July 26, 2021
It’s been over a year since Fahim Saleh was murdered. I don’t remember what I was doing that day. But I remember the police tape in front of his building, the photographers, and the general milling about around his apartment building.
On July 14, 2020 — in the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic — New York City police found the mutilated body of the entrepreneur, investor, and self-made millionaire in his Lower East Side apartment. Saleh was only 33. His executive assistant, Tyrese Haspil, then 21, had tased Saleh, stabbed him at least five times, and then decapitated and dismembered him. He had cut off Saleh's arms and legs below the knee and stuffed the limbs into plastic bags. A Makita electric saw was still plugged into the wall when Saleh's cousin, who hadn’t heard from him and had gotten worried, found the torso the afternoon after Saleh’s murder.
What stood out wasn’t just the gruesomeness of the murder, but the way the media covered it. Several publications focused on Haspil and what had compelled him to do it. Still others called Saleh naive — for a successful tech entrepreneur, how could he have made such a hiring mistake? In the months since, most have forgotten Saleh’s story. But what hasn’t changed is the sadness and the emptiness Saleh’s death has left not only in emerging tech markets around the world, but also for his family and friends.