On Monday, September 27th, Quentin Tarantino‘s editor Sally Menke went missing in Griffith Park on a record-setting day of heat and was found the following morning, apparently dead from heat exhaustion. In the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 16th, publicist Ronni Chasen was gunned down at the Beverly Hills intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Whittier Drive. And last Tuesday, November 23rd, just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, reality TV producer Denise Cramsey collapsed after a workout at Hollywood Production Center and was taken off life support not long thereafter at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.
All three women were much loved and highly decorated: 56-year-old Menke was twice nominated for Best Editing Academy Awards in 1994 for Pulp Fiction and 2009 for Inglorious Basterds; 64-year-old Chasen of course shepherded a gazillion Oscar campaigns, dating all the way back to Driving Miss Daisy; and 41-year-old Cramsey won back-to-back Emmys in 2005 and 2006 for her work on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Last night’s sordid Chasen-related shooting at the Harvey Apartments in Hollywood, which the LA Times first reported and continues to cover in city-desk fashion this morning ahead of other outlets, is actually a welcome development in that it points towards some sort of eventual explanation as to motive for Chasen’s murder.
But overall, the town is rightly still reeling from the sudden and unfathomable loss of three women at the top of their respective industry games. In all cases, the initials RIP have seemed woefully inadequate as a means of marking their shocking Tuesday departures.