Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Questions and Speculation Cloud Chasen Investigation

Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.


Ronni Chasen (AP Photo/Chasen and Company)
Wednesday's suicide of a "person of interest" in the Ronni Chasen murder investigation and the release of Chasen's will has raised more questions about the case and the Beverly Hills Police Department's next steps, according to CBS News. Police remain unsure if Harold Smith, the man who killed himself at the Harvey Apartments on Tuesday night just as police approached him to serve a search warrant, had anything to do with the slaying of Ronni Chasen. While neighbors are coming forward and sharing anecdotes about Smith's "bad vibes" and how he bragged of killing a publicist, police are making it clear that he was "a person of interest only" and that the investigation is far from over.

Former LA Police Chief Bill Bratton spoke on "The Early Show" today about the case and commended Beverly Hills police for doing a "phenomenal job" keeping the investigation quiet, especially in "gossip-centric" Los Angeles where every one is angling to land on a theory that will solve the case or take credit for helping investigators with leads.

One version of Ronni Chasen's will, obtained by celebrity gossip site TMZ, shows she had a net worth of $6 million and gave $60,000 to charity. The majority of Chasen's fortune was willed to one niece, while another niece received $10.

Support for LAist comes from

Theories and speculations abound: a professional hit, unhappy clients, Chasen's supposed temper, road rage, a jilted family member left out of the will -- all these and various permutations and combinations are being spun out in a dozen different ways while the investigation and the search for the truth continues on.

Bratton tried to offer a bit of perspective: "It's all speculation at this stage of the game" but "It's still a great Hollywood whodunit."