Ronnie Chasen

Mathew Imaging/

More is coming to light about the mystery man linked to the slaying of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen

The suspect, who shot and killed himself as cops attempted to serve a search warrant at his Hollywood apartment, is now being identified by neighbors as a man named Harold Martin Smith, a dangerous ex-con who served two stints in the state pen for guns and drugs, E! News has confirmed.

So what's his connection to Chasen? And why was he so paranoid? Read on...

After last night's suicide, which went down at the dingy Harvey Apartment complex on Santa Monica Boulevard, neighbors began coming forward to Beverly Hills cops with odd tales of the man authorities pinned as a "person of interest" in the case.

The Los Angeles coroner confirmed to E! News that it has received the body of an African-American in his 40s and are treating the death as an "apparent suicide," but declined to identify him pending notification of next of kin.

According to neighbors, Smith had moved into the apartment complex just three months ago, but had already been evicted. However, according to neighbors, he was still hanging around the place, asking if the cops were on his tail. 

He had also mentioned money, telling the neighbor he was expecting $10,000 coming his way, but his stories about the source of the cash differed. Once he said it was for "a job." Another time he mentioned it was from "a lawsuit."

One neighbor described him as a "tweaker," saying he would always lurk around the building asking people for stuff. One resident in the complex, Terri Gilpin, tells E! News she'd even feed him sometimes when he appeared to be hungry, but was scared of him. She claims that when she ran into him following Chasen's murder, he told her, "I murdered that bitch" and revealed that he was paid to do it. She adds that she once called the cops on him for breaking into her apartment and that the man often talked to himself.

Terri's husband, Brendan Harrison, says that the suspect even admitted to killing two people before and talked about serving time.

"He said he had a gun and wasn't afraid to use it," Brendan said.

The neighbors also said that Smith vowed to die before going back to prison.

The man killed himself in the lobby of the apartment complex. Detectives are now trying to determine if two security cameras in the room caught the incident on tape.

Although he is believed to be the prime suspect in the Chasen case, Beverly Hills police insist the investigation is still open and, despite theories ranging from a "crime of passion" to unpaid gambling debts, there is still no solid word on the exact motive.

Chasen was shot to death on Sunset Boulevard on Nov. 16, while driving her Mercedes from the Burlesque premiere to her condo on Wilshire Boulevard.

Instead, she was found bleeding and slumped over the wheel of her car, which had smashed into a light pole. A leaked coroner's report stated that she was shot three times in the chest and that at least one bullet found in her body had a hollow point.

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