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EXCLUSIVE: Suspect In Ronni Chasen Murder May Have Been A Drug Dealer


Dec. 2 2010, Published 6:23 a.m. ET

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On Wednesday night, the man police suspected was involved in the murder of veteran publicist Ronni Chasen shot himself and has learned that he may have had a history of illegal activity and was desperate for money.

According to two sources at Harvey Apartments- where Wednesday night’s suicide occurred- the suspect Harold Smith kept to himself and was involved in dubious behavior.

"Harold probably got caught up in something or someone snitched on him,” a neighbor, who requested to remain anonymous, told The neighbor added that while he thought Harold was “a cool cat,” he sold drugs, including weed. 

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“He come by my apartment and we be smoking weed together. He sold drugs too. He was a cool cat and kept to himself and really didn't say much,” the neighbor added, saying he didn’t think Smith was evicted despite reports. “Naw man, he wasn't gettin' evicted. That fool sold drugs and had some other sh-t going on too. He had money or was getting money. Think about it homie, what weed dealer you know gone stay strapped with a gun. He was definitely into some other sh-t and that's all I’m gonna say."

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Sammy Zamorano, who runs a business out of the building, told that he thought there was something off with Harold. He believes that leading up to Chasen’s murder, Harold needed cash and was thinking up fast ways to get some.

“This Harold guy was kind of a nut. I heard he had a gun in his apartment and needed money and would always be talking about robbing somebody,” Zamorano said. “Do I think he killed that publicist woman? Who knows. But I do know he needed money and wanted to rob someone. That's a fact! No one would just up and shoot them self when the cops are trying to ask you questions. He probably had a guilty conscience."

Chasen, 64, was killed in the early hours of November 16 as she made her way from a party celebrating the premiere of the film Burlesque. She was shot several times as she drove through a quiet neighborhood of Beverly Hills.


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