Is He Guilty?

Whenever I write about Daniel Wozniak, I make sure to use terms such as alleged or accused or suspected as I talk about him being a possible murderer.

I believe in all the “a person is innocent until proven guilty” business we talk about in the United States.

We can’t forget that Daniel hasn’t been tried yet.

I feel kind of bad for Daniel when he’s referred to as a “brutal killer” in the headlines, but he tells me he’s used to it.

He actually did plead “not guilty” at his arraignment.  He is in jail awaiting trial, not serving a sentence.  Technically, he could have been awarded bail. There are other people who are facing charges for this same crime, and they are out on bail.

Why didn’t Daniel Wozniak get bail?  Well, because he confessed.

Yes, I know.  That doesn’t look good for my friend.

Does The Confession Guarantee He’s Guilty?

Here is the thing about confessions: they can’t always be trusted. Sometimes, they are coerced.

Let’s play devil’s advocate (no pun intended) here for a minute.

Perhaps there are some reasons why Daniel’s confession could be taken with a grain of salt:

  1. No lawyer present!
  2. The police threaten the woman he loves with a long prison term if someone else doesn’t take the blame.
  3. He wants to protect members of his family.
  4. No lawyer present!
  5. It takes five different versions of said “confession” before the police think it’s plausible enough to go along with whatever evidence they have.
  6. He is very drunk when he is questioned by the police because he was arrested at the end of his bachelor party.
  7. He is young and naive (only 26 at the time) and believes in the system.
  8. He is young and cocky and believes he is smarter than everyone else (Sorry Daniel, I have to call it like I see it).
  9. Oh and did I mention; NO LAWYER PRESENT!

I’m not willing to completely accept the word of the police, or to call my friend a murderer, unless he confesses to me himself.

Which he hasn’t.  In fact, he’s hinted that the real story is quite different from the one the authorities are telling.

Do I think he is innocent?

Hmmm… No, he’s probably not completely innocent of this crime.

Do I believe that he managed to…

  • Lure a 26 year old combat veteran to a public theatre on a joint forces training base in Los Alamitos, California on Saturday afternoon.
  • Murder the man by shooting him twice, then leave his body hidden in the building.
  • Perform that night as the lead in a sold-out musical with his supposedly unsuspecting fiancé.
  • Return home with his fiancé after the show.
  • Use the murdered man’s cell phone to impersonate him in a series of texts to a young woman who is friends with the man.
  • Convince her to come to the murdered man’s apartment that night (which is in the same complex where Daniel lives with his fiancé).
  • Sneak out of his own apartment, unbeknownst to his fiancée, and go to the murdered man’s apartment to meet that young woman.
  • Shoot her twice in the head.
  • Stage her body to look as though she had actually been raped and murdered by the man who lives in that apartment.  The man who is actually dead in a theatre about twenty miles away.
  • Sneak back into his own apartment and have a good night’s sleep with his fiancé curled up next to him (with no sign that anything out of the ordinary had taken place).
  • Wake up on Sunday, acquire some sharp cutting tools (I’ve read a couple differing statements about exactly what tools and where they were acquired), manage to ditch the fiancé again, and go back to the to the training base.
  • Get the tools into the theatre building in order to decapitate the murdered man and cut off his arm and hand.
  • Sneak presumably blood covered tools and body parts out of the building in the middle of the day.
  • Dispose of the body parts in various areas of a nearby popular nature reserve on a Sunday afternoon.
  • At some point, return home to extremely patient fiancé.
  • On Sunday night, perform as the lead in a sold-out musical with his fiancé.

I’m not quite sure if Daniel is alleged to have disposed of the body parts in the afternoon or at a later time.  However, if he still had them when he returned home, then he managed to hide them from his fiancé Rachel until he was able to get rid of them.

“Just ignore those body parts in the trunk of the car, honey.”

Please don’t get me wrong.  I’m in no way belittling what happened to these victims and their families.  The part of this crime that can’t be debated is that Sam Herr and Julie Kibuishi are dead.

Do I Think He’s Guilty?

I’m just not positive that my friend, Daniel Wozniak, is the person who killed them.

I’m not positive he didn’t either.

But doesn’t this all seem a little implausible…?

Let me know what you think—leave a comment!

14 thoughts on “Is He Guilty?”

  1. Look up infamous sociopaths in history. They are/were usually very intelligent and charming people. People who knew them could never imagine them doing the crimes they were accused of. Many sociopathic murderers pulled off crimes much bigger and more complicated than this. All evidence points to Wozniak being guilty. He’s a master manipulator and criminally insane and quite a charmer as it appears he’s got you wrapped around his finger.

    1. Dear Sue,

      Thank you so much for reading the blog, and for leaving your comment. It really doesn’t surprise me that someone might think I’m “wrapped around (Daniel’s) finger” because I raise questions about his guilt. I try to keep an open mind because I believe a person is entitled to a fair trial and is considered innocent until proven guilty.

      You said that “all evidence” points to Daniel’s guilt, so I wonder if you have information about actual physical evidence like fingerprints or DNA or blood evidence. I haven’t seen anything like that mentioned in the media, but perhaps you have inside information?

      Granted, there is the “confession,” but history has shown that confessions aren’t always reliable as the sole proof of a person’s guilt.

      Is Daniel intelligent? Definitely! Is he charming? Sure!

      Is he guilty? I don’t know.

      I write this blog to document what I see and hear and I hope to use it to state my honest feelings when interacting with him and the system. We will see how my feelings play out as I get to know him and the case better. I am not easily manipulated, but I am being very careful to not jump to conclusions. However, I do also hope that when Daniel finally goes to trial, the people chosen for his jury won’t make their decisions before the trial even begins.

      Thanks again for your comment!

  2. Dan’s confession is chilling. The grand jury testimony has too many details of the murders and dismemberment for it to not be Dan’s account of what he did and why. He was mirandized twice and not being questioned for the murders when he confessed. At the time, May 26, 2010, police only knew about Julie’s murder and they suspected Sam. The police brought Dan in to question him about using Sam’s ATM card. Sam’s torso was found in the theatre attic, May 27, *after* Dan told them the gruesome details about the murder and told the police where to find Sam’s torso and remains. Dan also said he was “laughing and smiling” when he killed Julie.

    An article.
    http://articles.dailypilot.com/2012-05-25/news/tn-dpt-0526-wozniak-20120525_1_juri-julie-kibuishi-samuel-herr-los-alamitos-theater

    The grand jury hearing transcript:
    http://www.dailypilot.com/media/acrobat/2012-05/70141132-25155711.pdf

    Capital murder cases are all no bail cases in Orange County, while other murder is bailable for $1 million.
    http://mybailhotline.com/murder-laws-california-pc-187/

    1. Hi Lauren,

      Thank you so much for reading the blog and especially for your comments and links. I want to know as much as I can about this crime. My friendship with Daniel does not negate my desire to learn the truth. Thank you for giving me a lot to think and write about.

  3. It is always a good idea to look at any situation from different aspects instead of jumping to a conclusion. However, I do happen to know the Dan called a relative of mine shortly after these murders occurred and explained to him he had done something “bad” and asked him to be an alibi. I believe this case is about to goto trial fairly soon as the relative of mine was recently issued a subpoena to appear as a witness in court.

    1. Thanks for your comment. That is interesting! Maybe your relative will have some pertinent information about the case.

  4. dear author

    if you XXXX XX XXXX I’ll drop all charges against Daniel.

    I like my XXXXX played with during the XX. bring a 6 pack of Mikes hard lemonade.

    1. I couldn’t resist allowing this EDITED BY ME comment from FAKE Matt Murphy. I get numerous comments from this reader, but I don’t have the time or inclination to edit them them all.

      See, Real Matt Murphy, this is what I was telling you about the other day.

  5. I wish that you hadn’t edited my comments…well, it may have been better to edit them rather than delete them. I think they were deleted.

    I am the real Andrew Murphy…I am a very angry person and I sometimes say very rude or impolite things…it tends to upset people…but I don’t really get it you know…the world we live in is so horrible and trashy, yet if you speak out with proper outrage, you get cut off from the discussion.

    My brother slanders me with lies…and all I have done is tell the truth about him. Did you know, they were going to make him a judge? That’s the reason I spoke out…and you know what?

    He won’t be a judge now.

    1. The recent edited comment was from an individual pretending to be your brother, Matt.
      Unless that was from you as well.

  6. During his confession he said that he saw two shot wounds in the girls body, the second shot was not visible so only the killer would know there were two shots. He knew where the man’s body parts were. He had his credit card, he used it. these are facts. I am european, living in Europe, we understand justice in a diferent way than americans, not better, not worse, just diferent. And this is how I see this case from this far.

  7. Responding to your devil’s advocate musings: I do think it is possible to ditch your fiance repeatedly. Not just in general but especially prior to a wedding – where celebratory activities and preparations are usually gender-separated… as evidenced by him being picked up from a bachelor’s party.

    He looked like a young man with a decent amount of muscle/bodymass so I don’t believe many of the tasks were especially impossible for him to commit and complete alone.

    He couldve cleaned up the tools before exiting the theater building. I’m sure there was a bathroom on the premise. Then, wrap it up, put it in a bag, and leave.

    He also couldve easily impersonated Julie… I mean, he had Sam’s cellphone? He couldve seen their texting history and came up with a script that she’d respond to. He also knew their relationship – I mean he knew Sam enough to know Sam had a fair amount of money saved up, that doesn’t come up an acquaintance.

    I do, however, think Dan’s brother freaking out and Dan begging Rachel not to turn in whatever his brother/Tim had is incredibly suspicious. I’m unclear why he wasn’t also charged as an accessory given he had evidence. Then again, Rachel’s characterization of Dan’s family in the Dateline interview is very… bizarre for someone who was planning to marry into that family. Her pantomiming Dan’s father’s voice derisively and remarking on Tim’s behavior using words like evidence, frantic, and focusing on protecting herself alone…. it seemed like she was trying to plan seeds. Why? Why mock your prospective father-in-law’s reaction to the media? He was probably in shock. No one in shock makes sense. It was compassionless.

    Also why was she so stoic/calm? Your husband is in a police station accused of a double homicide in a state with the death penalty? Her voice on the phone with Dan was very clear, emotionless, her thoughts linear and focused on legalities… everyone seems in shock but her? Do I think she was directly involved, idk, I doubt it, but I think she was image focused and probably upset she wasn’t getting a super-awesome picture-perfect honeymoon?. .. Yea. Kinda. Again, your soon-to-be husband is in jail for double-homicide and you’re complaining about having to cancel everything related to the wedding. Hunh? Self-preservation seemed to be her sole focus, that’s pretty eerie.

    Then again, maybe she has an odd personality – or, her version of ‘shock’ is to go full-rational. As youve pointed out in this blog, many things are possible. That”s why youve definitely found a helluva writing subject matter.

    Additionally – they should’ve let him spend a few hours in the drunk tank prior to interrogation. It seemed like a very short amount of time passed before he blurted out a long rambling confession. His confession wouldve been inadmissible in most European courts if there is footage of him consuming alcohol immediately prior to speaking with the police. Doesnt negate what he says, but it also isn’t fair.

    Regardless I am very curious about Rachel’s trial.

    This is blog is fascinating. He reminds me of theater geeks (no offense) I was close to in high school. VERY emotive, self-deprecating, flamboyant, sheltered (insofar as not knowing how to engage with law enforcement). full of nervous laughter (which is I where I think the media spun his image to an almost cartoonish supervillian, like in Lockup he was laughing a lot but it all rang as nervous self-deprecating laughter to me…. but was contextualized to make him look like a comic book character) so I couldnt help but latch onto his case and poke around online and ran into your blog. He seems so familiar but not at all simultaneously. It is strange and hard to look away from.

    ^That is one long rambling paragraph, my bad.

    Either way you’re a great writer and Good luck with this!

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