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A 73-year-old woman was cut into pieces, her head was found in the freezer and other parts were being cooked in the kitchen, when Oceanside police entered her home last Friday, a prosecutor said today.

“The officers saw clear evidence of cooking, in that the heat was on, and that it was actually in the process of being cooked,” the prosecutor said.

Police had responded to neighbors’ concerns on North Ditmar Street, of a terrible smell coming from the home. Officers came to do a “welfare check” on the elderly woman who was known to live there, they arrived about 11 a.m. November 16. The woman, Anna-Maria Faris, 70, had reportedly not been seen for weeks.

“The first responding officer who entered through a window saw what she believed to be meat cooking on the stovetop, she made an assumption that that’s was what it was, she was looking for the victim in the process, she was not finding the victim she believed,” said deputy district attorney Katherine Flaherty.

“It wasn’t until a conversation with Mister Hengl that occurred shortly thereafter, that the officers realized that he was in the process of dismembering his wife,” prosecutor Flaherty told a gathering of news reporters. “They found the item on the stovetop that was identified.”

The prosecutor could not say where exactly the woman died. “I can only tell you that there was a work area in the bathroom, with the implements that would be used to accomplish what was occurring.”

“They found what appeared to be a work area in the bathroom, with a saw, a boning knife, and other cutting instruments,” the prosecutor said today. “There was a bag, separately, that appeared to be many pieces of bone that had been freshly cut.”

The prosecutor clarified, “There was a bag of bones, that had appeared to be freshly cut, many pieces of bone that were in a bag, that was found.”

Frederick Joseph Hengl, 68, has been charged with murder and cruelty to elder and unlawful act with human remains. He was arraigned today, and pleads not guilty through a public defender.

The district attorney’s office is charging that between November 1 and November 16, the accused man murdered his wife. “The timing is something that we’re still trying to nail down,” said the prosecutor. The exact cause of death has also not yet been determined, she said.

Police did not find the husband in the home. “He was located in a bar, nearby,” prosecutor Flaherty said. “He was located a short time after the police made entry into the house, at a local bar.” The husband did make a statement to Oceanside Police, the prosecutor told media.

The next court date for Hengl is set for December 3 in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse. He is held in lieu of $5 million bail. The Honorable Judge Marshall Hockett was informed by the defense attorney that defendant Hengl has a “heart condition,” and the judge ordered that Hengl should be seen by jail medical staff.

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Visduh Nov. 21, 2012 @ 8 p.m.

If I didn't know better, I'd suspect that this piece had been written by Mencken for his/her Almost Factual News feature, and had been mislabeled. But, no, this is the straight story. Just when you think you have heard it all, something like this case comes along and makes it virtually impossible to separate fact from satire. In reality, Mencken is sorely challenged to come up with stories that are stranger than fact. Must be very hard to invent and create satire these days, given the weird nature of real news.


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