Home Celebrity Ronni Chasen Update: Police Come Up With Unbelievable Theory

The Beverly Hills Police have come up with their theory about how Ronni Chasen was murdered. It’s a doozy.

According to the BHPD, Harold Smith–the man who committed suicide last week–was riding a bike ten miles from his hotel in the middle of Beverly Hills at 12:30am. The police figure Smith, riding the bike, attempted to rob Chasen by somehow approaching her while she driving a big Mercedes. He then, from his bike, or on foot, I guess, standing in the middle of Sunset Boulevard, in a suburban, non commercial area, shot her five times in the chest.

If other reports are to be believed, he did this with hollow bullets, then cleaned up the shell casings before he left. I supposed he biked back to Hollywood, where he’d been staying at a run down hotel.

According to Google Maps, this would be at least a 45 minute bike ride for Smith.

Maybe the police are right. But if you were going to rob someone, wouldn’t you go into a more urban area, where people are walking (at least to and from cars)? The spot where Ronni was shot on Sunset has no pedestrian traffic at that hour (or any hour). And if you were driving and saw someone on a bike coming toward you, you’d get away from them fast. Five clean shots? Harold Smith must have been quite the marksman.

That simple? Or a rush to find a solution? We may never know the answer. And if that area is so vulnerable to such crimes, then there’s a really big problem in Beverly Hills.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
9 replies to this post
  1. Seems like another “magic bullet” theory. Using real magic bullets, btw. Why did the bhpd do a 180° from saying the gun/bullets didn’t match, to YES, now they DO match? Awesome work, fellas.

    Unfortunately, the bhpd are hard at work to untell and retell these and other findings, and believe that if they repeat it long enough people will believe whatever they spew. And they’d be right. Most of the time.
    Also, the bhpd found the bike at his apartment, not near the crime scene. It was only later they came up with the bike theory. Oh and the wheels were damaged (unridable) and the seat was missing according to one article. The bhpd declared Smith’s the ‘smoking bike’ BEFORE the tedious formality of testing it, no less.

    As ‘BH’ said, he wouldn’t have to be a marksman at that close a range. The bullets will go where the gun is pointing. BUT that still doesn’t eliminate the possibility/probability that this was still a hit. Not the James Bond kind, but the slimy kind from the underbelly of LA where $10K gets the job done by a very desperate and easily manipulated participant.

    My money’s on some connection with her brother. Why was he so quick to dismiss it as ‘road rage’? Also, 3 years ago her condo was robbed ONLY of heirlooms and personal items when other valuables were in full view. The LAPD deemed it ‘personal.’ Her brother Larry is reported by her friends that he had money troubles. AND there was probably a good reason she snubbed her niece in the will (which she was intending to change as of September, btw, maybe to reduce the family’s beneficiary status?). It’s her money, her choice. But with the appearance of bad blood, she may have paid the ultimate price.

    If people, esp all her angry friends press on for acceptable answers, we may get some.

  2. This entire story from the BHPD is a farce. It’s too convenient to be believable. How in the heck can a black man riding a bike no less, on Sunset Blvd. and no one noticed? Pure hogwash! A black man driving a Bentley down Sunset Blvd after mid-night will be STOPPED and searched — so the theory of a black man on bike simply does not fly. Further, what about the black town car that was seen on the video tape? Has the driver of that vehicle come forth? This story has all the trimmings of a murder for hire. It’s deeper than what anyone will ever know, but clearly someone on the BHPD force is getting a ridiculously amount of money to close this case. How stupid of BHPD to insult the intelligence of the public?!

  3. Dead men don’t talk and it would be convenient to use Harold Smith as a scapegoat to end an investigation into Ronni Chasen’s murder, when the “matching” bullets PRELIMINARILY are NOT conclusive beyond a reasonable doubt that Harold Smith is Ronni’s murderer.

    In a perfect world it would be nice to have stronger evidence against Harold Smith than what the LAPD and Beverly Hills police have come up with so far to the press, and just because someone has alleged that Harold said he murdered Ronni, does not necessarily mean that that witness is telling the truth or heard correctly.

    How do we know for sure Harold said this, and if he did say it, what about the rest of the story that Harold was waiting to be paid for the hit?

    Also I am not convinced Harold’s suicide is admission of guilt for Chasen’s murder. If Harold Smith’s story about being the hit man of Ronni really is his story, and not just made up or embellishe d by unknown alleged witnesses some of whom stand to receive $125,000!!

    If Harold said that he killed Ronni and was going to receive 10K after as payment – then why aren’t Beverly Hills & LAPD police pursuing this, even though the idea of waiting to be paid after a murder has taken place, does sound rather ODD when Harold was not paid before the murder, and was forced to carry out the “planned” murder using a bicycle.

    Why is only half of a witness’s hearsay story being used – alleging Harold Smith admitted killing Ronni by the Beverly Hills Police, since the witness alleged in entirety that Harold said

    1) He killed Ronni

    2) He was waiting to be paid.

    Seems like the Beverly Hills police have redrafted the script of a hearsay witness having erased and omitted the conspiracy/hit man aspect but leaving in – that Harold acted alone on his bicycle.

    The question still is did Harold act alone, did Harold act as a hitman, or did Harold act at all as a murderer on his bicycle in Ronni Chasen’s case? I for one – am not convinced yet…

  4. The Daily Beast write up said she drove like an old lady so a bike approach is perfectly possible.

    And isnt there supposed to be security tape? Thats probably how they got onto the bike.

  5. I agree something isn’t right. Harold Smith may well have shot her but to imagine that a man on a bike putting five bullets into a woman and then getting away… Something is very odd. I still think he was hired. Someone in Ronni’s life was very desperate or angry. What about the Lincoln Town car that was caught on camera- have efforts been made to find the driver? What about Harold Smith bragging about getting 10 grand for killing the publicist? This is FAR from solved.

  6. 1. Robberies do tend to occur at night. A thief looking for a target of opportunity could have been prowling around Beverly Hills after dark.

    2. You do not have to clean up shells if you use a revolver. Police have not released what type of weapon was used – though there was speculation it was a 9mm. A Smith and Wesson J frame revolver holds 5 rounds.

    3. Anyone can buy hollow point ammunition anytime. (The only place they’re outlawed is in use by the military in war zones!)

    4. A single woman waiting to make a left hand turn on a deserted street, in an expensive car – would be vulnerable. Fatigue, distracted by work while waiting for a light to change, might have allowed anyone to walk or ride up to the passenger door unnoticed.

    5. At that range – almost point blank – you don’t have to be an expert shot.

  7. I have to agree, this theory is just so unlikely. There’s a lot of pressure to solve this crime and you have to wonder if this is a rush job.

    I know that area quite well. A black man on a bike in the middle of the night, with a gun, holding up a woman in a fast-moving Mercedes…no bullet casings, shot like a marksman.

    Something isn’t right.

  8. The police say the bullets match. Like Roger, I’m skeptical. Riding a bike at that time of night? Not during the day but during the night? There’s more to this story. Smith also bragged that he was going to get $10,000 payment. This is a weird out-there story.

  9. We’ll have to see if this definitively was the gun. If so, it must have been hired from him, because there’s no way he could have done this.

    This was a very thorough Stalinist hit. If he was involved, he was quite the patsy.

    I don’t believe he was just bragging when he said he was waiting for $10,000.

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