It wasn’t long before I got a 12 page letter from Daniel (double-sided on white college ruled paper – he ran out of the yellow legal pad). He’s always quick to write back as, obviously, he has a lot of free time.
The letter started with a “Game of Thrones” reference – wondering if I’d be more a “sylph of Westeros” or one of “the Wilding Free Folk.”
He addressed the idea of me writing about him right away. He said there are a lot better topics out there, but he has “no control over what gets written, or by whom,” but he “will never deny another individual their right to express and use their artistic creativity.”
Daniel can get a tad verbose at times. Words are often written in ALL-CAPS and underlined.
I get it. He doesn’t want his whole life to be defined by a single “horrific act of violence,” and any writing about him is sure to focus on that.
Let’s call it like it is though: Daniel Wozniak’s name will forever be connected with the violent murders of two college students (not to mention the decapitation of one).
There is no escaping it. There shouldn’t be.
This didn’t keep him from answering my questions, as long as I was “asking out of curiosity, as a friend.”
Friend? Yes. Curiosity? Hell, yes!
Daniel and Rachel
Then he went into the topic of his ex-fiancé.
If you’ve read anything about Daniel, you know the name Rachel Buffett. She was a pretty young theatre actress who was once employed as a Princess at Disneyland. I’m guessing Cinderella or Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty).
Rachel and Daniel were supposed to get married on May 29, 2010, but that was canceled when he was arrested at his bachelor party.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Everything I’ve read in the press says that Daniel was murdering for money. He wanted to give his blonde, home-schooled beauty the wedding and honeymoon of her dreams.
I met Rachel. She was in the musical Nine with Daniel at our theatre. Honestly, she made no impression on me at all. Not positive. Not negative. I can’t even remember if I thought she was good or not. Did I also ask her to audition for my play? No idea.
I find her much more interesting now. I’ll be talking a lot more about Rachel in future posts.
Daniel Loses Rachel
So, according to Daniel, he and Rachel remained close for the first couple of months he was in jail. She wrote. She visited. After his arrest, he knew the two of them “would never be together,” still he thought they would be friends. That didn’t happen.
Here is the story Daniel told me:
Rachel and a male friend of theirs came for a jail visit. Without warning, Rachel walked up to the dividing glass, flipped him the bird with both hands and told him she never wanted to see him again. With that, she walked out of his life and stopped writing and taking his calls (inmates have to call collect).
He says he still doesn’t know what changed and “not knowing exactly why…literally drove (him) to the brink of honest insanity at one point.”
As you get to know Daniel, you learn quickly that “not knowing” something drives him crazy.
This happened before Rachel Mae Buffett was arrested herself for three felony counts of accessory to murder. Rachel is on bail awaiting trial.
When I had coffee with a Dateline NBC Producer (oh, you know there will be a post on that, too), she asked me if I thought Daniel was still in love with Rachel. I said no.
I asked him once if he thought he and Rachel would still be married now (you know, if they’d actually gotten married and there were no murders).
He said no.
Don’t tell him I said this, but I agree.