SAN DIEGO—A new report refutes the finding that Max Shacknai, the six year old son of millionaire Jonah Shacknai died due to an accident at the Spreckles mansion in Coronado in July of 2011. The report suggests the boy died a result of a homicide.
The report summarizes the findings of two independent experts hired by the boy's mother Dina. One is Robert Bove, PhD, who is an injury biomechanics expert. He reconstructs accidents, and analyzes injuries from these accidents. The second expert is Dr. Judy Melinek, a pathologist who is a Harvard grad, and an assistant medical examiner at UCSF. She was also a clinical instructor in forensic medicine at NYU.
"The accidental scenario that was purported or put forward by the Coronado Police Department is not accurate," said Dina Shacknai. "The experts' findings was that Max was assaulted and that he was the victim of a homicide."
Dr Melinek wrote, "It is my opinion that Maxfield Shacknai's injuries are not consistent with the scenario depicted "
She cited the boy's center of gravity would have been too low to go over the bannister on his own, the pattern of injury on the boy's back is not consistent with an impact of the bannister, and the skull fracture contusion indicates that the primary fall impact was against the top of Max's head, and not the right as stated in the original report.
The most riveting statement in Dr. Melinek's report is: "A more reasonable scenario... is that Maxfield was assaulted by another person at the hallway, near the banister on the second floor. The perpetrator injured his face and shoulder and Maxfield then was pushed against or backed into the second story railing, causing the patterned injuries along his back. Then, he was either lifted over the banister or he escaped over the banister, falling down to the front entryway, below. He landed on the top of his head "
The doctor concluded, "it would be more accurate to certify this manner of death as a homicide, where homicide is defined as death at the hands of another."
The Coronado police Department responded with a brief statement
"We did meet with Dina Shacknai last week, and will review the information provided."