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Blake Leibel (born 8 May 1981) is a Canadian convicted murderer. He had previously been a comic book creator, graphic novelist, screenwriter, and a fledgling animated film director, residing in Los Angeles, California. In June 2018, Leibel was convicted of first-degree murder of his fiancée, Iana Kasian, shortly after the birth of their daughter.
After barricading himself in his West Hollywood apartment; on May 26, 2016, Leibel was taken into police custody following their discovery of the corpse of his fiancée, 30-year-old Ukrainian former tax office prosecutor and fledgling model Iana Kasian, mutilated, drained of blood, and lying in their bed. Their infant daughter was in the care of Iana's mother, who was visiting from Ukraine, and staying in a nearby apartment. Leibel was subsequently charged with murder, torture, mayhem, and aggravated mayhem, to which he pleaded not guilty.
An autopsy report was released on September 20, 2017, listing Kasian's causes of death as exsanguination and head trauma.
Details of the murder
The murder was considered shocking due to the graphic and gruesome nature of the crime, drawing comparisons to the Black Dahlia murder. According to autopsy, Kasian's entire scalp was traumatically absent and was not found, was not present with the body. 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, portions of the right side of her face were torn away including the right ear and part of the posterior face on the right side, all the way down to the jawline.
There were quite a number of bruises and abrasions on the face, primarily on the left side, the left cheek, and left jaw area, a number of bruises and abrasion, including one which turned out to be a human bite mark. She had lived for at least eight hours approximately after receiving the scalp injury and the bruise to the collarbone.
Leibel's motive for committing the murder is unknown. A week prior, he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, and Kasian moved out to live with her mother. It is likely this played a role in Leibel's actions.
One speculation was that Leibel was jealous that his fiancée was paying more attention to their baby than to him.
Anti-semetic website Smoloko News claimed that Leibel (who has Jewish heritage) killed her in a ritual blood sacrifice. However, Smoloko News doesn't have much credibility and this is considered to be blood libel.
In June 2018, Leibel was convicted of first-degree murder, with supplemental charges of torture and mayhem. He was given a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole. Leibel is currently serving his sentence at the California Correctional Institution.