BEVERLY HILLS (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, of Los Angeles, 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 along Sunset Boulevard.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird Reports

Police hauled the equipment from her firm, Chasen and Co., about 12 hours after the attack. The reason for the seizure was unclear.

No suspects or motive were immediately known, police Lt. Tony Lee said.

Calls and e-mails to Chasen and Co. representatives were not immediately returned.

Fellow publicist Howard Bragman called Chasen’s shooting death bizarre.

“She wasn’t a shady character,” he said. “It’s a small community and she was one of the fixtures in it.”

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 had 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.”

At the time of her death, Chasen was working for Screen Gems on a campaign to promote the soundtrack of “Burlesque” for an Oscar nomination, according to the trade publication Variety.

Chasen also was also working with 20th Century Fox on the best supporting actor Oscar campaign for Michael Douglas in “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.”

“Ronni did it her way,” Bragman said. “She was not a woman who was a slave to the fashion of the day. She played to her own vision and integrity. She was very bright, very successful.”

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (45)
  1. Brian says:

    How awful. Condolences to friends and family. I can only hope the perpetrators of crimes like these are brought to justice.

  2. Robert says:

    A woman who drives a Mercedes shot in Beverly Hills? Justifiable shooting.

    1. takenotezson says:

      Okay. That was a blackhearted comment. Keep in mind that could have been someone YOUloved.

    2. BG says:

      A person that has nothing smart to say, like yourself, would be justifiable shooting…

      1. maureen says:


        Well said

    3. Pisces57 says:

      @Robert, you are such an idiot and a jealous animal!

    4. dave fughes says:

      hopefully someone will do that to your wife, daughter, or sister one day

      1. mister s says:

        You just put yourself in the same catagory as him…….

      2. Trisha says:

        Nah, Dave has a point.

    5. Jeff says:

      Why, because you’re a loser who can only afford to drive a honda? Don’t covet your neighbors belongings and don’t hate because you’re a loser. I live in Beverly Hills and drive a mercedes, should i be shot because i’ve worked hard and enabled myself to afford nice things? We’re talking about the murder of someone’s mother, wife, daughter. And your comment is that she deserved it because she drives a nice car? You’re pathetic. Do you ever look in the mirror and realize that you’re a complete loser in life?

    6. maureen says:

      Robert, I live in Beverly Hills. Thanks.

    7. OWLET says:

      Robert how can you say that? No killing is!!!

    8. Drew says:

      You are a complete idiot!

  3. Mufon says:

    If you’re trolling, at least be a little bit funny or interesting. Sheesh.

  4. Paprika says:

    I hope that no children are left behind without their mom. 😦

    @ Robert: Violence is NEVER the answer 😦
    True, this economy is pushing the limits of many. Crime rates are skyrocketing everywhere –and parallel to that the amount of wealthy people that are taking advantage of the financial demise of the poorer. If this crime was motivated by something like that (which we do not know yet), there are other ways. Legal, humane, and ethical ways that would (or should) help address the situation. Shooting, murdering, terminating a LIFE? Not the answer. Not for the victim, nor for the perpetrator. We must have faith in goodness prevailing at the end of the day. As part of a CIVILIZED community we must try our best to make sure that abuse (of any kind) does not take place in our society. Making sure that Legality gets as close as possible to Justice is one way that would benefit MANY –not just the subject of the offense.
    We buy into a system that allows and encourages abuse of the less wealthy. We buy into a system where legal loopholes make the wealthy and the white collar criminals, wealthier and the poor way poorer.
    The ending of a life won’t solve this deep rooted problem though. It will only make it worse.

    1. gerome smithy says:

      Robert, being poor or not poor has nothing to do with social justice or abuse. It is a matter of productivity. You earn more and more based on your marginal producttivity to either your employer or your customers. If you make your boss more money, he pays you more to keep from losing you to his competitors. So rather than dislike or compalin about people who have a higher marginal productivity than you, pout all your energy into increasing your own marginal productivity.

  5. gd says:

    Don’t respond to Robert. He’s just looking for attention. Desperate.

  6. ReginaM says:

    That comment was NOT necessary.

  7. Lonestar says:

    I live in Westwood myself. There has always been a very very low level of violence there of any kind.

  8. Marta says:

    You would think that a fellow publicist could come up with a more flattering comment than “she wasn’t a shady character.”

    I guess Mr Bragman isn’t paid to be compassionate.

  9. James says:

    Paprika’s verbose, professorial response annoys me just as much as Robert’s response.

  10. Johnny says:

    My heart and soul goes out to her family and friends. Robert ” Dude” Nobody deserved to be shot @ and let along be a victim of a crime.

  11. randy says:

    I think the police should look at Robert

    1. Duh! says:

      What makes you think they aren’t? Looking at Robert that is.
      It is easy to trace where someone is posting from if you don’t care that you will be caught snooping. The police can do just that (with a court order).

  12. californian says:

    this woman is violently murdered and then victimized by the LAPD who cares nothing of her privacy. when can we expect a mug-shot of the offending computer??

    1. Trisha says:

      How is she being “victimized” by the LAPD? They confiscated her computers because it’s procedure when some one is murdered.

  13. Argenrina says:

    That just really SUCKS! The MURDER AND ROBERT. I work in Beverly Hills and I am not wwealthy or anything but HUMAN LIFE has been taken and it saddens me to see that people still go out of there way to be malicious.

    Robert – you created a whole stream of comments for this woman who got murdered and diverted the attention to you in some God awful way!

  14. Del says:

    There is no way that shooting was random, there definitely had to be a motive, nobody gets shot 5 times in the chest in beverly hills while driving, whoever did this made sure she was dead. Definitely makes you wonder what the motive is.

    Lets also keep in mind people that kids are getting shot and killed every day in south central and don’t get any attention from the media like this, when they probably should

  15. John Woodworth says:

    All of you so serious and jumping on Robert for such a simple humorous comment. Big deal.

    1. nyu1232 says:

      “Simple”, that word describes both you and Robert.

  16. kenji says:

    Only sick people would fine Robert comment as humorous.

  17. Gina says:

    You’re all fools!

  18. swhit says:

    John Woodworth
    Really what is so humorous about Robert’s comment? If it was funny I sure don’t get it and I doubt very much the victims friends and family do either.
    It really is sad when death means so little to people. I hope none of you have to lose a loved one. But then again unless you are the real jerks you portray yourselves as. No one will miss you!

  19. Del says:

    Police dont just take computers from peoples houses for no reason, there clearly had to be something substantial here

  20. g says:

    What a terrible thing to happen to anyone. Sounds like a hit.

  21. Matteo says:

    It’s a terrible tragedy when anyone is killed including our enemiesOn a lighter note, wouldn’t it be crazy if Randy Quaid and his wife weren’t really crazy and there is some mafia out to kill people in the entertainment business to get their money?

  22. Carrie says:

    I knew Rooni. She was a lovely woman and she will be dearly missed. This is a tragedy. No one deserves this, especially her wonderful family.

  23. That’s the difference between murders in BH and murders elsewhere. If it’s elsewhere, it doesn’t make news. If it’s BH, it’s the next storyline for CSI: Los Angeles.

  24. David says:

    It could have been road rage.What kind of twisted person would pump 5 bullets into an older woman driving alone.

  25. girlie says:

    Where in the article does it say LAPD took her computers? I believe she was killed in Beverly Hills, so wouldn’t BHPD, take her stuff? So quick to judge and hate on the LAPD!

  26. aba says:

    I just heard in the news that a lot of the houses around the murder scene have cameras that have capture her crashing the car, BUT I CAN’T F— BELIEVE THAT THE NEWS (INCLUDING THIS ONE) IS SAYING WITCH HOUSE HAS THE FOOTAGE. That is soooo wrong, I would not want the people involved on this to know that my house has the footage to the accident/or any type of footage. The News should NOT reporting details like that to the public/the killers

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