A lot of new people have found this blog and Facebook page since the recent airing of the Dateline episode about the murders of Sam Herr and Julie Kibuishi. I can’t deny that I really appreciate having more readers. It lets me know there are others out there who are intrigued by this story and want to understand why these tragic events came about.
They want to know, just as I did, why Daniel Wozniak committed murder. And I believe that some of them did not buy the easy answer of “he’s a sociopath.” I’m not saying that sociopathic behavior isn’t a factor, but on its own, it’s too simplistic a reason. It’s nice to know that others are just as curious and inquisitive as I am.
However, along with the new readers came a lot more comments. And believe it or not, I appreciate that, too. Yes, even the negative comments. I welcome an exchange of ideas.
But comments that just bash me or enthuse that Daniel “should fry” probably won’t stay up long. Comments that do not add anything to the discussion get deleted by my editor on Facebook and are not approved on the blog. It’s my blog… my Facebook page… my decision. I’m sorry if people don’t like that.
I would like to reply to every comment, but I don’t always have the time. So I’m writing this in hopes that I can answer some questions and sort of re-state my reasons for writing this blog in the first place.
Why His Friend?
It kind of surprised me how many people were upset merely because I am friends with Daniel. Many commentors said that he doesn’t “deserve” to have a friend.
I actually get why people would feel that way, but I don’t agree with them. We’re all entitled to our opinions, as we are also entitled to our own experiences and how we deal with them. I like to think that most people are redeemable.
I also have seen a side to Daniel that the majority of people don’t see… and don’t want to see. That’s fair. I hadn’t planned on seeing it originally. I had plenty of preconceived ideas about him, but I kept an open mind.
Now, I am his friend. But I do understand how people are unable to look past his horrible actions and still see the human being. I have been able to separate the man from his actions, and I’m sharing what I learn as I go. I know I’m not the only person to find this idea interesting.
Also, by the way, it’s a silly argument to compare Daniel to Hitler and then complain about someone writing a book about him. Seriously? Do you know how many books have been written about Hitler? I don’t have an exact number, but there are lots.
Some people say they are worried about me and my family. That is kind of you, but unnecessary. Yes, I am Daniel’s friend, but make no mistake; this doesn’t mean that I think, “he is innocent.” I have never said that. Actually, neither has Daniel.
I have also made it clear that nothing I write is an attempt to convince anyone that Daniel deserves to walk free. I’m not trying to convince readers of anything. I’m just sharing my opinions. Are you are curious about what I have to say? Then read what I write. If you aren’t, don’t. It’s not complicated.
Oh, and my kids are doing great by the way. They have good lives. They get lots of love and attention. They are smart and happy. I’m a great mom. I just happen to be one who is a writer and a creative artist. Those two things need not be mutually exclusive.
Why Daniel’s Friend Now?
Some of the commentors are also upset that I was not Daniel’s friend before the murders took place. All things considered, that’s a strange thing to get upset about, don’t you think? In my blog, I’ve said from the beginning that Daniel and I had not been friends before May 2010. We had only spoken briefly a couple of times at the Hunger Artists Theatre.
When I started writing to Daniel, it was out of pure curiosity and interest in true crime. It was the fact that I’d “met the guy” that made me decide to give it a go and send him a letter. I thought maybe I could write a true crime book.
I know that a number of people are planning books about this crime; are people also concerned as to their interaction with Daniel before they decided to write about him? That I thought it would be interesting to see if I could actually have a discussion with “the murderer himself” does not hinge on my prior relationship with him, as it would not for any other journalist or writer who would want to sit down and talk to him.
When this whole creative writing project began, my blog was called “murder musings” only. It didn’t mention Daniel’s name, it didn’t mention the victims’ names, and it didn’t mention my name. At that point, I figured that I could write a book about him whether he ever wrote back to me or not.
Now I think I have a different book/play to write. I haven’t completely figured it out yet, so the blog is my jumping off point.
Becoming Daniel Wozniak’s “bestie” was not anything I’d envisioned, but now I am one of his closest friends. He often points out to me that, unlike many friends who are no longer in his life, I am capable of seeing the person beyond the deed.
Why am I able to do that?
Maybe it’s because I wasn’t his friend beforehand. I had no sense of personal betrayal. I knew what I was walking into. Daniel has made other close friends in the past five years. Most of them are in jail, but don’t judge them for that.
I would also like to reassure those who are so worried about my quality of friendship, that I have been able continue and grow my friendships with those in my “real-life” world. People who know me see no reason to fear that I’m being used or manipulated. My closest friends are not behind bars. I’m a regular person with regular every-day relationships.
Anonymity and “Fame”
As far as me not using my own name on the blog… well, if someone really wants to figure out who I am, I’m sure they’ll be able to do it. It’s funny how some people say that I am trying to get my “15 minutes of fame out of the situation,” and others complain that I don’t use my name. My husband said if I start using my name on the blog now, it will seem like I am trying to get famous. So… rock and a hard place, you know?
Maybe Not For Everyone… and That’s Okay
For those commentors who personally knew Sam or Julie, you have my sincere condolences. I know both of them were greatly loved, and their losses have caused irreparable pain to many. Your anger toward Daniel Wozniak is warranted. This blog might be too difficult to accept for someone so close to the victims.
I am going to continue writing it, though. Many people will be writing about Daniel and this crime. Sadly, Julie, Sam and Rachel will all be forever linked to Daniel and the horrific crimes.
What About Rachel Buffett?
Speaking of Rachel Buffett: there have been plenty of comments left about her. People have very differing opinions after seeing her interview on Dateline.
I will be honest; I lean toward the side that does not entirely believe Rachel’s story of having no involvement in the murders. My opinion is formed on what I heard in court, from studying the case, and from various conversations I’ve had with people.
BUT, I don’t actually know Rachel Buffett, and I want to keep a completely open mind. Maybe my mind would be changed if I got to know her. She does have many supporters who believe she is completely innocent and even a victim herself in this case. Who knows what information will come out during her trial. Rachel could be completely exonerated. But like with Daniel’s case, it is something that needs to be tried in court.
Not Done By A Long Shot
Hopefully that clears up questions anyone had. Your comments really are appreciated. I hope you continue to read the blog. There is a long road ahead for Daniel, and I’m planning to write about it.
27 thoughts on “Addressing Comments”
I am enjoying reading your blog. It is informative and extremely interesting. I am very much looking forward to your book!
Sigh. No person is just “bad” or “good.” People and life are much more complex. To say Daniel doesn’t deserve a friend is ludicrous. I have a dear friend who is in prison and who will die in prison and whom I met when he was on Death Row and I represented him. My eldest daughter is also his friend and has been his friend since she was a small child. Draw appropriate boundaries and be honest as to your intentions, be they writing a book or simply being a pal. Some people won’t understand this, but some, like I, will.
That isn’t true at all. Sociopaths are simply “bad”. They have no conscience. They feel no guilt. They feel no empathy. They feel no love. They feel no sadness. They can pretend to be “good” and caring and remorseful. But it is just an act in an effort to get what they want from that person. They manipulate people into believing they are normal or “good”. But it’s all an act. Manipulation. Con game. Brainwashing. You should do a little research. I, too, used to believe there is good in everyone. That’s one great big lie. Sociopaths are the personification of evil.
I love how you are being so honest in this blog. I live in Costa Mesa and have friends on both Daniel and Julie’s side (meaning they knew them prior to the crime). It sure hits home, and some people are very quick to say something is back or white. Reality is that MOST things are grey, especially when in cases where you feel something’s missing. I absolutely feel like something’s missing here.
After all is said and done, Daniel remains a mystery, at least for me. Yes, he committed the most heinous crime in the book, and he will pay for it dearly. In addition, he seems to be covering up for his former fiancee, Rachel Buffet. The question is why? Why kill 2 people for money? Why is he covering up for her? Is he in love with her, even after all this time? Deep down inside he must know that he’s living on borrowed time, so what’s the point of procrastinating? Let the world know whether or not she had anything to do with the murder! If she did, let her pay. If she didn’t have anything to do with it, help her be exonerated!
Seriously! I am shocked that dan allowed sanders to close putting all this blame on Rachel I cannot believe he would do that to her… I hope he helps her to be exonerated… She is 100% innocent and completely a victim of his evil selfishness
Its the very least he could do after ruining her life. And taking Sam and julies.
I’m shocked it didn’t happen sooner. Everyone wants to throw the sociopath word around, but I think he seems more narcissistic, like the highest degree. Yes, they are capable of murder. But there are many tools from a PD’S tool box, one called “the smear campaign.” You can imagine what that looks like. I am sure this girl (fiance) could tell us a million stories, all pointing to NPD behaviors. Its her story I am waiting for. Only she saw him with the mask off. I’m sure he had quite a harem as well. And this blogger, needs to be aware of this. Nothing worse than finding out you’ve been charmed by a non human.
I read through your blog and find it pretty interesting. I’ll tell you right up front that I could care less about the death penalty. I am actually against it, as we have let over a hundred people off of death row that turned out to be innocent and I would rather let 10 guilty men go free before I would kill an innocent man. I also am not an overly emotional person who wants to rant that “everyone must pay!! Lock ’em up and throw away the key!!” Quite frankly, if someone murdered someone in my family, I would prefer they spend many, many years suffering and getting to miss their freedom.
I read that you “look for his dark side”, or something close to that. You won’t see it. If you could see it, nobody would ever be surprised by a serial killer, rapist, or anyone with ill intentions toward them. These types of people are predators, they catch their victims off guard, so they generally come off as being nicer and less threatening than John Q. Public. There isn’t an insane, blood thirsty monster waiting to kill – this was a simple solution to a simple problem, that is all. The sociopath/psychopath has no empathy for others feelings, that doesn’t make them all sadistic killers. It is estimated that 85% of the fortune 500 companies CEO’s are sociopaths.
I actually do not know a ton about this case, I watched the Lockup episode and have read a few articles, but I can tell you that Daniel is absolutely a sociopath. People often mistake demeanor for character. He has a very friendly disposition, that is no reflection of his character, what he is inside. A couple things I would point out in support of my opinion are that when I watched the Lockup episode, he constantly talked about himself and the public’s opinion of him. He even asked for a newspaper to “see what they were saying about him.”
These people also have a reason for everyone who is in their life. The person makes them feel good, does something for them, etc. Believe it or not, they even seem like great people, being kind, generous, etc, but, it is because they want people to see them that way, it makes them feel good, not because they actually care about the people. Being a “mentor” gives them a feeling of superiority, being generous gives then the feeling that the person is now indebted to them, etc. There is also the simple fact that they like people to find them interesting, or any other traits that make them feel like another person thinks of them highly, holds them in high regard. Most of the trails lead back to feeling superior to others, by simple manipulation, often not noticed. If he was a responsible person, his accounts would not be overdrawn, he wouldn’t get eviction notices, etc. BUT, if he loans you some money, or is generous in any other way, that is forgotten and he looks like he is superior to you – you came to him for help – you NEEDED him, which is why they make themselves available.
To point out what I mean by “everyone is in their life for a reason”, the young man who went to the atm for him – he used to look up to Daniel, made Daniel feel important and superior. When Daniel moved on from that ( they hadn’t been in touch for a few years ) Daniel contacted him BECAUSE HE NOW HAS ANOTHER PURPOSE FOR HIM TO BE IN HIS LIFE, a useful one – FOR DANIEL. Daniel did not give it a second thought to put this young man in harm’s way. He also asked the other friend to lie for him as an alibi. That is a total lack of caring as to what position these people might have ended up in. Sociopaths are great at sizing people up and knowing who they can manipulate, who they can use for what purpose, etc.
You are in Daniel’s life because you make him an important part of yours, you both are interested in the same subject – Daniel. You are also in his life because being locked up, ANY time spent communicating with the outside world, outside of your cell, is the best thing you can get in jail. You occupy time, basically. The clock ticks very slowly when you are alone and forced to focus on where you are.
Daniel may say a lot of nice things, profess to believe and do nice things, but Daniel’s words are hollow, like most sociopaths, his words and actions do not mesh together. He had no problem putting his own brother, and a couple of friends, in really bad spots to cover his own ass. Oh, and there is that little thing that he killed two people.
The other thing I would point out is something you wrote yourself. If you go look up any articles about sociopaths/psychopaths – one of the most telling traits is that they think they are smarter than everyone else. You will see that repeated in any article you read. Another trait is that instead of violence, or intimidation, they will try to control with guilt, or other forms of mental manipulation before resorting to drastic measures. Why? Because they prefer the feeling that they “outsmarted” you, that they controlled you, and got you to do something, more than they like being bullies. Physical violence, although being the first thing people think of when they hear “psychopath”, is actually far less a component of the sociopath/psychopath, then one would think. People prone to violence actually are looking for power over another human, and obviously have no care for what the person thinks of them, they prefer people fear them, they like seeing the fear in a person.
That all being said, I do not blame you for being interested in this situation as a whole. I also do not “hate” someone for their shortcomings, I have friends that are kleptomaniacs, I don’t hate them for it, I just don’t leave stuff out they can steal when they come by. : )
Daniel committed this crime because it was a means to an end, it was an option. I know you wrote that he wasn’t “that overdrawn” in his accounts, but a hundred bucks is a lot if you don’t know when you are getting your next hundred bucks ( or are getting married and are broke ). There is also an added component of “I outsmarted everyone” had he gotten away with it.
I would find it interesting to talk to him, and be “friends” with hin, also, but I pegged him for what he is the first time I saw him discuss the case. But, I also agree that there are many different facets to a person, hence my kleptomaniac example. I am not patting myself on the back, nor do I believe myself to be overly intelligent. What I know is that I have had a strange gift of being able to size up people’s character fairly quickly and easily and have been told so by many people, including Psychiatrists, therapists and counselors. I also happen to have had some “evil” people in my immediate family and am familiar with the types of faces people put on in public and in private. Together with an interest in what makes people tic, and human behavior, I completely understand why you pursue this relationship with Daniel.
Phew! Thank you for the comment. You’ve made some interesting points. I’m curious about your opinion on this – Is a person born a sociopath or do you think it develops over time?
You didn’t ask me, but a person is not born a sociopath. Society (whichever is lived for the specific person) can create the sociopath. (In fact the prefix, “socio-,” relates meaning of words to society.)
Basically I believe that the expectations of society (talking about the normal society: college, job, house, money, family) become too much to bear for some people. Not living up to either personal or societal expectations can drive a person to extreme measures to attain needs and wants. For example two people were murdered because of money (and most likely for more reasons but mainly money)—which in normal society is, despite what anyone says otherwise, the most necessary tool we need to survive.
I’ll expound on my opinion of society creating sociopaths, if necessary.
Excellent comments. Perfectly describes the sociopathic behavior.
just curious… why didn’t you volunteer to testify at court to support your friend? the only person that sanders could bring to court to say anything positive about wozniak was daniel munoz. if you truly believe your “friend” is worth keeping alive, why didn’t you speak up in front of the jury and tell them your reasons?
also, in case you missed it, matt murphy DID try to go into the background of wozniak. how he was raised, how his parents are both married, no drug/alcohol problems, nice school, etc. it was Sanders that shut it down and actually made a huge deal about in court when matt actually showed a couple of power point slides while taking it down… do you remember? why would Sanders do that? Why would Sanders NOT want the jury to know that Wozniak had a decent childhood with decent family and grew up in a decent environment?
I would have testified if I had been asked. I’m sure I am not the only one.
The second part of your question is very interesting. No, I didn’t miss that in court and I do know why that decision was made. I’ll go into that at another time. Do you have an opinion on why you think Scott made that choice? That question is open to anyone by the way.
I am only up to this post in your blog and intend to read the rest, but my thinking is that he wouldn’t want to bring that up because it might make the jury think “ok, so this guy had a great life growing up and he ended up doing this? Must be a monster.” That’s probably why Matt Murphy was trying to present it. If he had grown up in a terrible home and been beaten as a child to drug addicted parents, the jury would have felt bad for him/understood how he ended up the way he did and Sanders would have been the one presenting it while Murphy tried to suppress it.
Btw, I love this blog and have been reading it since yesterday. I totally understand why you would befriend this man and write about him. I agree that the worst thing someone has done does not necessarily define them. Daniel Wozniak did a horrible, atrocious thing, but there is almost always more to a person than what is on the surface.
I support you writing this blog and check back almost everyday to see if a new one pops up :) I also read all the comments too; what I really don’t understand is why people feel the need to list the ‘sequence of events’ to remind you of what happened those two days, I think you are very well aware of what happened It drives me nuts lol!
What an interesting case this is! I am not surprised that you are intrigued by Daniel and want to study his case it would after all make a great book. I am of the opinion that we must study these cases in order to understand why such things happen and probably establishing a relationship with the guy is the only way to do it. As long as you are aware of how sociopath/psychopaths behave within these relationships you should be ok.
I have worked at times with people with mental health issues and I think it is generally accepted that an abusive childhood is usually behind many instances of antisocial adult behaviour. I believe that there are 2 types of sociopath, firstly a person that has become this way as a form of defence (emotionally) against an horrific childhood/family background. However, I am sure that some people are born sociapaths or psychopathic and it is genetically passed on.
Daniel represents for me that rare individual who astounds us all with his crime but seems such a good person up until these horrific events, after watching dateline I found myself asking why would he do such a thing ? It is surely a question that needs answering.
As a British citizen we do not have the death penalty and I agree with this. Too many people in the past have been executed and then found to be innocent. Far better to loose their freedom than for us to take a life as they have.
I would elaborate more but I think that the previous comments from joey say it all really!
There is no reason for you to defend yourself for writing this blog about your relationship with DW. We all come together (friends and family of the victims included) because we want answers to troubling questions that only DW can answer and because you communicate with him maybe he will reveal something that might be more understandable/forgivable than two people were murdered because DW needed money. Looking back it must feel surreal to you now meeting DW when you did and then the events that transpired following your meeting. I hope that you do write a book about your experience with DW and your perspective on how he became the man he is today. You are also fortunate to not be a friend or family member of the victims. You are able to see DW without the emotional turmoil they are experiencing. I do not agree that the relationship that you have with DW is “friendship” I think you must honestly answer this question: What would your relationship with DW be if he were let out of prison today given with what you know about him? I suspect that you would keep a healthy distance from this man knowing what he is capable of. Consider that it is safe to be a murderer’s “friend” while he is behind bars. You must also consider the fact that he once called Sam and Julie “friends”. The reaction to your “friendship” with DW must by now give you some additional insight into why prisons exist besides the obvious reasons of punishment and penalty for criminal behavior. First, to protect the public from people like DW and second, to protect DW from the public.
Wow loved this information you completely described dan to a T… I saw his selfish vindictive side many times and he definitely completely used everyone in his life.
Do you have any stories you’d like to share?
Debbie Do needs to give the comments section a rest. She doesn’t have the chops or the talents for conversation or linguistics or composition that the other participants possess. If she were in one of my graduate classes, she would earn an “F”.
It’s a discussion. Get over yourself
Being verbose doesn’t mean you do either. Your use of the language is awkward, I’m surprised you teach anything, let alone graduate classes
Bill, I’ll try to keep this simple for you, as you requested – if you can’t see that the character, “Debbie Do” is a friend of a friend of Daniel’s and is venting – then you are blind to the obvious also…..
Why? Because you smelled profit in the wind.
Your blog was anonymous because you called Daniel Patrick Wozniak, “Pat” at first. You also called the guy he killed, “The Vet” because he was a veteran. A big brain worked on that process of anonymity eh Brau? I’d worked this out in about ten minutes and I’d only idly come across your blog whilst I had YouTube just chortling away in the background and this case piqued my interest.
You are very clearly in a lot more, “friend” with Daniel than you care to admit to. Your venomous tone reserved for Rachel is on par with that which I’d normally associate with former lovers. Yet at other times you freely state that this case has nothing to do with you. I guess that just puts you in the meddling interloper category then.
I’m still reading your blog… but there’s precious little else to do in lockdown I know you mentioned earlier you weren’t going to revisit it for errrors of bias… but have gone over it sufficiently for the out of context spelling mistakes? I’m sure you refer to your blog as a bog at least once. Is this some sort of sub conscious Freudian error designed to convey meaning to the sub conscious of the reader? It’s working as I rate it superb on this alone. Are you still working on the book?