Reward offered for Memphis tugboat pilot in California woman’s death

Adam Shacknai

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A $100,000 reward is being offered for the arrest of a Memphis man in the death of a California woman, but he’s never been charged with killing her.

Adam Shacknai is a tug boat pilot in Memphis whose brother is a California pharmaceutical executive. He was accused in the 2011 death of Rebecca Zahau, who was found naked, bound and hanging in the family mansion.

He went to California to help his family after his brother’s 6-year old son was seriously hurt. While there, his brother’s girlfriend, who’d been watching the little boy, was found dead.

Her death was ruled a suicide but the family filed a civil suit claiming Shacknai killed her. He was found responsible for her death — in fact, the family won a $5 million judgment.

However,  that case was dismissed by a judge in February, and the sheriff refuses to file charges against Shacknai.

Wednesday, the Zahau family offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to Shacknai’s arrest.

According to affiliate Fox 5 in San Diego, the family’s attorney accuses Shacknai of tying a noose around Zahau and pushing her off a balcony. A message — “She saved him, can you save her” — was found scrawled on a bedroom door, the lawyer told a civil jury.

Shacknai has adamantly denied killing Zahau. He called the civil suit a “hoax” and an extortion attempt.

While a reward is offered, there’s no warrant for Shacknai’s arrest, and it’s doubtful anyone will pick him up. He’s hasn’t been charged, so there’s no one to hold him.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.