Explaining Lack of Shell Casings in Ronni Chasen Murder

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

The Beverly Hills Police Department has a rational explanation for why there were no shell casings at the murder scene of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen -- the gun used does not eject shells.

The absence of shells led to speculation that this was a professional hit -- that the gunman collected them before making his getaway.

Well, law enforcement sources tell the Los Angeles Times the gun used in the shooting was a .38 caliber revolver, not a semi-automatic weapon.

Shell casings on a .38 remain in the chamber, while semi-automatic shells are ejected. 

Investigators say they recovered the revolver at a Hollywood apartment building where Harold Smith killed himself after being confronted by detectives.

Police said preliminary ballistics tests showed the handgun Smith used to shoot himself in the head was the same weapon that killed Chasen on November 16 as she drove home through Beverly Hills.

Authorities said they believe Smith acted alone in what turned out to be a botched robbery.