Like most other people in America, we were appalled and sickened by the case of Fahim Saleh, the promising young tech CEO who was decapitated and dismembered earlier this month.
The gruesome death of the New York-based businessman set off a frenzy of speculation about what may have motivated such barbarity.
Some theories mused about 33-year old Saleh’s recent fundraising for Nigerian ride-hailing app Gokada, whereas others focused on an earlier business that allowed people to make prank phone calls.
Then, early last Friday, police arrested Tyrese Devon Haspil, the CEO’s executive assistant, and presented the atrocity as an open and shut case.
Authorities allege that Tyrese Devon Haspil, 21, killed his boss after embezzling more than $90,000 from him. This week, Haspil pleaded not guilty to second degree murder. The criminal complaint says he stabbed Saleh to death before decapitating and dismembering him on July 13.
Saleh’s remains were discovered the following afternoon by his cousin, who was checking on him after being unable to reach him.
Police sources have said that Saleh learned that Haspil had allegedly stolen approximately $90,000 from his account, but was not planning to report him to police. Instead, the sources say, Saleh arranged for his assistant to repay the money on a repayment plan.
Haspil was responsible for handling Saleh’s finances and personal matters before being fired.
The criminal complaint further alleges that video surveillance shows a man, later identified as Haspil, following Saleh up the elevator into his luxury apartment and shooting him with a taser.
So, it seems a clear cut case then.
Not so fast, Haspil’s lawyers have responded. There is far more to the case than meets the eye and the truth will eventually come out, they believe.
“There is much more to this narrative” Legal Aid Society attorneys Sam Roberts and Neville Mitchell said in a prepared statement.
“We are in the very earliest stages of ferreting out the truth. The life of this case promises to be long and complex. As the attorneys for Mr. Haspil, we urge the public to keep an open mind.”
The medical examiner’s report says that Saleh was stabbed five times in his neck and torso, had multiple incise wounds to his arms and left hand and a contusion to his left forehead.
The following morning, according to the complaint, video surveillance allegedly shows Haspil at a nearby hardware store to purchase cleaning supplies and the electric saw. Those same items were found next to Saleh’s torso the following day.
Police believe that Haspil was allegedly in the process of dismembering the body when Saleh’s cousin rang the doorbell. He then allegedly fled the premises, leaving a grisly crime scene behind.
“That body wasn’t meant to be found,” a police source has been quoted as saying. “[Saleh] was going to be ‘disappeared.'”
We can only hope that the full truth, whatever that is, can be revealed sooner rather than later.