On Wednesday, a Los Angeles court convicted writer Blake Leibel of the 2016 grisly murder and mutilation of his girlfriend who had given birth to their child weeks earlier.
Son of a prominent Canadian real estate developer, Leibel, 37, was found guilty of first-degree murder, torture, and aggravated mayhem for the gruesome slaying of girlfriend Iana Kasian, 30. Kasian’s body was found—next to Leibel—in the bloodied master bedroom of their West Hollywood apartment in May 2016, according to the New York Daily News.
Prosecutors said the killing was carried out in a manner that mirrored a plotline offered in “Syndrome,” a book he worked on years prior. The Los Angeles Times reported that Leibel used a sharp object and his bare hands to rip off pieces of Kasian’s scalp. Moreover, prosecutors said most of Kasian’s blood was drained from her body by the time she was discovered.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Beth Silverman told jurors that Kasian died from exsanguination and explained that she was alive for much of the torture before succumbing to “a very slow, excruciating, painful death.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the victim’s mother, Olga Kasian, persistently begged cops to go into the West Hollywood apartment as she hadn’t heard from her daughter in several days. At one point, Olga, who only speaks Russian, stood outside the apartment and screamed for Leibel to open up the door, to no avail.
Olga ultimately called 911 and said, “Help.” The simple request resulted in officers breaking into the apartment and stumbling upon a horrific scene, the tabloid reported.
In court, a forensic pathologist explained that DNA recovered from the scene matched both Leibel and Iana. Evidence also suggested that Leibel sat next to his girlfriend’s cleaned body for an extended period of time.
Prosecutors believe Leibel killed his girlfriend because he was jealous of the attention she was giving their newborn daughter. He faces life in prison when he’s sentenced on June 26.
Silverman asked during closing statements, “Why would a human being do anything close to this to a human being, and why do that to someone he supposedly loves, someone he just had a baby with?”
“He threw away pieces of his fiancée like she was trash. The mother of his newborn baby.”
[Featured image: Blake Leibel/Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Iana Kasian/Facebook]