Another news show aired an episode about Daniel Wozniak’s case. This time, it was 48 Hours.
I seem to get a bunch of new readers whenever a show airs. People learn about Daniel’s case for the first time, Google him, and then find my blog.
Hi new people. I’m happy to have you here. Welcome.
I hope you’ll read the entire blog from the beginning before you go comment crazy. Try to remember, I wrote the posts before and during the trial. I learned as I wrote. And I’ve probably already answered a lot of questions you might have.
I know the murders of Sam Herr and Julie Kibuishi are horrible. Daniel Wozniak’s confession of how and why Sam and Julie were killed is disturbing and gruesome. The man shown on that police interview video seems like a monster, but that’s not the guy I visit. In part, I write to make sense of my friendship with him.
Now let’s talk about 48 Hours.
Daniel Wozniak and the True Crime TV Shows
Arguably, Dateline, 20/20, and 48 Hours are the “big three” of hour-long news shows. On January 15, 2016, Dateline’s episode started the trend of covering Daniel’s crime. It was two hours long, it had an interview with Daniel’s ex-fiancée Rachel Buffett (shot years earlier), and most importantly, it was first.
When 20/20 aired their program about Daniel Wozniak on March 4, 2016, I followed along on social media. Many of the commenters complained this was the exact same show seen on Dateline.
The 20/20 episode did have a brief interview with the jurors (I wish there had been more of them). They also had court updates, but overall, I have to agree with the detractors: the story was told the exact same way.
48 Hours On Daniel Wozniak
On October 8, 2016, a month after Daniel was sentenced to death row, 48 Hours aired “Killer Performance,” their version of the Daniel Wozniak crime.
48 Hours had an interview that no one else had. It was an interview with me. They asked me not to make that information public until after the episode aired.
If you’re wondering how you missed the woman with My Little Pony-colored hair, that’s because I wasn’t on the show. The producer sent me a text the day before to let me know my interview didn’t make the edit.
This did not surprise me at all.
I’d seen a promo for the episode a few days before and, quite frankly, it looked like 48 Hours wasn’t doing anything different from the shows that had come before it. I figured if 48 Hours was going to use my interview, there would have been some mention in the promo about hearing from a “friend of the killer.”
Behind the Scenes
From the beginning, I suspected 48 Hours interviewed me as a way to butter me up. I had arranged for the producer of 20/20 to briefly meet Daniel during one of our visits, and the 48 Hours producer was hoping for the same opportunity. Or more.
If you remember from my post, I considered interviewing Daniel myself, as I was the only person he’d allow. Finances and logistics got in the way, but part of me really wanted the world to hear from the person I know. All anyone saw was his expressionless face (except for those poorly timed smiles at me) during his murder trial.
Yes, I know some of you don’t give a flying pig what he’s like. But lots of other people are damn curious about Daniel, and that’s why I wasn’t surprised TV producers were trying to use me to get to him, and 48 Hours worked the hardest.
On the day they shot the interview with me (at CBS Studios in Los Angles), I mentioned how Daniel actually had agreed to let me interview him on camera, and how I couldn’t swing it.
A month or so later, the producer approached me with an intriguing offer. She wanted me to interview Daniel on 48 Hours’ dime.
When I brought the idea to Daniel, he had a lot of questions. Mostly, he didn’t particularly like the answers he got back.
- He wouldn’t be able to know the questions in advance.
- I wouldn’t be able to know the questions in advance.
- I wouldn’t be seen on camera at all (I was fine with that).
- I wouldn’t get to see the final edit before it aired (I wasn’t fine with that.)
When you get down to it, this wasn’t going to be his friend interviewing him. This was going to be 48 Hours interviewing him. He didn’t like that.
He also didn’t say no.
There were some financial and promotional benefits for me if he did the interview. Even though Daniel Wozniak is quite skeptical there is a positive side to showing himself to the public, he stayed open to discussing the possibility.
Then he let me decide.
I didn’t tell that to the 48 Hours producer (until now, I guess). I was a chicken. It was easier to have her think I didn’t have much say in the decision.
Don’t get me wrong, Daniel did not want to do the interview. He wouldn’t agree to meet with the 48 Hours producer at all, and she really wanted the opportunity to plead her case to him. It would not have made any difference though.
I never found out exactly why Daniel agreed to meet the producer from 20/20, but not the one from 48 Hours.
Eventually, after a lot of thought, there was no interview. I’m sure Daniel was relieved I made that choice.
It makes you wonder how different the entire episode would have been if they’d had that jailhouse interview with Daniel.
Even though 48 Hours did pretty much the same show as 20/20 and Dateline, I felt it was slightly more one-sided than the other programs. I didn’t like how the show made it seem like Daniel had no one supporting him. Daniel did not want his mother or any of his loved ones to suffer even more than they’ve already had to because of him.
The show did include a much too brief interview with the stage manager of the production Daniel and Rachel starred in at the time of the murders. Overall though, I didn’t think 48 Hours added much to the mix of media coverage for this story. Sure, they were able to show clips from Dr. Phil and Lockup, but those shows have been on YouTube for years. As is, I wonder if some true crime fans even bothered to watch 48 Hours (my mom didn’t).
I’m sure there are lots of people who don’t watch every news crime show on TV, so they learned about these murders for the first time from 48 Hours. Some of those viewers have made their way to me. I hope they stick around and read up on this case, because I do not believe the full truth about the murders of Sam Herr and Julie Kibuishi has been told yet.
8 thoughts on “48 Hours”
The full truth has not been told!? If that’s the case, what was the trial all about? I thought that was one of the main reasons for holding a trial in the first place: i.e. to clarify who did what and to whom and why. Daniel didn’t have his day in court? Of course he did. The fact that he or his defense team chose not to have him testify is his or their prerogative. Perhaps if he would have had a “smarter” defense team, the jury might have found some extenuating circumstances, which may have had some mitigating effect on the final outcome. He could have cried, begged, fainted, or screamed on the stand. He could have blamed it all on his sad childhood and upbringing. Who knows what could have softened the hearts of some of the jury members. But, to say NOTHING on your own behalf? What have you got to lose? It’s your life that’s hanging in the balance! Personally, I don’t believe that Rachel was in any way involved in the crime as it was being played out. Perhaps she had a minor part to play AFTER the fact. Frankly, who cares? The impotrant thing is that Daniel basically confessed to the police his part in the murders, and he did not involve anyone else in the crimes. That was his prerogative. He had his day in court. That is the full truth. Nothing more can be said. It’s all a bit too late.
I do understand your thinking here, but don’t forget, just because an attorney wants to bring information in front of a jury, doesn’t mean the judge will allow it to happen. Could more information, more witnesses, more evidence come to light in the future? Yes. Especially if an appeals court believes the evidence should have been allowed in the first trial.
As far as Daniel taking the stand – Not common in most murder trials. I often put myself in Daniel’s shoes and think that I would have wanted that opportunity to plead my case. However, there’s so much more to it when a defendant gets on the stand. And if Daniel didn’t tell the entire truth in his confession, and others are possibly involved, he seems to have his reasons for not currently sharing that information. I believe that also influenced his decision to not take the stand in his case. Thank you for commenting Zvi. I appreciate it.
Just excellent commentary and I agree completely.
Hi, I read your whole blog after a 48 Hours aired a few weeks ago. I appreciate your writings and the fact you try to understand the reasons why people do the things they do which is why I watch true crime as well. I am perplexed though as to why you seem to think Daniel is the person who he portrays himself to be to you. You seem to have wondered if he really is yourself at times. I have read many signs you have that seem that he is not, but haven’t read anything about you confronting him on it and his responses. I find myself wondering if you have really let yourself be manipulated by him or if you are censoring what you really think in hopes he will eventually reveal his true self to you. It would be interesting to read his responses to the questions you have had about what he has told you versus what you have learned about the case that is contradicting (for example, the drugs).
Well let’s say that there have been many questions I’ve asked Daniel, and answers (and my feelings about the answers) that I haven’t shared on the blog. There’s a lot I’m saving for the actual book. Also, I want Daniel to know he can trust me. I’ve proven that to him by not just running to the blog to blab. This does not mean that Daniel Wozniak has any control, or say, over what I write or when I write it. I just respect that there is a timeline of when I should share with the public.
OK, your writing a BOOK! Now your blog makes sense. For a while I thought you were one of those weird girls who falls in love with killers….
Yup. My apologies to the blog readers that I’m not posting as often, but I have been focusing more on the larger project.
Please tell dan his cousin kathleen Comfort loves him and I’m trying to get his info to come see him and write. Thank you.