Bizarre Details Continue in Hollywood Publicist Murder Case
The murder case of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen continues to take surprising turns as details surface of Chasen once being the victim of an armed robbery. Meanwhile police continue to search for the person behind the alleged murder. INSIDE EDITION
The murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen has taken yet another unexpected turn.
INSIDE EDITION has learned Chasen was a victim of an earlier crime—an armed robbery at her luxury condo.
INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret reports from outside Chasen's condo building in an exclusive section of west Los Angeles where she was apparently robbed at gunpoint by two men in the underground garage.
Now police are looking at that crime report to see if it provides any clues and could be connected in any way to her killing, which many are calling a cold blooded assassination.
Former Los Angeles prosecutor and criminal defense attorney Robin Sax says her sources told her the thugs stole precious family heirlooms from Chasen.
Sax told INSIDE EDITION, "It was a case where the items that were stolen were particularly sentimental to her. These were not items necessarily of a big value, but they were family heirlooms, thus suggesting there was some sort of personal relationship in that crime."
Eonline.com columnist Ted Casablanca says Chasen told him the crime took place several years ago, saying to Casablance, "I was horrified. They got my jewelry. Some was my mother's. Irreplaceable."
Chasen was gunned down at an intersection in Beverly Hills just after midnight as she was heading home from the premiere of the movie Burlesque starring Cher and Christina Aguilera.
And we're learning more about the person of interest who shot himself to death in the lobby of his seedy apartment building as cops moved in to question him.
His real name is Harold Martin Smith. He was 43 years old. He also went by the alias Harold Johnson. He had a 1991 conviction for grand theft, and a 1998 conviction for robbery.
Smith's neighbors said he bragged that he was hired to gun down Chasen for $10,000.
INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret spoke with retired LAPD captain Tom Elfmont.
Morest asked, "When you talk about a suspect who is perceived as paranoid or delusional, how could he pull off a professional hit?"
"Well I don't think he could pull of a professional hit by himself. If he is in fact, the suspect who pulled the trigger, he had to have some assistance from other people who knew about the victim."
And America's Most Wanted host John Walsh is saying an episode that aired two weeks ago, led cops to Smith by asking viewers, "If you have any information on the murder of Ronni Chasen call our hotline."
Walsh says after that episode was broadcast, Smith's neighbors tipped off cops that he was their man.
But if Smith was indeed hired to knock off Chasen, then who hired him?
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