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

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Ex-College Admin Fatally Bludgeoned, Dismembered, and Cremated His Wife of 39 Years

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

On what was the 42nd anniversary of his first date with his wife Marcia Ann, Richard Gustav Forsberg used a one-pound goddess statue to fatally bludgeon her before he dismembered her and then burned the remains in a campfire. While Forsberg, now 64, spent the next several months lying about his wife's whereabouts after he took her life on February 9, 2010, today Forsberg has been sentenced to serve 15 years to life for her murder.Forsberg, a former administrator with the Coast Community College District, was convicted in December 2012 of second-degree murder in the death of 60-year-old Marcia Ann. The Rancho Santa Margarita couple had been married 39 years, according to City News Service, but had been experiencing marital difficulties.

Marcia Ann Forsberg suffered from fibromyalgia and was fighting breast cancer. Forsberg told investigators the couple had not had sexual relations for approximately a decade, and that for the three years prior to his wife's murder, he had sought relief from prostitutes at massage parlors offering "happy endings."

The night of the killing, Forsberg came home from a homeowners association meeting and got into a fight with his wife, who was resting in bed. When she turned away from him, Forsberg grabbed a small statue from a nightstand and slammed it over her head multiple times until she was dead.

Forsberg then decided to take apart the body, but needed tools, so he stepped out to get a bone saw from a hunting supply store. After taking apart the body, Forsberg took the remains to a campground at Lake Piru in Ventura County and set them ablaze, taking care to see to it all the fragments and ashes were fully disposed.

Support for LAist comes from

Forsberg was arrested in August 2010.

Prior to sentencing, friends and relatives of Marcia Ann Forsberg provided statements about the woman's kind nature and love of reading. Richard Forsberg did not make a statement.

While the prosecutors called Forsberg "a coward," Forsberg's attorney remarked: "It's hard to imagine how a man like Mr. Forsberg got to this position in life," noting also his client has "tried to help follow inmates while in custody."