The Blake Leibel Story: The Murder and Conviction of the Hollywood Horror Writer

A convicted killer, Blake Leibel was born in Canada on May 8, 1981. He had previously worked in Los Angeles as a screenwriter, comic book writer, graphic novelist, and aspiring animator. He was found guilty in June 2018 of killing his fiancée, Iana Kasian, in the first degree.

The graphic novel Syndrome was released in 2010 by Archaia in collaboration with Leibel’s publishing house Fantasy Prone. The protagonists of the narrative were a cruel psychiatrist and the serial killer he was researching. The author Blake Leibel gave this description of the book: “Syndrome is a story about obsession, on several leseveralperienced by four characters who all come from different worlds and yet find themselves embroiled in this giant, impeccably simulated environment,” said creator Blake Leibel. “It’s the ultimate ‘backstage’ story, in that sense.”

The most-watched true-crime program on television is CBS’s long-running news program “48 Hours,” which looks into startling crimes and gripping true-life dramas. “American Horror Story,” a particularly horrifying episode of “48 Hours,” chronicles the investigation into the unimaginably savage murder of Iana Kasian, a Ukrainian tax attorney turned model who lived in Los Angeles with her lover.

On May 26, 2016, after her mother Olga had called the police several times due to the fact that she had not heard from her daughter in three days, Iana was discovered horrifically mutilated and murdered in the apartment she shared with her boyfriend.

Blake Leibel, Iana’s boyfriend and the father of her young daughter who was born just weeks before the murder, was the only other person the police discovered inside the flat. What about Blake Leibel? He killed Iana, or was he also a victim? Where is he right now? Let’s investigate.

Blake Leibel

Who is Blake Leibel?

A Canadian trust funder with ostensibly limitless wealth on both sides of his family, Blake Leibel. He lives in Los Angeles, California, and has worked as a screenwriter, graphic novelist, comic book creator, and aspiring director. Blake Leibel was born in 1981 to opulent parents Lorne Leibel, a real estate billionaire in Toronto, and Eleanor Chitel Leibel, an heiress to the Alros Products fortune. Blake Leibel grew raised in opulence and was seldom ever told “no.” Since he was a little child, he had become accustomed to having his will executed since he was wealthy. Blake’s older brother was reared by their father while Blake resided with his mother following his parents’ divorce.

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Blake Leibel traveled to Los Angeles with the intent to become a Hollywood actor, but he only completed a few jobs. He wed Amanda Braun, a former model, and the two were parents. Blake told Amanda he was leaving her for someone else while she was expecting their second child. Iana Kasian was that person. Within a few months of moving in together, Blake and Iana discovered they were expecting their own child. Blaeibel’s proposal to Iana, who had fled a hopeless life in Kyiv, Ukraine, seemed to make her quite pleased. Olga, Iana’s mother, flew to the country to assist her daughter with the newborn.

Torture and Murder of Iana Kasian

Former Ukrainian prosecutor Iana Kasian, who lived from 27 January 1986 to 26 May 2016, was killed and tortured by her fiancé, Blake Leibel.

Kasian was born in Kyiv, where she also completed her legal education and began working as a prosecutor for the Ukrainian tax authority. She came to the country in 2014 and worked as a model in California. She gave birth to Diana on May 3, 2016.

Constance Buccafurri, who resided in a lovely small house a few miles from Blake and Iana’s West Hollywood condo, was the other lady Blake Leibel was having an affair with at the time, which was unknown to everyone else. Constance claimed that Blake had raped her in the home that she was living in, a home that he owned, in the middle of May 2016, just a few days before Iana was killed. When Iana had to bail out Blake after he was arrested, she learned about his relationship.

Iana asked her mother to take the baby for a few days to her house, which was also paid for by Blake Leibel, fearing that something was extremely wrong and that she was losing him. On May 23, Olga enthusiastically consented and assumed custody of her young grandchild, not realizing it would be the final time she would see her daughter. Olga became concerned when Iana didn’t respond, so she called the police. On May 25, 2016, the police arrived, but they refused to enter the building unless there was a legitimate reason.

Blake Leibel
Amanda Braun, Blake Leibel – 20 February 2008 – Los Angeles, California -NICOLAS BERGGRUEN’s Annual Party at Chateau Marmont, CA. Photo Credit: Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan/Sipa Press/0802212118 (Newscom TagID: sipaphotos962654.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]
The only thing that stood out from the outside was that no one was there to answer the door. Although Olga was adamant that she saw Blake on the balcony and was certain he was inside with Iana, the cops did not seem concerned and left. The cops decided to break down the door and enter the apartment after Olga’s emotional return the following day. What they witnessed inside was a scene that looked like it could have come straight out of a gore movie.

The most-watched true-crime program on television is CBS’s long-running news program “48 Hours,” which looks into startling crimes and gripping true-life dramas. “American Horror Story,” a particularly horrifying episode of “48 Hours,” chronicles the investigation into the unimaginably savage murder of Iana Kasian, a Ukrainian tax attorney turned model who lived in Los Angeles with her lover. On May 26, 2016, after her mother Olga had called the police several times because she hadn’t heard from her daughter in three days, Iana was discovered horrifically mutilated and murdered in the apartment she shared with her boyfriend. Blake Leibel later faced charges of murder, torture, mayhem, and aggravated mayhem; he entered a not guilty plea.

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Exsanguination and head trauma were listed as Kasian’s causes of death in an autopsy report that was made public on September 20, 2017.

The Los Angeles County Coroner Dr. James Ribe’s deposition was included in a civil action brought by the victim’s mother, Olga Kasian, and contained the following statements: “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 several bruises and abrasions on the face, primarily on the left side, the left cheek, and left jaw area, several 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… I have never seen this before. And I doubt if hardly any forensic pathologists in this country or abroad have even seen this outside of, perhaps, wartime… So it’s extremely rare… ”

Blake Leibel was Ordered to Pay Nearly $42 Million

A judge in Los Angeles has mandated that a graphic novelist from an affluent Canadian family pay $41.6 million to the family of his murdered girlfriend, who was cruelly tortured and killed in 2016 only weeks after the couple’s daughter was born.

Blake Leibel, who committed the horrifying murder using a book he worked on years previously as a guide, was found guilty following a bench trial in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Iana Kasian’s family against him.

“This murder didn’t just kill one person, it did kill the family, it shattered the family. And the family has had a hard time crawling back from this,” said Jake Finkel, an attorney representing Kasian’s family.

Finkel noted that neither Leibel, who is incarcerated in Tehachapi, nor a lawyer acting on his behalf attended the trial.

Blake Leibel, a descendant of a wealthy Canadian family with a brief stint in Hollywood, was found guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated mayhem, and torture last year and is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of release.

Leibel had used mattresses to block doors and confined himself in a bedroom with Kasian’s dismembered body before sheriff’s deputies arrived and took him into custody at the West Hollywood residence he lived with Kasian.

During Leibel’s trial, the prosecution told the jury that he had sliced and torn chunks of Kasian’s scalp with a sharp weapon, maybe the green paring knife or bloody razor discovered in the couple’s toilet. Her body had lost the majority of its blood. She lost a lot of blood and died.

According to Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman, Kasian was conscious of the majority of the torture and died “a very slow, excruciating, painful death,” adding that the killing was based on “Syndrome,” a graphic novel that Leibel helped to produce years earlier. The baby doll on the cover has had her scalp removed in part.

Finkel claimed that the money would enable Olga Kasian to nurture her 3-year-old granddaughter in the manner that Iana Kasian would have preferred. They are Ukrainian citizens.

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“The most precious thing to take away from a little girl, from a woman, is her mother. [Diana’s] mother was taken away from her before she even got a real chance to learn about her, get to know her,” Finkel said. “At one point, she’s going to learn about the reality of her mother, and what happened to her, and her biological father and what he did to her mother.”

Where is Iana Kasian’s Baby Daughter Now?

Blake Leibel

After Iana passed away, Olga was chosen to be Diana’s guardian. At Blake’s sentencing, a furious Olga was frank in her remarks. “The life of this little angel began with the fact that her father massacred her mother,”  she remarked. To live with Olga and Iana’s sister, Diana was sent to Ukraine. The young girl would be around five years old at this time. A judge granted the family of Iana more than $40 million in 2019 as part of a wrongful death lawsuit.

Where is Blake Leibel Today?

Two years after Iana’s slaying, in 2018, Blake showed up in court for his hearing. Olga insisted on watching the entire trial, even forcing herself to look at the images of Iana’s corpse. The trial lasted six days and was emotional for Olga. The prosecution pointed out remarkable similarities between the crime and Blake’s graphic novel, in which several women are brutally murdered and their blood is drained from their bodies. Only a few hours were needed for the jury to decide.

Blake Leibel was convicted of first-degree murder and given a life sentence without the chance of parole. Blake will spend the rest of his days at the California Correctional Institution, serving a life sentence.

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