Was Chasen's Murder a Result of Road Rage?
One of Ronnie Chasen's closests friends is speaking out about the mysterious murder of the high-powered Hollywood publicist.
Martha Smilgis is the executor of Chasen's will, and she's dismissing a theory being pushed by Chasen's brother, movie producer Larry Cohen, who tells the New York Times, "I still think this was most likely a case of road rage."
Smilgis says she doesn't think it was road rage because Chasen was a very cautious driver, but she was often worried about the 64-year-old PR powerhouse driving a sleek black Mercedes.
Moret asked, "You were concerned about the car she drove?"
"Very much so because this is a target. The car is a target, your blonde hair, you and this car late at night," said Smilgis.
Former prosecutor Robin Sax also says she's not buying Cohen's road rage theory, saying, "You're dealing with Sunset Boulevard at about midnight when there is virtually no traffic. It is a wide road with 3 lanes, so if someone was really annoyed with your driving, they could easily swerve. I find it unusual for a family member to not plead for help in finding the killer and so easily willing to call it road rage."
Cohen was left out of his sister's will. His daughter, Jill Gatsby, was pointedly left just $10. His other daughter, Melissa Cohen, is set to inherit the bulk of Chasen's $6 million estate.
But the executor of the estate insists there was no family feud, saying, "She had a harmonious relationship with her brother. The neice that's in the will, that pretty much gets the lion's share, was a really sweet, lovely person. And the other one she never talked about at all."
Cops are now back to square one after ballistics tests reveal that the gun suspect Harold Martin Smith used to shoot himself when confronted by detectives is different than the one used to slay Chasen.
Chasen's brother agrees that Smith was not the hit man, calling him a "deranged person who just made that up. No way was he involved."
Moret asked Smilgis about all those rumors now surrounding the Chasen murder case, saying, "There were rumors about a gambling debt."
"Forget it. She does not gamble," said Smilgis.
"A business deal gone bad?" asked Moret.
"Possible, not probable," replied Smilgis.
Moret asked, "In your gut, what do you think happened?"
"My gut tells me it's random," said Smilgis.