David Veins, a 49-year-old chef and owner of Thyme Contemporary Café in Lomita, California, a little town south of Torrance and east of the Palos Verdes Peninsular, confessed to police that he slow-cooked his wife, Dawn Viens, for four days in boiling water.
The Daily Beast reports that in a police interview, David Viens told detectives that on October 18, 2009, he argued with his wife about her excessive drinking.
“She was, uh, yeah, wasted at work,” Viens said. “You know, she had issues with everybody…She ended up, you know, becoming a mean drunk.”
She began a fight with him that night as he was trying to fall asleep, he said. When she wouldn’t stop, he dragged her to the living room and bound her with duct tape.
“And that was it,” he said on the tape. “I said, ‘Good night.’” He woke up hours later and discovered that she was dead, he said, and panicked. Then he placed her body in a plastic garbage bag and drove her to work.
He told detectives that at the restaurant, he stuffed his wife’s 105-pound body in a 55-gallon drum of boiling water, slow-cooked her remains for four days, and then disposed of what was left in the restaurant’s grease pit or garbage bags.
“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,” he told detectives.
“You cooked on [her] body for four days?” asked Garcia.
“I cooked her four days,” he said. “I let her cool. I strained it out.”
He told detectives he hid his wife’s skull and jawbone for safekeeping in his mother’s attic in nearby Torrance.
“That’s the only thing I didn’t want to get rid of, in case I wanted to leave it somewhere,” he said.
The investigation into Dawn Viens’s disappearance began on Nov. 18, 2009, when her sister, Dayna Papin, and friends reported her missing.
Dawn Viens’ disappearance remained a missing persons case until August 2010, when detectives turned over the case to the homicide unit of the sheriff’s department.
As detectives began closing in on Viens, he attempted to commit suicide by diving feet first off a Rancho Palos Verdes cliff.
He survived, and in 2011, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office charged him with the murder of his wife.
David’s wife, Dawn, had apparently grown tired of their lifestyle and pleaded with her husband to move to the mountains. When this failed, Dawn began stealing money from the restaurant and when David found out he “snapped.”
“For some reason, I just got violent,” he told the detectives. “Seemed like it had to deal with her stealing money.”
“So you found her with money and you snapped,” said Sgt. Garcia.
“Yes,” he replied.