‘Most brutal murder in LA history’
WARNING: Graphic content
MODEL Iana Kasian died at the hands of her author and filmmaker boyfriend in what homicide police have labelled the most brutal murder in Los Angeles' history.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles jury found Blake Leibel, 37, guilty of first-degree murder, torture and aggravated mayhem in the slaying of Ms Kasian - two years after police found him barricaded inside a West Hollywood apartment with his girlfriend's mutilated and bloodless corpse.
Leibel, who is the son of a Canadian real estate tycoon, wrote a graphic novel in 2010 called Syndrome.
Throughout the week-long trial, it was reported that prosecutor District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef and her co-counsel had hammered at the idea that Leibel had orchestrated the murder to mirror certain elements from the plot of book - about a scientist who experiments on a psychopathic killer to find a cure for evil.
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.
Leibel used a knife in a "prolonged attack" in which the victim was "alive for the better part of the mutilation and mayhem," prosecutor Tannaz Mokayef told jurors. She said the crime "followed a script" from the graphic novel.
On May 26 last year, Ms Kasian's mother called the police and begged them to check on her daughter at the couple's apartment.
Police arrived to find Leibel hiding in the bedroom with Ms Kasian's body. He had barricaded the door with their furniture and bedding. Their two-month-old daughter was lying next to Ms Kasian's body unharmed.
In September 2016, Dr James Ribe of the Los Angeles County Coroner's office revealed graphic details about the horrific abuse Ms Kasian endured before her death.
"[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," Dr Ribe said.
"Also 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 the jawline," he added.
The case made headlines 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.
Leibel moved to California and lived off an allowance of about $US18,000 ($AU24,500) a month over a seven-year period until inheriting the majority of his mother's estate.
Leibel faces life in prison when he's sentenced on Tuesday, June 26.