Author re-enacts horror novel he wrote
03 June 2016, 18:58
Los Angeles - A Canadian real estate tycoon's son who explored the darkest side of evil in his graphic novel is now accused of carrying out such an act.
Blake Leibel was charged this week with murder, torture and mutilation of a girlfriend who had just given birth to their child. Deputies discovered the bloodless body of Iana Kasian after breaking through a barricade to get into the couple's West Hollywood apartment, prosecutors said.
The case has grabbed attention in Canada, where his father, Lorne Leibel, a sailor on the country's 1976 Olympics team, built a fortune constructing homes in the Toronto area and is known for his love of Ferraris and racing powerboats.
The father and his estranged wife, Eleanor Leibel, provided for their two sons when they moved to California years ago, according to papers filed in an Ontario court. Each was given a big house and Blake Leibel lived off an allowance of about $18 000 a month over a seven year period until inheriting the majority of his mother's estate.
Blake Leibel and his older brother, Cody, were drawn to California because of the weather, said attorney Ronald Richards, who said he was hired to look after them and keep them out of trouble.
Each pursued different creative paths.
Cody Leibel founded C-Note Records, a now defunct label and rubbed elbows with some of Hollywood's biggest stars.
Blake Leibel, 35, worked in a variety of creative roles, including as a director and creative consultant in 2008 on the animated series based on Mel Brooks 1987 film Spaceballs, according to his profile on IMDb. He wrote and directed his own comedy, Bald, that same year about a balding college student whose friends create an erotic website to raise money for a hair transplant.
He's 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.
Suffering for revenge
The graphic novel opens outside a prison where the killer is about to be executed for 38 murders. It then flashes back to scenes of him hanging a couple by their ankles and slitting the man's throat.
The charges against Blake allege he used a knife to torture, maim and murder Kasian sometime between May 23 and May 26. The elements of torture include the intent to cause cruel and extreme pain and suffering for revenge, extortion or a sadistic purpose. By the time she was found, all the blood had drained from her body, prosecutors said.
Leibel, who pleaded not guilty to all counts, faces a mental competency hearing June 14. If convicted of first-degree murder, he could face the death penalty, though prosecutors haven't decided if they'll seek it.