Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Elderly Man Accused of Killing Wife and Cooking Her Body Parts

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

A 68-year-old man stands accused of killing his 73-year-old wife, then freezing her severed head and cooking her body parts in their Oceanside home.

Frederick Joseph Hengl made his first appearance in court the day before Thanksgiving, according to North County Times, and entered his plea of not guilty to charges, including murder, "willful cruelty to an elder and committing an unlawful act with human remains."

Authorities were called to the couple's home last week in response to complaints from neighbors about a foul smell coming from the bungalow. Some neighbors say they had been noticing the odor for about a week. A fan had been set up in a window of the home, apparently to divert the smell to the outside.

Hengl had been initially home when cops arrived, but as they moved towards the home's rear door, Hengl escaped through the front door, says a neighbor who saw the authorities arrive on scene.

Support for LAist comes from

An officer entered though a window, believing no one was home. As he was checking out the home he noticed what appeared to be meat cooking on the stove. Police later determined that "meat" was actually parts of the deceased body of Hengl's wife, Anna Faris.

Faris' severed head was located in a freezer at the home.

Also at the home were a meat grinder showing evidence of recent use, as well as "a work area set up in the bathroom, with saws, a boning knife and other cutting instruments."

Police say Faris was likely killed November 1. They add that though the body parts were being cooked, there was "no evidence of cannibalism" at the home.

The couple had a reputation as being eccentric or perhaps disturbed; Hengl was seen wearing makeup and women's clothing while out running errands, and neighbors claim Faris had several troublesome habits:

Support for LAist comes from
[Neighbors] thought of [Hengl's] wife as a mentally disturbed woman who occasionally walked the streets with a butcher knife. They said she rarely bathed and always wore the same clothes — a blue sweater and demin-like pants — and sometimes had her pants around her ankles.

Hengl was found at a nearby bar, drinking, while the cops checked out his home.

The Hengl-Faris case may remind Angelenos of a similar tale unfolding in the legal system in which restaurant owner David Viens was recently found guilty of killing his wife, Dawn. Viens told authorities he cooked some of Dawn's remains in order to dispose of the body.