UPDATE (JUNE 3, 2016):
Suspected murderer Blake Leibel has been charged with torturing and killing his girlfriend and mother of his baby, Iana Kasian, says the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Leibel has pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder, mayhem, aggravated mayhem, and torture.
More information has also come to light about the accused’s graphic novel, Syndrome. Not that the writer’s fictional output should be held against him, but it’s a bit disturbing to learn that the plot involves a serial killer who drains his victims’ bodies of blood, as he did to Kasian’s. At the very least it could be a glimpse into Leibel’s fantasy life that he tragically wasn’t able to confine to the printed page.
Leibel faces either life in prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty.
After Iana Kasian’s mother called the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to report her daughter missing, they did a welfare-check visit to her residence in West Hollywood. After breaking down the door to enter, they found her body inside.
The victim’s boyfriend, Blake Leibel, 35, was also in the apartment, having barricaded himself inside with furniture. Leibel is the son of a prominent Canadian real estate mogul and a plastics-company heiress, and is a writer for film and comic books, known for his work on Spaceballs: The Animated Series. According to Leibel’s About Me page, he is also known as an expert gamer. Sheriff’s Lt. Dave Coleman told reporters that Leibel was “agitated and uncooperative.”
It was determined that the murder may have happened as long ago as May 23, so Leibel may have been living with her corpse for about a week. Kasian, who was 30 years old and the mother of Leibel’s infant child, had sustained blunt force trauma to her head. In addition, the district attorney’s office said, “Kasian was tortured and mutilated before she was killed and all of her blood was drained from her body.”
Leibel has been arrested on suspicion of capital murder, mayhem, and aggravated mayhem and torture. He has pleaded not guilty. On prompting from his lawyer, Leibel will go through a psychological evaluation, as some doubts about his mental health have been raised.
According to the National Post, the suspect had just been arrested on May 20 and charged with a felony rape charge. The alleged victim was someone other than Kasian. He was released after posting bail of $100,000. Because of this incident, Kasian took their baby and moved out of their apartment. Family friend Denis Aronchik said that Kasian had returned to the home she shared with Leibel last week to talk with him, after which she didn’t return, which is what prompted her mother to instigate the welfare check.
On her Facebook profile, Kasian claimed to have been engaged.
Ronald Richards, a lawyer who has been representing Leibel in divorce proceedings and has known him for several years, told the Los Angeles Times, “Him being violent is so uncharacteristic of the person I’ve known for many years.” He also commented, “It’s very rare that someone is involved in a homicide case with someone they just had a baby with. It’s very early to make a conclusion as to what the cause, intent, motive and facts were to this unfortunate tragedy.”
If found guilty, Leibel could be eligible for the death penalty.
Main photo: Facebook
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