An autopsy report has revealed how a model was scalped and drained of blood, in a murder branded unprecedented “outside of wartime”.
Comic book writer Blake Leibel, 35, is charged with the murder of the mother of his child, Ukrainian-born Iana Kasian, 30.
She died of exsanguination -- being drained of her blood -- according the medical documents, and blunt force trauma to the head.
She is also believed to have been tortured for hours in a knife attack in a Los Angeles apartment.
The murder took place in May last year and Mr Leibel, the heir to a plastics and property fortune, could be given the death sentence if found guilty, due to the severity of the crime.
Dr James Ribe, of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office, gave a harrowing description of Ms Kasian’s death in an autopsy report.
“[Her] 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,” he said, according to the Toronto Sun.
“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.”
Dr Ribe also said there were bruises and abrasions on Ms Kasian’s face, including a human bite mark.
In a grim twist, the autopsy also revealed Ms Kasian “lived for at least eight hours approximately after receiving the scalp injury and the bruise to the collarbone.”
Dr Ribe said: “I have never seen this before. And I doubt hardly any forensic pathologists in this country or abroad have even seen this, outside of, perhaps, wartime ... it’s extremely rare.”
Mr Leibel, a Toronto native, is charged with murder, mayhem, aggravated mayhem and torture.
His lawyers are reportedly planning to argue he is mentally unfit for trial.
The couple’s one-year-old child is now with Ms Kasian’s mother.
In addition to writing a number of comic books, Mr Leibel was the director of an animated version of the 1987 Mel Brooks Star Wars parody, Spaceballs.
He also directed the straight-to-DVD film Bald, released in 2008.
His father, Lorne Leibel, is prominent real estate developer in Toronto who also competed in the 1976 Olympic sailing team.
He stayed an avid racer of both boats and cars, and referred to himself as the “Ferrari Man”.