The murder of Hollywood power publicist Ronni Chasen has become one of Hollywood’s greatest mysteries in the three short years since she was shot point-blank in her car in Beverly Hills. The prime suspect, ex-con Harold Martin Smith, committed suicide before facing trial, and many have speculated that Chasen fell victim to a larger, more dangerous plot. Now, documentary filmmaker Ryan Katzenbach wants to find out for sure, and he’s suing the Beverly Hills Police Department to get to the truth of what really happened to one of Hollywood’s most beloved industry insiders.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Katzenbach filed a lawsuit on Wednseday asking police to repeal their security hold on Chasen’s autopsy file, and provide him with other documents regarding the case.
Katzenbach believes he is entitled to such access because it was previously granted to the authors of a book, Beverly Hills Confidential, which journalist Barbara Schroeder wrote with the BHPD’s senior forensic specialist, Clark Fogg. Fogg “has carte blanche to everything for a book that’s clearly not in his scope of duty with the department,” Katzenbach told THR. “Now there should be parity across the board.”
In addition, he says, the chapter on Chasen in that book is only “a tidy version of the story congruent with the BHPD’s official positions in this case,” while his own take on the material may well “be far more critical.”
Katzenbach is currently developing a movie about Chasen’s murder titled 6:38, which refers to the time that elapsed between her final phone call and BHPD’s arrival. He has already secured Ed Asner to narrate the film and hopes to sell it to a cable network once completed.