Man Who Beat Wife to Death With Goddess Statue Sentenced to 15 to Life

Richard Forsberg was convicted of using statuette to bludgeon wife to death in February 2010

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Richard and Marcia Forsberg

    A former Coast Community College District administrator was sentenced on Friday to 15 years to life in prison for bludgeoning his ailing wife to death with a goddess statuette before decapitating her body and burning the remains in a park fire pit.

    Richard Gustav Forsberg was convicted in December of second-degree murder for killing his wife, Marcia Ann.

    Husband Arrested in Wife's Slaying

    [LA] Husband Arrested in Wife's Slaying
    On Tuesday, the Orange County District Attorney announced that Richard Forsberg, 61, was charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder by lying in wait. (Published Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010)

    The case began on Feb. 9, 2010, when the couple got into an argument over his alleged infidelity. He grabbed a statuette from a nightstand and hit her multiple times in the head, prosecutors said.

    Over the next few days, he decapitated and dismembered her body and stored the body parts in freezers. He then rented an RV to drive the freezers to a campground at Lake Piru Recreation Area in Ventura County where he disposed the body parts.

    When questioned by friends about the whereabouts of his wife, he claimed that they were having marital problems and she had gone to visit a friend in Phoenix to “cool off,” prosecutors said.

    Authorities said Forsberg lied to investigators about his wife’s whereabouts.

    When the defendant realized that he would be caught lying, he sent a letter to detectives stating that he killed his wife while in a rage after their argument, prosecutors said.

    On Aug. 24, 2010, friends reported her missing. Investigators discovered her remains in in a fire pit at Lake Piru.

    Forsberg, who prosecutors said once told investigators he was surprised at how easy it was dismembering her body, was arrested at a Palm Springs hospital after a botched suicide.

    The Forsbergs had a troubled marriage as the victim battled cancer and suffered from fibromyalgia, prosecutors said. Forsberg told investigators they had not had sexual relations for about 11 years before her death, prosecutors said.

    For about three years leading up to his wife's killing, Forsberg would go to massage parlors, where he would pay prostitutes for “a happy ending,” prosecutors said.

    City News Service contributed to this report.

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