Posted in homicide, justice

Hollywood publicist murder solved? A Random Act? A Robbery Gone Bad? Really?

Hollywood publicist murder appears solved.

The Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen murder case became very public, but the Law Enforcement last night calmed the speculation down: most likely it was a random act of violence. No more flying rumors.

Police are saying, the motive was a robbery, but the perpetrator failed to take anything. Why?

Or perhaps it was a hate crime, a low life thug with long criminal history saw a white, obviously privileged, rich lady driving her Mercedes, well he was presumably riding a bicycle, and he gunned her down. For him it was just one bad day among many. Perhaps there was no other motive than that. He has committed robberies before, but it was not business as usual for him, the pattern was different, he hasn’t killed anyone before and he actually took something, like Sony Walkman.
Harold Smith is their only suspect, the most solid evidence against him is the ballistics. There is a match, they say now. And he is dead.
How convenient. 

He killed himself because according to reports, he didn’t want to go back to prison. However shortly after the murder he was bragging he was connected to high-profile murder case. Harold ‘Big mouth’ Smith even stated he was a hired hitman and he was supposed to get 10 000$ for the hit.

He also kept the murder weapon. Sure this is the way to avoid prison.

So why did he killed himself? Maybe he wanted to protect somebody, he knew LE will break him when questioned, or he was afraid or threatened, but the investigation have found no evidence that it was a planned hit . People watch too much Hollywood movies. There is no conspiracy here. And the man was obviously deluded.
The case will be close soon. Another nutjob got a gun. Not the first, not the last time. And the lady was in wrong place, wrong time, it actually could have been anyone.  Some buy it, some don’t.

Some of Chasen’s friends are skeptical of what police are now saying.
Roger Friedman, a friend of Chasen’s, told CBS News, "I think there’s still a lot of unanswered questions. Maybe the police are right. Or maybe they’re partially right, but I think they are hurrying to make some kind of announcement because there’s so much pressure on them." CBS
But the press conference last night certainly rised some questions.

Posted in homicide investigation, julkisuus, justice

Ronni Chasen Murder Mystery Deepens

It was the murder that left the police baffled and shocked many in Hollywood film industry, whether they personally knew the victim or not.

Radaronline reports that Chasen wanted to redo her will just couple of months before she was killed.
Criminal profiler Pat Brown suggested that the killer could be someone ‘close to her’. She says victim’s will is certainly one lead to look at: people who profited from her death, people who may have felt they were unfairly left out of her will or perhaps feared she will change her will.
Someone ‘close to her’ could mean business associate, client, not necessary family member or relative.

The police ran ballistic tests and there have been unconfirmed reports that there was no match, the gun Harold used to commit suicide is different than the weapon used in the Chasen murder. Now LAPD says ‘it is unknown if this individual was involved’.
Another celebrity news website TMZ reports that the ‘suspect’ is identified as Harold Smith. HLN reported earlier that ‘the person of interest’ bragged to neighbors he killed Chasen, saying he was hired hitman and he was supposed to get 10 000 dollars for the ‘job’, however he gave an impression that he was ‘mental’ or at least ‘unstable’.

harold martin smith
A police mugshot of Harold Smith

Police went to question him after they received a tip after the incident was featured on American Most Wanted.

“I believe they (the police) responded to a tip that we had passed on,” John Walsh told the Los Angeles Times. “BHPD (Beverly Hills Police Department) reached out to us.”

Chasen was shot 5 times in her chest through her passenger-side window, initially the police believed it was a professional hit, criminal profiler Pat Brown says she was killed in a manner that suggests an emotional connection. Professional hitman likely would have shot a bullet in victim’s head.

Mrs Chasen as reported had a good reputation, and her business was doing good. It is possible she had known or unknown enemies, there are many theories what may have happened, but the police have said very little about the high-profile murder investigation, possible scenarios include road rage, even money laundering and possibly the artwork she collected as reported by CBS . Chasen brother Larry Cohen believes road rage triggered the shooting. He told Showbiz411: ‘I’m sure it was road rage. I’m sure it was some kind of random thing.’
Police are also investigating whether a burglary three years ago at Ronni Chasen’s Los Angeles home could be linked to her mysterious murder.
Former prosecutor Robin Sax told ‘Good Morning America’ today that everything that went missing had emotional value.

‘It wasn’t just your run of the mill, looking for cash kind of burglary,’ she said. ‘It appears it was something that was very personal in nature,’Daily Maill reports

Mystery: The passenger side of her Mercedes with shattered window (Daily Mail)

The New York Times – Killing Shows Truths of Life Spent at Edge of Limelight

Posted in henkirikos, justice, rikostutkinta

Ronni Chasen – Hollywood-tiedottajan murha

Iltasanomat uutisoi tapauksesta näin.

Tunnettu Hollywood-tiedottaja ammuttiin hengiltä

Kuuluisa Hollywood-tiedottaja Ronni Chasen, 64, löydettiin tiistaina puolenyön jälkeen kuolleena lyhtypylvääseen törmänneestä Mercedes-autostaan Sunset Boulevardin varrella. Chasenia oli ammuttu useita kertoja rintaan.

Chasen oli ollut palaamassa kotiinsa läntisessä Los Angelesissa sijaitsevassa Westwoodissa, kun häntä ammuttiin.

Yli 30 vuotta elokuvayhtiö MGM:n, yksittäisten elokuvien ja filmitähtien tiedottajana työskennellyt Chasen oli ollut Burlesque-elokuvan ensi-illasta kuuluisassa Grauman’s Chinese Theatre -elokuvateatterissa. Elokuvan pääosissa esiintyvät Cher ja Christina Aguilera.

Kuvassa Chasen Oscar-palkitun elokuvan ‘Slumdog Millionare’ tähtien Freida Pinto’n ja Dev Patel’in kanssa

Rikospaikka kuva

Hollywoodin viihdepiirejä kuohuttanut murhamysteeri sai myöhään keskiviikkona yllättävän käänteen, kun tutkimuksen avainhenkilö teki itsemurhan. Poliisi yritti hakea noin 40-vuotiasta miestä kuultavaksi murhasta. Kun poliisi yritti puhutella miestä asuintalon aulassa, tämä veti esiin aseen ja ampui itsensä.

Chasenin murha ei ollut ryöstö. Teon motiivi on kuitenkin ollut arvailujen varassa. (HS.03.12.2010)

Poliisi on yrittänyt löytää motiivia teolle. Epäilty, jonka nimi on ilmeisesti Harold Smith, on kertonut naapureille että hänet palkattiin tappamaan Chasen. Kuitenkin jonkun naapurin mielestä epäilty oli häiriintynyt ja tasapainoton, joten tässä vaiheessa ei ole tietoa onko Smithilla mitään tekemistä Chasenin surman kanssa. Vahvistamattomien tietojen mukaan ase jolla Smith surmasi itsensä ei ole Chasenin murhassa käytetty surma-ase. TMZ uutisoi että Smith on tuomittu huumausainerikoksista ja häntä epäiltiin tappouhkauksesta ja asuntomurroista.

Rikosprofiloija Pat Brown arvioi että kyseessä ei ole palkkamurha, vaan pikemmin kosto ja tekijä (tai murhan tilaaja) on henkilö joka kuuluu uhrin lähi- tai tuttavapiiriin. ‘Palkkamurhaaja olisi todennäköisesti ampunut uhria päähän, eikä useita kertoja rintaan’, sanoo Brown. Hänen mukaan on syytä selvittää myös ketkä olivat edunsaajat Chasenin testamentissa, kuka hyötyy hänen kuolemasta. Toisaalta kyseessä voi olla joku katkera sukulainen joka jäi ilman perintöä, Chasenin omaisuuden arvo oli useita miljoonia dollareita. Radaronline uutisoi että vain muutama kuukausi ennen surmaa Chasen oli kertonut haluavansa muuttaa testamenttiaan. On tiedossa että omaisuutensa hän jätti äitillensä v 1994 tehdyssä testamentissa, mutta kun hänen äitinsä kuoli niin hän teki uuden testamentin.

Teorioita on useita, onko surman takana joku pettynyt asiakas tai katkera liikekumppani, yksi mahdollinen teoria on myös se että Chasen oli satunnainen uhri ja kyseesä oli ns road rage – tapaus.

Posted in homicide investigation, justice

Update: Ronni Chasen murder suspect kills himself

Reportedly a person of interest in high-profile Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen murder case, has shot himself.
Many think it is likely the murder was a hired it. The case is not solved yet.

The Daily Beast reports:
In a rundown apartment house, located in a bleak part of Hollywood, the mystery of Ronni Chasen’s murder deepened Wednesday night when a man police say they believe was connected to the publicist’s killing shot himself around 5:30 p.m., as officers got ready to serve a search warrant.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the man had told another resident that he was a former convict, who had served time in a state prison.
How the man might be linked to Chasen’s murder is not yet clear.
Tony Lee of the Beverly Hills Police Department described him as a “person of interest” only, and corrected himself when he used the word “suspect.” He added that the Chasen “investigation is ongoing.”

A body is removed from the Hollywood hotel where a suspect in the slaying of publicist Ronni Chasen shot himself to death as police ordered him to surrender. (Jay Clendenin / Los Angeles Times / December 2, 2010)

LA Times

The Daily Beast

Posted in homicide investigation, justice

Murder in Bevery Hills: High-powered Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen gunned down

On the way home the belle of the old time publicists, Ronni Chasen was gunned down and killed Tuesday with five bullets to her chest after attending the premiere of the new Cher film ”Burlesque”.

Chasen had been serving as senior vice president of worldwide publicity at MGM, where she was appointed in 1993, and also headed up her own public relations firm, Chasen & Co. The company has promoted such films as “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “No Country for Old Men” and “The Lord of the Rings.
Police think the murder of Ronni Chasen was planned and that the shots may have been fired from another vehicle that pulled up next to her car, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lynda Obst: a producer and writer who has made 15 films in her producing career, at almost every major studio.
– No matter how bitter the Oscars got, no one would kill over them..

Let’s hope so.