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PRIMETIME JUSTICE WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD

Suicide or Murder?; Did Cops Beat Woman in Retaliation?; One More Thing. Aired 6-8p ET

Aired March 5, 2018 - 18:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[18:00:00] S.E. CUPP, HOST, HLN: You are all caught up in a week. It`s an important week. Crime & Justice with Ashleigh Banfield is next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rebecca Zahau`s death in 2011 was ruled a suicide, but her family doesn`t believe it.

PARI ZAHAU, REBECCA ZAHAU`S MOTHER: She is very sweet girl and she is very strong. No, no, not suicide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My sister was murdered. It is pretty obvious she was murdered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not completely satisfied that this was a suicide.

It shows that someone could have taken Rebecca`s body, put it down, leaned it against that rail and shoved it over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, HOST, HLN: Good evening, everyone. I`m Ashleigh Banfield. This is Crime & Justice.

Sometimes it takes a few years for a tragic death to turn darker than it seemed. Because when Rebecca Zahau first died, authorities called it

suicide. A beautiful 32-year-old woman found hanging from the balcony of the San Diego home she shared with her millionaire boyfriend.

The double tragedy for him because just days before his 6-year-old son Max has fallen down the stairs and would end up dying of the head trauma he

received. Rebecca had been the one home watching him when that happened. And police suggested that she killed herself because of all the guilt.

It was her boyfriend`s brother Adam who reported her hanging from the second floor balcony and Rebecca wasn`t just dead, Rebecca was completely

naked and she was gagged and she was bound both her hands and her feet.

Curious as it is, investigators would prove or try to prove at least in this demo that you can`t do that to yourself. Six and half years later,

Rebecca`s family is still not buying any of it, especially since ABC`s 20- 20 suggested Rebecca could have been shoved over that balcony.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it is possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not easy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not easy, but it`s possible for you to have not stepped out there and positioned the body and thrown the body over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It shows that someone could have taken Rebecca`s body, put it down, leaned it against that rail, and shoved it over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Now Rebecca`s family is in court and they have filed a wrongful death suit because they refuse to believe that Rebecca did this to herself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you think Rebecca would kill herself?

ZAHAU: No. No, never. Never. My daughter, no. She is a very sweet girl and she is very strong. No, no, not suicide.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Not only did they say Rebecca was killed, they say they have an idea who did it. They say her brother, her boyfriend`s brother. The

boyfriend`s brother. The house guest who said he found her that way and called 911.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEITH GREER, ZAHAU FAMILY ATTORNEY: When she sat up like that, if she just leaned over the deck, it would be hard for her to make herself go over that

railing on her own volition without somebody lifting her feet up or giving her first to throw her over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Adam Shacknai he denies any role in Rebecca`s death other than of course, he says finding her, hanging there naked. But now it is up to a

California jury to decide this extraordinary complicated case.

With me now, KFMB AM 760 reporter, Miles Himmel. Miles, to the lay person it seems preposterous that a woman could or would kill herself in this way.

So tell me where the lay people are wrong and all those experts out there in San Diego County are right.

MILES HIMMEL, REPORTER, KFMB AM 760: Yes, this is a huge story here in San Diego. Like you talked about, it`s really got everything and a big mystery

case has. You got a millionaire some say a billionaire. You`ve got a cryptic message written on a wall. It`s either a suicide or a murder in one

of the most famous houses in San Diego.

I think you are definitely right, Ashleigh. I mean, everybody even though this is an older trial everybody kept this in the back of their mind going,

you know, that one that happened at that house, it never seemed to add up right. And now this is kind of finally coming to everybody`s forefront.

BANFIELD: Yes, it doesn`t add up to me in fact at all. I guess the first question I have is why did the official coroners decide that this was in

fact a suicide. What to them said suicide when to the rest of us it looked like a really violent murder?

[18:05:09] HIMMEL: You know, it was a couple weeks after this murder. And like you talk about along with the kid falling off the balcony. They did a

joint press conference where you had the sheriff of San Diego Bill Gore make this press conference. And everybody thought, OK, there`s going to be

something here. Because like you said you got a naked body hanging over the Spreckels house in Coronado here in San Diego.

I don`t know. You know, everybody scratched their head and you can go as far as to say, whoa, something is up here conspiracy or just they got this

wrong. Either way you want to go, but you`ve got a person dead and no saying she killed herself. And you go, this doesn`t add up.

BANFIELD: So Keith Geer is the Zahau family attorney. Effectively the dead woman`s family says this is not possible. We think she was killed. They

hired an attorney. That`s Keith Greer. And Keith says he`s got a theory that something went wrong as the victim here, Rebecca was in the shower

which would say it makes sense that she is naked.

And I want to let him take it from here. He thinks something got out of hand out of that shower. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREER: It might have started off not being a murder, but just got out of hand. We think there was an initial confrontation. She`s there she`s out of

the tower. The towel winds up being dropped on the floor where she was standing. She was found there naked just out of the shower. An awkward

confrontation happened that got out of hand. I think this is what we allege.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: So an awkward confrontation with whom is he suggesting, Miles?

HIMMEL: Well, it`s Adam Shacknai, it`s the brother. So this is the part of the story and this is why we are here. There is the side of how she was

overcome with grief and killed herself because of the kid, right. That`s what the law enforcement is saying.

Or it`s Jonah, Shacknai`s brother, Adam Shacknai. Now Jonah was the boyfriend to Rebecca. So Adam Shacknai who was at the house was the only

person at the house when Rebecca killed herself or was dead. She came down and he saw her and that`s where the argument happened. And that`s why we

are here.

BANFIELD: So the defense attorney crossed the plaintiff`s experts. So effectively the family`s experts is on the stand suggesting, you know, this

is the scenario that actually played out that it wasn`t a suicide. But then I think it`s Adam Shacknai or Shackny? I think you said Shacknai, correct?

HIMMEL: I head Shcaknai, whatever you say, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: OK. Well, I wasn`t there so I`m going on all the evidence that I`m seeing before, so let`s just say Shacknai. So that defense expert

defending Adam crossed the expert that the family put on the stand effectively saying how about fingerprints, et cetera. Have a listen to

this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the fingerprint sampling, taken into account everything that you looked at, you did not see any evidence that Adam

Shacknai murdered Rebecca, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From a fingerprint standpoint, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: So Miles, isn`t this suggestion that the fingerprints aren`t there because the family said they were wiped clean.

HIMMEL: Yes, that`s the interesting note. So you`ve got that even happened today as well. The DNA expert in there. So on the surface, you go no

fingerprints found. That`s good for Shacknai. Well, he said though that he was there he cut down the rope and he found Rebecca. He even performed CPR

he said initially and he on, well, there`s got to be fingerprint there anyway.

So now the prosecutors are going OK we think he had gloves on or something or wiped and clean. Because to have no fingerprints on is ludicrous.

BANFIELD: So there would be the fingerprint story, but then there would also be the footprint story. And I`m going to sort of play amateur

detective here. Because if you think through the scenario, Miles, if she were to be thrown off the balcony by say a murderer, she wouldn`t have

footprints, but those circle, the first one at the bottom they actually show her left heel and her right heel.

The one in the middle is the boot impression made by the police and the one at the top are her toe impressions as though she may have hopped with her

feet bound to the edge to that iron railing at the top of the screen. And then, you know, somehow catapulted herself over the railing. If she were to

have been thrown over the railing, Miles, how do they account for the feet prints?

HIMMEL: Well, that`s exactly the question. I mean, that`s what the prosecutors are saying. Keith Greer is an excellent attorney. I mean,

you`ve got to realize that because Jonah Shacknai, the Shacknai`s are worth so much money, they brought in the biggest and best attorneys from across

the country and you`ve got Greer here who`s defending or who`s coming in and he`s there for the Zahau family.

[18:10:04] I don`t know. And that`s the question. This is one of those cases where the jurors I don`t need much more information than what we`ve

talked about here. If you`re the juror you`d say don`t go deep into this into whatever you have got here. Just take it at the surface and things

aren`t adding up here, guys. And that`s what I would just tell the jurors. You don`t need to get deep into this case.

BANFIELD: OK. Then there`s the whole question about the nautical style knots. And this has a lot of people really scratching their heads. If in

fact, Rebecca Zahau decided to kill herself and somehow bound her own hands and her own feet, the suggestion is that the knots were very complex.

They were nautical-style around her hands and they did this demonstration, the sheriff`s department in San Diego, this woman showed how you can do it,

you can tie your own hands up and you can slip your hand in and out of the knot and somehow get it behind your back.

See that`s how the sheriff`s -- the sheriff`s demonstrator did it, but at the same time what`s odd is that the family`s attorney spoke to this issue

about the nautical knots and had this to say. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREER: They exhibited characteristics of somebody who knew and used nautical-type knots.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Someone who knew how to tie nautical knots. Well, you would think somebody who had a lot of experience say like a boat captain, right,

or somebody as a sailor. And as it turns out, the defendant Adam Shacknai, the brother. Right? The person who we are actually looking at as the

center, you know, the center focus here. It happens to be what, a boat captain? Is that true?

HIMMEL: Yes, that`s it.

BANFIELD: OK.

HIMMEL: So it`s the nautical ties, I mean, for myself, maybe you, Ashleigh, I wouldn`t know how to do these ties. This guy is an expert in

this kind of ties. So it adds up perfectly.

It doesn`t, like I said, it doesn`t need to get complicated. It adds up exactly correct in this case and so you are going with guys, with this and

this and this with the fingerprints and now the ties, why the San Diego sheriff never even just put this to a trial is beyond me. And luckily,

we`re here now.

BANFIELD: Well, so luckily you and I are journalists and not coroners. Because the coroners said no.

HIMMEL: Yes.

BANFIELD: This is not Adam Shacknai and that Rebecca killed herself. And let`s be really clear here. This is a civil case. Adam Shacknai was never

charged. Adam Shacknai was not hauled in and fingerprinted and charged and jailed and given bond. Nothing of the sort.

It wasn`t a murder according to the authorities. And it`s not a pool dunk place that doesn`t know what to do. It`s San Diego area, so these are

experts who determined somehow and even though you and I can`t figure this one out and I think our viewers are on our side here.

I want to show you what 20-20, ABC`s 20-20, great program. I used to work for them. I love them, they are excellent workers, the producers are

phenomenal. They did this sort of demo and they went to the experts, the guy, you know, who works on the boats and knows knot to ask him a little

bit about the kind of knot that we`re talking about. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s just take throve bind it around one of your wrists or however you would do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hetro (Ph) was able to tie his hands behind his back using the same type of rope on Rebecca`s wrist, but even he found the

process to be awkward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: So again, even the guy who knows boats said I don`t see this happening. I don`t see that kind of complicated nautical knot and then the

experts, the officials at the government said this wasn`t complicated. Where am I missing something?

HIMMEL: I wish I had that answer for you. I mean, that`s been the question here for seven years. Like this has been talked about even though it`s a --

you know, it happened a while ago. This case has been talked about.

Now if you go in Coronado and you buy this home here in San Diego, it looks completely different. It renovated it`s almost like they`ve wiped the whole

entire case going on, OK, we`ll get out of this.

Luckily, luckily, Keith Greer came on board with the Zahau family and said we`ve got to do something. And even though it`s civil, they`re just hoping

to get something and maybe even the ball rolling on some sort of momentum here.

Well, seeing this -- seeing demonstration of the mannequin being, you know, sort of hurled. I don`t know if we have that video to show right now. But

seeing this demonstration of the mannequin being thrown over and the reenactment in the civil case sort of kind of poke holes in the official

theory in the official story.

It sort of brings this thing really back to life in a way that, you know, forensic experts and you know, people who really like forensic files they

kind of feel they want to get in on this, too. And that they have their own theories too.

So if we can get that video. So this is the kind of thing where ABC`s 20-20 did this and did it exactly as the theory would allege, right? And what`s

critical about that video is if you were to fall like that, trying to kill yourself, you would think that something would happen with the weight of

your body and the ligature around your neck, right?

[18:15:10] You would think the cartilage would snap. Your neck would snap. There would be enormous trauma. I would say, I don`t know how much she

weighed. Maybe 110, 120, 130, 140 pounds? Any of those weights going over a balcony and snapping to an end like that would certainly do something to

your neck.

And when we come back, I`m going to ask you to stick around, Miles. I have a certified death investigator and I`ve got defense attorney who is going

to come back as well. And we`re going to talk a whole lot about what does not add up not only in the ligature, but also in this very strange sign

that was painted on the bedroom door. Very, very strange.

We are going to get to that in a moment. I will tell you what it said and why it matters.

And also you can now listen to our show at any time. Download our podcast on Apple pod called iHeart radio. Stitcher tune in or wherever you get your

podcast for you. Crime and Justice sticks. We are back in just a couple of minutes.

[18:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: We are still talking about Rebecca Zahau, the beautiful California woman with the dream life in San Diego. She lived in a gorgeous

mansion with her millionaire boyfriend in Coronado. A place most people go to vacation, not where they go to die violently.

It was her boyfriend`s brother who was staying there at the mansion and called police early one summer morning after the two were home alone

together. He said he just discovered Rebecca`s naked body bound, gagged and hanging from the second floor balcony.

But in a bizarre twist, investigators called this a bizarre suicide and tried to show a demo just like this that you can bind yourself and make

this unusual sequence of events happened.

But her family has never believed it and now they are suing for wrongful death, saying it was that boyfriend`s brother who murdered Rebecca, that it

was revenge for allegedly Rebecca letting his nephew accidentally fall down over a banister to the floor just days earlier. And eventually that child

died.

Still with me, KFMB AM 760 reporter Miles Himmel. Also joining me certified death investigator Joseph Scott Morgan, and defense attorney Brian

Claypool. All right. All three of you are going to help me through this and I don`t know that we`re going to come to any determinations on this

program, but we`ll try.

I went to break showing this very strange picture of paint on the outside of the bedroom door. The same room outside of which poor Rebecca Zahau was

found hanging. And the word say, "She saved him. Can you save her?"

And once again, we are meant to believe that Rebecca painted the door with those words in third person and then went about this unusual business of

tying herself up, gagging herself and somehow jumping her way to the edge of the balcony and hurling herself off.

Joseph Scott Morgan, first to you. How often do women typically commit suicide naked like this. Being found naked.

JOSEPH SCOTT MORGAN, PROFESSOR OF APPLIED FORENSICS, JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY: Not with great frequency. I don`t know that there is any

literature to back that up in my experience working in New Orleans and Atlanta with the coroner and the medical examiner respectively, I`ve not

seen it with great frequency.

You know, it`s not something that you come across regularly. Although hanging is quite frequent relative to suicide, probably in the top two next

to gunfire. Bizarre. Very bizarre.

BANFIELD: So also bizarre, the statistics on the number of murderers who choose hanging as their method of death.

MORGAN: Yes.

BANFIELD: Maybe you can speak to that, Joe.

MORGAN: Yes. You know, Ashleigh, I got to tell you in all of my years of experience, I don`t know I may have missed a couple along the way, but I

don`t know of many homicidal hangings that I worked nor any of my colleagues around the nation.

There have been a few and they are documented, but it is greatly infrequent to come across these. Most of the time with a hanging they are associated

with either one, suicide, or two, accidental. I have had a number of accidental hanging that have occurred over my career.

BANFIELD: So then one other question, Joe. And that is those words. "She saved him. Can you save her?" And I think what`s critical here is the

timeline. The child went over a banister and was gravely injured while in her care.

But she killed herself before ever getting the news that that child was dead. Instead she technically officially killed herself upon getting the

news he is not doing well.

[18:25:03] So now let`s put the words back up on the door. She saved him, meaning I guess if you want to believe this is Rebecca writing it, Rebecca

saved the child. Can you save Rebecca? Does any of this make any sense, Joe?

MORGAN: It doesn`t to me and if people are trying to allude to the fact that this is some kind of a suicide note, I don`t know. It`s a bit of a

stretch maybe. It`s rather cryptic, obviously.

But you know, they`ve ruled this as a suicide, Ashleigh. You know, for suicide in the medical legal world and one of the things we look for is

intent. And the doctor said specifically in the autopsy report in his narrative that this young lady had no history of depression and no kind of

suicidal ideation that she had vocalized to anyone or anything like this.

So it`s a bit of a stretch. People just think that we automatically call this thing suicide. It`s like a default position and it`s not for us.

Suicide is very, very difficult to prove because you have to seek the truth where many times the one witness that you have is passed on. So it`s a

tough hill to climb.

BANFIELD: Yes. So let`s just to that, I want to talk about the fact that the family thinks that initially she may have been strangled and that this

was no hanging, this was no hanging by her own hand. That she was actually strangled before she went over the railing.

And to that end, what is so fascinating about this is that if the coroner`s theory is correct and that she jumped with those toe prints with her feet

bound together ad her hands bound together and hurled herself off of the balcony, Joseph, she would have tightened that rope and the force of the

rope would have been so tight around her neck, something would have happened to the cartilage.

And yet, here`s the attorney for the family saying that that`s not what happened. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEER: Typically we found that the Adam`s apple down here, and so the rope doesn`t come in contact. There is no marks on the body where the rope came

in contact with that part of her with, you know, sufficient force to break the cartilage. And so that is why Dr. Wecht finds that she was initially

strangled.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: So Dr Cyril Wecht has been brought in by the family and Dr. Wecht is well-known, renowned in this field. He is no dummy, pardon the

pun. And he thinks that because there wasn`t this extraordinary trauma to the neck as she would have fallen to her death and then eventually

strangled, he thinks that she was strangle before she went over. But Joe, is there any other way to explain it?

MORGAN: No. And let me tell you one curious thing about the autopsy report, Ashleigh, when reading through it. If folks at home will just feel

in this area of their neck, in this area there is a like tiny bone and we describe it as a bird-like bone.

It`s referred to as the hyoid. And it is kind of bird shape. It`s at the very end. Most of the times when these things are fractured we see it as

part of a consistency relative to manual strangulation. I have to think that is why Dr. Wecht is signaling hat this is something other than suicide

also the thyroid cartilage up here is actually fractured in the left area as well.

So that`s something that normally you get in a case of throttling. It does occur, it does in fact occur in hanging with great force. So you kind of

have to balance those two out, but most of the time that fractured hyoid is commonly associated with manual strangulation.

BANFIELD: So there is one other thing that the family attorney was extremely curious and it`s a little detail I never saw I never knew about,

but I think it makes a whack load of difference in this case. And it has to do with the blows to her head.

Presumably she didn`t beat herself up over the head and then throw herself off the balcony. Maybe as she was hanging, her head hit something up

against the house but there was another piece of information in this comment that stuck with me. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREER: At that point in time it rendered her at least partially unconscious and she was initially bound we believe the tape residue on her

legs is because she was initially bound with tape around her legs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Brian Claypool, as a defense attorney, doesn`t that just scream what? There was tape residue around her legs and still no charges for Adam

Shacknai?

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Ashleigh. You know, this looks and smells like a murder. But in a court of law, the jury`s got to come back

and it`s got to taste like a murder to them to get a judgment in this case.

[18:30:00] And in fact, the defendant in this is not really Adam Shacknai, it`s the San Diego coroner`s office, it`s the San Diego sheriff`s

department for not bringing charges.

And I`ve got to tell you. Even though you got a lot of theories that sound plausible in a court of law, Keith Greer has got some good points. I`ve

hired Cyril Wecht before. Great coroner.

At the end of the day, Ashleigh, you are going to have a coroner that deemed this a suicide. And he wasn`t prosecuted. And that`s very powerful

in a juror`s mind. That`s a daunting task to overcome to get a judgment.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, PRIMETIME JUSTICE SHOW HOST, HLN: It is just confounding to me. And you know what? Coming up in a little less than half

an hour, I got one more thing to show our audience, because we are going to take another look at this as well as the top of 7:00 Eastern, and that is

the path that the child was apparently at the heart of all of this.

The child who went over the railing and apparently tried to catch a chandelier on the way down and did not make it. Hit the ground and

ultimately died. That is supposed to be the motive for this young woman`s suicide.

That in her care, the child was able to do this. Well, there was a couple of hitches to that as well. You are going to see the demo in a moment and

you are going to hear the argument as to why that may not make any sense either.

My thanks to my guests. Miles Himmel, Joseph Scott Morgan, and Brian Claypool. All three of you. See you at the top of the hour as well.

A Florida woman catches a police officer allegedly assaulting a homeless man. Days after she testified about this in court, she says, this happened

to her. Look at that. Beaten black and blue and she said by the police. She said it was retaliation because she testified against one of their own, and

now she is suing.

[18:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: If you are out and about and you happen to witness an assault, a lawyer is going to tell you to whip out your phone and record it, right?

But Jessica Mooney and her fiance might have some different advice for you after capturing the way a cop handled the homeless man at the bus station

they were at in Fort Lauderdale.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relax. I`m telling you right now what`s going to happen. I`m telling you right now what`s going to happen. I`m telling you

right now. You are not going to pee. You are not supposed to be here. So get up. I`ll beat you up. Fight me.

Get up. Get up. I am not (beep) around with you. Dong (beep) touch me. Don`t (beep) touch me. Put your hands behind your back. Put your hands

behind your back.

You are not understanding me. You don`t have a choice in the matter. I`m not arguing with you. You`re not understanding me. We`re not going to sit

her and argue back and forth.

I tell you what to do, you`re going to do it. It`s just that simple. When you`re telling me to go (beep) you, what do you think is going to happen?

What do you think is going to happen?

Now you`re going to jail. I didn`t even want to take you to jail. I didn`t want to take you to jail. But you want to play games. You`re not listening. You`re not listening to me. You didn`t listen the first time.

What did I tell you to do? I said you need to leave. What was your answer? What was your answer? I do what I want, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): I got the whole thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you never said that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Well, the city settled a lawsuit with that homeless man. And the officer involved? He was charged with battery and also falsifying records.

But he was also

[18:40:00] found not guilty despite the video evidence and despite that girl you see right there, you can kind of see her elbow, despite Jessica

testifying against him, because Jessica was there with her blond hair. You can see right in the image there. Her fiance did the videotaping.

Days after the trial in which the officer was found not guilty, Jessica Mooney says everything went sideways. And that the police retaliated

against her. She claims she was arrested for not paying a bill at a restaurant even though the bill was paid. And then was also arrested for

child endangerment because she handed her child to a stranger so that she could go to the bathroom.

When she was carted off the jail, she says she was verbally abused and as you can see in those pictures, viciously assaulted. She claims that police

threw her to the ground, smashing her face on that fingerprinting machine they have, and also kicking her and punching her.

She said it all happened when she asked for an officer`s badge number and then reached over to move the officer`s hair so that she could see the

badge number. Jessica was eventually taken to the hospital for the injuries that you are seeing here, but not for two day days. They wouldn`t let her

go for two days.

The black eye, the cuts all over her head, bruising all over her body, there is even bruising in one of those pictures you can see and it is

weird, on her ear. Her ear is actually bruised. Since then and since this incident, all of the charges against Jessica were mysteriously dropped.

But she is taking some people to task about this. She is suing Broward County, the officers that she said attacked her, and she is suing that

restaurant that accused her of not paying the bill. Again, the bill was paid.

With me now, Miami New Times staff reporter Jerry Iannelli. Jerry, this is all very odd. Something just doesn`t really add up. Why do the police say

that Jessica Mooney suffered the injuries that she suffered while she was in their custody?

JERRY IANNELLI, STAFF REPORTER, MIAMI NEW TIMES (via telephone): Basically their contention to that, she sort of provoked them. Mr. Hecker, Jessica`s

lawyer, certainly said that is not what happened. The Broward County Sheriff`s Office which operates them in jail and county where Mooney was

being held. She is arrested by Fort Lauderdale Police Department but ultimately held by the Broward County Sheriff`s Department.

And the county deputies say that Miss Mooney was mouthing off to them and had attempted to hit one of them and that`s what basically caused them all

to come in and Mooney obviously said this was not what happened at all.

She simply wanted to get a badge number of one officer and brushed the hair away from the badge of one of the officers who was detaining her. And that

this in some way provoked them and she was the victim of what she said was basically a gang assault. People putting her down to the ground and kicking

and punching her, et cetera.

BANFIELD: It just all seems so -- listen, if that`s true, if Jessica Mooney reached over and tried to move the female officer`s hair away that

was covering the badge because she said the female officer wouldn`t give her a badge number when she asked, that seems like a hell of a retaliation.

That seems like a hell of an assault for just brushing someone`s hair away. And all of this could be settled if -- I don`t know. There were say

videotape of what went on inside the police department. Was there?

IANNELLI (via telephone): Yes, there were.

BANFIELD: And where is that, Jerry?

IANNELLI (via telephone): As far as we are aware, the tapes have not been released to the public. Thanks to a recent legal ruling from the state

attorney general in Florida, Pam Bondi. This ruling basically says that a government surveillance footage can be kept in the public because it can

compromise the public surveillance systems.

BANFIELD: So I`m the public and you are the public and the people watching this TV show are the public. And I think we all deserve to know what our

paid officers are doing when they say, listen, she was the one at fault, not us. Here`s the issue. There is one person who saw that videotape even

though it hasn`t been released to the public.

This person saw the videotape and actually even spoke to the Broward County State attorney and got back videotape qualified in terms of what the state

attorney thought went on. And wouldn`t you know it, Jessica Mooney`s attorney, Scott Hecker, is the person who saw that videotape. And wouldn`t

you know it, Scott Hecker is going to join me right after the break. Don`t go anywhere.

[18:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: We are still talking about that Florida woman who is suing local police officers there for injuries that make even the squeamish wince a

little. The injuries that look more like domestic violence or like kind of treatment from which law enforcement protects you, not the kind of

treatment they give you. But Jessica Mooney said this was her punishment

[18:50:00] for asking to see an officer`s badge number and for just reaching over to brush the hair away from it. This after she said they

unlawfully arrested her thinking she hadn`t paid her bill at a restaurant and coincidentally all of this happening just eight days after Jessica

testified against a cop, a cop she said she saw slapped a homeless man at a bus station.

The office was charged with battery. The officer was found not guilty. And then we got those pictures. So you got to wonder what is going on in Fort

Lauderdale. Anyway, Jessica Mooney`s attorney, Scott Hecker, joins me now from Fort Lauderdale. Also still wit me is Miami New Times staff reporter

Jerry Iannelli. And defense attorney Brian Claypool is with me as well.

So, Scott Hecker, I want to go to you. You had seen the video inside the police station. That should be the answer to all of this. Was Jessica

Mooney threatening those police officers so much so that she got a beating like this?

SCOTT HECKER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR JESSICA MOONEY (via telephone): (INAUDIBLE) video, we have made a request (INAUDIBLE) answer the question

and she was brought over to (INAUDIBLE) and she was met by (INAUDIBLE) deputy that brought her into the booking area. When you see the video, you

(INAUDIBLE) booking area with people (INAUDIBLE).

You don`t see a lot. You see the officers moving around. You see Jessica`s hand move the officer`s hair and then you will see everybody moving. And

then Jessica (INAUDIBLE) ground at that point. We see the officer in question coming on the back. It feels like (INAUDIBLE). You don`t really

see Jessica being beaten. It is underneath (INAUDIBLE).

BANFIELD: So I`m having a little bit of difficulty hearing you. I think our connection is bad, Scott. From what I gather from all our prerecording

on this is that you spoke to the Broward County state attorney and that state attorney led you to believe that that attorney believes that it was

retaliatory, what those police did. That this was not warranted, this kind of a beating against Jessica Mooney.

I want to bring in Brian Claypool, if I can. Brian, even if say Jessica reached over and tried to brush away the hair off of the badge number when

she -- she said she asked the female officer for her name and badge number and that the officer said no, so she tried to brush the long hair away, is

that bad? Are you literally not allowed to come anywhere close to touching an officer?

CLAYPOOL: Ashleigh, it`s not a good idea. She shouldn`t have touched the officer and the officer could react reasonably by detaining her, possibly

handcuffing her. The measure stick is did Jessica objectively -- did she objectively pose a risk of harm to the police officer and officers such

that she warrants getting beaten up like in the pictures you are showing? Clearly the answer to that question is no.

What`s ironic is you showed a tape a few minutes ago of the Fort Lauderdale officer, I believe, slapping a homeless man. He wasn`t convicted of a

crime, yet Jessica allegedly touched the hair of a police officer and she gets beaten to a pulp.

BANFIELD: It`s a bit crazy. It`s a bit crazy. And also I think and in this era of transparency, we should be seeing these videotapes. I don`t think

people should say, yes, sorry. For the good of everybody, we are not going to release that tape. I think it`s not -- I think it`s terrible that they

didn`t give her treatment for two days either. She wasn`t allowed to leave the jail for two days to get treatment.

I got to leave it there. Brian, thank you. Stick around. I have more questions for you in the 7:00 hour. My thanks as well to Scott Hecker and

Jerry Iannelli.

You probably heard that old expression, no shirts, no shoes, no service. The no shirt was new problem for Florida cops who were chasing a suspected

carjacker. And if you want to know how this thing ends, you got to stick around for just a couple of minutes.

[18:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: One more thing for you tonight. Your mom probably always told to you wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident and end up at the

hospital. What about wearing a shirt in case you can`t outrun the cops?

(START VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): With the bailout running east bound on 20. East bound 20.

[19:00:00] South side of the road. White male, bald, dark shorts and no shirt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: No shirt, no problem. Neither was jumping a couple of fences to try to get away from the pursuing cops. Eventually, there was nowhere left

to run and so they got him and he is now facing a laundry list of charges including carjacking. Because look who he ran into? Yes, dumb directional

decision, fellow. They got you. And he is down. That`s how that ended.

Next hour of CRIME & JUSTICE starts now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She saw a cop slapping a homeless man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And she testified against him in court and now she said they have come after her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was an angry man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And beat her black and blue, but did she have it coming?

She is behind bars for butchering her boyfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First degree murder, guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And she wants an appeal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t want to spend the rest of my natural live in one place.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But her lawyers missed the deadline by one day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not like we are wondering who did it and what happened?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now they got a new plan to get Jodi Arias back in court and back in the spotlight.

Naked, bound, and hanging from her boyfriend`s balcony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has four blows to the right side of her head.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The victim`s family said this was no suicide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She told me mom, I will call in the morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tonight, who are they blame for Rebecca`s death?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Characteristics of somebody who knew and used nautical- type knots.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And why they say it was revenge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It might have started off not being a murder, but just got out of hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It shows that someone could have taken Rebecca`s body and put it down and leaned it against that rail and shoved it over.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHLEIGH (voice-over): Good evening, everyone. I`m Ashleigh Banfield. Weekend to the second hour of CRIME & JUSTICE.

It doesn`t take a dummy to mess up a case. And sometimes a dummy can even prove a case. But in the story of Rebecca Zahau and the mysterious way in

which she died, it may all come down to a dummy. And one of the more bizarre reenactments ever witnessed in a wrongful death suit.

Officially, Rebecca Zahau killed herself by hanging, but it was no ordinary death. She was bound and bruise and tied at the neck and hurled off a

balcony either by herself or by someone else. And she was stark naked, too.

Seasoned coroners in San Diego County looked long and hard at this case and they decided that she did this to herself. But when you hear the evidence

and when you see the pictures, you may feel like somewhere, somehow, another dummy was involved. Because Rebecca Zahau`s family had never

bought that this was suicide. Even when the investigator said this. They tried to prove by showing it that you can in fact bind yourself with knots.

Her family said instead, Rebecca was plain and simple murdered and they say think they know who did it, too because they are taking him to court. He

is the brother of the millionaire boyfriend with whom Rebecca lived in that house. He happened to be in the guest house. He happened to be the one

who reported her hanging, who may have just wanted revenge or so Rebecca`s family says. Because his nephew fatally fell down the stairs over a

railing when Rebecca was supposed to be watching him. The trouble is the death of 6-year-old Max is the reason that investigators say Rebecca killed

herself because of all that grief she felt and all that she apparently couldn`t cope with.

So what do you think? Are you buying that or are you buying something else?

With me is KFMP AM 760 reporter Miles Himmel.

Miles, a lot of this doesn`t seem to add up because just looking at the bare-face facts, it doesn`t look like someone would kill herself by gagging

herself, binding her own hands and feet and then hopping to a railing stark snake naked and hurling herself over. Where am I wrong?

MILES HIMMEL, REPORTER, KFMP AM 760: You are not wrong, Ashleigh. I mean, you know, Rebecca was still sending money to her parents. Let`s just go

down to suicide rogue, let`s just say that. If she was, wouldn`t you send a lump sum then to your parents, right before you commit suicide? She was

still doing this. It has never had suicide written on it.

The only people who believed it was the coroner and the officials in San Diego. Ever since it happened seven years ago, everybody has gone wait.

Wait a second. And this has been a huge story here in the city.

[19:05:05] ASHLEIGH: So let`s just do the timeline for a second. Because it was, like you said, seven years ago on July 11th. Max, that 6-year-old

child went over a balcony. And I`m going to show a picture to our audience of what that apparently looked like as they reenacted the accident.

It appeared he may have been either running or maybe on one of the rolling toys towards the balcony. Went over the balcony, grabbed at the chandelier

and it began to fall and swing at which point he would hit the lower railing and then eventually ended up on the floor.

It did not kill him. And that`s the critical part of this timeline. This accident did not kill little Max right away. That happened July 11th. He

was dead July 16th, five days later. But somehow on the 13th, that`s when this supposed suicide happened.

ASHLEIGH: So Miles, help me sort to work through this. She is supposed to have received a phone call with bad news from the hospital saying Max was

not doing well. Not that Max was dead. And just the news that Max was not doing well, is allegedly the motive for her to do all this to herself and

kill herself?

HIMMEL: Yes. I mean, that`s why we are here. Like you said, it all revolves around Max. So, she was either overcome with grief and killed

herself because she couldn`t go on anymore or someone was upset with her like an ex-boyfriend or the brother of the ex-boyfriend in this incident.

ASHLEIGH: OK. Stop right there. That`s the issue. Adam Shacknai is the brother of the boyfriend. You know, the boyfriend being Jonah Shacknai.

This was Adam. He was never charged criminally with this. The investigations and the coroner all came up with suicide, not murder. And

they are good coroners out there. They are not, you know, small town, untrained. They are big time. They deal with a lot of crimes that are

very complicated. And they went through all of it. And they decided Adam Shacknai was in no way to be charged with any kind of murder.

And yet, Rebecca`s family said that`s exactly what they think happened. Poor little Max was in this horrible state and Adam is at home with the

woman who was supposed to be looking after Max. She gets out of the shower and that`s where the attorney for Rebecca`s family said this happened.

Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEITH GREER, ZAHAU FAMILY ATTORNEY: It might have started off not being a murder, but just got out of hand. We think there was an initial

confrontation. She is there just out of the shower with a towel. The towel winds up being dropped on the floor where she was standing. She was

found there naked just out of the shower. An awkward confrontation happened that got out of hand. I think that`s what we allege.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEIGH: So her family, Miles, alleges that she gets out of the shower which would explain why she might be naked hanging over the railing. An

awkward confrontation ensues and that`s the language of the family. And then they go further and say it ended in murder. And the problem with that

is that there are no fingerprints and there are no footprints of anyone else but Rebecca. That`s kind of irrefutable, isn`t it?

HIMMEL: Yes, right? So if you hear there is no fingerprints, you go, then obviously he wasn`t there. But like you talked about, Shacknai said he

found the rope, cut the rope down and performed CPR on her. So there was a lot of hands going on right there. And to find no DNA, no fingerprints,

certainly if you go with the suicide, if you found someone who - that was hanging there, that would be a traumatic scene, you would be rush around.

There would be all sorts of things. And there was nothing. Nothing. And so, that`s what you are seeing the last few days of the trial. You had an

expert on DNA going, this seems weird. This seems odd.

ASHLEIGH: So right. I mean, you are right. Put yourself in Adam`s position. If he is truly discovering his brother`s living girlfriend of

two years, you know, hanging naked bound and looking as though she is murdered, because that is a terrifying --- let`s roll what the images of

the dummy being thrown over because that was the reenactment of all of this.

That is exactly as Rebecca appeared. The reenactment of her, you know, in dummy form being sort of, you know, holed up and shoved over the balcony.

If he had seen this, you would think his fingerprints would be everywhere like holding on to the railing and looking over. Footprints to be, looking

over the railing, all of that.

And yet -- let`s go to the image of the footprints on that very, very small balcony. Because they tell a unique story both for and against Adam. The

bottom circle is her left heel and her right heel. That`s the footprint that you see. The middle circle that has the measurement around it, the

white measurement, that`s a police boot impression. And the upper circle is Rebecca`s toe impression. Those are the only prints out there. So if

Adam ran out on the balcony to peer over at his brother`s girlfriend hanging, his footprints aren`t anywhere there which is weird.

But what`s also weird, Miles, and you cannot deny it, is a woman is hopping herself, having bound herself and hopping naked towards the railing with

her hands tie and mouth gagged and leaping over. They are both preposterous.

[19:10:41] HIMMEL: Yes. We have word that she was under 100 pounds, talking about Rebecca. It just doesn`t make sense. I mean, that doesn`t

make sense. And then you have the brother that is at least double that weight and he go, this doesn`t make sense at all. And none of it has ever

since the beginning. And then like I said, it`s a made for movie thing going on here because you are at one of the most famous homes here in San

Diego. You have got the writing on the bathroom door. You got all sorts of things that it is like - it is this mystery.

ASHLEIGH: You mean the bedroom door, right? The writing on the bedroom door? I want to prompt that up as well because that`s another really

weird, weird, unsolvable mystery in this story. This is what they found on the outside of the bedroom door. The paint and the paint brush were found

inside the bedroom, the bedroom where this happened and the bedroom that has that window in that balcony.

And if you can read it. It says she saved him. Can you save her? I guess, Miles, if this is truly supposed to be hers, the coroner decided,

she is speaking about herself in third person. She saved the boy? She just got news the boy was near death. I don`t understand it. Does anyone

else make sense of this?

HIMMEL: No, no. It has never make sense. That is, I guess, what is really what it looks like here. When you look at the no, no DNA, no

fingerprints, no anything, it`s like setting up the perfect crime scene, right. I mean, it is to make it look like nothing. This was suicide. But

almost too perfect like we have talked about. So it never made sense.

And you have this sort of David versus Goliath aspect going on right now. This the Zahau family and the Shacknai. The Shacknai, billionaire - almost

family living in this mansion in Coronado. They have hired the best attorneys for the civil case. And then you got the Zahau family, doesn`t

come from a huge wealth. The lawyer, Keith Greer, is doing it pro bono. He will only get money if they win the trial. So this is really, it`s like

a David and Goliath matchup.

ASHLEIGH: Hey, Miles, Does anybody every do handwriting analysis? But just pop up that handwriting again on the door. Yes, they did? What did

they find?

HIMMEL: That was today in fact during the case. And that might play out throughout the week. Yes, and they said that it looked like, the

handwriting expert was brought in from across the country said that this looked like, again, they can never make it definitive, but this looked like

Adam Shacknai`s handwriting.

ASHLEIGH: Wow. That`s - it also looked like mine. I mean, honestly, I write in block letters, too. I mean, you know. I think highly of

handwriting experts and then I think sometimes they get it wrong as well, as do all of us.

So let me just go to the knots because I think that the nautical-style knots around, you know, Rebecca`s hands are an intriguing piece of this.

So this is the sheriff`s office showing the demonstration how you can tie yourself up in knots literally if this is what Rebecca`s plan was. She

wanted to knot herself into a suicide position. It is hard - I don`t know why they do this. They do a demonstration and they do the best part of it

off-camera. Very frustrating.

But what I felt very interesting is what the lawyer for the family said about the intricacy of these knots and who would know about these knots.

Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREER: They exhibited characteristics of somebody who knew and used nautical-type knots.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEIGH: And Miles, what does Adam Shacknai do for a living?

HIMMEL: Yes. He works on boats. He does that. He ties knots on boats. It adds up to it all. And then, I mean, you can`t make it up. And that is

where we talked about it. If you are the jury and because it`s a civil case, they only need nine jurors to agree with the defense or the

prosecutor or whatever sides. You only need nine.

ASHLEIGH: OK. Let me quickly bring in Joseph Scott Morgan if I can here, certified death investigator.

Joseph Scott Morgan, how many homicidal hangings have you heard of? Meaning, people who decide to kill someone by hanging them?

JOSEPH SCOTT MORGAN, CERTIFIED DEATH INVESTIGATOR: There is not a lot. There is not a lot in literature, you know, back in the day when people

would talked about lynch mobs. There is a reason they refer to them as mobs. It generally take a large number of people to facilitate this.

Unless, of course, you can get the person inebriated in some way and can try to make this look like a suicide.

Another odd part to this, Ashleigh, is we are talking about knots. And these were things. This is what we referred to as complex knots. And

additionally, we are talking about this binding of her hands. Let`s not forget her hands are bound behind her back and also her ankles are bound

which in and of itself is very, very strange in this. We talked about the gag in her mouth. The gag was actually placed over the noose, over this

area. So it`s not like, you know, there was a bracing underneath. Sometimes people are hung to avoid deformity. They will put a padding and

the noose over that. It`s not like that. The noose was placed on and the gag was in the mouth. Kind of an odd set of circumstances.

[19:15:49] ASHLEIGH: Everything about this is odd, including a woman who chooses to hang herself outside completely naked. How many would do that?

I`m going to answer that after the break or at least get you to answer that after the break and that other clue, tape residue found on her leg that is

no tape found anywhere. How do you suppose you can answer that? We will answer that after the break.

And you can now listen to our show any time. Download our podcast on Apple podcast, iheartradio, stitcher, iTunes or tune in whatever you get your

podcasts. You can get your CIME & JUSTICE link (ph) right there We are back in a couple.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:21:21] ASHLEIGH: We are still talking about the San Diego suicide that may not have been a suicide at all. Because Rebecca Zahau`s family says

she would never has kill herself. And if you look at the life that she was living, you would probably agree. She was a beautiful 32-year-old woman

living in a mansion with her millionaire boyfriend in the Coronado neighborhood where most people feel lucky enough just to have a little

vacation.

And summer is the best time of the year to be there. But it was one summer morning when Rebecca`s naked body was found hanging from the second floor

balcony of the mansion. And she wasn`t just naked, she was bound and gagged. Investigators insisted that Rebecca could have done this to

herself. Could have killed herself out of guilt. Because just days earlier, her boyfriend`s 6-year-old son died after falling over a second

story railing while she was supposed to be watching him.

Tonight, her family claims there was evidence she was killed before she was hanged and making her boyfriend`s brother did it. The man who reportedly

found her body and called 911 but just a little too late. But that brother was never charged. Because no one ever said this was a murder and they

were all professionals.

Still with me is KFMP AM 760 reporter Miles Himmel, certified death investigator Joseph Scott Morgan and defense attorney Brian Claypool joins

me from Los Angeles.

OK. So here`s what`s intriguing about, well, everything in this case. They exhumed her body, the family, because they were so concerned about

this extraordinarily professional medical examiner`s decision. And all the investigatory work they did coming down to a decision that she did this to

herself. 20/20 went and talked to a boat captain about the kind of knots that were used that apparently this young woman who I don`t know what she

knows about boats, but the kind of knots that were tied around her hands behind her back. And this was what the boat captain who knows a lot about

knots said about these knots.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s just take this straw, tied around one of your wrist or however you would do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) was able to tie his hands behind his back using the same type of rope on Rebecca`s writs. But even found the process

to be awkward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEIGH: So Joseph Scott Morgan, you are a certified death investigator. Why does it seem so simple to the layman like me? Does it seem so simple

to the experts like you?

MORGAN: As far as the knot tying goes?

ASHLEIGH: As far as this whole thing being crazy. You can`t tie with own hands behind your back, bind your feet, gagged yourself, noose yourself and

toss yourself over a railing or can you?

MORGAN: Yes, it is bizarre. And this is very curious. You know, doctor Wecht (ph) who consulted on this case, he came to the conclusion in this

particular case that he is calling this homicide apparently or he is listing toward that. The idea here is that the small bone and the upper

portion of the neck that is consistent many times with a manual strangulation has been fractured. Actually, the left horn of it. It is --

the bone is called a hyoid. And all of these odd points along a continuum here, hands tied behind the back, gag in the mouth, ankles bound, noose

around the neck and she is nude.

The totality of this seems very bizarre. And we don`t have any specific intent here relative to suicide. That`s what troubles me as a former

medical death investigator. Because that`s one of the things that we looked for, Ashleigh. Is there intent to take your life? Has she had a

history of this? Even the medical examiner and their autopsy report alludes to the fact that she has no history of depression.

[19:25:14] ASHLEIGH: But she might have been upset about little Max`s death, you know, two days prior, but even then how many women, I mean, just

in your experience would kill themselves and leave themselves exposed everywhere naked?

MORGAN: Yes. That`s what is very bizarre, Ashleigh. I certainly had people that have hung themselves over the course of my career. My

colleagues have as well. But, you know, to find somebody nude, not just within a structure, but outside of a structure exposed to the entire world

is - it just double this is idea of how bizarre this case is.

ASHLEIGH: There is so much of it that is weird.

You know what, Joe, a second ago, about the bone in the neck. And I actually want to play something from the family`s attorney. Because I

think this really hammers down a lot of forensics in the case. And I don`t understand why it wasn`t a bigger deal for the medical examiner. Or maybe

it was and there was something else that was exculpatory.

But when the family attorney talks about this young woman, Rebecca Zahau, apparently just under 100 pounds, hurling herself over the balcony and

obviously, the momentum that it would take to stop and I hate to even describe it because it`s so macabre, to be yanked at the neck with 100

pounds of your own weight, it would certainly you would think snap something -- bone, cartilage do some major king of traumatic damage to the

neck. And yet here`s what Keith Greer, that is the Zahau family attorney said about that?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREER: Quickly down at the Adam`s apple down here. And so, the rope doesn`t come in contact and there is marks on the body where the rope came

in contact with that part of her, you know, was sufficient force to break the cartilage. And so, that is why the doctor (INAUDIBLE) said she was

initially strangled.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEIGH: Initially strangled. And then - so Joe Morgan, isn`t that an easy thing to determine that somebody might already be strangle and dead

before their actually thrown dead over and then their body is choked? Isn`t that easy to determine?

MORGAN: Well, if it`s what we refer to as Perry mortem event, say all of these have been are kind of coalescing even at the same time. She does

have what we refer to as petechial hemorrhages that are found in the eye and also folks at home trace their fingers along this area in what is refer

to as the strat muscles in the neck.

And you know, there is a ligature mark that fits over this, but again, back to the idea of the hyoid. The hyoid is really, really superior. It is far

up, far up. And it is not what is normally consistent with being snapped. That`s why it requires a kind of force like this as opposed to a lower

force that is tracking behind the ears with a noose in what we refer to as tinting feature. That is, it comes to a point like an inverted V like this

in the back. And it gives that deep furrow that you see in suicidal hangings. And so, the hyoid is far superior to this. And I have to

believe that this is why doctor Wecht (ph) came to this conclusion in this particular case. Dr. Wecht (ph) is nobody`s fool. He is a very bright

man and highly respected.

ASHLEIGH: Yes. I want to actually play something else in the attorney for the family that is suing right now and suing Adam, you know. Clearly, they

are devastated about this. Nothing makes sense to them either. They were not in the medical examiner`s (INAUDIBLE) when they did those exams. The

findings just seem preposterous to them as they do for I think a lot of us. And their attorney talks a little about the blows to the head that Rebecca

Zahau received. Whether she received them before she went over that railing or whether she received them because perhaps her body hitting the

side of the building after she has gone over the railing. But there is a clue in what is talking about when he mentioned the issue of her blows to

the head. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREER: Which that pint in time rendered her at least partially unconscious and she was initially bound we believe the tape residue on her legs is

because she was initially bound with tape around her legs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEIGH: Brian Claypool, defense attorney, initially bound with tape around her legs. Tape residue around her legs and yet no tape. Now, why

is that not just critically obvious in this case that something else is afoot?

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. Ashleigh, you know, at the start of this case, the defendant in this case had in a 100 yard dash, he had a

10-yard head start because of the fact that the medical examiner came up with a suicide finding. But I got to tell you, listening to your show and

hearing all of this, I mean, with Dr. Cyril Wecht coming in. He levels the playing field then, right. He takes the family to the 10-yard head start.

So, now you`re even, right? But now, after hearing all of this, and in a tape residue, clearly suggests she`s abducted. The -- nobody is going to

gag themselves and how is she going to gag herself? When did she gag herself? Before or after she tied her arms together? And then, I think

that handwriting expert is going to be crucial because then that puts -- that puts the defendant right on the scene of the crime. And by the way,

at the end of this case, once --

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, HLN HOST: Quickly (INAUDIBLE)

CLAYPOOL: Yes, but I think the family needs a special counsel, a separate independent investigator to look at this.

BANFIELD: I`ll tell you what?

CLAYPOOL: For criminal prosecution.

BANFIELD: We`re going to play that part, we`re going to continue to cover this. For now, I have to let this one go. Miles, and Joe, and Brian,

thank you. Thank you, all three of you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

BANFIELD: There`s another case that we won`t let go either and it`s Jodi Arias. She thinks she`s getting back in the spotlight because, of course -

- because, of course, she does even after her lawyers missed a major deadline to file an appeal of her murder conviction. Oops. If you don`t

know who she is, lucky you. The family of Travis Alexander certainly wishes they didn`t know her. But Jodi Arias is serving life in prison

after she was found guilty of brutally stabbing Travis to death. Her trial took 125 days and her appeal has dragged on for years because of issues

getting the transcript completed. Last spring, the transcript was finally done and on March 1st, her appeal was filed with the court but that was a

day too late. Oops. Now, her attorneys are asking for an extension to file the appeal. Oh, dear, what if it doesn`t work? We`ll keep you posted

on that one.

A Florida woman catches a police officer allegedly assaulting a homeless man. Days after she testified about it, she said this happened. She was

beaten black and blue. She claims it was retaliation for the testimony against that cop and now, well, now, she`s decided she`s suing.

[19:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: If you are out and about and you happen to witness an assault, a lawyer is going to tell you whip out your phone and record it. Right? But

Jessica Mooney and her fiance might have some different advice for you after capturing the way a cop handled a homeless man at the bus station

they were at in Fort Lauderdale.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICTOR RAMIREZ, FORT LAUDERDALE POLICE OFFICER: Relax. I`ll tell you right now what`s going to happen. I`ll tell you right now what`s going to

happen. I`ll pull you on right now. You are not going to go pee. You`re not supposed to be here, OK? So, get up. I`ll put you (INAUDIBLE) stop

fighting. What`s going to happen? (INAUDIBLE) right now. Get up. Get up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa.

RAMIREZ: I`m not (BLEEP) around with you. Don`t (BLEEP) touch me. Don`t (BLEEP) touch me. Put your hands behind your back. Put your hands behind

your back. Put your hands behind your back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just smacked him.

JESSICA MOONEY: I know what she`s (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all watched it.

RAMIREZ: (INAUDIBLE) You`re not understanding me. You don`t have a choice in the matter. I`m not arguing with you. You`re not understanding me.

We`re not going to sit here and argue back and forth. I tell what you to do, you`re going to do it. It`s just that simple. When you`re telling me

to go (BLEEP) you, what do you think is going to happen? What do you think is going to happen? No, you`re going jail. I didn`t want -- I didn`t even

want to take you to jail. I didn`t want to take you to jail. But you want to play games.

No, but you`re not listening. You`re not listening. You didn`t listen the first time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s got syringes.

RAMIREZ: What did I tell you to do? I said you need to leave. (INAUDIBLE) What was your answer? What was your answer? (BLEEP) you, I

do what I want, right? (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got the whole thing.

RAMIREZ: Oh, you never said that? That`s what you said. That`s what you said. (INAUDIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[19:39:50] BANFIELD: Well, the city settled a lawsuit with that homeless man and the officer involved? He was charged with battery and also

falsifying records. But he was also found not guilty despite the video evidence and despite that girl you see right there -- you can kind of see

her elbow -- despite Jessica testifying against him, because Jessica was there with her blond hair, you can see right in the image there. It`s her

fiance doing the videotaping.

Days after the trial in which the officer was found not guilty, Jessica Mooney said everything went sideways and that the police retaliated against

her. She claims she was arrested for not paying a bill at a restaurant even though the bill was paid. And then, was also arrested for child

endangerment because she handed her child to a stranger so that she could go to the bathroom. Once she was escorted off the jail, she said she was

verbally abused and as you could just see in those pictures, viciously assaulted. She claims that police threw her to the ground, smashing her

face on that fingerprinting machine they have and also kicking her and punching her. She said it all happened when she asked for an officer`s

badge number and then reached over to move the officer`s hair so that she could see the badge number. Jessica was eventually taken to the hospital

for the injuries that you`re seeing here, but not for two days. They wouldn`t let her go for two days.

The black eye, the cuts all over her head, bruising all over her body, there`s even bruising on one of those pictures you can see -- and it is

weird -- on her ear. Her ear is actually bruised. Since then, and since this incident, all of the charges against Jessica were mysteriously

dropped. But she is taking some people to task about this. She`s suing Broward County. The officers that she said attacked her and she`s suing

that restaurant that accused her of not paying the bill. Again, the bill was paid.

With me now Miami New Times Staff Reporter Jerry Iannelli. Jerry, this is all very odd. Something just doesn`t -- it doesn`t really add up. Why do

the police say that Jessica Mooney suffered the injuries that she suffered while she was in their custody?

JERRY IANNELLI, STAFF REPORTER, MIAMI NEW TIMES: Well, basically, their contention to that, she sort of provoked them which Mr. Hecker, Jessica`s

lawyer, certainly said is not what happened. The Broward County Sheriff`s Office which operate the main jail and the county where Mooney was being

held, she`s arrested by Fort Lauderdale Police Department but openly held by the Broward County Sheriff`s Department. And the county deputies say

that Ms. Moony was mouthing off to them and have attempted to hit one of them and that`s what basically caused them all to come in.

And Mooney obviously said this is not what happened at all. She simply wanted to get a badge number of one officer and brushed the hair away from

the badge of one of the officers who was detaining her and that this in some way provoked them and she was going to (INAUDIBLE) the victim of what

she said was basically a gang assault of people, you know, pushing her down to the ground, kicking her, and punching her, et cetera, and they`re -- I`m

sorry, go ahead.

BANFIELD: Yes, well, it just all seems so -- I mean, listen, if that`s true, if Jessica Mooney reached over and tried to move the female officer`s

hair away that was covering the badge because she said the female officer wouldn`t give her a badge number when she asked, that seems like a hell of

a retaliation, that`s seems like a hell of an assault for just brushing someone`s hair away. And all of this could be settled if -- I don`t know,

there were, say, videotape of what went on inside that police department. Was there?

IANNELLI: Yes, there were but --

BANFIELD: Oh.

IANNELLI: Yes.

BANFIELD: And where is that, Jerry?

IANNELLI: As far as we are aware, those tapes have not been released to the public. Thanks to a recent legal ruling from the State Attorney

General in Florida, Pam Bondi. This ruling basically says that a government surveillance footage can be kept from the public because it

could, quote, compromise the public surveillance systems. And --

BANFIELD: So, I`m the public, and you`re the public, and the people watching this T.V. show --

IANNELLI: Yes.

BANFIELD: -- are the public. And I think we all deserve to know what our paid officers are doing when they say, listen, she was the one at fault,

not us. But here`s the issue, there is one person who saw that videotape even though it hasn`t been released to the public. This person saw the

videotape and then actually even spoke to the Broward County State Attorney and got that videotape qualified in terms of what the state attorney

thought went on. And wouldn`t you know it, Jessica Mooney`s attorney, Scott Hecker, is the person who saw that videotape. And wouldn`t you know

it, Scott Hecker is going to join me right after the break. Don`t go anywhere.

[19:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: We are still talking about that Florida woman who is suing local police officers there for injuries that make even the squeamish wimps a

little. Her injuries that look more like domestic violence or like a kind of treatment from which law enforcement protect you. Not the kind of

treatment they give you but Jessica Mooney says this was her punishment for asking to see an officer`s badge number and for just reaching over to brush

the hair away from it. This after she said they unlawfully arrested her thinking she hadn`t paid her bill at a restaurant. And coincidentally, all

of this happening just eight days after Jessica testified against a cop.

The cop she says she saw slap a homeless man at a bus station. The officer was charged with battery. The officer was found not guilty, and then, we

got those pictures. So, you got to wonder, what is going on in Fort Lauderdale?

[19:50:00] Anyway, Jessica Mooney`s attorney, Scott Hecker, joins me now from Fort Lauderdale. Also, still with me is Miami New Times Staff

Reporter Jerry Iannelli, and Defense Attorney Brian Claypool is with me as well.

So, Scott Hecker, I want to go to you. You have seen the video inside the police station. That should be the answer to all of this. Was Jessica

Mooney threatening those police officers, so much so that she got a beating like this?

SCOTT HECKER, JESSICA MOONEY`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY (via telephone): Well, Yes, having seen the video, we had made a request and the Florida

(INAUDIBLE) and then, they classified it as security video. The reason (INAUDIBLE) to answer your question, as she was brought over to the

(INAUDIBLE) the officer then called in at Fort Lauderdale office (INAUDIBLE) we had a violent defendant which requires him to clear the

(INAUDIBLE) area and she (INAUDIBLE) one of the deputies that brought her into the booking area. There, you see the video (INAUDIBLE) a camera that

shoots these booking area where people are fingerprinted, and you don`t see a lot, you see the officers (INAUDIBLE) and so, and you see Jessica`s hand

go up to the officer`s hair and then you see everybody moving. And then Jessica is (INAUDIBLE) down to the -- to the ground at that point. And you

see the officer in question come around the back and then appears like to the (INAUDIBLE) or something when she fall. And you don`t really see

Jessica being beaten. It`s underneath the (INAUDIBLE)

BANFIELD: So, I`m having a little bit of difficulty hearing you. I think our connection is bad, Scott, but from what I gather, from all our pre-

reporting on this is that you spoke to the Broward County State Attorney and that that state attorney led you to believe that that attorney believes

that it was retaliatory, what those police did. That this was not warranted, this kind of beating against Jessica Mooney.

I want to bring in Brian Claypool, if I can. Brian, even if, say, Jessica reached over and tried to brush away the hair off of the badge number when

she -- she says she asked the female officer, can I see it, can I have your name, can I have your badge number, and that the officer said no. So, she

tried to brush the hair -- the long hair away. Is that bad? I mean, can you -- are you literally not allowed to come anywhere close to touching an

officer?

CLAYPOOL: Ashleigh, it`s not a good idea. She shouldn`t have touched the officer, and the officer could react reasonably by detaining her, possibly

handcuffing her. The measuring stick is, did Jessica objectively -- it`s an objective standard -- did she objectively pose a risk of harm to the

police officer and officers, such that she warrants getting beating up like in the pictures that you`re showing. And clearly, the answer to that

question is, no. And what`s ironic here is you showed a tape a few minutes ago of the Fort Lauderdale officer, I believe it was, slapping a homeless

man. He wasn`t convicted of a crime, yet, Jessica allegedly touched the hair of a police officer and she gets beaten to a pulp.

BANFIELD: It`s a bit crazy.

CLAYPOOL: I have a -- yes.

BANFIELD: It`s a -- it`s a bit crazy and also, I think in this -- you know, era of transparency, we should be seeing these videotapes. I don`t

think people should say, yes, sorry, for the good of everybody we`re not going to release that tape. I think it`s not -- I hear it`s terrible that

they didn`t give her treatment for two days either. That she wasn`t allowed to leave the jail for two days to get treatment. I got to leave it

there. Brian, thank you. Stick around. I have more questions for you in the 7:00 hour. My thanks as well to Scott Hecker and Jerry Iannelli.

You have probably heard that old expression, no shirt, no shoes, no service, but no shirt was no problem for Florida cops who were chasing a

suspected carjacker. And if you want to know how this thing ends, you got to stick around for just a couple minutes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dark shorts and --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[19:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: "ONE MORE THING" for you tonight. Bad guys take notice, you can run, but you can`t hide when the police are hot on your tail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a bailout running eastbound on 20. Eastbound 20, south side of the road. White male, bald, dark shorts and no shirt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Well, maybe it was because he had no shirt that the suspect had no problem jumping a few fences as he tried to get away from the pursuing

police officers. But the Florida cops from two different counties were on the scene quickly, and they ran pretty fast and they jumped pretty well,

and they got that guy, and they took him into custody. And now, he`s facing a laundry list of charges including carjacking and aggravated

battery on a first responder. Come on, guys. When will you learn? This stuff is on video and it never ends well for you.

Thanks for watching, everybody. We`ll see you right back here tomorrow night, 8:00, CRIME & JUSTICE. "FORENSIC FILES" is up next. Have a good

night, everyone.

END