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A break in the Ronni Chasen murder case

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Beverly Hills sign

More shocking developments in the investigation surrounding the brutal killing of Hollywood publicist, Ronni Chasen. Beverly Hills Police revealed some details and the direction of their investigation at a news conference this afternoon.

Beverly Hills Police Chief, David Snowden, admitted what many in the media have been saying, suicide victim, Harold Martin Smith, was more than a “person of interest” as the BHPD repeatedly described him — he was and is a “suspect.”

Smith, a 43-year-old long-time criminal, was confronted by Beverly Hills cops at the Harvey apartments in Los Angeles on December first. As the detectives attempted to serve a search warrant on him, Smith reportedly pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head.

Snowden says “…preliminary ballistics..” on that gun show that it was “…used to shoot Ms.Chasen…”  The indepth analysis on that gun should be complete in the “…next two weeks..” according to Snowden.

Beverly Hills police claim their investigation is 60-70 percent done and it indicates Smith more than likely rode a bicycle to the scene of the crime. Beverly Hills Police Sergeant, Michael Publicker, says it “…was a random act of violence, most likely a robbery gone bad.”

Photo of Publicist Ronni Chasen

Photo: -- Publicist Ronni Chasen

About three weeks ago, the entertainment industry was rocked by the shooting death of well-known press agent Chasen. Early in the morning on November 16, Chasen was gunned down on Whittier Drive, just south of Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

Poster for the movie Burlesque

A short time before the shooting, Chasen had been mingling with partygoers at a function following the premiere of the movie musical, “Burlesque,” in nearby Hollywood.

Snowden told reporters at the news conference, there’s a lot of  “erroneous information” about that shooting scene in the media — but he would not give details.

However, Snowden confirmed the tip that led investigators to Smith came from the TV show, “America’s Most Wanted.” What is the connection between Smith and the tipster? Snowden didn’t talk about that.

Snowden says police believe, “… Mister Smith acted alone…” and “… don’t believe it was a professional hit.” Beverly Hills Police say Smith was just a “desperate” man out to rob Chasen. At this point, that sounds like a convenient rap to hang on a dead man.

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