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Chef boiled wife for four days to destroy evidence

A chef who told police he boiled his wife's body for four days to hide evidence of her death was convicted of second-degree murder.

David Viens showed no emotion as the verdict was read. The sister of his victim burst into sobs.

In a recorded interrogation presented by prosecutors during the trial in Los Angeles, Viens (49) can be heard saying he cooked the body of his 39-year-old wife Dawn in late 2009 until little was left but her skull.

"He treated her like a piece of meat and got rid of her," said Karen Patterson, the couple's best friend.

The chef spoke to authorities from a hospital bed in March 2011 after leaping off a cliff. Authorities say he jumped after learning he was a suspect.

The trial relied heavily on recorded interviews with authorities in which the chef discussed the crime in detail.


"I just slowly cooked it and I ended up cooking her for four days," Viens could be heard saying on the recording.

Viens said in the interview that he stuffed his wife's body in a 55-gallon drum of boiling water. He said he mixed what remained after four days with other waste, dumping some of it in a grease pit at his restaurant in Lomita, and putting the rest with the rubbish.

Viens said he had noticed money missing from his restaurant and suspected his wife. He forced her on to the floor where he put duct tape over her mouth before going to bed.

He awoke to find her dead, and panicked, he said.

Viens, who will be sentenced on November 27, could face 15 years to life in prison.

Irish Independent