Chef Who Killed His Wife Cooked Her For 4 Days, Disposed of Remains

ABC News
Chef Who Killed His Wife Cooked Her For 4 Days, Disposed of Remains

View photo

Chef Who Killed His Wife Cooked Her For 4 Days, Disposed of Remains (ABC News)

A Los Angeles chef on trial for the murder of his wife told investigators that he disposed of her body by boiling it for four days then trashed the remains with other waste in a grease pit in his restaurant.

David Viens, 49, was a chef at the Thyme Contemporary Café in Lomita, Calif., when on Oct. 18, 2009 he came home and argued with his 39-year-old wife, Dawn Viens.

At one point he duct-taped her mouth and bound her hands and feet before falling asleep and finding her corpse the next morning, he told investigators according to The Los Angeles Times.

"I woke up. I panicked," Viens said. "She was hard."

On Tuesday a jury in L.A. heard that Viens told investigators that in a panic he stuffed his wife's body face-down into a 55-gallon drum of boiling water and proceeded to cook it for four days. He said that he used weights to submerge Dawn's 105-pound body in the boiling water.

"I just slowly cooked it and I ended up cooking her for four days," he told investigators.

Viens then took some of his wife's body's remains, mixed it with other waste from the restaurant and poured it into the grease pit at the Thyme Contemporary Café. Other remains were placed in the dumpster in garbage bags.

He said that afterwards all he saved was his wife's skull, though a search of the house turned up nothing, nor did an excavation of the restaurant, according to The Associated Press.

"That's the only thing I didn't want to get rid of in case I wanted to leave it somewhere," he told police of the skull, saying that he left in "my mother's attic."

It wasn't until 2011 that Viens learned that police investigating Dawn's disappearance began to suspect him. At that point he leapt feet-first from an 80-foot cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. He survived the fall and is now in a wheelchair.

Viens sat in the courtroom staring ahead and scribbling notes as a stunned-looking jury listened to the 2011 taped hospital bed confession to police.

What Viens says in the taped interviews closely matches what he told his daughter and a former girlfriend, both of whom have testified for the prosecution.

Details of exactly what occurred between David and Dawn Viens that night in October 2009 remain unclear. Viens told police that he and his wife had eaten at a California Pizza Kitchen before he did some work at the restaurant and then went out with friends. When he arrived back home, he said, the couple began to fight.

In one interview Viens said that he and his wife had argued after he accused her of stealing money from their restaurant.

In a later interview, he said that the couple had taken cocaine, and in yet another interview he said she was bothering him while he was trying to sleep.

Viens told police that he had previously taped her up to prevent her from "driving around wasted, whacked out on coke and drinking."

"For some reason I just got violent," Veins said.

View Comments (70)

Recommended for You

  • Royal Caribbean Passenger Recounts Terrifying 12 Hours on Cruise Ship

    One passenger on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was rocked by hurricane-force winds said she was afraid for her life as the boat tipped side to side and she lay in bed shaking.Guests on the Anthem of the Seas ship were asked to stay in their rooms Sunday as wind gusts topped 76 miles per hour…

    Good Morning America10 mins ago
  • Massive Pig Corralled at New Hampshire Polling Station

    One New Hampshire voter this morning wanted to see how the sausage gets made.A massive pig weighing over 600 pounds was corralled today from outside a voting station here in Pelham, New Hampshire, according to the Pelham Police Department.The pig lingered among Granite State voters, who were just…

    Good Morning America12 mins ago
  • Ciara Sues Former Fiance for Slander, Defamation and Libel

    Ciara has filed a lawsuit against her former fiancé, Future. Ciara cited numerous occasions in which she claims Future made malicious comments about her, their 1-year-old son, and her new boyfriend, NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, on social media and in the press. A few months later, they…

    Good Morning America12 mins ago
  • Zika Virus May Be Linked to Infant Eye Abnormalities, Study Says

    The Zika virus may be associated with another birth defect in infants, according to a new study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association Ophthalmology. Researchers from Brazil found that some infants exposed to the virus had ocular defects including atrophied retinas,…

    Good Morning America
  • Florida Man Attacks Victims With Metal Rod and Samurai Sword in Bizarre Crime Spree, Police Say

    A 22-year-old man clad in a bright red bucket hat went on a bizarre and violent crime spree in Lauderhill, Florida, on Sunday morning, injuring two, police said. Jovaughn Walker stole a vehicle, attacked an elderly man with a metal rod at a gas station, then drove to a market and attacked a clerk…

    Good Morning America
  • 18-Year-Old Kidney Transplant Survivor Gets Renovated Truck Thanks to Make-A-Wish

    Strangers from around the country came together to make over a pickup truck for an 18-year-old kidney transplant survivor. Nick Cesarini, of Greenwich, Connecticut, was surprised with the truck Saturday in a reveal so dramatic his twin sister flew home from college to attend it. “I was blown…

    Good Morning America
  • Maryland Man Is Swamped With Texts Demanding Free Chipotle Burritos

    After mandatory employee meetings temporarily closed more than 2,000 Chipotle restaurants for a few hours on Monday, Chipotle ran a promotion to make it up to their customers. In Maryland, customers who mistakenly added an extra “2” to that number had their messages redirected to Hank Levine.

    Good Morning America
  • Zika Virus Outbreak Updates: Florida Expands State of Emergency to 7th County

    As the Zika virus outbreak continues, including in wide swaths of Central and South America, concerns are growing, especially for pregnant women, because the mosquito-borne virus has been linked with a serious birth defect called microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head and brain. …

    Good Morning America
  • Dad Writes School Note Excusing Daughters' Tardiness Because of a Bruce Springsteen Concert

    In a major Dad-move win, Patrick Pipino of Saratoga Springs, New York, penned an honest note excusing his daughters' school tardiness because the family attended a Bruce Springsteen concert on Monday night. Pipino told ABC News that his two daughters, Isabelle, 12, and Sarah, 7, are both huge…

    Good Morning America
  • Cam Newton Defends His Decision to Walk Out of the Post-Super Bowl Press Conference

    Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton defended his decision to walk out of the Super Bowl's post-game press conference after his team's loss to the Denver Broncos. "I've got no more tears to cry," Newton said according to ESPN. A Broncos player could be heard boasting about his team's win as…

    Good Morning America
  • Sikh Actor and Model Waris Ahluwalia Barred From Aeromexico Flight Over Turban

    Sikh actor and designer Waris Ahluwalia remains in Mexico City, a day after he says he was barred from boarding an Aeromexico flight to New York for refusing to remove his turban in public during a security screening. "This morning in Mexico City I was told I could not board my @aeromexico flight…

    Good Morning America
  • Samuel L. Jackson Recounts Racist Moment as a Young Actor

    Samuel L. Jackson said he'll always remember this one incident that happened when he was starting his career in Hollywood. He continued "There we were, lying facedown in the middle of Santa Monica Boulevard. "I was thinking to myself, I’m in Hollywood now, on the verge of breaking through, and…

    Good Morning America
  • Rapper DMX Rushed to Hospital After Asthma Attack, Says Lawyer

    DMX was rushed to a Yonkers, New York, hospital last night after an apparent asthma attack, his lawyer Murray Richman told ABC News. The rapper, born Earl Simmons, was at a local Ramada at the time of the incident, according to both his lawyer and the manager of the hotel, Hari Shukla. Richman…

    Good Morning America
  • Incredible Footage Shows Pedestrian Tripping Suspect as He's Running From Police

    Officers were on patrol in Kingston, United Kingdom, on Saturday when they were made aware of a report of two males dealing drugs, police said in a statement. The officers chased one of the suspects through the town center "when they received some unexpected assistance from a member of the…

    Good Morning America
  • Hong Kong 'Fish Ball Revolution' Erupts in Violent Crackdown

    Violent clashes erupted overnight in Hong Kong after protesters defended unlicensed food vendors, set up for Chinese New Year celebrations, from being shut down by police. The group said on its official Facebook page that its candidate for local council, Edward Leung Tin-kei, had been arrested.

    Good Morning America
  • Brie Larson Hasn't Seen or Spoken to Her Dad in 10 Years

    Brie Larson is up for an Oscar for her emotionally-wrenching performance of a woman held captive in a garden shed for seven years in the film "Room."Some of the inspiration for her performance, the 26-year-old actress told Elle in a new interview, comes from her own life and difficult childhood.…

    Good Morning America
  • Sylvester Stallone Says He Considered Boycotting the Oscars

    The topic of diversity in Hollywood and within the Academy was addressed by several stars Monday at the Oscar nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills. Sylvester Stallone, a best supporting actor contender for "Creed," made headlines by saying he was open to the idea of boycotting the upcoming Oscars…

    Good Morning America