A Canadian property tycoon’s son has been convicted of the torture, murder and mutilation of his girlfriend — which followed the script of his own gruesome graphic novel.
A Los Angeles jury yesterday found Blake Leibel, 37, guilty of first-degree murder, torture and aggravated mayhem in the killing of Iana Kasian, who had given birth to their child weeks before.
Police found the 30-year-old’s naked body in the master bedroom of the couple’s West Hollywood apartment in May 2016.
Leibel faces life in prison when he is sentenced on June 26. The case made headlines in Canada, where his father, Lorne Leibel, a sailor on the country’s 1976 Olympics team, made a fortune constructing homes in Toronto.
Blake Leibel moved to California and lived off an allowance of about $18,000 (£12,500) a month for seven years until he inherited most of his mother’s estate.
He worked in a variety of creative roles, including as a director and creative consultant on an animated series based on Mel Brooks’s 1987 film Spaceballs in 2008, according to his IMDb profile.
Leibel is credited as the creator and executive editor of the graphic novel Syndrome, published in 2010. The book’s plot follows a mad doctor’s quest to test his theory that he can isolate the root of evil in the brain and fix it, trying his experiment on a serial killer.
The tale opens as the killer is about to be executed for 38 murders. It flashes back to scenes of him hanging a couple by their ankles and slitting the man’s throat.
Leibel used a knife in a “prolonged attack” in which his victim was “alive for the better part of the mutilation and mayhem,” prosecutor Tannaz Mokayef told jurors. She said the crime “followed a script” from the graphic novel.
Police went to the couple’s apartment after Kasian’s mother reported her missing. It appeared she had been badly beaten, authorities said. Leibel was arrested at the scene.