A graphic novelist who tortured and killed his fiance in 2016 must now pay her family $41.6 million, a California judge ruled.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Bobbi Tillmon delivered the ruling on Friday, after a wrongful-death lawsuit bench trial concluded. The lawsuit, filed by victim Iana Kasian’s family against author Blake Leibel, accused him of carrying out brutal torture on his fiance by in part following what he co-wrote in the graphic book, “Syndrome.”
Leibel, who’s currently serving a life sentence for Kasian’s murder at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, did not attend the civil trial, according to the victim’s family attorney, Jake Finkel. Leibel also didn’t have an attorney or a family member attend on his behalf.
“This murder didn’t just kill one person, it really did kill the family, it shattered the family. And the family has had a hard time crawling back from this,” Finkel said, according to the outlet.
Finkel added that the money would help Kasian’s family raise her daughter, 2. Kasian had just given birth to the little girl in 2016 when she was murdered.
According to court documents, Leibel was in the beginnings of a successful Hollywood career when he locked Kashian in their West Hollywood apartment and tortured her to death.
During the murder trial, Deputy Dist. Atty. Beth Silverman said Kasian was alive for at least six hours of torture, while Leibel stabbed her, ripper her scalp off with a sharp object, cut off her ear, then drained the blood from her body into a bathtub.
“Her skull had been stripped down to the surface of the bone. There was no scalp present except for little bits in the back of the neck,” Dr. James Ribe of the L.A. County Coroner’s Office added.
Authorities discovered Kasian in May 2016, when her mother, who hadn’t heard from her, pushed for police to check on her.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Leibel barricaded the front door of the home with furniture, but deputies pushed their way through and found Kasian in the master bedroom, deceased from blunt force trauma to her head. Deputies reported that they took the couple’s baby and placed the child with family members.
The autopsy report graphically detailed a shocking, gruesome murder, in which the suspect drained all of Kasian’s blood after he mutilated and tortured her. She had human bite marks on her face and her right ear and right side of her face was completely torn off.
Leibel is the author of a graphic novel, entitled, “Syndrome,” in which a serial killer slits the throats of a couple and drains their blood. The book details how a woman was left headless on bed, while others were hanged, with the blood from their bodies drained.
Leibel is the son of Olympic sailor and wealthy Canadian real estate developer, Lorne Leibel. His mother was a heiress to a plastics fortune; Leibel supposedly inherited millions after her death.
A week prior to Kasian’s death, police arrested Leibel and charged him with rape in an unrelated incident. He was out on bail when he killed Kasian.
Kasian’s daughter now lives with grandmother, Olga Kasian, in Ukraine.
[Featured image: Blake Leibel/Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Iana Kasian/Facebook]