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Ronni Chasen was Killed by Harold Martin Smith, Who Likely Acted Alone

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 9, 2010 at 2:09AM

The Ronni Chasen murder mystery that has ignited so much speculation is finally solved. No, there was no mysterious secret life, or a hit man, or any sort of organized crime. It makes so much more sense, to anyone who knew Chasen, who worked tirelessly for her clients around the clock, that she wouldn't submit easily to a haphazard robbery attempt--and got shot through her car window by a robber on a bicycle.
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Thompson on Hollywood

The Ronni Chasen murder mystery that has ignited so much speculation is finally solved. No, there was no mysterious secret life, or a hit man, or any sort of organized crime. It makes so much more sense, to anyone who knew Chasen, who worked tirelessly for her clients around the clock, that she wouldn't submit easily to a haphazard robbery attempt--and got shot through her car window by a robber on a bicycle.

At a 3 PM press conference, Beverly Hills Police Chief David Snowden confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Harold Martin Smith used the same gun to kill both Chasen and himself. He committed suicide last Thursday. "It was a random act of violence, more a robbery gone bad," Sgt. Michael Publicker of the Beverly Hills Police Department said.

Police believe that Smith acted alone.

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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.