'America's Most Wanted' tip helped lead Ronni Chasen detectives to suspect, host says
The host of the Fox series “America’s Most Wanted,” said he believed a tip provided by his show helped lead Beverly Hills police to confront a man in the slaying of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen.
John Walsh said in an interview that he was unable to provide specific details about the tip but said Beverly Hills investigators acted quickly on the information, although he was unable to give the precise timing.
“I believe they responded to a tip that we had passed on. BHPD reached out to us,” Walsh said. “We have been working closely with Beverly Hills [police].”
A segment on the Chasen slaying was featured Nov. 20.
Beverly Hills police have not said what prompted them to seek a search warrant for the Hollywood apartment of a man. When detectives arrived, the man shot himself to death in the apartment lobby.
It's unknown what connection, if any, the man had to the Chasen slaying. Law enforcement sources told The Times he was considered a suspect in the killing but did not provide any details.
Beverly Hills police had no immediate comment on Walsh's statement. It's unclear whether there was other evidence that pointed detectives to the man.
The publicist was shot to death early Nov. 16 while driving her Mercedes-Benz near Whittier Drive and Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills. She was on her way home from a party after the premiere of the movie “Burlesque.”
Chasen is believed to have left the event about midnight and been traveling west on Sunset. Friends believe she planned to head south to her condominium on Wilshire Boulevard near the grounds of the Los Angeles Country Club. Several residents called 911 at the time of the attack, saying they heard gunshots.
Moments later, another resident called 911 to report hearing the car crash into a light pole. People living on Whittier Drive who heard the crash ran to the scene and found Chasen slumped over the steering wheel, bleeding. The passenger-side window was shattered.
--Harriet Ryan and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Chasen's car being towed away. Credit: Los Angeles Times.