Hollywood Publicist's Murder Baffles Everyone

Veteran Hollywood PR woman Ronni Chasen was shot five times while driving her Mercedes in Beverly Hills early yesterday morning. She crashed, and died. The circumstances are tragic, sensational, and bizarre. Here's what we know so far.

  • That night, she'd attended the premiere party for the movie Burlesque. Says the LAT: "Sometime after midnight, she steered her new E350 sedan away from the W Hotel in Hollywood, apparently en route to her Westwood condominium. At 12:28 a.m., residents of Whittier Drive, a quiet, tree-lined street often used as a cut through between Sunset and Wilshire boulevards, heard gunshots."
  • Six minutes before she was shot, she called her office and left a to-do list message for her staff on voicemail.
  • '''She was not a drinker. She never did drugs,' said a New York publicist, Kathie Berlin, a friend of 45 years. 'She had solid, really nice people as clients, who became sort of her family.''' Another former coworker said, "People loved her. We felt she didn't have an enemy in the world."
  • Police have no motive in the crime so far. Yesterday, they served search warrants on Chasen's home and office, looking for evidence.
  • Beverly Hills didn't have any murders in all of last year.
  • There's a memorial planned for her at Michael's in Manhattan tomorrow.
[Photo of Chasen at the Burlesque party: Getty]