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Posts Tagged ‘Ronni Chasen’

Seven Months Later, Disappearance of Gavin Smith Remains an Excruciating Mystery

As we head into a rare, rainy weekend in LA, the mysterious disappearance of 20th Century Fox distribution executive Gavin Smith is set to cross the seven-month mark. With no signs that his baffling May 1 drive-to-nowhere will be solved any time soon.

FishbowlLA reached out to America’s Most Wanted to find out whether an October 12 segment about the case elicited any solid leads. We’ve also tried, without success at press time, to get comment from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective overseeing the investigation. If we hear back from either party, this item will be updated below.

The circumstances of Smith’s vanishing into thin air are as confounding as the deaths of Ronni Chasen and Natalie Wood (and, beyond LA, that of Natalee Holloway). With the big difference of course that there is no certainty at present that Smith, a one-time UCLA basketball star, has in fact perished.

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Publicist Sued Over Ronni Chasen Reward

Hollywood publicist Michael Levine is accused of not coughing up $25,000 in reward money following last year’s death of Ronni Chasen, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Levine denies ever setting up a $25,000 reward fund to find Chasen’s killer.

“I never arranged for a reward fund,” Levine told “I offered to call some friends, but was told by the family that the Palm Springs Film Festival was handling the reward.”

“John Doe” also named the Palm Springs Film Festival in the lawsuit. They were offering $100,000 in reward money. The unnamed tipster claims he called America’s Most Wanted, which led to the arrest of alleged killer Harold Martin Smith.

The Palm Springs Film Festival believes authorities didn’t provide enough evidence to prove that Smith is indeed the murderer.

Conspiracy Theorists Far From Done with Ronni Chasen Murder

Although the Beverly Hills Police Department has closed the books on their investigation into the November 16, 2010 murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, the many skeptics out there remain skeptical. And not just about the Chasen end of it.

News of a final, new BHPD finding—that the gun used to kill Chasen was originally stolen from a cop in the San Fernando Valley–was first reported last night by TheWrap. But to those commenting on TheWrap piece, it’s not just Harold Smith‘s culpability in the Chasen shooting that seems preposterous. There’s also the matter of how Smith himself died. Says NURREDIN:

I don’t understand why the gun wasn’t ditched after such a publicized murder when the suspect found out who he had killed… The fact that it was a stolen police revolver,and he killed himself with the same gun in front of the police doesn’t pass the smell test. Even a petty criminal would have ditched the gun after he cleaned it… I’d start with who the gun was assigned to,and who the officer was that confronted him when he committed suicide, and if there is a connection between the two. It sounds like a hit to me.

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Palm Springs Attendees Remember Ronni Chasen

Despite what appears to have been an egregious first-name typo in the background (pictured), songwriter and long-time Ronni Chasen client Diane Warren paid tribute on Saturday night to the slain publicist at the Palm Springs International Film Festival while accepting the Frederick Lowe Music Award.

The following day, in the pages of the The Desert Sun, event chair Harold Matzner went into detail about how crucial Chasen had been in helping him build back up a festival that was near bankruptcy in 1999. The trick, he says, was convincing Hollywood celebrities and LA entertainment media to attend.

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LA Weekly Praises Echo Park Patch

Score one for former LA Times, Downtown News and City Search staffer Lea Lion. The Patch Echo Park local editor‘s Christmas day coverage coordination of a horrific shooting in her new media-beat neighborhood gets a nice nod of recognition today from perennial Patch critic LA Weekly.

But that’s the nature of the Patch beast. As the AOL-seed funded company continues its unbridled expansion and hiring of seasoned journalists, the hits are going to start catching up with the misses. Here’s how today’s LA Weekly blog item begins:

Here’s one thing AOL Patch could be great for, and certainly was in Echo Park this Christmas: documenting the countless gang-related murders that fly under the radar of mainstream media while the homicides of white-collar (and just plain white) victims like celebrity publicist Ronni Chasen get all the airtime. We’re often guilty of the same.

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THR Lands Latest Ronni Chasen Scoop

We can safely say, having chatted this week with several local entertainment media types involved in daily news coverage of the Ronni Chasen murder, that it has taken hold of them like very few other stories – O.J. Simpson is the only comparison that has come up repeatedly.

It’s an ongoing frenzy for the next scoop, from whether the man who killed himself at the Harvey Apartments on Wednesday was just a mentally deranged individual to what Chasen’s brother thinks happened on November 16th. This afternoon, it is the turn of Daniel Miller at the Hollywood Reporter to share new details; based on an interview with a pair of Beverly Hills residents, the publication confirms that security video of Chasen driving down Whittier has been obtained and reviewed by police.

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E! Online Writer Has Big Plans

As senior writer for E! Online, Josh Grossberg (pictured) cranks out a wide range of celebrity news items. This week for example, topics have included the will and testament of Ronni Chasen, the imminent prison time of Wesley Snipes and the DUI arrest of David Cassidy.

But Grossberg still finds time for sideline projects. On the heels of his 2009 documentary A Bridge Life, about the victims of Hurricane Katrina herded to the Houston Astrodome, he tells the Broward New Times that he has just finished writing his first Broadway musical, is in conversations with NBC about a “huge” reality TV series and is expanding his 2010 Cannes Film Festival short Betrayed into a feature titled Disappear.

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A Publicist, a Producer and an Editor

It’s been a tragically strange series of Tuesdays this fall for the Hollywood female film and TV industry ranks.

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.

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Colleague Recalls Earlier Ronni Chasen Hold-Up

The murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen remains a mystery, with scant new details being publicly revealed about the investigation beyond the fact that traffic cameras at the intersection in question were removed by the city of Beverly Hills several years ago to save money and that the shooter was by all indications a marksman.

However, as those who knew Chasen think back to their conversations and experiences with her, new clues are possibly emerging. This one was shared yesterday afternoon by E! Online gossip columnist Ted Casablanca (pictured), based on a conversation he had with Chasen several years ago at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills:

Chasen was describing having just been robbed at gunpoint. “These two men came into my garage and held me up… And they had guns! I was horrified!” I assume Chasen meant the garage of her condo building…

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Strange New Twist in Ronni Chasen Investigation

There is no media outlet in Los Angeles that has its hooks into the local police and private investigation communities quite like TMZ. This carefully cultivated access has paid off today with some unexplained video the website is connecting to murdered publicist Ronni Chasen.

A private investigator hired to watch the Regency Wilshire condominium complex in Westwood where Chasen lived, and film everyone entering and leaving the building, captured video several weeks ago that TMZ says is that of the publicist exiting in a mystery second Mercedes. Unlike the two-door sedan she was driving in the early hours of Tuesday, November 16th, this one has four doors and was newly minted, with paper rather than permanent license plates.

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