I only met publicist Ronni Chasen in person once, at a program with hundreds of other communications executives at the Paley Center. But we have lots of mutual friends and clients. How do I know? Her LinkedIn profile is still active. In fact, she still has messages waiting for her in her inbox, messages that could produce valuable information in helping to solve the web of mysteries surrounding her violent death on November 17.
Who are these mysterious connections? According to the most recent LinkedIn computer scan they are:
Founder and Senior Advisor, Taylor. Rafferty
Owner, Law Office of Robert F. Messinger
Thomas F. Burchill
Owner, Burchill Media Group
EVP, Worldwide Distribution at Starz
Executive Editor at E! Entertainment
The science of social networking is fairly new, but the path LinkedIn technology took to select these five connections does not point to anything out of the ordinary at first glance. Ronni Chasen and I both provide advisory services to wealthy individuals in Southern California. She advised them regarding media and public relations. I advise them regarding investments in artwork and other special assets. Casually crossing paths on LinkedIn is not really all that different from crossing paths at a Paley Center event.
A quick first pass review of LinkedIn connections does surface two news items that are just unusual enough to possibly be clues. Robert F. Messinger is a real estate attorney and is so highly regarded that he was selected to serve as legal counsel to San Bernardino County. But Messinger is also a sub-tenant at the infamous shared legal services office located at 611 West Sixth Street Suite 2500 in Los Angeles. This office does just one thing — accept subpoenas so that wealthy clients who have the means to pay can avoid being embarrassed by being served a subpoena in public. Brian Rafferty is an investment manager based in New York who has extensive business relations with the New York City Police Department. Both profiles characterize Messinger and Rafferty as classic good guys, the kinds of business friends you could rely on if you, a friend, or a client were being blackmailed or threatened with violence.
You can help solve this mystery — and you just might earn the generous $100,000 reward that friends of this popular publicist have offered for information leading to the conviction of the criminal syndicate that killed Ronni Chasen. The way that LinkedIn identifies shared connections is a trade secret and changes a little bit all the time. So if you have your own LinkedIn profile and you have lots of connections in Southern California, the LinkedIn computer program will identify other leads that may point you in the direction of the syndicate involved in Ronni Chasen’s
LinkedIn may not solve all these mysteries, but it has already solved two. First, Ronni Chasen spelled her name ending with an “i” not”ie” or “y” a detail that is not clear from sources less personal than LinkedIn. Second, Brian Rafferty will not be attending Ronni Chasen’s funeral; his LinkedIn profile says he has no travel plans.