Computers seized from slain publicist’s LA office
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. (AP) - Investigators seized computers Tuesday from the business of a prominent Hollywood publicist who was shot to death in her car in Beverly Hills hours after attending a movie premiere.
Ronni Chasen, 64, who promoted the Academy Award-winning movie “Driving Miss Daisy” and other major films, was shot several times in the chest shortly before 12:30 a.m., a police statement said. Her Mercedes-Benz E350 sedan crashed into a light pole near Sunset Boulevard.
Police hauled the computers from her firm, Chasen and Co., about 12 hours after the attack. The reason for the seizure was unclear.
Calls and e-mails to company representatives were not immediately returned.
“She wasn’t a shady character,” he said. “It’s a small community and she was one of the fixtures in it.”
Yellow police tape was stretched between two trees to mark the crime scene on a grassy parkway along a two-lane street that winds among stately homes south of Sunset. An orange cone marked the spot where the light post had stood, and a small bouquet of yellow and red flowers was next to the curb.
“Ronni was a positive force of nature,” he said. “She was just great at what she did, a supreme sales person and a great lady.”
Nahid Shekarchain, who lives near the scene of the shooting, told the Los Angeles Times she heard at least three gunshots sometime after midnight then found Chasen in the car with blood on her chest and gushing from her nose. The front passenger’s window had been shattered.
The driver was breathing heavily and did not respond, Shekarchain said.
The killing took place after Chasen attended the premiere of the movie “Burlesque,” which she had a hand in promoting.
Chasen was involved in Hollywood publicity since the 1970s, working on campaigns for movies and artists. She promoted “On Golden Pond,” which won Academy Awards for best actor, actress and screenplay in 1981.
She worked with a number of music clients in recent years, including Janet Jackson, composer Hans Zimmer, producer Glen Ballard and Diane Warren, who wrote the song “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” which Cher sings in the new movie “Burlesque.”