Publicist Murder Suspect Suicide May Just Have Been Random Crazy Guy

Senior Editor
12.07.10 16 Comments

After Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen was shot five times on the way home from the Burlesque premiere, it seemed unlikely they’d catch the killer.  But then when a suspect committed suicide while police searched his apartment a few weeks later, it seemed like an open and shot case (get it? You can even use that one, NY Post).  Now that more details about the dead man are coming to light, his involvement in the murder seems less certain.  For one thing, the suicide weapon and the murder weapon were two different guns, and since the guy was known to live in a squalid, $625-a-month hellbox, it’s hard to believe he could afford two.

Officers approached [Harold Martin] Smith after someone phoned a tip into the TV show “America’s Most Wanted.”
At least one resident of the apartment building from which he was being evicted told reporters that Smith had bragged about the killing, though others thought he had mental issues and could not have carried out the homicide.
He had a long criminal history and carrying a gun could have landed him back in prison
. [AP]

Let’s just say you were the guy who killed the publicist, and you knew of this crazy guy who owned a gun illegally and might kill himself to avoid going back to prison.  Say you called the cops and told them he’d been bragging about the murders, they showed up to search him, and he killed himself.  Pretty brilliant cover up, no?  Maybe the autoerotic asphyxiation ninjas are real.

And now that I think about it, “Harold Smith” sounds like the fakest name ever.

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