Samuel Haskell (35) has been arrested in Los Angeles after his wife Mei Li (37) was found dead. Mei Li’s parents Yanxiang Wang (64) and Gaoshan Li (71) are currently missing.
Samuel is the son of Sam Haskell III, a talent agent and film producer, and Mary Haskell, an actress who was crowned Miss Mississippi in 1977. Samuel’s sister is Mary Lane Haskell, also an actress.
The older Sam has worked with clients like George Clooney, Ray Romano and Whoopi Goldberg.
He was listed as the president of Magnolia Hill Productions, where his biography page described him as being widely known as “the nice guy in Hollywood” who had made it big after moving west from Mississippi.
According to Samuel’s iMDB page, he was a director and producer who had worked with celebrities such as Tyga and Machine Gun Kelly.
Mei Li was born and raised in China. It has been reported that she met Samuel while at college in Southern California.
Samuel and Mei Li have three children together, aged 6, 8 and 12. The family lived with Mei’s parents in a home on Coldstream Terrace in Tarzana, California. I believe they moved in during the pandemic.
The house was purchased for $1.7m in April 2020.
A neighbor, Elle Benami, has spoken about the family. “I had a lot of common with her. We’re the same age. We both grew up abroad,” she said.
Elle said she helped her “keep her sanity” during stay-at-home orders at the height of the pandemic.
“Our kids were kind of going crazy, being cooped up at home, having Zoom classes,” she said. “So her boys and my kids would play here in the front yard or backyard.”
Elle described Mei Li as a “very sweet, generous person, very social. She loved to throw parties — I’d say some of the best parties I’ve been to.”
During those parties, Samuel “would come in and was smiling and kind of friendly, but not outgoing,” according to the neighbor. “He would sit in the corner and after about 20 minutes, disappear — go to his room, maybe go on a walk.”
Other neighbors have spoken about Samuel’s strange behavior. “They came there … very nice, beautiful but he husband, something seemed so off. Something seemed so weird. I thought maybe he is sick, or something was wrong. All I said was, I kept saying to my family, ‘Something is wrong with him.’”
Samuel had been in trouble with the law in the past. He was arrested on charges of assault with a weapon in 2008 and was given three years probation.
You can see Samuel’s social media here:
@tragicstreetz @casamigosofficial #rosegold ♬ Planez – Jeremih
Police first went to the Haskell home on Tuesday November 7. Construction workers had called 911 to report what they thought was a human body, wrapped in trash bags.
This info is from NBC:
The workers said they were paid $500 to haul away three large trash bags from inside the garage at Haskell’s home on Coldstream Terrace in Tarzana, about 25 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. He told the workers the bags were full of rocks. But once they picked up the bags, they said it felt like there was meat inside.
“When we picked up the bags, we could tell they weren’t rocks,” one of the workers said in Spanish. He did not want to be identified.
The men described the bags as soft and soggy, each weighing about 50 pounds.
They said something didn’t feel right, so they stopped their truck a block away to look inside the bags.
“I started seeing body parts, a belly button,” the worker said. “I was astonished. Of course, I felt bad. We had been tricked.”
The workers dropped the trash bags back to the Haskell house and returned the money.
They drove to two police stations to try to report what had happened but were turned away twice. They finally made a report and police went to the Haskell home.
“When the officers responded, nothing was located,” Det Gutierrez told the media. “There was no evidence that allowed the officers to make entry into the home. The bags that were described were no longer outside.”
On Wednesday November 8, 2023, a man found a human torso inside a dumpster at a parking lot in the San Fernando valley, around five miles from Tarzana. Police reviewed CCTV which lead them to Samuel.
Images from the CCTV have been released and you can see Samuel dumping trash bags out of his Tesla.
Blood was found in the Haskell home and police believe that is where Mei Li and her parents were murdered.
“Here in the house, once officers made entry, what was discovered was evidence of a crime, including some blood evidence and other items that I’m not going to provide at this point,” Det Gutierrez said.
Samuel was arrested at a mall in Topanga and was charged with murder. He is being held on a $2m bond.
Police have asked for the public’s help in locating two vehicles that belong to the family – a white VW Tiguan and a white 2014 Nissan Pathfinder.
On Monday November 13, Samuel was charged with three counts of murder.
Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman said “No other bags containing body parts or remains have been recovered to date, but I don’t need a body to charge a murder.”
Samuel could face life in prison without the chance of parole if convicted. He is now being held without bail. His arraignment has been scheduled for December 8.
Mei’s friend Elle spoke to the media about her disbelief.
“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,” she said. “She was an amazing mother to her three boys. They were definitely all, I would say, like, mommy’s boys …very attached to her.”
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