Tycoon ’s son who wrote graphic novel sentenced for murder
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Canadian real estate tycoon’s son who wrote a graphic novel that features gruesome killings was sentenced Tuesday in California to life in prison for the torture and mutilation of a live-in girlfriend who had given birth to their child weeks earlier.
A Los Angeles jury found Blake Leibel, 37, guilty last week of first-degree murder, torture and aggravated mayhem in the slaying of 30-year-old Iana Kasian.
Deputies discovered Kasian’s naked body in a blood-spattered bedroom of the couple’s West Hollywood apartment in May 2016.
Judge Mark E. Windham cited the defendant’s “profound brutality” in handing down the life term without the possibility of parole.
“This monster ruined our life, ruined the life of his family,” Olga Kasian, mother of the victim, said in court through a translator before the sentencing.
Leibel used a knife in a “prolonged attack” in which Kasian was “alive for the better part of the mutilation and mayhem,” prosecutor Tannaz Mokayef told jurors. She said the crime “followed a script” from his graphic novel.
Leibel is the son of Lorne Leibel, a sailor on Canada’s 1976 Olympics team who built a fortune building homes in the Toronto area.
Blake Leibel moved to California and lived on an allowance of about $18,000 a month over a seven-year period until inheriting the majority of his mother’s estate.
He worked in a variety of creative roles, including as a director and creative consultant in 2008 on an animated series based on Mel Brooks’ 1987 film “Spaceballs,” according to his profile on IMDb. He wrote and directed his own film comedy, “Bald,” that same year.
He’s credited as 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. He tests his theory on a serial killer.