Blood stains on bedsheet tell story of girlfriend’s gruesome murder, prosecutors at Blake Leibel trial say

WARNING: Story contains disturbing content

LOS ANGELES — The garbage chute in the hall outside Blake Leibel’s third-floor condo led down to a dumpster. Inside, investigators found bloodied towels, some bedding, a few t-shirts. But prosecutors in Leibel’s murder trial on Wednesday seemed most interested in what looked like a white bedsheet marked by three red handprints.

There was something different about them, said Tom Bevel, a blood spatter expert called by the prosecution.

“If you look at the right hand,” he told the jury. “The little finger is shorter than what is to be expected.”

At that point, Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef showed a photo of Blake Leibel’s right hand. His pinky finger was missing from the knuckle up, matching the bloody handprint on the sheet.

From Bevel’s assessment, the sheet told a story. There was a large splotch of blood above the handprints. That, he said, showed where the victim, 30-year-old Iana Kasian, had laid her head, sometime after her scalp had been sliced and torn away. And the handprints showed that her attacker lurched over top, with arms on either side of her — though, as Leibel’s lawyer pointed out, the handprints and the head impression could have been made at different times.

It was part of an onslaught of little scenes and fragments the prosecution has methodically presented to the jury throughout this trial — glimpses of the horror Kasian endured in the hours before her death. Witnesses have testified in disturbing detail about what Kasian would have felt and seen as she bled to death through deep wounds on her head. But what the prosecution has yet to answer, as it nears the conclusion of its case, is why anyone would do this, especially to the mother of a baby girl born weeks earlier.

Leibel, a Canadian graphic novelist and son of a prominent Toronto real estate developer, has pleaded not guilty to mayhem, torture and murder charges.

One of the most bizarre facts of the case has been the state in which Kasian was found. Though her body was drained of more than half its blood, Kasian was clean when police found her, lying beneath a Mickey Mouse comforter. The tan, wrinkled sheet beneath her was clean too. The mattress, however, was covered in blood.

The prosecution continued trying to answer the question Wednesday, with Bevel, the blood spatter expert, testifying that the apartment Leibel and Kasian shared in West Hollywood showed signs of extensive cleaning. The fact that the bloodied mattress didn’t stain the top sheet meant the blood must have had ample time to dry before the new sheet was put on, with Kasian on top of it.

Investigators sprayed a chemical substance that glows when it comes in contact with blood that has been treated with cleaning products (it reacts to both the metals in the cleaners and the iron in blood).

In photos of the apartment shown to jurors, the apartment floors are streaked with a fluorescent blue – in the dining room and in the hallway, in both the …read more

Source:: Nationalpost – News


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