Chef Admits to Slow-Cooking Wife’s Body After Killing Her

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A California chef has admitted to the murder of his wife and, even more gruesomely, to disposing of the body in an appropriate fashion: by slow-cooking her for four days.

That’s what a jury is hearing in the Southern California trial of David Viens, who is accused of killing his 39-year-old wife Dawn on October 18, 2009. Investigators were never able to find her body, and new audiotapes being played for the court shed light on the reason why they may never be able to.

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According to NBC Los Angeles, the 49-year-old chef at the former Thyme Contemporary Café in Lomita, Calif., reportedly confessed to two detectives in March 2011, detailing how he allegedly used his kitchen skills to butcher his wife’s body. He then allegedly put the 105-pound woman’s remains in a metal drum, added water, and turned up the heat.

“I took some, some things like weights that we use and I put them on the top of her body, and I just slowly cooked it and I ended up cooking her for four days,” Viens said on the tape.

Dawn allegedly died when her husband, after an argument, tied up her arms and legs and put duct tape over her mouth. He said he had no idea what to do when he found her dead the next morning – so he seems to have taken a page out of his cookbook. “I cooked her four days, I let her cool, I strained it out,” he explained in the confession.

His confession notes that he mixed her remains with cooking grease at restaurant. He said he stuffed other body parts into garbage bags and tossed it out with the trash. The only part remaining, he stated on the tape, was her skull, which was supposedly stashed in his mother’s attic, though investigators were unable to find it after a search.

Viens has pleaded not guilty to killing his wife. But the tapes, recorded in March 2011, reveal Viens’ confession to the murder. He gave the interview to two detectives while being treated at a Los Angeles hospital after an alleged suicide attempt.

In February 2011, Viens jumped off an 80-foot cliff on the Pacific coast after evidence was released that implicated him in his wife’s death. Still ailing from the jump, he has attended the trial in a wheelchair.

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12 comments
A.P.
A.P.

botched is own suicide. should have cooked himself. 

Bershawn300
Bershawn300

To the author: there is no "appropriate" way to dispose of a body after a homicide.  There is nothing ever "appropriate" about it.   Your choice of words belies a detached attempt at humor in an article instead requiring grace, tact, objectivity, and civility.  

N Johnson
N Johnson

Things like this usually (barring a psychotic break/major stressor) do not just suddenly happen. There was likely a long history of domestic violence. Please educate yourselves about the signs and encourage your local legislators, courts and law enforcement officers to take the issue seriously and hold abusers accountable. 

Guest
Guest

Well, it looks like our chef *puts on sunglasses* acquired a taste for murder.

Disquskurr
Disquskurr

Wish we could know more about the marination he used....

JohnLadd
JohnLadd

 I wonder if it tasted like chicken soup?

What would have been even more twisted if he fed his homemade soup to the homeless people on Sunset. This did happened in a European country recently. There are some sick MF'ers out there.

tma_sierrahills
tma_sierrahills

"after accidentally killing his wife"

Sure, "accidently." Who wrote this, his best friend?

N Johnson
N Johnson

That's why the law distinguishes between negligent and intentional homicide - he may well not have meant to kill her, but a reasonable person would have realized (and cared) that it could happen.

tma_sierrahills
tma_sierrahills

You make some good points, but the information in the article is a bit confusing. It seems as if the trial is still ongoing, so if that is the case, no one has yet determined what happened was truly accidental. He just claimed he was surprised when he found her dead--after an argument, and then tying her and taping her up and leaving her like that all night? Golly, how convenient. We just take his word it was unintentional? Plus he had earlier admitted to the police that he had committed "murder." So I'll stand by my earlier comment. 

David Conrad
David Conrad

I think by "an appropriate manner" you mean to say "an INappropriate manner".

Lalit
Lalit

I think the writer did mean 'appropriate', in relation to the first part of the sentence where it says that he is a 'chef'.