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  1. #1
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    Mysterious Message on the Door

    One of the most mysterious items of evidence at RZ's death scene in Spreckels Mansion was a message crudely painted on the door to the murder room.

    "SHE SAVED HIM
    CAN HE SAVE HER"

    Though SDSO removed the door from the mansion as evidence, they steadfastly refused to reveal it's contents. Once the wording was revealed by a family member, SDSO refused to offer anything other than a photo with the painted words masked with white.

    The public finally had the chance to view the actual writing on the door when an unedited photo was published late last year in Ann Rule's book.




    Many crime experts have questioned why SDSO didn't obtain a handwriting expert to analyze the painted message. SDSO's only answer was

    Why can’t you do handwriting comparisons with her suicide note?

    The lettering used in the note left on the door was “block style” and was done with paint and a paint brush. Unless we were able to find other written notes or documents done by Rebecca or another identified person, using the same medium and style, no comparison can be done. With this type of lettering, comparison would not likely be conclusive in any event. We found the same paint on Rebecca’s body, the paint brush, in the paint tube, and on the door. The samples were matched using scientific analysis.


    http://www.sdsheriff.net/coronado/faq.html


    Actually, handwriting comparisons can be done when evidence is written in block lettering. In modern forensics, computer programs like FISH can scan and compare samples of handwriting to find common traits.

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/han...g-analysis.htm

    There are as many unique traits in block letter writing as in cursive writing and experts know how to compare them.

    Why SDSO chose to keep the painted message on the door secret is a mystery to me. If it were RZ's writing, it would validate their theory of suicide. What do you think?

    Note: We spent several months discussing this topic in another thread that was closed for snarky posting. Let's see if we can keep this one open. Thanks.

    Here's a link to the old thread to use as reference. There were some very good discussions and information presented there.

    The message on the door - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

    ETA: Adding other crime scene photos of paint and brushes, etc.

    Will add later when I find smaller ones. The SDSO ones blow out the margins.
    Last edited by OkieGranny; 02-23-2016 at 02:11 AM. Reason: broken link
    All statements are my opinion only.

  2. #2
    bourne's Avatar
    bourne is offline "The truth shall set you free." ~JUSTICE FOR REBECCA ZAHAU
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty P View Post
    One of the most mysterious items of evidence at RZ's death scene in Spreckels Mansion was a message crudely painted on the door to the murder room.

    "SHE SAVED HIM
    CAN HE SAVE HER"

    Though SDSO removed the door from the mansion as evidence, they steadfastly refused to reveal it's contents. Once the wording was revealed by a family member, SDSO refused to offer anything other than a photo with the painted words masked with white.

    The public finally had the chance to view the actual writing on the door when an unedited photo was published late last year in Ann Rule's book.




    Many crime experts have questioned why SDSO didn't obtain a handwriting expert to analyze the painted message. SDSO's only answer was

    Why can’t you do handwriting comparisons with her suicide note?

    The lettering used in the note left on the door was “block style” and was done with paint and a paint brush. Unless we were able to find other written notes or documents done by Rebecca or another identified person, using the same medium and style, no comparison can be done. With this type of lettering, comparison would not likely be conclusive in any event. We found the same paint on Rebecca’s body, the paint brush, in the paint tube, and on the door. The samples were matched using scientific analysis.


    http://www.sdsheriff.net/coronado/faq.html


    Actually, handwriting comparisons can be done when evidence is written in block lettering. In modern forensics, computer programs like FISH can scan and compare samples of handwriting to find common traits.

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/han...g-analysis.htm

    There are as many unique traits in block letter writing as in cursive writing and experts know how to compare them.

    Why SDSO chose to keep the painted message on the door secret is a mystery to me. If it were RZ's writing, it would validate their theory of suicide. What do you think?

    Note: We spent several months discussing this topic in another thread that was closed for snarky posting. Let's see if we can keep this one open. Thanks.

    Here's a link to the old thread to use as reference. There were some very good discussions and information presented there.

    The message on the door - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

    ETA: Adding other crime scene photos of paint and brushes, etc.

    Will add later when I find smaller ones. The SDSO ones blow out the margins.
    Don't forget SDSO actually RETURNED this "evidence" door back to Jonah Shacknai so that Jonah could PAINT OVER the words and place it back onto its hinges at the Spreckels mansion. They did this within a week or two after Rebecca's murder, IIRC, even BEFORE they did their Sept. 2011 presser to discuss their rulings.

    Yet even after ruling Rebecca's death a "suicide" and calling Rebecca's case "closed" at the presser, SDSO stubbornly refused to show photos of the actual painted words on the door to the Zahaus or the public until AB pursued it in court!

    If that is not BIASED favoritism towards Shacknai, I don't know what is. I guess $$$money = power, influence, and preferential treatment by LE, and the dead victim who suffered a "suspicious violent death" = disposable garbage.

  3. #3
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    Cryptic, chilling message.....


    moo
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    "Look, if any of us wanted to mind our own business, we wouldn't be here" (carbuff 8/11/13)

    This post reflects my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy it anywhere else outside of the WebSleuth forum

  4. #4
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    I couldn't agree more about the message on the door. One of the most mysterious items of evidence at the scene of RZ's death. Actually, not as mysterious as it is powerful because nothing in the message reads suicide, it has murder written all over it.

    Not only was the message mysterious, the way SDSO protected the message is just as bewildering. Yes, protected. SDSO protected this evidence. If this was a suicide, then what was there to protect? Maybe they did do analysis of the handwriting and the evidence didn't fit their theory?

    SDSO supposedly has some of the best forensic software available. They have bolstered on how equipped they are in this tech savvy world. If I take this detail into consideration, it is not logical to believe for one second Gore or Thompson were not aware of programs like FISH. Since the reason SDSO gave is not logical, I have to question what they were hiding? Maybe they couldn't explain the message to fit their suicide theory? How would they answer who Rebecca was referring to as the "she" and "he" in the message? By avoiding and misleading the public to believe the writing could not be analyzed.

    If it was RZ's writing would it validate their suicide theory? Well, it definitely would have been another bullet point to add to their FAQ section on this case. An analysis of the handwriting would have been another fact to add to their theory. One more selling point to support the 15 investigators that worked so diligently on this case.

    In my opinion and the only reason SDSO did not want to show the writing on the door...they did not want to open this evidence for outside experts to examine or sleuth. SDSO knew this piece of evidence could destroy their suicide theory. They knew the writing would be analyzed and they were afraid the writing would identify someone other than Rebecca. In this digital world records are available online for anyone to search, court and property documents with attached signatures. When you have someone with a high profile like Jonah, his signature would definitely be out there to easily find. SDSO simply wanted the smoke to blow over with the hope this case would be forgotten. I believe SDSO intended to protect the message as long as they possibly could, which was 1 1/2 years after the case was closed and Rule released her book.

  5. #5
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    I could be wrong, but I think someone mentioned here since Rebecca's case was ruled suicide, her whole file was sealed. Could it be the case with the message as well, as it was considered a suicide note, it was not released for sensitivity reasons?

    The whole tone of message is taunting and sarcastic and is directed at Jonah. He was the mansion owner and was the most likely person to discover it and the gruesome scene behind the door. Looks like author of the message was referring to some previous conversation between him/her and Jonah. Maybe Jonah was trying to defend Rebecca against Dina's allegations that she killed Maxie, and Jonah said that actually Rebecca saved him, by starting CPR and calling 911.

    I bet Jonah knows what the author of the message was referring to, and therefore he knows who wrote the message. He lost his son and sweet beautiful girlfriend - but instead of being a stand up man, he preferred to cut his losses and to move on. His desire to stay away from the evil and emotionally unstable murderer(s) as not to hurt his business and not to be dragged through courts, allowed them to get away with murder and gave them sense of being above the law.

  6. #6
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    Hi Zoot ... here is what they said about the message on the door since they couldn't call it a suicide note.

    San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore would not describe the message painted on the door other than to say it was "not a clear suicide note."
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/coronado-ma...ry?id=14435011

    Gore said the message painted on the bedroom door by Zahau was "not a clear suicide note," but a message.
    http://www.10news.com/news/warrants-...mansion-deaths

    I can't find a link to this, but I believe Sheriff Gore said protocol is to not divulge suicide notes or personal information. I believe he used that as a weak excuse not to release the message on the door.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by time View Post
    Hi Zoot ... here is what they said about the message on the door since they couldn't call it a suicide note.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/coronado-ma...ry?id=14435011

    http://www.10news.com/news/warrants-...mansion-deaths

    I can't find a link to this, but I believe Sheriff Gore said protocol is to not divulge suicide notes or personal information. I believe he used that as a weak excuse not to release the message on the door.
    At the 9/2 press conference Sheriff Gore did state it is protocol not to release contents of suicide notes. Didn't they just say it wasn't a clear suicide note? Good grief!

    REPORTER
    Was there anything in her system, and in this case, given all the notoriety, why won't you reveal the message on the door?

    GORE defers to LUCAS
    There was nothing in her system, nothing at all, no alcohol.

    GORE
    In cases of suicide, law enforcement in general and this department in particular does not release the content of suicide notes.

    http://www.sdsheriff.net/coronado/index.html

  8. #8
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    Gore and his doublespeak!

  9. #9
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    Gore Explaining the Messsage

    9/2/2011 Press Conference -

    REPORTER
    Was there anything in her system, and in this case, given all the notoriety, why won't you reveal the message on the door?

    GORE defers to LUCAS
    There was nothing in her system, nothing at all, no alcohol.

    GORE
    In cases of suicide, law enforcement in general and this department in particular does not release the content of suicide notes.

    REPORTER
    Sheriff, did you tell the family what the message said, and if you did, what was their reaction?

    GORE
    We did discuss it with family members and I don't want to discuss their reaction to it.

    REPORTER
    The exact wording of the message was given to the family?

    GORE Yes.

    -----later

    REPORTER
    [Inaudible] Why didn't you say we found a suicide note?

    GORE
    I don't think you can define it as a suicide note -- it's a message. I mean there is all types of evidence we could put out: only her footprints on the balcony, and just put that out piecemeal to the media. I don't think that would've been productive. We wanted to do a thorough and complete investigation; we preferred to get all of the evidence out at one time, to give you our best conclusion. Instead of saying, well we think this could mean this, we think this could mean that, it's better to get all our facts together and make sure we've covered all bases and then release our results.

    -----later

    REPORTER [Inaudible]

    GORE
    I think it's best characterized as a message -- if I just saw that on the wall it wouldn't indicate to me that someone was contemplating suicide, on the other hand when you look at the totality of the evidence and the fact that somebody killed themselves inside the door then you can draw that conclusion. It's not a clear suicide message.

    REPORTER
    [Inaudible] would you characterize it as apologetic?

    GORE
    I'm not to going to characterize it.

    -----later

    REPORTER
    [Inaudible - question about the door message]

    GORE
    Outside of the bedroom door, the room she committed suicide from, in the hallway side, but it was the only bedroom with a balcony.

    http://www.sdsheriff.net/coronado/index.html

  10. #10
    bourne's Avatar
    bourne is offline "The truth shall set you free." ~JUSTICE FOR REBECCA ZAHAU
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoot View Post
    I could be wrong, but I think someone mentioned here since Rebecca's case was ruled suicide, her whole file was sealed. Could it be the case with the message as well, as it was considered a suicide note, it was not released for sensitivity reasons?

    The whole tone of message is taunting and sarcastic and is directed at Jonah. He was the mansion owner and was the most likely person to discover it and the gruesome scene behind the door. Looks like author of the message was referring to some previous conversation between him/her and Jonah. Maybe Jonah was trying to defend Rebecca against Dina's allegations that she killed Maxie, and Jonah said that actually Rebecca saved him, by starting CPR and calling 911.

    I bet Jonah knows what the author of the message was referring to, and therefore he knows who wrote the message. He lost his son and sweet beautiful girlfriend - but instead of being a stand up man, he preferred to cut his losses and to move on. His desire to stay away from the evil and emotionally unstable murderer(s) as not to hurt his business and not to be dragged through courts, allowed them to get away with murder and gave them sense of being above the law.
    The fact that Jonah likely knows it was Dina who authored the black painted door message but yet refused to name Dina as a POI and yet named Rebecca's ex-hubby as a POI makes me question his ethics and whether in fact he was involved in Rebecca's murder.

    It appears to me that Dina's been holding a Damocles' sword over Jonah's head to compel his silence...I think it's related to something illegal regarding his financial endeavors/businesses for which Jonah is hellbent not to lose.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by time View Post
    Gore and his doublespeak!
    There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

    Donald Rumsfeld

    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/qu...gMdSdglLLU7.99


    Mr. Rumsfeld on Rebecca's "suicide":

    Happenings
    You're going to be told lots of things.
    You get told things every day that don't happen.
    It doesn't seem to bother people, they don't—
    It's printed in the press.
    The world thinks all these things happen.
    They never happened.
    Everyone's so eager to get the story
    Before in fact the story's there
    That the world is constantly being fed
    Things that haven't happened.
    All I can tell you is,
    It hasn't happened.
    It's going to happen.


    —Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_a...umsfeld.2.html
    Last edited by coastal; 08-02-2013 at 01:28 PM. Reason: added "poetry"
    If you're lucky enough to be at the beach, you're lucky enough.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bourne View Post
    The fact that Jonah likely knows it was Dina who authored the black painted door message but yet refused to name Dina as a POI and yet named Rebecca's ex-hubby as a POI makes me question his ethics and whether in fact he was involved in Rebecca's murder.

    It appears to me that Dina's been holding a Damocles' sword over Jonah's head to compel his silence...I think it's related to something illegal regarding his financial endeavors/businesses for which Jonah is hellbent not to lose.
    You know, I also remember an insider on here who said Dina and Jonah investigated/spied each other and the people they were seeing. Maybe your explanation is more realistic, but perhaps what was weirdly salient to Jonah at the time was some bent he had towards focusing on Rebecca's ex. I could see where that could have been a mixture of jealously (much younger, not bad looking, caring?), dislike (not sure what Rebecca told him, but I got the feeling it was Mr. Nalepa who delayed the divorce), and possibly needy. I am not saying anything myself about Mr. Nalepa, just that this is a possibility on Jonah's part.

    However, I'm getting off topic because I don't think Jonah was probably considering the message on the door.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bourne View Post
    The fact that Jonah likely knows it was Dina who authored the black painted door message but yet refused to name Dina as a POI and yet named Rebecca's ex-hubby as a POI makes me question his ethics and whether in fact he was involved in Rebecca's murder.

    It appears to me that Dina's been holding a Damocles' sword over Jonah's head to compel his silence...I think it's related to something illegal regarding his financial endeavors/businesses for which Jonah is hellbent not to lose.
    There's only one person who had the power to get SDSO to keep the message on the door hidden for so long - JS. They followed his "suggestions" on most of RZ's death investigation. What possible motivation would they have for keeping the photo of the message hidden for so long? They originally claimed it was a "suicide note" and therefore was "personal". But there's nothing about the message that resembles a suicide note.

    ETA: I also agree that Gore thought that putting out the word it was a "suicide" note would permanently slant public opinion about the case, that it would forever stay in the public's mind that this was a suicide. Of course that plan was derailed when RZ's family quickly revealed the contents of the mysterious message.

    Reading Gore's quotes, along with so many other things he did and said reaffirms my belief that there were attorneys and outside PR professionals who were coaching him on how to handle the case and present it to the news media.
    All statements are my opinion only.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by time View Post
    You know, I also remember an insider on here who said Dina and Jonah investigated/spied each other and the people they were seeing. Maybe your explanation is more realistic, but perhaps what was weirdly salient to Jonah at the time was some bent he had towards focusing on Rebecca's ex. I could see where that could have been a mixture of jealously (much younger, not bad looking, caring?), dislike (not sure what Rebecca told him, but I got the feeling it was Mr. Nalepa who delayed the divorce), and possibly needy. I am not saying anything myself about Mr. Nalepa, just that this is a possibility on Jonah's part.

    However, I'm getting off topic because I don't think Jonah was probably considering the message on the door.
    Thanks for that reminder about JS blaming RZ's ex husband for her death. Such a strange accusation to make, and one that was easily refuted. Was it a sense of entitlement that led JS to make that accusation? You know, "let the lower class peon's take the blame for this mess". Perhaps he thought SDSO was more likely to pursue a working class person than someone who was wealthy and powerful.
    All statements are my opinion only.

  15. #15
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    And lest we forget...

    The FIRST TIME the suicide lie came on the scene was with AS.

    The reason ANYONE thinks suicide is because "SOMEBODY" proffered that as the reason for the demise of Rebecca.

    WHO is responsible for 1st calling it a suicide? Either its Adam, or someone else was there at some point.

    In NINA's interview, she related her thoughts about hearing Rebecca committing suicide as being confused. WHO told her it was a suicide?

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