Strange New Twist in Ronni Chasen Investigation

There is no media outlet in Los Angeles that has its hooks into the local police and private investigation communities quite like TMZ. This carefully cultivated access has paid off today with some unexplained video the website is connecting to murdered publicist Ronni Chasen.

A private investigator hired to watch the Regency Wilshire condominium complex in Westwood where Chasen lived, and film everyone entering and leaving the building, captured video several weeks ago that TMZ says is that of the publicist exiting in a mystery second Mercedes. Unlike the two-door sedan she was driving in the early hours of Tuesday, November 16th, this one has four doors and was newly minted, with paper rather than permanent license plates.

Will the October 28th surveillance video amount to anything with regards to the investigation into Chasen’s tragic death? At this point, it’s hard to tell. But kudos to TMZ for digging up the tape. When Harvey Levin and co. focus strictly on the hard news side of the journalism trench, they are able to consistently dig up stand-alone coverage items.

TMZ has turned over a copy of the surveillance video to the Beverly Hills Police department. According to the outlet’s sources, Chasen did not own the car. Meanwhile, friends of Chasen tell TheWrap this morning they do not think the person shown in the surveillance video is Chasen.

Update – 11/24/10: TMZ does the dispey-doodle on its own story. Follows up with item in which Chasen’s co-workers insist the footage is of someone else.