Ronni Chasen Update: Hollywood Hopes Reward Money Solves Slaying Of Beverly Hills Publicist

Ronni Chasen Update: Hollywood Community Puts Up Reward In Slaying Of Beverly Hills Publicist
Ronni Chasen (AP Photo, file)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (CBS/KCAL/AP) Hollywood is hoping to solve its own murder mystery by putting up reward money in the case of prominent Beverly Hills publicist Ronni Chasen, who was gunned down Tuesday after attending the premiere of the new Cher film "Burlesque."

The Palm Springs International Film Festival, which Chasen worked with for many years, on Wednesday offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of her killer.

"A very good lady, a good friend and a genius at her craft. Her death is very, very sad and mystifying," festival chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement.

Fellow publicist Michael Levine also started a fund and hoped to raise an additional $25,000 by the end of the week.

Though by no means a household name, Chasen was a celebrity in her own right to those who work to promote Hollywood movies and their stars. Friends remembered her as an old-school publicist, one with a distinctive, brassy voice who could be relentlessly pushy and loud.

But at the same time, they said, she was never rude and seemed to have no enemies.

Police searched Chasen's Los Angeles condo and her West Hollywood office but had little immediate insight into who might have wanted to harm her.

Beverly Hills police Lt. Tony Lee said nothing had been ruled out, including a carjacking, a random attack or even a targeted hit.

Chasen, 64, was shot multiple times in the chest as she drove through Beverly Hills around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Her friends and colleagues wondered how the life of a woman who had spent her career rushing from red carpet to red carpet could have ended in such a violent way.

"I mean, a publicist doesn't make that type of enemies," said Chasen's longtime friend, Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter Carol Connors, who co-wrote the theme to the film "Rocky."

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