The answer is yes. Samuel Haskell, the son of a former Hollywood agent, was arrested on suspicion of murder after a woman’s dismembered torso was found in a bag near a dumpster in Encino, Los Angeles. The victim has not been identified yet, but authorities believe it could be his wife, Mei Haskell, who is missing along with her parents. This is one of the recent cases of human remains being discovered in shocking and gruesome circumstances across the country.
Recent News and Arrests Related to the Discovery of Human Remains
- Son of ex-Hollywood agent arrested: Samuel Haskell, 35, was arrested on November 8, 2023, after a homeless person found a bag containing a female torso in a dumpster behind a strip mall in Encino. Haskell’s father, Sam Haskell Sr., is the president of Magnolia Hill Productions, which has produced several Dolly Parton specials, and a former agent at William Morris Agency, where he represented celebrities such as George Clooney, Whoopi Goldberg, and Ray Romano. Haskell’s wife, Mei Haskell, and her parents, Yanxiang Wang and Gaoshen Li, are missing and presumed dead. Haskell and his wife have three children, who are in the custody of the county Department of Children and Family Services.
- Funeral home owners arrested: Jon Hallford and Carie Hallford, the owners of Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose, Colorado, were arrested on November 8, 2023, in Oklahoma, on charges of abuse of a corpse, theft, money laundering, and forgery. This came after 190 sets of human remains were found “improperly stored” at their business, which offered “green burials” without embalming chemicals or metal caskets. The coroner’s office is still working to identify the bodies and notify the families.
- Human body parts found in plastic bag: On October 27, 2023, the body of Maleesa Mooney, a 31-year-old model, was found in a refrigerator in her downtown Los Angeles apartment. She had been beaten and bound before being stuffed into the appliance, according to the autopsy report. Mooney was two months pregnant at the time of her death, according to her sister, Jourdin Pauline. No arrests have been made in the case.
- Nearly 200 decomposing bodies found: On October 6, 2023, investigators removed 189 sets of human remains from a Colorado funeral home offering “green burials” where law enforcement officials said bodies had been “improperly stored”. The remains were found in the Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose, about 30 miles south of Colorado Springs, and transported to the El Paso County coroner’s office. The total number of bodies could change “as the identification and investigative processes continue,” the statement said.
- Man arrested for abduction and murder: On September 29, 2023, a man named Robert Durst was arrested in connection with the abduction and murder of his wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, who disappeared in 1982. Durst, who is also a suspect in the killings of his friend Susan Berman and his neighbor Morris Black, was captured after a tip from a documentary filmmaker who had interviewed him for a series about his life and crimes. Durst allegedly confessed to the murders on a hot microphone during the filming of the documentary.
Updates on the Investigation
- Details on the victims: The coroner’s office has not yet identified the woman whose torso was found in the bag near the dumpster in Encino, but they believe it could be Mei Haskell, Samuel Haskell’s wife. Mei Haskell and her parents, Yanxiang Wang and Gaoshen Li, lived with Samuel Haskell at a home in Tarzana, where blood evidence and other items were found by the police. Mei Haskell and her parents were reported missing after they failed to return home and did not answer their phones.
- Search of suspect’s home: The police searched Samuel Haskell’s home in Tarzana and found evidence of a crime, including blood and carpet that had been ripped up. They also reviewed surveillance footage of a vehicle in the business plaza where the bag with the torso was found and developed evidence that led them to Haskell. Haskell was arrested at the Westfield Topanga mall in Canoga Park and is being held on $2 million bail.
- Possible motive: The motive for the alleged murder of Mei Haskell and her parents is not clear, but some sources have speculated that it could be related to money or marital problems. Samuel Haskell had filed for bankruptcy in 2020 and had several lawsuits against him for unpaid debts and fraud. He also had a history of domestic violence and had been arrested for assaulting his wife in 2019.
Public Reaction and Statements
- Outrage over the gruesome discovery: The public was shocked and horrified by the discovery of the woman’s torso in the bag near the dumpster in Encino, as well as the other cases of human remains being found in disturbing conditions. Many people expressed their sympathy for the victims and their families and demanded justice for the perpetrators. Some people also questioned the safety and regulation of the funeral industry and the “green burial” practices.
- Hollywood connections and speculation: The arrest of Samuel Haskell, the son of a former Hollywood agent, drew attention from the media and the entertainment industry. Some people wondered if his father’s connections and influence had anything to do with his alleged crimes or his ability to evade detection. Others speculated about the possible involvement of other celebrities or powerful figures in the case.
- Calls for justice: The authorities and the officials involved in the investigation vowed to pursue justice for the victims and their families and to hold the suspects accountable for their actions. The district attorney’s office said that the probable cause affidavit for the arrest of Samuel Haskell was sealed, but they would not contest unsealing it at the appropriate time. The district attorney also warned that the information contained in the affidavit was “absolutely shocking”. The governor of Colorado thanked the investigators for their work and said he hoped the individuals responsible would be held fully accountable in a court of law.
Samuel Haskell, the son of a former Hollywood agent, was arrested on suspicion of murder after a woman’s dismembered torso was found in a bag near a dumpster in Encino, Los Angeles. The victim has not been identified yet, but authorities believe it could be his wife, Mei Haskell, who is missing along with her parents. This is one of the recent cases of human remains being discovered in shocking and gruesome circumstances across the country. The investigation is ongoing and the authorities are working to identify the bodies and notify the families. The public reaction has been one of outrage, sympathy, and curiosity, as the case has drawn attention from the media and the entertainment industry. The officials involved in the case have promised to seek justice for the victims and their families and to reveal the details of the case when possible.