Ronni Chasen with Morgan Freeman.
Ronni Chasen with Morgan Freeman.

Who Killed Ronni Chasen? Former LAPD Chief William Bratton Says It Might Have Been Road Rage; The Hollywood Reporter States It Was Possibly A Planned Hit

So far it's a whodunnit for the ages. Ronni Chasen, an old-school Hollywood publicist was gunned down in Beverly Hills Tuesday morning. But by whom? Who would want a well-liked, well-connected, Mercedes-driving, 64-year-old woman dead -- in the middle of one of the wealthiest, most-security-camera-equipped, most well-policed communities in the world?

Conjecture has suggested road rage, but no one so far has reported hearing shouting, arguments, a fender-bender or squealing tires before shots were fired.

Former LAPD Chief William Bratton had a few ideas of his own.

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Bratton tells CBS News what the possibilities might be:

-Random "drive-by," something he says is "very unlikely" given the locale.

-Road rage: "Very potentially likely."

-Crime of passion: "Somebody who knew her."

-An unintended victim: The killer was gunning for someone else.

There's a fifth possibility, one that CBS News legal analyst Lisa Bloom offers up: ""I think this was a professional job."

Chasen was shot five times in the chest. The Hollywood stereotype of the professional hit is clean-and-quiet: A mob guy with gloves on sneaks up on you and puts two in your head with a silencer-equipped gun that makes a disco-laser sound.

Five shots feels angrier and more personal than a dispassionate murder-for-hire. But ...

The hit theory seemed to be gaining traction late Thursday.

The Hollywood Reporter stated that Beverly Hills Police were looking closely at the possibility that "the Beverly Hills attack was planned in advance and not the result of road rage or a carjacking gone awry."


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