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.
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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