Scalped: The Hollywood Horror Story of Iana Kasian

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The killer had already published the blood chilling scene of decapitation and murder in a comic book he created six years earlier.

Now he was ready to carry it out on his beautiful Ukrainian girlfriend.

Iana Kasian

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Iana Kaisan had studied law and worked as a tax prosecutor in her native Ukraine. She arrived in California in 2014 with dreams of becoming a model and translator.

Leibel, 37, was convicted last week in the death of Iana Kasian (pictured), who had just given birth to the couple's newborn daughter weeks before her murder 

Blake Leibel

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Blake Leibel seemingly had it all. He was the son of a successful real estate tycoon and had grown up in Toronto’s most privileged neighborhood. Inheriting millions after the death of his mother, he moved to Hollywood determined to make a name for himself.

Leibel had visions of writing and directing movies. In attempts to promote his work he was known to walk into comic stores and offer free copies. However, his gory ideas were receiving little acceptance within the mainstream.

In 2010, he released the graphic novel that the court would later attribute to being the template for Kaisan’s murder.

Syndrome tells the story of an obsessed neuroscientist who plans to experiment on a serial killer. He is convinced he can cure his “evil” through triggering the empathy nerve in his brain.

Sick: Leibel had published a graphic novel that contained cartoons of decapitated and bloodied women, which prosecutors say he used as the blueprint for Kasian's murder
Image of Decapitated Woman from Syndrome

The cover of his book depicts a scalped baby and violent images found within show women naked and decapitated. The opening page offers the creepy quote:

If you loved hurting things, what would you do?

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Hurting Things

In 2016, Leibel’s seemingly easygoing lifestyle came crashing down around him. He could no longer control the various romances that complicated his world and feared he was going to lose everything.

Blake Leibel, 35, was arrested and accused of murdering his 30-year-old Ukrainian girlfriend Iana Kasian on Thursday after her mangled body was found in his Hollywood apartment. He is pictured here with ex-wife Amanda Braun 
Leibel with ex-wife Amanda Braun

The previous year, Leibel had been married and was living with his first wife in their Beverly Hills home. Out of the blue he had filed divorce papers against his spouse of nine years who at the time was pregnant with their second child.

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He had moved to a West Hollywood apartment with his new girlfriend, Kaisan also pregnant with his child.

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Constance Buccafurri

Then a third cause for his anxiety came to head. His mistress, Constance Buccafurri whom he regularly dated pressed felony charges against him for aggravated rape.

When Kaisan had found out about this relationship, she had left their home to move in with her mother Olga and Diana, their newborn daughter. Leibel had been showing increased signs of jealousy over the attention she was pouring on the infant. He did not want the child in their home.

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Olga Kasian with grandaughter Diana and Iana Kasian.

On the day before her death, Kaisan and Olga had gone shopping at the mall, only to have their day interrupted by frantic texts from Leibel. Kaisan was growing increasingly upset from the messages and told her mother she needed to go to him.

By the following afternoon, when Olga had not heard back from her daughter she started to panic and called the police to do a welfare check on Kaisan.

Leibel had peacefully surrendered to the police and as he exited a bedroom splattered in blood he claimed he didn’t know who did it.

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A Hollywood Horror

The police found Kaisan’s body lying next to Diana who had been unharmed during the murder. Her entire scalp was missing and her body had been drained of blood.

Leibel had used a razor like object along with his bare hands to rip apart Kaisan’s hairline. He had completely severed off her right ear.

The brutality of the injuries on Kaisan left even the police in shock. Her head had been stripped down all the way down to the skull.

Even more disturbing, evidence would later show that she had been fully conscious for at least eight hours after the scalping had begun.

Libel’s own scratches and bites showed that Kaisan had put up a good fight. She had ultimately died due to extreme blood loss.

A Monster in the End

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In 2018, a horrified jury witnessed the gruesome photos of Kaisan’s final hours. They showed pieces of her flesh including her eyebrows scattered around the bedroom and her lifeless naked corpse.

Blake Leibel was convicted of first-degree murder, torture, and aggravated mayhem. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


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