WEST HOLLYWOOD—After less than a day of juror deliberation, Blake Leibel, 37, was found guilty with one count each of first-degree murder, aggravated mayhem, and torture of his 30 year-old girlfriend, Iana Kasian on Wednesday, June 20. The panel also found true the special circumstance allegations of murder involving torture and mayhem.
Leibel is a graphic novelist, comic book creator, screenwriter, and animated film director. He was born in Toronto, Canada, and attended the University of Western Ontario, before moving to Los Angeles. A graphic novel by Leibel titled, “Syndrome” opens with flashbacks of a serial killer murdering victims by slashing their throats and draining them of blood. Leibel is the son of Canadian real estate and Olympic sailor, Lorne Leibel. Kasian moved from Ukraine to Los Angeles in 2014 where she met and began dating Leibel.
According to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, in May 2016, Kasian was tortured and mutilated, before being killed and drained of all her blood in the couples’ West Hollywood apartment located on the 8500 block of Holloway Drive. After the murder, Leibel barricaded himself inside the apartment, and was later arrested by police at the scene. Authorities discovered her body lying next to the couple’s two-month-old daughter, Diana, who was not injured during the incident. The child was placed in the care of Kasian’s mother. Deputy District Tannaz Mokayef and Beth Silverman served as prosecutors on the case.
The autopsy reported that the model died from severe blunt force trauma to her skull. Coroners suspect Kasian suffered from potential human bite marks on her jaw. Her cause of death was exsanguination (draining of blood) and head trauma.
Canyon News reached out to Greg Risling, Assistant Chief at the Media Relations Division for the LADA’s Office, who shared additional details about the case. “[The] motive was power, control, jealousy and anger over the new baby,” said Risling. He indicated there was “No evidence of mental disorder.” Risling added that Leibel used, “A knife and razor as murder weapons.”
Leibel was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole when he appeared in court on Tuesday, June 26.
Written By Katie Trojano and Donald Roberts