Nobody believes the official explanation of the death of publicist Ronni Chasen…nobody. The Beverly Hills fuzz decided that a no-account African-American felon named Harold Martin Smith had pedalled seven miles on a bicycle, all the way from a flophouse on the 5600 block of Santa Monica Blvd. to the corner of Sunset Blvd, and Whittier Drive in Beverly Hills, where he allegedly shot Chasen, who was driving her black Mercedes, with four bullets. On a bicycle? As part of an alleged robbery attempt? What idiot believes he could successfully rob a person who’s locked in a car while he’s sitting on or pedalling a bicycle?

(l.) The late Ronni Chasen; (r.) the late Harold Martin Smith.

Deadline‘s Anita Busch has written an intelligent analysis of the Chasen investigation in lieu of a just-released LA County Coroner’s report. It says that a police officer reported that an “unknown vehicle” had pulled up alongside Chasen’s car [before] “someone fired approximately four gunshots into her vehicle.” The eyebrow-raiser is that the “unknown vehicle” may refer to something other than Smith’s bicycle.

There’s an enjoyable quote in Busch’s story from “a law enforcement source who has investigated over 100 homicides.” The source says it was highly unlikely that Smith, behind on his rent and apparently strapped, would have gone looking for a robbery victim in Beverly Hills late at night. ”If he needed money, there are many places closer than where he went to get it,” the source says. “After you pass the Soho House on Sunset, there are no stores, there are no shops, you have the Beverly Hills Hotel, but little foot traffic. And the police are there all the time outside those bars like the Soho just waiting for the drunk drivers. A black man on a bicycle going into Beverly Hills would have been stopped.”

I’m imagining a pair of Beverly Hills cops sitting in a black-and-white at the corner of Sunset and Doheny. Cop #1: “Hey, look, a black guy on a bicycle! The fuck…?” Cop #2: “Heading west. One more block and he’ll be in the residential section.” Cop #1: “Fuck does he think he’s doing, pedaling into a darkened residential section? A fucking black guy on a bike?” Cop #2: “Exercise?” Cop #1: “Look at him! Look at the shitty clothes he’s wearing! He’s obviously an asshole.” Cop #2: “Maybe a rich eccentric asshole. A screenwriter or some guy visiting from New York.” Cop #1: “Fuck that. He’s a fucking black guy on a bike and it’s after 10 pm and he’s not wearing white. Let’s take him.”