It’s a murder trial that is getting worldwide attention.
The gruesome details of the bizarre case came to light when cops questioned Los Angeles chef David Viens, 49, in March 2011 about his wife, Dawn, 39, who disappeared in 2009.
According to The Los Angeles Times, jurors heard a recording of the questioning where Viens revealed how he had bound his wife’s hands and legs and taped her mouth with duct tape after a fight on the evening of 19 October in 2009.
Reasons for the fight remain unclear.
He then said he went to sleep after taking Ambien, a sleeping pill, and woke up later to find his wife dead.
Starting to panic, Viens got a big container full of boiling water, put his wife’s dead body in it and started cooking it , reported the newspaper which quoted him as saying in the recording : "I just slowly cooked it and I ended up cooking her for four days".
He said he used weights to make sure the body was fully submerged while being cooked.
So what did he do with the end result at the end of four days?
He told detectives he let whatever remained in the container to cool first, “strained it out,” mixed it with other rubbish and threw the contents away using garbage bags, reported Reuters.
All that remained was her skull apparently, which he said he thinks he left in the attic of his mother’s house.
Police searched his mother’s house high and low. No skull or other body parts were found.
Any remains of the body have yet to be recovered.
Veins’ daughter Jacqueline, 22, testified in court that her dad had used to joke about what would be the most ideal way to get rid of a body, reported The Los Angeles Times.
She packed up and left after her father had apparently told her that her mother’s body would never be found.
She spoke to the police and told them whatever she knew after they had confronted her.
On Wednesday, Viens was in a wheelchair in the courtroom where jurors looked stunned while listening to the details of the murder.
A few weeks prior to being questioned in 2011, he had apparently tried to kill himself by jumping off a cliff after realising that police had pegged him as a prime suspect over his wife’s disappearance.
The police questioning had been done while Viens was in a hospital bed.
A doctor told the court that the sleeping pill Ambien, whichViens had taken the night his wife allegedly had died can cause hallucinationsin certain cases.
The chef, who owned his own restaurant together with his wife, has pleaded not guilty.
On Wednesday he told the court he has no wish to take the stand to defend himself.
But on Thursday, The Los Angeles Times reported that he got up from his wheelchair and asked the judge to allow him to represent himself, after his lawyer had said that there was no more evidence from his side to present to the court.
The judge refused to entertain the request.