Knot expert shows how Zahau could have tied herself up

SAN DIEGO -- A master knot expert testified Monday that Rebecca Zahau could have tied her hands and ankles before jumping off of a balcony at the Spreckels mansion in Coronado.

The testimony of defense witness Robert Chisnall came at the wrongful death lawsuit again Adam Shacknai, the brother of Zahau's boyfriend, Jonah Shacknai.

Rebecca Zahau’s body was found hanging from the second story of her boyfriend's mansion in July 2011. The mysterious death was ruled a suicide by the San Diego County Medical Examiner, but Zahau's family has said she would never have taken her own life. Lawyers for the Zahau family have argued that she could not have tied herself up.

Plaintiffs' attorneys have pointed out that Shacknai is a tugboat captain with extensive knowledge of knots, but Chisnal attempted to point out holes in the plaintiffs' theory.

“None of the knots were nautical directly, and I believe it is possible that she did tie those knots,” Chisnall said.

The wrongful death case is expected to wrap up next week.