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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.

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.

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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