This murder mystery is ready-made for the headline-ripping Law & Order: Los Angeles.
Sending shockwaves through the film industry, a veteran Hollywood publicist was shot and killed early Tuesday morning while driving her Mercedes in Beverly Hills, authorities confirm.
According to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, cops found Ronni Chasen wounded with five gunshot wounds to her chest at about 12:30 a.m. after coming across her wrecked black E350 sedan, which had slammed into a light pole on Sunset Boulevard. She was alive when paramedics arrived on scene, but was pronounced dead a short time later after being taken to nearby Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Chasen, 64, was a unit publicist on such films as On Golden Pond, Driving Miss Daisy, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and the 1997 remake of Lolita. The press agent formerly worked at PR powerhouse Rogers & Cowan, then headed up MGM's worldwide publicity in the early '90s before launching her own PR firm, Chasen and Co.
Per the Los Angeles Times, earlier that night, Chasen attended the Hollywood premiere of Burlesque. In addition to working on an ad campaign for the musical's soundtrack, the publicist was also involved in the Oscar campaign for Michael Douglas for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Police are probing what appears to be an execution-style killing. A resident in the neighborhood told the Times she heard gunshots, went outside and found Chasen bleeding profusely but unable to respond.
Investigators have no suspects as of press time.
Meanwhile, friend and fellow publicist Michael Levine is putting together a reward fund for information leading to the capture of Chasen's killer. He says he hopes to raise at least $25,000 by next week.
"We must do everything possible to assist the Beverly Hills police in solving this horrific crime," Levine said. "Ronni gave the utmost for her clients and this industry."