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Police seek video surveillance footage in probe of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen's slaying

Click for an interactive map of the shooting location and other nearby homicides Beverly Hills police are seeking video surveillance footage from businesses and residents along Sunset Boulevard as they continue to probe the slaying of veteran Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, who they say was gunned down in her Mercedes early Tuesday morning.

Detectives said they have few leads in the case and are unclear about the motive for the attack.

Beverly Hills police Sgt. Lincoln Hishino would not discuss specific evidence in the case, but he did acknowledge that a review of security videos would be part of a "thorough investigation."

Chasen had attended an after party for the premiere of the movie "Burlesque" at the W Hotel in Hollywood. She is believed to have left the event for home sometime around midnight, traveling west on Sunset Boulevard. Friends believe that she had planned to swing south to her condominium on Wilshire Boulevard near the grounds of the Los Angeles Country Club.

The 6-mile drive would have taken Chasen along the Sunset Strip, an area stocked with potential surveillance video as well as mansions with sophisticated security systems that include surveillance cameras. That could allow investigators to pick up a crucial clue.

In examining video, investigators face potential challenges. Technology in some cameras works better in the day than at night. Even cameras that can pick up images at night can be blinded by bright light. Some cameras may have blind spots, and videos often are of poor quality.

Chasen, 64, was found shot multiple times near the intersection of Whittier Drive and Sunset Boulevard near the border of Beverly Hills and the city of Los Angeles about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday and was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center about an hour later, officials said.

Investigators spent much of the day removing potential evidence from Chasen's Westside condominium, including computer hard drives, compact discs and file boxes. Investigators also scoured her Westwood PR company for similar evidence. 

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: A tow truck carries the Mercedes Benz in which Ronni Chasen's body was found. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (21)

Interesting, there's a handicap placard in the window, none of the reports say anything about her being handicapped.

Random violence visits everyone. However when a member of the famed Art Elite is murdered they go all out to find out why.....

When this happens in the Suburbs they half step, the ghetto they hose off the sidewalk and go get donuts.

I don't think anybody will be caught. The assassin is long gone.

Really sorry for this hard working woman.

Is anyone saying the diameter of the five projectiles?

Rewards need to be offered quickly NOT weeks later. Look at the Mickey Thompson murders I believe the big reward was offered long after the murder was newsworthy

No, they'll catch them....award will be offered, the gangsters will talk to someone, and they'll get a tip and catch them thugs responsible for it. The reward will be high, and when the reward is high, people always talk.

Hey NRA, why don't you finally agree to guns leaving a 'signature' on every bullet? This way every shot fired can be tracked to the owner of the gun. Oh, right? Less guns would be sold. So sorry about Ronni - condolences to her family and friends and colleagues.

one more thought for RD - maybe use of the 1st amendment should require folks to identify themselves by publishing their home address, email address, telephone number, photo, fingerprints and DNA before they speak or write publicly

Maybe the hit was committed by the star-whackers that Randy Quaid was talking about a few weeks ago...

it maybe someone close to her that did this. out of spite? who knows.

"In examining video, investigators face potential challenges. Technology in some cameras works better in the day than at night. Even cameras that can pick up images at night can be blinded by bright light. Some cameras may have blind spots, and videos often are of poor quality."
Considering the distance from where she was shot to the Susnet Strip, even the learest viddo might not show anything.

Sad story -- from the news accounts Ms. Chasen seemed like a decent, hard working person.

Obviously hope they catch and convict the killer(s).

Forget the serial number on every bullet- after seeing the accompanying video of troublesome youths breaking into the jewelry cases; we should put a serial number on every hammer!

In response to RD's uneducated comment, the NRA has no impact on the creation of a national database of gun signatures (rifling marks on slugs and firing pin marks on casings). This requires the cooperation of gun makers and the ATK and FBI, not the NRA. Guns are made around the world. Until there is agreement for worldwide compliance, your premise is impossible. It also fails to address how to catalog the existing 300 million guns that are already out there. It is also brain dead simple to alter the firing characteristics of a gun by reboring the gun and changing the firing pin. And even if you got your database, the perps will simply switch to shotguns which have no signature.

Don't try and leave a tip for BEVERLY HILLS COPS or SANTA CLARITA POLICE 661-255-1121 310-550-4951 although they speak plenty good ENGLISH when you say you want to leave a quickie ANONYMOUS 'tip' but because of a HEARING IMPEDIMENT you can NOT hear voices very well in the lady & kid range so you would appreciate being able to speak w/ a male officer...they act as if they are being DISCRIMINATED against...and DEMAND you leave your NAME...and NUMBER!? Oy vey! IT JUST NEVER STOPS! We
were trying to drop a dime on a SCREWBALL who has a BLOG and while reading we noticed a REFERENCE so something on it may have SOME "CONNECTION?" MAYBE? Otherwise we have NO IDEA! Please demand the cops stop the nonsense and straighten and fly right!

It is very sad that someone would take the life of someone else, and it is sadder when the person is known, either personally or through professional acquaintance. Ronni, you will be missed. I hope your killer will be found and justice will prevail.
As to the killer, five bullets, in close succession, at close range, tells me you killed out of anger, tells me that you planned the killing, and that you are filled with rage and cowardice. A professional hitter would have used three bullets to be sure, most likely would have used a small caliber pistol, such as a .22, if it turns out to be a larger caliber, I would deduce that you are an amateur. What could have made you so angry at a public relations person to the stars? Are you impotent in your ability to make a name for yourself doing good things? Did you do it for an even greedier purpose or are you just nuts? Only time and the law will tell.

failed carjacking?

I'd bet the farm that this was someone she knew, who might have even been in the car with her- and I also agree tht this was someone who was very very angry, but it is so so sad when you take the life of someone who is elderly, my God 60 years is somtime all you get and 80 years if we're lucky per the Bilble....This is a sad day....

How I wish Dominck Dunne was here to cover this story !

It has all the markings of an intentional murder. I would be curious to know who pitches to her clients to be their new publicist.

Why does it seem like it was person specific? No other crimes have been committed on the general public that fits this crime in that area. It was done on a street that had little traffic (no witnesses) It wasn’t on any gangs ‘turf’. No others (as yet) have reported to be assaulted, or followed in that area in the recent past. The shots were fired from within another car, to her right over her passengers seat. That couldn’t be done from the drivers seat of the other car, it had to have happened from the back seat of the killer’s car, Meaning there are two. The shooter up above the sill of the window he is firing out of, the remnants of bullets inside the shooters car (so no ballistics). One person: personal grudge, two perpetrators: planned or gang related. Who ever shot has shot before, 5 shots on target.

Who had access to the knowledge of her route that night…is a good question.

Did Ronni have a contract with her clients?…. perhaps one of them wanted out of it. or….
Another firm wanted her clients…..or
A family member stood to benefit from her death….or

Someone really hated her as she was a threat. Who was she dating.. (if at all) Left her face untouched, this is the most telling sign.

She has no husband, no children….her heir? Her brother


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