Fabio Sementilli Was a Beloved Celebrity Hairstylist Who Was Brutally Murdered — What Happened?

"I always say to myself, I want to be remembered for the relationships I built," said Fabio Sementilli.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

May 17 2024, Published 5:32 p.m. ET

"For me the first thing is, my family comes first." That's what celebrity hairstylist and hair care executive Fabio Sementilli told American Salon in June 2015. Taking care of those he loved was passed down to Fabio by his own parents. He smiled while referencing his sisters as well as the family he created along with his wife Monica Sementilli.

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The interview starts to feel haunting as Fabio goes into what he would like to be remembered for after he dies. "I always say to myself, I want to be remembered for the relationships I built," he says. "I want to be remembered for how I made people feel, in a positive light." How could Fabio have known that less than two years later, he would be murdered?

What happened to Fabio Sementilli? Here's what we know.

Fabio and his wife, Monica Sementilli
Source: Instagram/@fabstyle67

Fabio Sementilli with his wife Monica

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What happened to Fabio Sementilli?

Oliver Adams, an industry colleague, told People that Fabio "had no enemies." It's not an exaggeration to say that everyone loved him. Perhaps that's what makes this vicious crime all the more devastating, On Jan. 23, 2017, Fabio was relaxing in the backyard of his Woodland Hills, Calif., home when he was violently stabbed in the neck, thigh, and chest. Both his carotid and femoral arteries had been severed, leaving the popular hairstylist to quickly bleed to death. His daughter would later find his body.

His attackers went through the house as the 49-year-old husband and father of three lay dying in the background. They only took two things: the DVR that stored security footage as well as Fabio's 2008 Porsche 911, which was found abandoned around five miles away only a couple of days later. Naturally police thought this was a home invasion gone wrong, but five months later they made an arrest that shocked the community and those who knew him.

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Fabio's wife Monica Sementilli was arrested along with her lover Robert Baker.

When Fabio's wife Monica Sementilli got home, she spoke with police and then texted her friend Elyse Bleuel, per ABC News. Monica didn't tell Bleuel what was going on, only that she needed to hurry over. Upon arriving, Bleuel was met by a stranger who instructed to avoid stepping on the blood. Inside the home police were gathering evidence as Monica sat on the couch, seemingly in shock. Bleuel recalled that Monica had trouble speaking and kept saying, "I’m not a wife anymore."

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She wasn't a suspect, so police quickly got to work looking for who did it. They weren't getting anywhere until someone attending Sementilli's memorial at the family home sent law enforcement a photo of a man who looked out of place. HIs name was Robert Baker and he did not know Sementilli. This was a gathering for close family and friends. No one knew why he was there.

Detectives later figured out that Baker is a racquetball coach in Los Angeles who previously worked in the adult film industry. And while that's not necessarily damning, he was also a registered sex offender who was convicted of "lewd and lascivious acts with a minor in the early 1990s," per ABC News. That doesn't make someone a murderer, but his presence at the memorial was certainly odd. This meant his DNA was already in the law enforcement database.

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They compared his blood to blood found crime scene and in Sementilli's car, only to find it was a match. They also arrested Monica, who police learned was being coached by Baker. They were also having an affair. Police believed their motive was financial in nature, and included an alibi for Monica who went to Target the day of Sementilli's murder in order to leave him alone. Baker and Monica were charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

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Where are Robert Baker and Monica Sementilli now?

As of the time of this writing, Monica is still awaiting her trial which is scheduled for sometime in late 2024. Baker plead no contest in July 2023. This means he did not "contest the charges and accepts the facts alleged by prosecutors without admitting to being guilty. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole," reported ABC News. Baker insisted then that Monica had nothing to do with the murder.

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In March 2024, Baker spoke with a producer from 48 Hours who had been covering the case since 2017. This producer, Greg Fisher, surprised Baker at the jail he was held in, in Castaic, Calif. Fisher was unable to bring in any cameras, paper, or pencil, which left him describing Baker's facial expressions. Some of the conversation was merely Baker responding with his eyes.

He still maintains that he was the only one involved in the murder and said he would absolutely testify at Monica's trial, because it's the "right thing to do." Baker claims they are no longer together as Monica apparently broke up with him after finding out he killed her husband. When asked if he wanted to apologize to Sementilli's family, Baker could only say, "I'm not the monster."

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