Hollywood journalist Allison Hope Weiner has an update on the Ronni Chasen murder case and emails Deadline the following details:
A police source close to the investigation into the murder of Ronni Chasen says that police have a fairly good idea as to who employed a Hollywood hit man to shoot the longtime publicist. Although the alleged hit man killed himself last night before police could take him into custody, authorities are still making progress in their investigation of Chasen’s murder. Several sources confirm that police have a working theory that Chasen’s murder was related to a business deal gone bad.
First Police Action In Ronni Chasen Murder Results In Another Death: As a detective said last night if the probe into popular publicist Ronni Chasen’s slaying was concluded after last night’s suicide of the person of interest: ”It’s not over yet.” Police served a search warrant on a man at the Harvey Apartments in a seedy part of Los Angeles at 5640 Santa Monica Boulevard between N Wilton and Western Ave near Hollywood. [UPDATE: The Beverly Hills Courier just reported he's been identified as Harold Smith.] He’d been under police surveillance in connection with the case and fatally shot himself after 6 PM with his handgun own just as the police were approaching in the lobby. He died of a “self-inflicted” gunshot and was pronounced dead at the scene. Chasen, 64, was reportedly shot five times in the chest in the early morning hours of November 16th as she was driving her late model Mercedes Benz west on Sunset Blvd towards her Westwood condo after attending a premiere and party for the Screen Gems film Burlesque. Her shocking death hit Hollywood hard because so many liked Chasen, a petite and hardworking PR-woman who specialized in Oscar campaigns.
Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.