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Chef On Trial For Murder Says He Slow-Cooked Wife

September 19, 2012 at 8:35 am by  

Los Angeles, CA – David Viens, 49, is on trial for the March 2009 murder of his wife, Dawn Viens, 39.  He has pleaded not guilty in the death.

Mr. Viens is a chef and restauranteur in the Los Angeles area.  His wife, who is pictured here, worked with him at the restaurant.  According to police interviews conducted in March 2011, Viens and his wife had an argument on October 19, 2009.  He said that she had wanted to do cocaine that day, and that he was against it because he didn’t find the experience of doing the drug with her “enjoyable.”

“For some reason, I just got violent,” Viens said. “Seemed like it had to deal with her stealing money.”  In earlier testimony, Viens had indicated that he believed his wife had been skimming money from the restaurant.

“So you found her with money and you snapped,” sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Garcia asked Viens.  “Yes,” he said.

According to Viens, he bound his wife’s hands and feet with duct tape, placed a strip across her mouth, and fell asleep.  When he woke in the morning, he reportedly found her dead and in a state of rigor mortis.  Panicked, he said that he put her body in a closet, then into a garbage bag, and then disposed of the bundle in the restaurant’s dumpster.

When asked if she’d put up a struggle, Viens indicated that she had not, and that he had bound her several times before.  The March 2011 interview, which was recording while officers were digging up Viens’s restaurant in search of Dawn’s body, was played in court this week.

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The interview also included an important piece of information regarding the time between the arrival of Dawn’s body at the restaurant and her placement in the dumpster.  The information is critical because it explains why investigators have never been able to locate Dawn Viens’s body, and why they’ll likely never be able to determine a cause of death.

“I just slowly cooked it and I ended up cooking her for four days,” said Viens.  According to records, Viens placed his wife in a 55-gallon drum of boiling water, keeping it submerged with weights.  Once his wife-stew was complete, he mixed what remained with other waste and disposed of it in the dumpster.  The only thing left, he said, was her skull, which he alleges he stashed in his mother’s attic.  Investigators searched, but never found it.

Now, when I make chicken soup, I boil a four-pound chicken carcass for at least a couple of hours.  But one time, after boiling it for an hour and a half, I turned the stove off and left my house for about four hours.  When I returned, all the connecting tissues of the chicken had completely disintegrated.  When I tried to remove the chicken from the pot to pick the meat off the bones, it broke into pieces, and I was left picking tiny bones out of the pot for about an hour.  I can only imagine what might happen to a human body after four days of boiling.

In court this week, Jacqueline Viens, David’s daughter, testified that her father had previously joked about killing his wife and disposing of her body by cooking it.  According to Jacqueline, Viens also said, through tears, that the body would never be found.

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Viens is currently attending his trial in a wheelchair.  He jumped off Rancho Palos Verdes cliff in 2011 after hearing that he was a person of interest in his wife’s disappearance.

Now that doesn’t sound like something an innocent man would do, does it?

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  • Chinchillazilla

    I hope he properly marinated her, or she’d be incredibly dry.

  • hell hath no fury like a chef scorned

  • Eliza Berntsen

    None of those actions really come across as something that a moment of madness would bring on. It looks pre- meditated and very cruel. And, when he used to tie her up before, did he fall asleep then as well? Because that really isn’t how bondage is supposed to work.

  • Sam

    So i take it the restaurant was closed then while hubby dearest was preparing the wifesoup? Cause i’m thinking a bathtub bubbling away on top of the stove might make some of the other kitchen workers curious at the very least.

  • Transducer

    Perhaps this explains why the gravy tasted so weird.

  • JGo555

    I would’ve liked to be spared of the “cooking process and method” of your chicken stock with the mental image of the lovely lady, Pete.
    Another jackass that never grew out of the “ME ME ME” stage.

  • JGo555

    THE SMELL. I mean if you’re a cook you’ve at least smelled every type of meat that can be bought around your area…

  • Zazen

    I like to think I’d be best braised in sherry. Or marinated in whiskey >.>

  • CT

    If I started a list of everything that my spouse says isn’t enjoyable to do with me — we would be here all day and yet I am still here making my inane comments. If my husband can hold it together – ANY man can.

  • CT

    I make a terrific beef cooked in the crock pot. I guess a crock pot wouldn’t have worked in this case?

  • tinalib13

    Hmmmm I’m thinking Gazebo Room for me.

  • tinalib13

    No, but one of those pig cookers would work.

  • CT

    Has potential.

  • Zazen

    I think my claw-foot tub will also do in a pinch.

  • Sam

    Can you imagine walking past the closed restaurant, sniffing the air, and making plans to have dinner there one night because it smells so… interesting?

  • CT

    My Mom has one of those too. Though hers needs refinished. I imagine cooking a body in it would ruin the finish even more.

  • JohnQknowitall

    And back at the restaurant… Were there other employees or was it a very tiny operation? If he were crazy enough to bind his wife and then cook her (her body never to be found) perhaps she was not only in the pot, but also on the menu.

  • JohnQknowitall

    I’m sali’vate’n now!

  • SayAunt

    Never located the body? Confucius say “Dim Dawn Sum”.

  • kimbev69

    that’s my thought is he cooked her up and served her

  • kcjosh

    Once the stew was done she could be enjoyed with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

  • RachelAnnPrince

    I wonder if he seasoned the body before he made her into soup to cover up the smell… I know I know weird fucking thing to ask but decomposing body in a 55gal drum just a cooking away is gonna smell you would think.
    Also as I was reading the article I really wanted to make some chicken soup…wtf?

  • JohnQknowitall

    So far he has… 😉

  • JohnQknowitall

    A little gamey?

  • CT

    My kids are just squeaking in under age 5 so I figure I’ve got a few more years before he thinks he can handle them on his own.

  • Transducer

    Firefighters say cooking human flesh smells like cooking lamb. So, sort of gamey.

  • come_and_see

    It sounds like he’s lying to me and he enjoys the attention he got.

  • JohnQknowitall

    God love DD… you always get the best information right here!!!

  • Califboy

    Redefines, I wife is hot!!!

  • Am I the only one who thinks the fact Pete makes chicken soup is Hawt??

  • Athena

    All the things about Pete that could be considered hawt, and that’s the one you latch on to? Yeah… you might be alone on that one.

  • Athena

    Dude looks pretty decent for jumping off a cliff and closing in on 50…

  • newstarshipsmell

    Well, if he decides to write a book about it, let me suggest the title:
    HumanChicken Soup For The Damned Soul.

  • Andyman

    What a shame. She was pretty cute and liked to party. 🙂

  • EveryVillainIsLemons

    He clearly walked away with the wrong lesson from watching Fried Green Tomatoes. No doubt the secret was in the sauce.

  • NY_Mommy

    Wonder why he didn’t enjoy doing coke with her. I wonder if she was a talker or one of those paranoid people that repeatedly looks out all the windows.

  • What a disgusting vile piece of trash to cook another human being. I hope he gets boiled alive in hell.

  • Yeah! I’ve got a penis and shit.

  • pikeman

    “Ah, my name is Chef Viens. Today I am serving my very special French stew, complete with zesty herbs and spices. Bon Apetite.”

  • pikeman

    Just don’t let some crazy bitch make a stew out of it.

  • Athena

    Can we not have this conversation? You’re like family… very extended but blood-related family. I’m leaving now.

  • pikeman

    That comment sucked. My apologies.

  • AssWho?

    Gross. Thanks for that thought/concern when visiting a mom and pop restaurant.

  • AssWho?

    I know right, dinner recipe and guide to disposal a body. Im so excited I might invite the in-laws for dinner…….mmm gamey

  • JohnQknowitall

    You are so crazy! lol

  • JohnQknowitall

    You might just want to make sure both Mom and Pop are there!

  • PlaysWithBalls

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

  • kimbev69

    you didn’t think this and i’m sure they are closed now lol

  • mandajayne

    Finally I know how to answer my husband when he asks ” What in God’s name are you going to cook in a crockpot that big?”

  • Wicked Smilee

    If this is the case i remember, the cops interviewed him at the restaraunt, saying that it was always too busy for him to take time off….. Special of the day?

  • becks

    She was murdered in March 2009 because of an argument in October 2009? How’s that?

  • onlyme356

    This is the kind of story people makes jokes about because it just sounds so incredibly fictional.

  • JustBrowsingLife

    I wonder if he cleaned her like a deer or a fish.