A Southern California chef accused of killing his wife, whose body has never been found, told detectives that he slowly cooked his her for four days in a 55-gallon drum, boiling her body in water and discarding her remains in his restaurant's grease pit, according to a taped confession played Tuesday in court.
David Viens, 49, said he hid the skull and jawbone in his mother's attic, but a detective said he could not find it.
Viens revealed the grisly details of how he disposed of his Dawn Viens' body when he summoned detectives to his hospital room at County-USC Medical Center on March 15, 2011, three weeks after he jumped from a Rancho Palos Verdes cliff in a suicide attempt as detectives closed in.
Jurors read a transcript as Viens' recorded statement was played at his murder trial in Superior Court in downtown Los Angeles. Viens, sitting in his wheelchair, appeared to stare straight ahead.
"I manipulated her so the face was - the face is down, and 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.
"You cooked Dawn's body for four days?" sheriff's homicide Sgt. Richard Garcia asked.
"I cooked her four days," he said. "I let her cool. I strained it out."
Viens is charged with killing his wife, who was last seen Oct. 18, 2009.