November 14, 2023
The son of a former Hollywood agent has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the remains of a woman, thought to be his missing wife, were discovered in an LA dumpster.
On November 08, at around 6am, police received a call from a homeless man in Encino who said he was in the parking lot of a strip mall off Ventura Boulevard and Rubio Avenue, reporting that he had discovered the remains of a decapitated human torso. The man, who had been looking for recyclable cans, came upon a plastic bag, and after looking inside, made the gruesome discovery.
The body was mutilated to the point that it would be extremely difficult to visually identify the victim, however, it was in a relatively preserved state, indicating that the decedent had very recently died. Police speculated it had been no more than a few days. There did not appear to be any distinguishing marks on the body to help with identification, nor were officers able to estimate the age of the victim.
Although the body has not yet, at the time of writing, been identified, it is feared the remains could be that of Haskell’s missing wife, 37-year-old Mei Li. Attempts to reach Mei Li by cell phone have proven unsuccessful.
Surveillance footage overlooking the parking lot was obtained by detectives and lead them to a suspect, a Caucasian male in his thirties, whom they later identified as Samuel Haskell.
The Haskell’s home was approximately five miles from Ventura Boulevard and Rubio Avenue on the 4100 block of Coldstream Terrace, in the West Valley area. Officers closed off part of Coldstream Terrace while they searched the Haskell’s home. Samuel Haskell IV lives in a six bedroom property in Tarzana with his wife, Mei Li Haskell, as well as her parents. Reports state that blood evidence was found inside the home, and it is believed Haskell may have murdered his wife inside the residence before transporting her body elsewhere, however, this information has not been officially confirmed.
It was later revealed that the night before the torso was discovered, a report of a "possible body" outside the Haskell's home on November 07, at approximately 5:30pm, had been called in to the LAPD. The call detailed a bag outside the Haskell's home, but when officers arrived at the scene they could not locate it.
Mei Haskell's parents, Gaoshan Li, aged 72-years-old and his wife, YanXiang Wang, 64, are also missing at this time.
The Haskell's three sons were taken into custody of the county Department of Children and Family Services and are currently in the care of family members.
Samuel Haskell was taken into custody at approximately 11:30 a.m. that same day by the Los Angeles Police Department after being apprehended at a mall in Topanga and arrested on suspicion of murder. He is currently detained at the Valley Jail in Van Nuys, held on a $2 million bail.
Haskell is the son of a former Hollywood producer and agent, Sam Haskell, III. Haskell III, who was named “One of the 25 Most Innovative and Influential People in Television of the Last 25 Years,” by Television Week Magazine in the mid-2000s, has had a career spanning over three decades in Hollywood. His clients over the years have included the likes of George Clooney, Dolly Parton, and Prince Edward.
Samuel Haskell IV has a social media presence, where he would often post clips of himself ranting about various topics. In one such video he complains of a filet he ordered being served overcooked at the Four Seasons and being miserable.
According to a neighbor, Elle Benami, Mei Li was a great mother, who did everything she could for her three sons, including throwing extravagant parties for them on their birthdays. Elle Benami and Mei Li became friends as they had a lot in common, they both grew up outside the U.S and were both mothers and they grew closer during the pandemic lockdowns. She described the missing woman as “sweet and generous,” and said that although Mei Li’s marriage wasn’t the most affectionate she had seen, she wasn’t aware that there were any problems in the Haskells' relationship.
She said of the investigation: "To think that my next-door neighbor, a few feet away from my kids' room, that something like that transpired there is insane to me."
Benami last saw Mei Li driving her children to school.
Police are currently attempting to locate two vehicles- a white VW Tiguan, license 9ANC890, and a white 2014 Nissan Pathfinder, license 7FRM190.
From LAPD online.org: Anyone with additional information is urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, Homicide Special Section, at 213-486-6890. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.
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