December 1, 2010
Ronni Chasen suspect commits suicide in Hollywood hotel [UPDATED]
According to TheWrap.com, “Beverly Hills investigators approached the man in the lobby of the complex, the Times reported, and he backed away, refusing to raise his hands. He then pulled out a pistol and shot himself in the head…”
Chasen was Jewish and laid to rest at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary on Nov. 21, where some of the entertainment industry’s most prominent Jews are buried, including studio mogul Lew Wasserman, producer Aaron Spelling, Milton Berle, Al Jolson and Dinah Shore. Rabbi David Baron of Temple of the Arts conducted Chasen’s funeral service.
Though details regarding the ongoing investigation are being kept under wraps, ABC News recently reported that investigators believe the killing was obviously premeditated:
The L.A. Times also reported that the suspect, named by a neighbor at the Harvey Apartments complex on the 5600 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, as “Harold” had been bragging about having a gun and mentioned his expectation of a $10,000 payment from a “job” he did, though he later changed his story and said it was a settlement from a lawsuit. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office confirmed to TheWrap.com that Harold was an African-American male in his 40s. He told neighbors he had served two stints in prison for firearms and drug convictions, according to The Times, and that he would rather die than go back to prison.
The Times quotes resident Brandon Harrison saying: “He told me several times, ‘If it ever came back down to me going to prison, I would die first.’ ”
What is unclear is if “Harold’s” death will further obscure the truth surrounding Chasen’s murder. Questions remain as to whether Chasen’s death was the result of a hired hit and if the shooting suspect’s death will make further clues impossible to trace.