CORONADO, Calif. — A private investigator has teamed up with a psychic reader to analyze the actual bed used in the 2011 death of Rebecca Zahau in Coronado.
The private eye, Bill Garcia, gained possession of the bed by pure chance.
“It’s what I call 'the death bed.' The bed that Rebecca was tied to with the red rope,” said Garcia.
Garcia obtained the bed in 2018 through a random meeting with a construction worker at a taco shop in Mission Hills.
The man had done remodeling work at the Spreckels Mansion in Coronado, where Zahau was found dead, and the bed was given to his construction company.
“I intimately worked on this case for four and half years," said Garcia. “So, when he said one of his workers had possession of the bed, to me it was really exciting because I felt that there was something very important about that bed."
Garcia had been hired to investigate the death of Rebecca Zahau by insurance companies representing Dina Shacknai, the mother of 6-year-old Max Shacknai, who died after taking a fall inside the same mansion.
“I took pictures of [the bed] before I collected it. I used gloves. I wrapped it in saran wrap completely and I put it in my vehicle and took it to my home,” recalled Garcia.
What happened next requires an open mind: A psychic reading of the bed in San Carlos inside the private investigator's garage.
“I opened up the bottom portion of this particular leg on the right side of the bed, where the red rope was, and put my hands on it and almost immediately I connected with Rebecca,” said Jackie Bensinger, a psychic reader based out of Hendersonville, North Carolina.
“She [Rebecca] connected with me and told me immediately, ‘Yes, I was murdered,’” said Bensinger.
“Then, just a second later, Max Shacknai appeared and he said, ‘I want to be with Rebecca. I love her,’” according to Bensinger.
The psychic has worked with Bill Garcia for years on missing persons cases and he trusts her skills.
“I think Jackie is for real. I know she has trained and been taught by some of the best on the East Coast,” said Garcia. “Skeptics are going to be skeptics no matter what. There's not much you can do to change their minds.”
During her reading of the bed, Bensinger said she saw how Rebecca Zahau was murdered.
“Rebecca was on the bed. She was lying down. Her eyes seemed kind of fuzzy – because sometimes I feel like I'm on the inside of the person – and I looked up and there was a man standing above her, and then he strangled her and she passed,” said Bensinger.
The psychic also believes Max Shacknai was murdered. She tried to connect with the boy a second time.
“When I connected with him, he was gone. All I picked up from him was just light. So, he's moved on,” said Bensinger.
Bensinger said she could not identify the alleged killers. She believes there may have been two men in the room at the time of Zahau's death.
Garcia is worried the case may never be solved.
“I feel that these deaths will be overlooked essentially because of wealth, power, and some people in law enforcement that don't want to see the truth come out,” he said.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has ruled Zahau’s death a suicide.
In 2018, a civil jury found Adam Shacknai, the brother of Zahau’s boyfriend, liable for her death.
The judgment was wiped out, however, when Adam Shacknai’s insurance company settled the case before an appeal could be adjudicated.
Zahau's family continues with a lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court aimed at forcing the sheriff’s department to turn over more evidence and investigative files in the case.
The next court hearing in the ongoing lawsuit is set for July.
WATCH: This app will let you virtually see Rebecca Zahau's death scene