An Open Letter From Daniel Wozniak

Dear Readers,

My name is Daniel Wozniak and if you’re reading this blog, then you obviously know a great deal about me already.

However, it’s been brought to my attention that there are still some curious minds out there inquiring about my day to day life behind bars since being sentenced six months ago.

I understand that for the majority of readers out there, many of you think me to be a heartless, uncaring sociopathic monster who have reserved feelings for not giving a damn about anything concerning my life (other than how soon you wish for it to end). I’m not trying to, nor do I feel I can, take away the pain and hurt I’ve caused you to feel and all I can offer to you is a sincere apology for my actions. I know it will not do much (if anything) to ease the hatred you have for me, but it truly is all I can do at this stage.

The truth is there are no words I can say, or actions that I can perform that will change how you feel, and I’m not trying to rob you of those feelings because I know you need them to help you cope and deal with the pain you’re experiencing.

This letter is not my way of trying to justify my past because nothing on Earth can erase what’s been done. This is merely a response to certain individuals who for some reason or another are curious about life in prison in general. With the overflow of inquiries my friend (the author of this blog) is receiving, I thought writing this might be a way to help answer those questions being regularly asked.

I’ve been given the death penalty and not a day goes by that I don’t feel all the painful thoughts and angry wishes directed my way by so many people. I know in what some of you would consider to be a perfect world, I would have already been put to death, but sadly that’s not the reality of the present.

So what options do I have? I could sit around all day in a small cage doing absolutely nothing but watching the clock hands tick on by… OR… I could actually try to do something with the time I do have left to make SOME form of a positive difference around me.

The majority of my day is spent in the confines of a cell measuring roughly 11′ x 4.5‘ (about 50 sq. feet). I live somewhat akin to a new-age monk. My cell consists of a bed, a toilet, a sink and 2 storage shelves – nothing else. The walls are bare and painted taupe in color; and my cell front consists of an open, metal bar door through which to enter and exit (as well as listen to about 500 other inmates housed around me in this section of Death Row).

My only means of seeing anything in the outside world is by the use of a TV or radio. I also get access to the telephone a couple times during the week to which I’ll get timed fifteen minute calls. I’ll mostly reach out to my blog-writer friend who will keep me posted on current events, and will also touch base with family, other friends and lawyers.

My day starts each morning at around 5 AM, when I wake up and do my daily prayer/study and meditation that I’ve done since being at County. Breakfast arrives between 6-7 AM to our cells on trays (none of us walk to a typical “chow-hall”). The trays are then collected about thirty minutes later and then program within the facility begins.

Depending on the day of the week I’m either going to yard or going to class. San Quentin has seven recreational yards for this section of Death Row. I’m placed on Yard #6 (which has roughly 50 – 100 other inmates classified to be out there with me). All the yards have concrete floor (no grass) and are separated from one another by a gap and chain-link fence. Each yard has a couple stainless-steel-top tables with attached seats, a basketball hoop, a set of dip bars, push up bars and pull up bars (and surprisingly a punching bag).

The yard here is not like most other prisons which are generally racially segregated and for the most part everyone integrates quite well with one another. (We haven’t had a violent incident on our yard for the last 8 years now). Some inmates will play dominos, others will play cards or chess, others will work out and/or lead routines and some guys will just walk laps talking with another inmate as they walk.

Then you have individuals who are more cerebral and will have / lead discussions ranging from topics of law, politics, theology, random jeopardy trivia, etc.  I usually tend to try my hand at a little bit of everything, as do most of the other inmates on the yard (not many stick to doing just one thing). I think because all of us are in the same boat of being under a death sentence, there’s not as much friction or problems experienced elsewhere. (Surprisingly San Quentin statistically has one of the lowest rates of violent activity on the yards in comparison to other California prisons.)

On other days, I attend classes ranging in subject matter. There are several programs made available, but I personally try to focus my field of study to those educational and therapeutic in nature. (Critical Thinking, Nutrition and Meditation, Yoga, etc.). It’s helped me find whatever meaning still remains in this life and with the knowledge under my belt I feel I can pass it on to others. That’s what a great deal of my time is centered on: helping others find meaning and purpose in their own lives.

I know some of you categorize “criminals” as outcasts who don’t deserve another chance at life, but that’s where some others vary in their opinions (including myself). In the many years of my incarceration, I’ve encountered individuals who have given up on themselves to the point of not even wanting to continue living. I guess a part of me feels that if I can help them find that “meaning” that is seriously lacking in their lives, that I can justify my continued existence on this planet while awaiting my execution.

I’m also still very much active in staying up on the ongoing judicial issues. I subscribe to several publications (Prison Legal News, Prison Focus, etc.) and have submitted a couple articles for their consideration. It’s a battle I feel that’s very much worth fighting for. I’m an avid believer of Crime and Punishment as long as it’s legal, but so many issues continue to present themselves with the same win-at-all-costs mentality that continues to plague the justice system. There’s a reason why 70% of death penalty cases have been overturned and / or modified, and why only thirteen people have been executed since the death penalty was reinstated in California! (And sadly, the public isn’t told the REAL reasons as to why.)

Again, I want to voice this is not ME saying I shouldn’t be here – but there are (and have been) so many people given this sentence who truthfully do not deserve it legally. Not to mention the countless others who have already died unjustly here of natural causes; people who technically should never have been here in the first place.

Those who ‘legally’ shouldn’t be here aren’t being punished by death… they’re being murdered! (Think about it!)

Spirituality also plays a crucial role in my life, as well as in the lives of other inmates at San Quentin. The prison offers several religious services (Catholic, Protestant, Judaism, Islam, Buddhist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormon Latter-Day Saints and Native American Indian Tribal Councils). Due to the large number of inmates and a limited number of seats in the chapel area, sometimes you only get called out for service once a month. The television, however, provides an excellent array of broadcast services that you can tune into everyday, which is very nice.

I’m currently also enrolled in a couple of Bible Colleges that I do via correspondence through the mail in addition to keeping in contact with various chaplains I’ve met over the years and still keep in touch with. The yard also provides an excellent means in which to learn, minister, teach and study with so many interested individuals from so many different backgrounds. Everyone comes together and shares their faith and testimonies of how their “path” has brought them some form of inner peace and it reassures fellow believers that faith is a powerful tool which can save and improve so many lives in various ways.

I never thought I’d ever see the day where so many people from different religions and cultures aren’t as hostile and dominant in defending their religion, but rather share, add to and grow the unity of everyone around. There’s so much to learn!

The final thing to mention is handcuffs. Every time you leave your cell for ANY kind of movement, you are placed in handcuffs. You are then either escorted to wherever your destination is with a Correctional Officer escorting you the whole way or you walk alone to said destination, cuffed with your hands behind you back. You’re even handcuffed when going to the shower. It’s a shared community shower stall (that’s twice the size of your cell) and you get showers every other day. However, most everyone here has ways to shower creatively in their cells so we can shower every day, anytime we want.

After showers, the final action of the day before final lockdown is mail pickup and drop-off. This occurs at around 6:30 – 7:00 PM, Monday – Friday. The C.O. will hand us the mail we receive, then pick up our outgoing mail. Next he will apply a secondary lock on the cell door for added security each evening. (This is called “dropping the bar”). From 8:OO PM – 7:00 AM, everyone is locked inside and there is no movement ANYWHERE within the building and it’s “lights out.” Then the cycle repeats each and every day, very much like the film, Groundhog Day.

I hope this helps answer the questions some of you have been asking and that you all have a closer look into the prison that has now become my life. I wish you all well and hope this ‘view into prison’ helps answer your inquiries. Have a nice day.

Respectfully,

Daniel Wozniak

30 thoughts on “An Open Letter From Daniel Wozniak”

  1. I know Dan well. So this is fine and all for some readers but I don’t really care about this trivial stuff. I wanna know why he did it? Does he think there is something wrong in his brain? Where was his God that day? Would he do it again? Was he born or breed a sociopath? Was he faking his happy and kind demeanor all those years? Does he think if he was let out back into the regular population that we would all be safe or could he be turned into a monster again? Those kinds of deeper questions about that dark day 7 years ago.

    1. You have all the same questions I’ve had for Daniel. I have a lot of theories and opinions based on the information Daniel has shared with me. I don’t think he was faking, but his “happy and kind” self disappeared for a while. You can’t murder someone or dismember someone’s body without disassociating from any human side you have.

      Thank you for the comment. I hope to hear from you.

      1. Is there a common thread which connects serial killers?
        Most of the monster/freaks whose stories I’ve studied seem to share this: A domineering mother and or a weak, passive father.
        In Dan’s case, the strong personality of his intended, Rachel Buffet, was a mirror image of his mom & that, coupled with his desire to please his ‘mother figure’, caused him to ‘erupt’.
        It’s also been suggested Dan’s association to the ‘satanic’ number nine proves how devil worship played a role in his heinous crime; one example, the numeral 9, (the title of Dan’s last play), was but one of several ‘clues’ given.
        For my money, a young man acting under the influence of a Jezebel spirit is capable of doing things he wouldn’t normally do. In short, our buddy Dan hated his mum & was pussy-whipped at the time of the massacres.

        1. How about the fact he was a desperate man who became engaged to a woman when he didn’t have a job that would support their lifestyle, that he really was somehow hoping his theatrical career would support them in the style they both wanted, that he was in debt, and it was time to grow up and be a responsible man and a husband and he ran out of time and, thus, concocted this ludicrous and horrific crime?

  2. So cool. He seems to maintain a healthy attitude. Makes one wonder if he would trade places with a “free man” if given the choice.

    1. Good question!
      If I know Daniel, he’d probably say something like “it depends on which man.”

    2. In my opinion, he was, at that moment in time, an immature, irresponsible (to look for a full-time job, maintain a job and put his limited acting and singing skills in the backburner so he could support himself and a wife) , lazy boy-coward who found himself engaged to a lovely young woman who wanted to marry a responsible man who worked and who was a functional adult. He was not. He chose an incredibly horrible way to rectify his situation.

  3. It is nice to hear from Daniel directly. I wrote to him but never received an answer. I hope he takes full advantage of every opportunity for education and religion and anything else to pass the time constructively. His heart seems to be in the right place.

    1. I will let him know you never received his letter. Hopefully he has your correct address.

      Thank you for leaving a comment.

  4. Was hoping he’d go into details about prison food for some odd reason lol. Does he still make/eat “spread”? Does he have a “bff” or someone he considers a close friend in there? Does he get along with all the CO’s?

    And off topic – do you know if Daniel will testify against Rachel or will this topic be saved for another time?

    1. I’ll let him know your interest in food and friends. The food is a lot better at San Quentin, so he doesn’t have to rely on commissary and creativity as much.

      At this point, he is not testifying in her trial.

      Thank you for leaving a comment.

  5. Happy Birthday Sam, how old would you be at the end of this month? When was Julie’s birthday? This guy in jail still gets to have friends, feed birds, feel handcuffs on his wrists, express himself, see drab colors on the walls (taupe), subscribe to publications’ and think of creative ways to take showers.
    What do Sam and Julie get to do?
    Oh that’s right, their brains were blasted twice each with bullets and Sam even said, “I need help, something hit me like an electric shock”.

    1. Thank you so much for this comment. I agree completely.

      If I am correct, Sam would be 34 this year. On May 29th.

      Julie’s birthday is February 14th. Valentines Day.

  6. Thank you for carrying his messages to us. Can you send him my salutations the next time you communicate with him? I am from Turkey and I very recently came across with Daniel’s case.

    We all see his crimes and we defend the sentence that was given to him. But if some people feel empathy for him it is alright, it is the lack of empathy what creates all these crimes.

  7. I believe Daniel Wozniak’s current death sentence will be reduced to the lesser charge of life without the possibility of parole, due to the longtime legal corruption in Orange County.
    He is blessed to have been represented by the talented public defender, Mr. Scott Sanders, (whom I predict is California’s future Governor).

    1. I could see that prediction coming true, HG.

      Scott Sanders as governor – Interesting. I would vote for him. Did you see him on 60 Minutes?

      1. Cray cray about the boy-boy! He’s Elvis in the court room. He tilted his playing cards forward just enough that mine eyes could see his goods. It was obvious Sanders knew the jury was gonna crucify Da-Wo & stepped aside & let the chips fall where they did.
        Like a hungry young prize fighter in the ring, SS knew that it takes more than a clanging of a bell to declare who really won. Tony Rackauckasover meanwhile, stuffs his magic-gloves inside his gym bag & makes damn sure no one examines the contents in his bag.
        Had it not been for the savagery of both murders, perhaps
        Da-Woz could have gone back to using local theatres to meet chicks & kill again.

  8. I came across Daniel’s story a few nights ago watching Youtube prison documentaries . I am writing a book about my experience in prison and all the effects it has on people when they are released, especially people who were wrongfully locked up . Does Daniel ever ask for other people to write him ? I would be interested in writing him . I feel like even though mistakes are made, we are still human and the human experience of communication is still needed whether you are locked up on death row, locked up in regular prison , or in a county jail somewhere . Isolation isn’t good for anyone, no matter the crime committed . Please tell Daniel hello for me and also I would be interested in communicating with him as a pen pal .

  9. Also, I thought of something else I saw where Daniel said that the yard is separated by fences and a gap between each ? Does this mean they don’t have contact only on the yard or in every part of their day to day experiences ? Also, I remember on the day I came home from prison , I was overstimulated with sounds , colors, smells and many overwhelming aspects that had been missing while being locked up . Although it was only
    for 3 years, in prison life that small time seems like 30 years plus. Seeing all those people that came to welcome me home at a local restaurant was very nice and appreciated yet I felt an overwhelming guilt because I was enjoying myself after so much sadness and depression that prison brings . As well as feeling bad for the people locked up that are innocent and deserve to be released. So many emotions are experienced in a situation such as prison and being released. Luckily I had a wonderful supportive family and friends that have helped me to get back on my feet. Other people are as blessed as having this in their grasp. Anyway , I just wanted to share my thoughts with you here and also with Daniel as well .

  10. I posted two comments but they haven’t been posted . How long does it take ? I thought my comments were informative and interesting . Where did the comments go ?

    1. I agree – very good comments.

      Truth is – I have had no time to properly reply to all the comments on the blog.

      I LOVE having thoughtful readers leave comments, but I feel bad when I don’t reply to everyone. I guess it’s better to at least post the comments- even without a reply.

      Thank you for reading and for your comments.

  11. Just curious. Saw the show on 48 Hours on ID. Googled the Dr Phil show regards Rachel and then found your blog. I too am a ID fanatic. My husband says “just a few more hours of ID and he’s sure I can qualify for my degree in Forensic Science and Crime Solving”. Hahahaha. Anyway. Enjoyed your blog and just one question

    Does anyone in Daniels family ever visit him in prison? Just curious ….

  12. This case is so crazy ! Where in the heck was this Dan’s Head ? Must have been up his butt. I can not imagine what was in his thoughts ,Just for money ? He would have been better off robbing a bank .Maybe he would have gotten away with it ,maybe more money ? But chances are greater that no one would have been killed. What he did to these two young people is unthinkable. I hope that he accepts his punishment like a man. I hope a pray for the families of everyone involved and hope they find peace and can go on living normal lives. Is that even possible after going through such an experience as this ? Keep us posted on new and upcoming events . Rachael will pay the price next I think. Thank you.

  13. I’m at a complete loss why you would give this brutal, heartless killer a stage to speak from. A monster that performed on stage with the body of his victim laying on the rafters above him. He took a young girls life so her body would be a prop for his story. And you publish his letter?

    Where’s your blog posts of the victim’s family? Why aren’t there voices being published here?

    His mind holds the images of sawing and hacking apart a body, stacking up those parts, and washing the blood and offal from his hands. And yet he smiles and laughs? Just that demonstrates what a hideous human being he is.

    He should be rotting out of sight from the rest of the world, so I’m at a loss to understand, knowing his cruel and grisly acts, how you can speake the words “my friend”, or give him a voice.

    1. I LOVE what you said.

      A blog about him feeds his narcissistic, ego-driven, sociopathic personality. When I hear and see the pain his actions caused to the families of the victims, who are, in fact, victims themselves, and then see him smiling, it just turns my stomach.

      I hope he rots away in prison, and we never have to see his bloated, smiling face again.

    2. Chris – I 100% agree with you. You see the tags…see how far down the names of his direct victims are? That says it all. And his indirect victims aren’t even mentioned. This is insane, and callous. How does this blogger think her actions are helping the families who now live in torture? She doesn’t think. Incredibly callous of her.

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