A MISSING WIFE AND A WILD CONFESSION - WHAT MADE A TOP CHEF JUMP FROM A CALIFORNIA CLIFF?
"48 HOURS: OVER THE EDGE"
Saturday, May 4, 2013, 10:00 PM, ET/PT
Richard Schlesinger and 48 HOURS investigate the disappearance of the wife of a celebrated top chef and what ultimately drove him to dive off a California cliff in "Over the Edge," to be broadcast May 4, 2013 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
On the surface, restaurateur and chef David Viens and his wife Dawn appeared to have it all. But as Schlesinger reports, the Viens' story involves a troubled marriage with allegations of alcohol abuse, a wife stockpiling cash to become more independent, and an alleged murder confession so grotesque it was hard to digest.
The story is set in Lomita, Calif., where Viens had a successful restaurant. He worked the kitchen, while Dawn was the hostess. But then on Oct. 18, 2009, Dawn vanished. David told people Dawn split after a fight over her drinking. Not long after, Viens promoted a young waitress, Kathy Galvan, to take Dawn's spot at the restaurant and soon they were romantically involved.
However, Dawn's friends and family weren't buying his story. They turned to the police and a local newspaper reporter for help. Police methodically began to turn up the heat on Viens, even talking to his daughter, Jackie, who was asked by Viens to work at the restaurant after Dawn disappeared.
A little more than a year after Dawn went missing, the police investigation got too hot for Viens. Frightened, he opened up to Galvan. Viens then ran to his car and, with Galvan strapped into the seat next to him, careened around sharp turns of a California coastal roadway. When they arrived at an overlook, he sprinted to the edge of a 200-foot-high cliff. Viens shoved his girlfriend to safety, opened his arms, and jumped.
"He just kept saying, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry,'" Galvan tells Schlesinger.
No one would have predicted that David Viens might survive the leap, nor could they have imagined the story that unfolded about his wife and what happened. Indeed, the Viens story shocked this sleepy Los Angeles suburb.
"In my time of doing this for a living, I've never heard anything like this," Los Angeles County Sheriff Sergeant Rich Garcia tells 48 HOURS.
Schlesinger and the 48 HOURS team detail the investigation through interviews with Dawn Viens' family, the couple's friends, Galvan, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Investigators, Daily Breeze reporter Larry Altman, David Viens and his daughter, Jackie. 48 HOURS: "Over the Edge" is produced by Paul LaRosa and Sue McHugh. Elena DiFiore and Anthony Venditti are the field producers. Peter Schweitzer is the senior producer. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.
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