Theory emerges about Hollywood publicist's murder

Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:47pm EST
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By Daniel Miller

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) Police investigating the killing of Ronni Chasen have assembled a working theory of what happened to the veteran Hollywood publicist.

They believe the Beverly Hills attack on Tuesday was planned in advance and not the result of road rage or a carjacking gone awry, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

According to a Beverly Hills city official who was briefed by Police Chief David Snowden, the department's working theory centers on shots being fired out of another vehicle that pulled up next to the passenger side of Chasen's Mercedes-Benz around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

It is believed the shooting occurred either as Chasen made a left turn from Sunset Boulevard onto Whittier Drive, or just after the turn was made.

Her black E350 coupe traveled southward on Whittier until it crashed into a light pole at Greenway Drive, deploying the driver side airbag. It is believed the shots shattered the passenger side window.

Despite suspicion that the late-night shooting was planned, it remains unclear whether Chasen was personally targeted in the incident or why she might have been the target.

The city official also said police have obtained relevant footage from one or perhaps multiple security cameras located at a residence on Whittier, just down the street from the intersection of Whittier and Greenway.

Sources tell THR that the property is the home of Sherry Hackett, widow of the late comedian and actor Buddy Hackett. A woman who answered the door at the Whittier residence Thursday identified herself as an assistant to Hackett and said she knew nothing of the incident but that Hackett slept through it.   Continued...