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O.C. man found guilty of killing and dismembering wife

December 10, 2012 |  3:29 pm

Richard Gustav Forsberg and Marcia Ann ForsbergAn Orange County man was convicted Monday of beating to death his wife of 39 years after an argument, then decapitating and dismembering her body and burning the remains, prosecutors said.

A jury found Richard Gustav Forsberg, 63, guilty of one felony count of second degree murder. He will face a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison at his sentencing in February, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.

On Feb. 9, 2010, prosecutors say Forsberg grabbed a small statue during an argument with his wife, Marcia Ann Forsberg -- a former Daily Pilot feature writer -- and struck her over the head multiple times, killing her. Prosecutors said he kept her body in their home for days, decapitating her and dismembering her body. 

Then, according to prosecutors, he rented a recreational vehicle and bought two freezers. He put his wife's body in the freezers and put the freezers in the RV, and drove to a campground at Lake Piru Recreational Area in Ventura County, where he disposed of the body by burning it.

Forsberg, a computer manager at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, told friends asking about his wife that she had left their Rancho Santa Margarita home because of marital problems, prosecutors said. On Aug. 24, 2010 — six months after her death — friends reported her missing.

Prosecutors said Forsberg lied to Orange County sheriff's deputies during the investigation about her whereabouts. Prosecutors said that after realizing he would be caught in the lie, he sent a letter to detectives admitting that he had killed his wife in a rage. Forsberg was arrested at a hospital after a suicide attempt, prosecutors said.

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-- Rick Rojas

Photo: Richard Gustav Forsberg and Marcia Ann Forsberg. Credit: KTLA-TV

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