Slain Wife of Hollywood Exec's Son May Still Have Been Alive When She Was Decapitated, Autopsy Suggests


Mei Li Haskell’s husband Sam Haskell has been accused of murdering her and her parents

<p>Los Angeles Police Department/AP; Samuel Haskell/TikTok</p> Mei Li Haskell and Samuel Haskell IV

Los Angeles Police Department/AP; Samuel Haskell/TikTok

Mei Li Haskell and Samuel Haskell IV

Mei Li Haskell may have still been alive when she was decapitated, an autopsy released Thursday by the Los Angeles Medical Examiner found.

Mei Li’s husband, Sam Haskell, has been charged with murdering his 37-year-old wife and her parents, Gaoshan Li, 72, and Yanxiang Wang, 64, last November in Tarzana, Calif.

On Nov. 7, Sam hired day laborers to dispose of large bags. The laborers allegedly found human body parts in the bags, returned the bags and then notified police. Sam allegedly was seen later that day on surveillance video disposing of a bag in a nearby Encino dumpster. A person going through those bags discovered a woman’s torso, prompting a police investigation. Coroners identified the torso as Mei Li’s.

Sam was arrested on Nov. 8. He plead not guilty to the murders of his wife and in-laws on Jan. 12, 2024.

Related: Blood Stains Possibly Found in Hollywood Murder Victim Mei Haskell’s Tesla Part of Case Against Husband (Exclusive)

PEOPLE obtained a copy of the autopsy on Mei Li’s torso. In the report, her head, arms and legs were noted as absent.

The report noted a “sharp force injury at the neck” and the bone margins at the amputation areas described as “remarkably smooth,” suggesting “a sharp powered tool was likely used” in the amputations.

The report also stated, “There was no definitive indication that the dismemberment occurred antemortem, however, the possibility that the head and neck removal was initiated prior to death cannot be entirely excluded.” In other words, while there was no indication the head was removed after death, the autopsy did not rule out that Mei Li was still alive when she was decapitated.

There were no other fatal injuries identified on the torso. While the remains did not include the head, the coroner concluded that the most likely mechanisms of death were blunt force, gunshot or sharp force trauma to the head/neck or asphyxia. The coroner also did not rule out the possibility of poisoning.

Related: Neighbor of Agent’s Son Accused of Murder Recounts Moment She Learned of Crime: ‘My Heart Completely Dropped’

“Given the circumstance of the case, which includes the deliberate concealment of the body by dismemberment and disposal, the cause of death is homicidal violence,” the report concluded.

<p>Los Angeles Police Department via AP</p> Mei Haskell and her parents, Yanxiang Wang and Gaoshan Li

Los Angeles Police Department via AP

Mei Haskell and her parents, Yanxiang Wang and Gaoshan Li

The bodies of Mei Li’s parents have not been recovered.

If convicted, Sam could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

He is the son of Hollywood executive Sam Haskell III, who produced TV specials for Dolly Parton. The elder Haskell resigned as CEO of the Miss America Organization after sending sexist emails critical of former contestants in 2017.

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