Ronni Chasen Update: Rundown of the Latest Reports
A look at the continued media claims around the death of the Hollywood publicist.
With the Beverly Hills Police saying themselves that it is "unknown" if the "person of interest" Harold Smith was involved in the Ronni Chasen killing, it would appear, as far as the public knows, that the investigation remains at square one.
This argument was furthered by Los Angeles KTLA's report claiming that the bullet used by Smith in his suicide is not the same type of bullet used to kill Chasen (police declined to comment when asked about this report by THR)
Here's a listing of the most recent theories:
Similar crimes: A week before Ronni Chasen was shot, Beverly Hills residents in the same neighborhood reported a suspicious incident that mirrored specific details related to the Nov. 16 killing, according to The Daily Beast.
The website reports that a resident living blocks from the scene sent out an email alert about a man who allegedly pulled a gun on a driver.
The email stated the man brandishing the firearms was driving erratically behind the local resident, "cutting off drivers, then pulled up next to her at the Tower [Road] stop light and, with window rolled down, smiled at her while he pointed a gun at her."
Further, just 10 days after Chasen's killing, a 53-year-old man in Covina (20 miles east of Los Angeles) barely survived a near identical murder attempt. The man was shot multiple times through the passenger side of his car at 12:50 a.m., virtually the same hour as Chasen's murder.
Gambling debts: Chasen's brother Larry Cohen addressed persistent speculation that gambling debts might have been a link to the publicist's death.
"I don't play poker," said Cohen to the website Showbiz 411. "I don't gamble. My two daughters don't gamble. Someone writes something on the internet and it's everywhere, whether it's true or not."
Art world connections: While Chasen's penchant for collecting art is widely discussed as a possible link to the crime, there have been mixed reports about the volume of her collection.
The New York Times notes that in the 1994 version of her will, Chasen invited a few close friends to choose a painting from her collection.
But the story continues that the art on the walls of her Westwood condominium was often on loan from one or another of her friends who owned galleries.
Road Rage: The New York Times reported that Cohen strongly maintains that the incident stems from a random car attack. “I still think this was most likely a case of road rage,” he said.