Prosecutors: Chef Told Police He Cooked Wife

A bizarre 2009 murder case got even more strange with what appeared to be a taped confession.

By Beverly White and Bill French
|  Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012  |  Updated 12:08 PM CDT
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There was crucial testimony onTuesday in the murder trial of chef David Viens, accused of killing his wife, Dawn. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11pm on Tuesday, Sept.18, 2012.

Beverly White and Sean Browning

There was crucial testimony onTuesday in the murder trial of chef David Viens, accused of killing his wife, Dawn. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11pm on Tuesday, Sept.18, 2012.

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In a taped interview played in court Tuesday, a Southern California chef on trial for allegedly killing his wife told police he slow cooked her body then dumped it out as kitchen waste.

Dawn Viens disappeared in 2009 and police identified her husband David – the chef at the former Thyme Café in Torrance – as a prime suspect.

In 2011, investigators dug up the Thyme Café, which Dawn co-owned, searching for her body. But in a taped interview played Tuesday in court, David Viens seemed to tell police why her remains may never be found.

"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 on tape.

Documents: Read David Viens' Interview With Deputies

Viens claimed he argued with his wife, then bound her arms and feet and duct-taped her mouth shut. He said he panicked when he found her dead the next morning.

Viens claimed he stuffed his wife's 105-pound body in a drum and disposed of the remains as if it was kitchen waste.

"I came up with the idea of cleaning the grease traps and commingling in the, the excess, the excess protein," he could be heard saying on the tape.

David Viens told police he recovered Dawn's skull and jawbone and hid them in his mother's attic. Investigators say they never recovered any body parts.

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