Celeb Publicist Ronni Chasen Shot Dead in Beverly Hills

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on November 17, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It reads like the opening scenes of a classic Hollywood noir. Mercedes, driven by a successful woman pulls away from a star-studded premier. Minutes later, the car careens into a light pole after shots are fired, killing the driver. No one knows how, why, or who.

Real life, messier and more painful than movies, may not tie up this whodunit in a neat bow. Police are stumped by the killing of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, a woman called a "beloved, iconic figure," reports CNN. Chasen was shot while driving home from the party celebrating the opening of the film Burlesque.

Police responded to reports of gunfire at about 12:20 a.m. (PST) on November 16. Officers found Chasen's car smashed into a light pole near the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Whittier Dr., Police Sgt. Robert Maycott told CNN.

Witnesses report hearing gunshots in the usually quiet neighborhood where Chasen was killed. The Huffington Post reports after hearing the noise, neighbors ran down to the car and found Chasen wounded. She later passed away at Cedars Sinai Hospital.

No motive, no suspects. Chasen's purse was found at the scene. Later news reports say investigators have seized computers from Chasen's office to search for any information that might give them a clue as to a suspect.

Other movie PR players called Ronni Chasen "a class act" and the "ultimate professional." Some of her notable projects Chasen include promoting On Golden Pond and Driving Miss Daisy. According to The Huffington Post, at the time she was killed, Chasen was representing songwriter Diane Warren who wrote music for Burlesque, including a song called, "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me."

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