Lawyer in Coronado Mansion Death Has TV, Movie Book Ties

Lawyer for Zahau family has discussed a book with crime writer.

Nov. 2, 2011— -- The lawyer representing the family of Rebecca Zahau, the woman found bound, naked and hanging from her boyfriend's mansion in Coronado, Calif., is working with a literary agent and may commission a true crime author to write a book about the case.

The news comes days after lawyer Anne Bremner confirmed that Zahau's family had exhumed her body and would be appearing on "Dr. Phil" in November to discuss a second autopsy, which was conducted by renown forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht.

Jonah Shacknai, Zahau's boyfriend and owner of the Coronado mansion, declined to comment through his spokesman, Terry Fahn. Shacknai has kept a low profile since Zahau's death, which came two days after his 6-year-old son Max toppled over a balcony railing at the top of a staircase at the mansion. He died later that week.

ABC News affiliate KGTV reported Tuesday that Shacknai has sold the historic mansion to "an unidentified group of investors at an undisclosed sale price."

Bremner has a history of adapting her high profile cases into books, TV appearances, and most recently, a movie. And Zahau's death, which sparked lurid headlines,"doesn't pass the smell test" according to Bremner.

Zahau was found bound and gagged with her hands tied behind her back hanging from a mansion balcony. Her death was ruled a suicide by the San Diego Sheriff's Department, and Max's death was ruled an accident.

Zahau's family, however, doesn't believe she killed herself, and hired Bremner to spearhead efforts to get the investigation reopened.

The family and Bremner have established two websites about Rebecca Zahau, one of which solicits donations and is overseen by Sharlene Martin, a literary manager from Martin Literary Management in Seattle.

"Plz help raise funds for that I am administering with atty. Anne Bremner," Martin tweeted on Oct. 28. "We need an indie investigation on this death."

In another tweet earlier that day she wrote, "Been working with Anne Bremner oN the Rebecca Zahau case for 2 months. Help us find the truth at PLEASE!"

Martin told there is no Zahau book currently in the works, but if there was her agency would handle it.

"We're not representing the book effort," said Martin. "[Anne Bremner] asked me since she's working pro bono if I would help her get the website up for family which I've done, and I'm helping to coordinate media requests."

Ann Rule, the author of 32 non-fiction books about homicide and other crimes, told that she recently met with Bremner and during dinner they discussed the possibility of writing a book about the Zahaus.

Rule, who said she has been a close friend of Bremner for 25 years, noted Martin's involvement in the family website "seems really odd" and that she's "never heard of such a thing."

Rule is currently working on a book about Susan Powell, whose father, Chuck Cox, is represented by Bremner.

The probability of writing a book about the Zahaus, however, is about "50/50 -– if charges were brought," she said. "It's a difficult thing because the little boy's father is very, very wealthy so for legal reasons it's kind of a mine field."

Bremner told she is "a huge fan" of Rule, adding, "I believe Ann can help us find the answers that we seek."

One of Bremner and Martin's shared clients, Gaby Rodriguez, faked a pregnancy at her Washington high school last year.

Rodriguez teamed up with Martin to write a book, scheduled for release in 2012 to coincide with the debut of her Lifetime movie, co-produced by Bremner, Martin and Barbara Lieberman.

Bremner's decision to feature the Zahau family on "Dr. Phil" was met with skepticism by some. One Facebook user responded to the news on Anne Bremner's public page, asking, "who is Dr. Phil to be requesting anything like this? Why is he even involved?"

Bremner responded, "He didn't. We did."

Last Friday Bremner posted a message on her Facebook page, which has since been deleted, confirming that "Dr. Phil" donated money for Zahau's body to be exhumed.

The message read, in part, "Funding for the exumation and transport came from the Rebecca Zahau fund ( .... donations from the Dr Phil Show and others have helped us in this important effort."

The show neither confirms nor denies their contribution.

The autopsy results will likely be featured on "Dr. Phil" sometime this month.