#SpookySZN: Life imitates art in true crime’s ’48 Hours: Hollywood Horror Story’

True Crime October 18, 2021
Listen to ’48 Hours: Hollywood Horror Story’

CBS News Radio’s “48 Hours” is an investigative series bringing stories of true crime and justice in its weekly episodes. This podcast focuses on cases involving murder, greed, and passion, conducting interviews with those involved. Recent episodes covered Gabby Petito‘s case, The Black Swan Murder, and wondered if Lizzie Borden actually axe’d her parents to death. This spooky season, Podsauce was captivated with the “Hollywood Horror Story” episode, following the case of Blake Leibel, a Hollywood hopeful who was accused of killing his girlfriend.

In this episode, correspondent Maureen Maher shares the chilling details of this story, as one of his works’ storylines foreshadowed the murder’s details. Blake co-authored the graphic novel, Syndrome, in which a neuropathologist isolates evil’s source in the brain. The doctor enlists a film director, an actress, and a serial killer to conduct experiments in the desert. This storyline is echoed in what forensics found to be his girlfriend’s COD.

Blake had inherited a considerable sum from his Canadian family’s businesses including real estate development and plastics businesses. He moved to California to break into the film industry. Blake was a writer, producer, and comic artist who worked on several projects including the film, Bald, and an animated series, Space Balls. But how would he suddenly turn into a killer?

In 2016, Blake’s girlfriend Iana Kasian was found murdered inside their West Hollywood apartment with evidence of torture and mutilation. Police said Iana’s body was scalped while still alive, then the body’s blood was drained. Iana was the mother of his child, and she had given birth three weeks prior to her murder. This episode attempts to unpack Blake’s motive, if he had one at all.

Listeners also hear about Blake’s ex-wife, his sudden departure from the marriage, and Blake’s fear of danger from the Russian mob. Blake’s brother was described as having gambling problems, indebted to mobsters, and this episode also explores if Blake’s phobia was valid. In addition, we hear about Blake’s strained relationship with his family and jealousy he long held toward his brother.

Iana was close to her mother who knew something was wrong when she had not seen or heard from her daughter for days. She asked the LAPD to do a wellness check, and no one answered the door. Blake was seen through the windows and appeared to ignore their knocks. After several attempts and multiple visits, the LAPD broke down the door and made a grisly discovery.

In 2018, Blake was convicted of first-degree murder, and additionally received charges for torture and mayhem. For more disturbing details from the case, tune in to hear the complete episode, “Hollywood Horror Story.” If you’re interested in true crime, you might want to check out the “48 Hours” series, with new episodes posted weekly.

Listen to ’48 Hours: Hollywood Horror Story’

New shows we love...

Join Our Newsletter

The best podcasts to listen to next, delivered right to your inbox every week.

By clicking Submit, you acknowledge you have read and agree to our Website and Digital Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.