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Chasen Murder: Case Closed

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 20, 2011 at 2:54AM

Songwriter Diane Warren dedicated her Golden Globe award to her long-time publicist Ronni Chasen, who was shot and killed in the wee hours of November 16 by a lone bicycle-riding gunman, Harold Martin Smith, on Sunset and Whittier after the premiere of Warren's film, Burlesque. Smith later killed himself with the same gun on December 1. Many friends of Chasen's, Warren included, found it tough to accept the Beverly Hills police accounts of the murder. Why was the lone gunman so far away from his own neighborhood, why did he flee the scene without robbing Chasen, 64, and how did those five bullets shatter the glass and kill her?
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Thompson on Hollywood

Songwriter Diane Warren dedicated her Golden Globe award to her long-time publicist Ronni Chasen, who was shot and killed in the wee hours of November 16 by a lone bicycle-riding gunman, Harold Martin Smith, on Sunset and Whittier after the premiere of Warren's film, Burlesque. Smith later killed himself with the same gun on December 1. Many friends of Chasen's, Warren included, found it tough to accept the Beverly Hills police accounts of the murder. Why was the lone gunman so far away from his own neighborhood, why did he flee the scene without robbing Chasen, 64, and how did those five bullets shatter the glass and kill her?

We may never know the answers, but the police say the ballistics match, they are sure they got their man and the case is closed. May Ronni rest in peace.

This article is related to: News, Obit


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.