Hollywood Exec’s Son Arrested After Homeless Man Found Woman’s Torso in Dumpster

A homeless man discovered discarded human body parts in a dumpster in Los Angeles on Nov. 8, 2023. (Credit: ABC7)

The son of a powerful Hollywood producer was arrested on suspicion of murder this week, after a homeless man discovered human remains inside a dumpster in the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles.

LAPD officers took Samuel Haskell IV, 35, into custody on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

His arrest came on the same day a homeless man found a discarded plastic bag containing a woman’s torso behind a strip mall.

The man made the disturbing discovery while searching for plastic bottles inside trash bins in the wealthy Encino area.

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Surveillance video from around the mall led investigators to Haskell’s home in the 4100 block of Coldstream Terrace, a few miles from the dumpster.

Haskell is being held on $2 million bail, Los Angeles police said in a press release.

While the dismembered body has not yet been identified, police said Haskell’s wife, 37-year-old Mei Le Haskell, and his in-laws — Gaoshan Li, 71, and Yanxiang Wang, 64 — are all missing. The elderly couple lived with Haskell, his wife, and their three children.

Haskell’s children were placed in the custody of the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services, and are now being cared for by relatives.

The LAPD released pictures of the missing family members and asked anyone with information to contact  them immediately. Detectives are also looking for two missing vehicles.

Haskell is the son of Sam Haskell III, founder and president of Magnolia Hill Productions, which produced several Dolly Parton TV specials and The Waltons’ Homecoming.

The elder Haskell, 68, was an talent agent and former executive vice president of William Morris, which boasted A-list clients, including Dolly Parton, Whoopi Goldberg, and George Clooney. He retired from the talent agency in 2005.

Sam Haskell III and former Miss America Vanessa Williams. (Credit: YouTube/A&E)
Sam Haskell III and former Miss America Vanessa Williams. (Credit: YouTube/A&E)

Sam Haskell III later served as CEO of the Miss America organization, but stepped down in 2017 following an e-mail scandal and bullying accusations.

The elder Haskell apologized to former Miss America Vanessa Williams on behalf of the pageant in 2015, for the events that forced her to give up her crown in 1984.

The ex-pageant leader was depicted earlier this year in the A&E documentary series Secrets of Miss America about abuses within the organization.