Don’t miss the Fall 2018 Issue of True Crime: Case Files Magazine! Here is a preview of this dynamic issue:
Part 2 of my story on the mysterious death of beautiful Rebecca Zahau begins on page 7. On the morning of July 13, 2011, Rebecca was found hanging by a noose from the second-story balcony of the Spreckels Mansion in world famous Coronado, California. Her body was nude, making the red rope wrapped around her neck, and binding her arms behind her back, and feet even more prominent. A blue t-shirt was wrapped around her neck and a gag placed harshly in her mouth. Rebecca’s death was ruled a suicide, but a jury in a wrongful death trial found it to be murder. Come with me inside the courtroom for this unforgettable case.
Another gripping and heartbreaking case is the murder of twenty-year-old Maithem Alfuraiji by his best friend Salvador Sanchez. My story “The Snapchat Killer: Was He Legally Insane When He Killed His Best Friend?” starts on page 38 and takes you into the courtroom where a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity is offered up. Why did Salvador Sanchez, a youth fresh from high school, who had spent months fully immersed in his church youth group, and filled with a faith he was eager to share suddenly turn into a killer? On the night of April 22, 2017, nineteen-year-old Salvador Sanchez clothed himself in all white because it was symbolic and pure, before heading out to kill Maithem. Salvador then immediately posted videos to Snapchat, boasting and joking about what he had done.Was Salvador a cold and callous murderer as the prosecution contended? Or did he suffer a psychotic break, overcome by mental illness, believing he must kill in order to save others as the defense propounded? Was there really a vision that Maithem’s reckless driving would cause the death of 20 children and Salvador alone was called upon to stop it? Or was this a manufactured excuse concocted to save himself? Or did the answer somehow lie in Salvador’s unstable childhood, born to a thirteen-year-old mother who at times suffered from mental issues, bounced from home to home, and exposed to fanatical religion? Or was the answer more straightforward: a marijuana induced psychosis?