Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen left voicemail message minutes before she was killed
At 12:22 a.m. Tuesday -- six minutes before she was shot –- Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen placed a cellphone call to her office, leaving a to-do list for her staff. It was the second such message she left at the office last night. The first came at 10:29 p.m., which would have been the time between when she attended the premiere of the movie "Burlesque" and the beginning of the after-party at the W Hotel.
"That was typical of Ronni," said her close friend, longtime Hollywood publicist Vivian Mayer-Siskind, referring to her tireless work ethic.
Mayer-Siskind had seen Chasen at the premiere, which they both attended with respective clients.
"I saw her on the red carpet and gave her a kiss," said Mayer-Siskind. "Then we all went to the party at the W Hotel."
Mayer-Siskind, who said Chasen was her first boss at MGM in 1993 and was the maid of honor at her wedding three years ago in Martha's Vineyard, called Chasen "my best friend, my mentor and my sister and she will be missed dearly by me as well as everyone else in the industry."
Mayer-Siskind added, "Ronni was loved and respected by everyone. She was part of the fabric of the industry that meant everything to her. Ronni loved every minute of what she did and in return her clients were equally dedicated to her."
After hearing about Chasen's death early Tuesday morning, Mayer-Siskind drove directly to the Beverly Hills Police station to try and learn more about the murder. She then drove to Chasen's office on Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood to write her friend's obituary. By the time she arrived at the office, it was swarming with police, who were poring through Chasen's phone records, listening to her messages, going through her computer (which they took with them) and taking photographs.
"The police said they were on it," she said.
Chasen's brother, writer-director Larry Cohen, described her as a "a loving and caring person who treated her clients like they were her own family."
"She was my sister and best friend and we shared so many wonderful times together," Cohen said.
-- Claudia Eller