Ronni Chasen Tipster Was 'Very Fearful' of Turning in Harold Smith

6:25 AM PST 12/10/2010 by Lindsay Powers
Eric Charbonneau/Getty Images

He's due to receive $125,000 in award money, but says that doesn't matter: "I did this for one reason... to get justice for Ronni Chasen."

The anonymous tipster who fingered Harold Smith in Ronni Chasen's murder almost didn't come forward.

"He was very fearful," America's Most Wanted host John Walsh told the New York Post. "He didn't know the guy, but he knew enough to know he was a little unhinged, that this was not your average citizen."

The tipster overheard Smith talking about the murder. Police believe Smith shot Chasen on Nov. 16 in Beverly Hills while riding a bicycle.

The informant called in after seeing the Nov. 20 episode of Most Wanted, which detailed the slaying. Walsh says he didn't offer much information, calling back "three or four days" later with more information.

“We were holding our breath that he'd call back," Walsh told the Post. "When he finally did, he gave a very thorough description of [Smith] and his location that were right on the nose."

The informant had consulted those close to him before providing more details about Smith, who committed suicide as police served a warrant on his seedy Hollywood apartment building.

"My family, close friends and even my doctor said I was making something out of nothing and should just stay out of it," he said in an interview posted on Most Wanted's Website.

He was nervous about the police and retribution from Smith.

"He's a real hero," Walsh said. "He did the right thing, and God bless him because he spared Ronni Chasen's family a long trial and a lot of pain."

After hearing the gun Smith killed himself with matched the one used to kill Chasen, the informant "burst into tears," Walsh said.

"He'd been having second thoughts, worrying that he did the right thing and that this was the guy," Walsh added.

The tipster could earn $125,000 in reward money, but he says the money doesn't matter.

"I did this for one reason," he says. "To get justice for Ronni Chasen."

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