Son of Hollywood exec arrested after body part found in dumpster; wife, in-laws missing

For the record:
8:13 a.m. Nov. 11, 2023: An earlier version of this article said Sam Haskell, father of Samuel Bond Haskell IV, worked at the William Morris Endeavor Agency. He was at the William Morris Agency.

Police have arrested a Tarzana man in connection with the discovery of dismembered body parts that authorities say are likely his wife’s.

Samuel Bond Haskell IV was booked on suspicion of murder Wednesday. Detectives suspect that he killed his wife and also may have killed his in-laws, who are missing, authorities said.

After reports by workers of what looked like human remains at the property Haskell shares with his wife and in-laws, as well as the discovery of a female torso stuffed in a duffel bag and tossed in an Encino strip mall dumpster, the 35-year-old man was taken into custody by Los Angeles police at a Topanga mall.

L.A. Police Capt. Scot Williams of the Robbery-Homicide Division said the torso is assumed to be Haskell's wife, Mei Haskell, who has not been located. But forensics will be needed to confirm the identity.

Haskell; his wife, Mei Haskell; and her parents, Yanxiang Wang and Gaoshen Li, all lived in a single-story home in the 4100 block of Coldstream Terrace in Tarzana. The suspect and his wife have three children, who were in school Wednesday, authorities said.

LAPD Det. Efren Gutierrez told reporters Wednesday evening that efforts to reach Mei Haskell's parents have yielded no results.

"They would normally be home in these hours, and attempts have been made to contact them by phone, by cellphone and no answer. And the same with Mei. She is unaccounted for."

Detectives are "still tracking down leads and witnesses," Williams said of the investigation.

Read more: Near a hair salon and a family-style restaurant, L.A. cops find a bag containing a torso

The grisly discoveries began Tuesday evening, when a witness reported seeing what seemed like body parts in bags outside Haskell's Tarzana home. Police were called to the scene, but by the time they arrived, the bags were gone.

The following morning, around 6 a.m., an unhoused man looking for recyclables discovered a dismembered torso in a bag. The female body part was inside a plastic bag that had been stuffed into a duffel and thrown in a trash bin in a parking lot near Ventura Boulevard and Rubio Avenue — about five miles away from Haskell's home.

The remains were linked to the Tarzana home after investigators examined security camera video in the area, officials said.

Inside Haskell's house, detectives discovered blood and other evidence consistent with a killing and dismemberment, according to investigators.

Haskell is being held in lieu of $2-million bail.

Court records show that in December 2008, Haskell was arrested and charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. He pleaded no contest to battery and was placed on three years' probation in 2010.

Records show that Haskell is the son of Sam Haskell, the former executive vice president and worldwide head of television for the William Morris Agency. The elder Haskell, who retired from William Morris in 2005, represented a slew of A-list stars and is still listed as head of Magnolia Hill Productions, which has produced several Dolly Parton specials.

Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.