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LAPD Chief Says Skeptics Of Chasen Murder Probe Should Be Patient

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(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charles Beck wants skeptics of the Ronni Chase murder investigation to be patient because “it’ll make more sense to a lot of people once it’s all put into context.”

Friends and associates of the slain publicist — and many in the public, too — have been watching the story unfold and instead of finding closure, many have suggested the story is making little sense.

The LAPD at a press conference Wednesday said the gun that Harold Martin Smith used to commit suicide is a preliminary match to the gun that killed Chasen. After Smith committed suicide rampant press speculation said the gun was not a match.

This Hollywood Whodunnit has taken several turns. And then some more.

Rumors had police looking into Chase’s business associates, family…looking for a motive as to why someone would kill the popular and well-liked woman. Then two wills surfaced but they seemed to shed even less light on why anyone would have wanted her dead.

Some theorized, almost immediately, that Chasen was the victim of a hit. She was shot execution style in her car after attending premiere of the movie “Burlesque.” Nothing was taken, so police initially discounted robbery as a motive.

Smith, a petty career criminal with increasing episodes of violence on his record, was bragging to associates that he shot and killed Chasen (very few believed him) and mentioned he was getting a $10,000 payout for the job. Police also discounted that claim.

Beck said, “The detectives [working the case] know many things that they have not put forth into the public.”

Police seemed to intimate at the press conference that Smith acted alone, had no help and that Chasen was simply the victim of “a botched robbery.”

After the press conference, they confused the situation more by saying “but the investigation is on-going.”

The police also said Smith was not in a car, but rather riding a bike at the time of the murder. His residence was more than seven miles from the place where the shooting took place.

Beck said he didn’t know anything more about the case, other than what’s been in the media, but “I have great faith in Beverly Hills. They’re extremely professional. They take this stuff very seriously. They got a very strong chief.”

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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