For one aspiring screenwriter, life may have imitated art, according to charges filed in the case of a murder victim found drained of blood. In a bizarre twist that could have come straight out of one of the screenwriter’s graphic novels about a serial killer, Iana Kasian was found murdered in the most gruesome way, according to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
“Kasian was tortured and mutilated before she was killed, and all of her blood was drained from her body.”
Now Huffington Post reports her estranged boyfriend, 35-year-old Blake Leibel, has been charged with murder, mayhem, aggravated mayhem, and torture, plus special circumstance allegations which make him eligible for the death penalty. The Canadian native, who has been living in West Hollywood, allegedly killed Kasian between May 23 and May 26, with her body being discovered last Thursday after authorities forced their way into the apartment where Leibel had barricaded himself with furniture.
The bizarre twist in the story, besides the fact that the victim’s blood was drained from her body, is that Leibel had written about a serial killer in one of his graphic novels back in 2010, titled Syndrome. The villain in the graphic novel hangs victims from their ankles and slashes their throats to drain them completely of blood, echoing some of the injuries that occurred to Kasian, who was only 30 years old at the time of her murder.
As if the murder allegedly committed by Leibel wasn’t horrific enough, the victim had just given birth to the couple’s first child at the beginning of May. On top of the usual stress to a relationship that comes along with a newborn baby, Leibel had been arrested on May 20 on suspicion of sexual assault, although no details of that arrest or alleged crime have been made available to the media or the public at this time.
It appears that arrest triggered the conflict between the couple that prompted Kasian to pack up and move back into her mother’s home, where she stayed until making a return visit back to her old apartment to meet and speak with Leibel, according to Huffington Post. Leibel had been released on $100,000 bail at the time of the alleged disappearance and murder of Kasian.
Leibel is now being held without bail on the latest charges filed against him in the death of Kasian, but unfortunately if the charges against him are true, Leibel’s current incarceration without bail comes a little too late for the woman who came from her native Ukraine in 2014 to study law and make a better life for herself in California. Kasian’s sister, Zhenia, spoke with the National Post about her family’s devastating tragedy.
“For me it’s a big loss. I do not know how to live without my beloved sister.”
This case may create another legal battle, over custody of the couple’s child, who is currently in the care of Kasian’s mother. Leibel is the heir of a wealthy family in Toronto, including his deceased mother, who was the heiress to a fortune from the plastics industry. The Los Angeles Times reports Leibel received a monthly allowance of $18,000.
Ronald Richards, who was representing Leibel in the case not related to the current murder charges, says he was shocked to hear about his client’s arrest on the murder and mutilation (mayhem) charges.
“Him being violent is so uncharacteristic of the person I’ve known for many years.”
Leibel is currently being held in Los Angeles County Jail with his next scheduled court appearance on June 14. Prosecutors are still deciding whether they were pursue the death penalty in the case.
[Image via Facebook]