Ronni Chasen murder case nearly wrapped up

There was talk that publicist Ronni Chasen‘s murder was a targeted killing, that someone had hired a professional to take her out, but now it looks more like she was the unfortunate victim of a random robbery attempt gone horribly wrong. Harold Martin Smith shot himself in the head when police approached him to ask him questions about the case, and ballistics reports have shown that the gun he shot himself with is the same one that killed Chasen.

Investigations into Smith’s personal situation have revealed that he was poverty-stricken, mentally unstable, and at a very desperate time in his life.  Police think it is likely he shot at the car simply because he was trying to rob the richest person he could find on short notice; it’s possible the reason he fled the scene without stealing anything was because he panicked when he realized that he had actually killed someone.

Hollywood press agent Ronni Chasen murdered

Ronni Chasen may not be a name you recognize, but she was behind some of the biggest names both in Hollywood and the music industry.  As a publicist and press agent, she represented artists as big as Alanis Morissette, and she also worked as an Academy Awards strategist, helping seven of her represented films to win Best Picture.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, after attending the premiere of Burlesque, Chasen went on a few work-related errands before heading to her home in Westwood.  During the drive, she was shot several times in the chest and crashed her car into a utility pole.  She was pronounced dead at the scene.  Police say robbery was not the motive, and they’re checking her e-mails and phone records to see if there are any clues as to who might have wanted such an important Hollywood fixture dead.