. Max's scooter falls first. The chandelier is swinging wildly with Max on it, banging Max against the different railings where he sustained his superficial back injuries. Then finally the chandelier gave way and Max falls next to an initially erect scooter, and the sudden motion causes the scooter to tip over and hit Max on his back or leg.

I'm not sure why the scooter was found on top of his leg. Wouldn't the logical thing be to quickly try to resuscitate Max and push every object away? Perhaps the scooter was on top of Max's back and Rebecca moved it but only slightly because she was too focused on giving CPR to Max?

From the second cited paragraph above, it appears that Dr. Bove also tried to account for the necessary rise in Max's center of gravity by suggesting that it is possible that Max was standing on the soccerball or the dog, except he says there still needs an impetus for the horizontal velocity. Well, what about after Max got on top of object to climb on bannister, Max rode on his scooter? The riding of the scooter on the bannister would account for horizontal velocity.

In summary, Dr. Bove did not make any definitive conclusions about the mechanisms behind Max's fall. He was however scientific in his assessments of what happened, but appears to have been limited in speaking out about additional scenarios besides the one accident scenario proposed by Dr. Gomez and the one homicide scenario by Dr. Melnick.

bourne
09-25-2012, 01:45 PM
I know, thank you for quoting him. I don't get it either. I think I got through all of Dr. Bove's report and I think he had some good points about Dr. Gomez's report that should be considered. I don't find a lot to even support what Dr. Melinek claimed except a very few tidbits that related to some small points.

I hoped that any shows about all this would include Dr. Bove, I take it he does not want to be on them? That wouldn't preclude an expert commenting on what he does say in his report. Bove's report is 29 pages long and heavily quoted, relied upon, in the Summary of Reports (written by Hallier?). Dr. Melinek's report is short and is only referenced a few times in contrast. But the magic is in the cut and pasting and rearranging into the story they want, methinks.

I agree that the Summary of Reports distorts Dr. Bove's statements. A lot of things were taken out of context and as you said, edited with cut-and-paste to read the way Dina and her lawyers want the conclusion to be.

time
09-25-2012, 08:16 PM
The first quoted paragraph suggests that Max could not have gone over the railing if he were initially standing at floor level.

I would ask what if Max first put the scooter on top of the bannister, perhaps still holding onto it or perhaps just resting it on top (a scooter is narrow and lightweight enough to sit on top of the railing without toppling over), then climbed atop it, and then rode the scooter down the railings? Standing on top of the railing would make Max was no longer merely standing on floor level, and that his fall could then occur, correct?

Or is Dr. Bove saying Max cannot climb atop the bannister? I find that hard to believe, particularly because according to Anne Bremner, one side of the railing was as low as 26 inches? That's a little more than 2 feet. And Max was what? close to 4 feet tall?

<respectfully snipped>

I tend to have the same scenario in mind as you do or some slight variation.

Believe me, Max could definitely get on top of that banister. My two year old grandson climbs that high already and can get over their gate at the top of the stairs, much to his parents dismay! :) And, he is not big for his age. My theory though is that Max may have put the scooter on the end of the banister and Newel post, climbed up around the 26 " mark and turned somewhat sideways to get on the scooter.

If the scoot made those marks on the Newel post (I'm repeating myself), then it looks as if it had to be parallel with the railing going down the stairs and possibly pushed/pulled that direction.

I would like to hear another expert or two chime in with their opinion since the marks are quite distinct on the Newel post. I'd like to know if they, in any way, match up with the paint on the scooter. It somehow didn't look like it to me. Maybe that is why they tried to identify a paint chip on the scooter (cause that seems to match the missing paint on the post, but not a wide swath like the scooter swiped some paint somewhere, IDK, we need a better look at all the paint on the scooter). And, if Max was around the 26" mark, he would be closer to the chandelier, right?

On the other hand, I think those marks could have been made anytime that day.

bourne
09-25-2012, 08:44 PM
I tend to have the same scenario in mind as you do or some slight variation.

Believe me, Max could definitely get on top of that banister. My two year old grandson climbs that high already and can get over their gate at the top of the stairs, much to his parents dismay! :) And, he is not big for his age. My theory though is that Max may have put the scooter on the end of the banister and Newel post, climbed up around the 26 " mark and turned somewhat sideways to get on the scooter.

If the scoot made those marks on the Newel post (I'm repeating myself), then it looks as if it had to be parallel with the railing going down the stairs and possibly pushed/pulled that direction.

I would like to hear another expert or two chime in with their opinion since the marks are quite distinct on the Newel post. I'd like to know if they, in any way, match up with the paint on the scooter. It somehow didn't look like it to me. Maybe that is why they tried to identify a paint chip on the scooter (cause that seems to match the missing paint on the post, but not a wide swath like the scooter swiped some paint somewhere, IDK, we need a better look at all the paint on the scooter). And, if Max was around the 26" mark, he would be closer to the chandelier, right?

On the other hand, I think those marks could have been made anytime that day.

I agree that if a child (or anyone really) wants to climb up something, no matter what their height, they'd find a way. I think as long as there's something, an edge or even tiny crevices where you can only get your toe in, to step into, they will.

I also thought that one of the ways Max might have climbed up the banister is at the lower point, the 26" mark. I thought I said that in my post. lol

Did Dr. Bove state in his report that the marks on the bannister could be made at any time? I have to reread it now. I know he said that the superficial marks on Max's back could have been sustained at any time.

katydid23
09-25-2012, 09:03 PM
I want to be fair and objective here, as Max's death also deserves thorough understanding. And if Max's death was not an accident, I'd like to know what exactly happened.

So what interests me the most about Dr. Bove's report are his following statements:

"In the absence of a mechanism to raise Maxfield Shacknai's center of gravity, no events or actions involving only Maxfield Shacknai and initiated at floor level, including those that involved riding the scooter, could be identified that were consistent with all aspects of the incidence scene and would result in an accidental fall to the first floor." (1st page of report)

"Other activities that would sufficiently raise his center of gravity so that it was higher than the railing, such as jumping, sitting on the railing, standing on a soccer ball or standing or riding on the dog must also be considered as potential contributing factors to an accidental fall, however, any these types of activities would have to also be associated with a sufficient horizontal speed and the proper trajectory to result in interaction with the chandelier. Any such alternative scenario would also have to account for the rest position of the scooter as discussed below. In other words, while a scenario such as standing on soccer ball is within the realm of possibility, one would have to be standing on the soccer ball while still traveling down the hallway with a forward horizontal velocity while also holding the scooter."(Page 18 of the report)

The first quoted paragraph suggests that Max could not have gone over the railing if he were initially standing at floor level.

I would ask what if Max first put the scooter on top of the bannister, perhaps still holding onto it or perhaps just resting it on top (a scooter is narrow and lightweight enough to sit on top of the railing without toppling over), then climbed atop it, and then rode the scooter down the railings? Standing on top of the railing would make Max was no longer merely standing on floor level, and that his fall could then occur, correct?

Or is Dr. Bove saying Max cannot climb atop the bannister? I find that hard to believe, particularly because according to Anne Bremner, one side of the railing was as low as 26 inches? That's a little more than 2 feet. And Max was what? close to 4 feet tall?

Also, there are nooks and crannies in the spindles of the bannister. Why can't Max put his feet in between the spindles to use them as a stepladder to get on top of the railing? I know I was a daredevil when I was young, and I'd put my feet anywhere that had any edge or gap to climb up! What's to prevent Max from doing the same?

Perhaps because the day before when Max was demonstrating riding the scooter on the carpet to Rebecca's sister XZ and he could only ride it slow due to carpet drag, Max decided to practice riding on the uncarpeted bannister so he could later show XZ when she came out of the showers? So Max placed the scooter on top of bannister railing. Then he climbs the spindle edges, gets on top of scooter and starts riding the scooter down the railings. Ocean the dog gets excited seeing Max atop the bannister, jumps at Max, knocking him over. Max screams out, "Ocean!" and manages to grab hold of the chandelier. Max's scooter falls first. The chandelier is swinging wildly with Max on it, banging Max against the different railings where he sustained his superficial back injuries. Then finally the chandelier gave way and Max falls next to an initially erect scooter, and the sudden motion causes the scooter to tip over and hit Max on his back or leg.

I'm not sure why the scooter was found on top of his leg. Wouldn't the logical thing be to quickly try to resuscitate Max and push every object away? Perhaps the scooter was on top of Max's back and Rebecca moved it but only slightly because she was too focused on giving CPR to Max?

From the second cited paragraph above, it appears that Dr. Bove also tried to account for the necessary rise in Max's center of gravity by suggesting that it is possible that Max was standing on the soccerball or the dog, except he says there still needs an impetus for the horizontal velocity. Well, what about after Max got on top of object to climb on bannister, Max rode on his scooter? The riding of the scooter on the bannister would account for horizontal velocity.

In summary, Dr. Bove did not make any definitive conclusions about the mechanisms behind Max's fall. He was however scientific in his assessments of what happened, but appears to have been limited in speaking out about additional scenarios besides the one accident scenario proposed by Dr. Gomez and the one homicide scenario by Dr. Melnick.

There is no possible way that anyone, much less a small child, could have ridden a scooter down a thin bannister. Those scooters are unbalanced and unwieldy and very heavy. He could not have gotten it on top of the bannister, let alone gotten himself successfully atop the scooter. ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. My son did bmx bike tricks and I am familiar with those kinds of things, and a scooter is not something to work with in that way. They are very bottom heavy and awkward.

SweetT
09-25-2012, 09:07 PM
I'd say the last person who was with a child before they are killed is usually the one who is suspect. And in most cases everyone here would agree..but somehow since Rebecca is now gone we seem to throw out all senses.

bourne
09-25-2012, 09:26 PM
There is no possible way that anyone, much less a small child, could have ridden a scooter down a thin bannister. Those scooters are unbalanced and unwieldy and very heavy. He could not have gotten it on top of the bannister, let alone gotten himself successfully atop the scooter. ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. My son did bmx bike tricks and I am familiar with those kinds of things, and a scooter is not something to work with in that way. They are very bottom heavy and awkward.

I disagree. I have a small nephew who can do stunts with his scooter on tiny 2 inch wide railings. But Max might not have been able to do so, and that is why he fell.

SweetT
09-25-2012, 09:29 PM
There is no possible way that anyone, much less a small child, could have ridden a scooter down a thin bannister. Those scooters are unbalanced and unwieldy and very heavy. He could not have gotten it on top of the bannister, let alone gotten himself successfully atop the scooter. ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. My son did bmx bike tricks and I am familiar with those kinds of things, and a scooter is not something to work with in that way. They are very bottom heavy and awkward.

Where has it been published that RZ had a child? Since the TOS tells us we cannot discuss minors I believe the speculating on a minor's possible frame of mind is off limits. Of course DS is not a minor and has made her opinions very public. So therefore the information she has made public can be discussed. There is nothing but DS's statements regarding her timeframe for that day. If I am incorrect in this assumption will a mod please delete. TIA

Always MOO

IIRC Rebecca herself told someone that XZ was her daughter..