Lock Up / Lock Down: It’s an Honest Mistake

Hi readers. I apologize for the lengthy breaks between blog posts. I’m working on the book. It’s the holiday season. And, truth be told, there isn’t much to blog about in terms of Daniel’s case right now.

Originally, I planned to write a post all about the three-week long extended lockdown that took place in San Quentin State Prison this past September. In California prisons, a lockdown means inmates are locked in their cells twenty-four hours a day (this is probably twice as difficult for the prisoners who have cellies). For the duration of the lockdown, no visits or phone calls are allowed, and all classes and activities are suspended.

This topic seemed like the most noteworthy recent event in Daniel Wozniak’s life. But it wasn’t really a Daniel story, per se, so I put it off to write the last blog post, “It Worked for the Other Guy,“ about the major ruling in the Scott Dekraai case and the numerous connections to Daniel and his own trial.

While I was working on the Dekraai post, I asked Daniel to write me a letter describing what it was like for him during those three weeks being locked in a cell twenty-four hours a day.

However, we must have had a slight miscommunication issue. A week later, I received a detailed and interesting six-page typed letter from Daniel, but it was all about how he came to do an interview for the TV show Lockup six months after his arrest. Daniel wrote about being manipulated by the show’s producers and how his words were edited to make him look even more evil than he could have imagined.

Lockup, Lock down: It’s an honest mistake.

When I talked to Daniel after receiving his letter, I explained the whole “Lock down” vs “up” situation. He said he’d write me another letter, but pointed out that that being locked up all day, and having no visitors, calls, or classes, was the extent of the story. That’s why he thought I wanted information about his appearance on the TV show.

So, I’m afraid I won’t be blogging about the lockdown at SQ in this post. I’m sure I’ll revisit the topic at some point.

In case you’re disappointed about the lack of a lockdown story, I highly recommend checking out this story from San Quentin Radio.

Lockup: How to Make Egg Salad While Incarcerated

If you’ve been following Daniel Wozniak’s case for a while, you may have already watched the MSNBC Lockup Extended Stay: Orange County – Unholy Trinity episode that aired in 2011. If you haven’t seen Daniel Wozniak’s one and only on-camera interview, then I’m sorry to say you might have difficulty finding it now. It appears that two of the “unholy trinity” have been edited out of the show. The interviews with Jason Russell Richardson (aka “The Home Depot killer”) and Daniel are no longer part of the program in any of the versions I can find online. I don’t know about Richardson, but there’s still a bunch of legal controversy surrounding the show and Daniel’s case, so perhaps that is an explanation.

Nonetheless, I luckily had the full episode saved on my TiVo, so I was able watch it again before I wrote this post.

I first saw the Lockup episode when it originally aired six months after Daniel’s arrest. Orange County theatre people had been texting each other about how Wozniak was going to be on Lockup. At that point, I barely knew Daniel. I hadn’t started writing to him (or about him) yet. He was only that “actor from Nine who killed two people.” I couldn’t imagine what he would actually say in an interview.

Like everyone else, I’d read that Daniel confessed to murdering Sam Herr and Julie Kibuishi. But I’m a true-crime junkie, and I knew confessions are not necessarily the end of a story. I had met this man. I’d joked around backstage with him. I’d watched him perform on the stage of my theatre home.

Could that guy really have murdered two innocent people? Did I shake a hand that cut off a man’s head?

Doesn’t He Get It?

I had an open mind when I started watching that show, and then I saw Daniel Wozniak smiling into the camera and saying…

“I want people to know that I’m a good guy. I’m easy going. I enjoy long walks on the beach. I’m an Aries.” 

Ummm what did he just say??

Rewind… play….

“I want people to know that I’m a good guy. I’m easy going. I enjoy long walks on the beach. I’m an Aries.”

Dude! You are on Lockup! This is not an E-Harmony website!

Daniel Wozniak was off to a very bad start. I thought he must just be joking around. He couldn’t possibly think anyone cared about his astrological sign or the outdoor activities he used to enjoy.

And seriously, if you want people to think you’re a “good guy,” you probably shouldn’t commit murder. Just sayin’.

Next up, Dan gave the camera crew a tour of his humble abode: “Here is my sink.  Here is my toilet.”

It wasn’t a long tour – his sink and toilet were one and the same.

Good Eats: Orange County Jail Edition

When Daniel’s lunch was delivered (in a paper bag), he gave a food preparation demonstration in his cell. His lunch included a small container of carrots and a hard-boiled egg. Daniel explained how a clever convict could first eat the carrots, and then take the egg and some mayonnaise (lunch included an abundance of those little fast food mayo packets) and make egg salad in the now empty container.

That online dating video was getting more impressive by the minute.

There were shots of Daniel shaving with a tiny razor, footage of him on an escalator being escorted by a guard, and images of him sitting on his bunk. At one point, Daniel even read one of his favorite Bible verses for the audience.

Acting Oblivious? Or Just Oblivious?

When producer Suzanne Ali started asking Daniel questions about his case, he tried to avoid the topic. Daniel acted like he didn’t even know exactly what his own charges were. “They said I murdered two people. They said I dismembered one of them.”

Daniel talked about Sam Herr and Julie Kibuishi. How they were both great people, terrific friends, and would help anyone at any time.

It was clear to me that Dan Wozniak was attempting to perform for the camera. When he continued to claim ignorance about the details of his crimes, someone on the crew pulled out a cellphone and brought up some articles for Daniel to read.

As the camera zoomed in on the side of his face, Daniel scanned the phone screen. Seemingly overwhelmed with emotion, he started to cry. Even though he’d confessed to committing these crimes months earlier, we viewers were supposed to accept that Dan Wozniak was shocked to learn what was being written about him.

By the end of the show, I was completely convinced that Daniel Wozniak was a fake and a liar. Hell, maybe he didn’t even like long walks on the beach.

Up Next: Was Daniel Wozniak “Produced” by Lockup?

But in part two of this post, I’m going to give you Daniel’s explanation of how Lockup managed to make him look even worse than he already did, and why he even agreed to the interview in the first place.

I’ll give you a hint: it was all about talking to Rachel Buffet.

A Rachel Buffet Update

Speaking of Rachel – I attended her court hearing on November 28th. Technically she now has a trial date set for Feb 9, 2018. However, she still has a TRC (Trial Readiness Conference) scheduled for January 19th, so a lot can still happen before Rachel Buffett faces a jury. Fingers crossed, though.

10 thoughts on “Lock Up / Lock Down: It’s an Honest Mistake”

  1. MM, Matt, mwsmedia, et al. keep up the great work! Looking forward to the book!

    Comments on comments.

    J says on July 10, 2017, at 12:37 pm, “Hello Murderer Musings, can you give a brief synopsis of your feelings about why you think Rachel is guilty.”

    Dan told Rachel that he was going to kill Sam and Julie (initially Chris). Rachel told him to go ahead and do what needs to be done to make their lives a happy one. Also, Rachel indicated to Julie that Sam was going to die in her Facebook message on Friday morning: “We’ll hang out once everything settles (dies) in the summer sun.” The plan was to kill Sam and Chris, but Chris took his $400 and ran from Rachel who spent Saturday morning looking at jobs online from Fritz That’s It (fritzthatsit.net). Rachel thought she would be the talk of the town working at Fritz after her stint at Disneyland.

    Lauren says on December 4, 2017, at 11:19 am, “It turns out, Rachel was no[t] offered a deal until around October or so and she refused so she can have her day in court to tell her side of the story.”

    Rachel’s attorney, David, does not want to take her case to trial. Rachel, on the other hand, will never plea bargain because she claims, “I did nothing wrong!” See below.***

    Nancy says on December 1, 2017, at 8:21 am, “It seems clear she no longer loves him at all. Hopefully she can move on from all this.”

    Within a week of Dan’s arrest, Rachel was at Mr. B’s in Los Alamitos with her “friends” (Rachel doesn’t have real friends) singing karaoke and continuing to sleep with Jake Schwett (purposefully misspelled as “Swett” in “Killing for You.”) Jake’s new girlfriend has very similar physical characteristics to Rachel. Rachel will be hit with a wrongful death civil suit at the conclusion of her criminal trial. With the lower evidentiary burden in the civil suit (“preponderance of the evidence”), her commissary funds will be severely limited in Chowchilla.

    Lauren says on November 9, 2017, at 1:50 pm, “Calipatti, Rachel got herself involved when she lied to the police.”

    Rachel was involved long before she lied to the Costa Mesa Police Department.

    ***Lauren says on November 9, 2017, at 1:50 pm, “Most people discussing Rachel online and in interviews I have read describe Rachel as ‘odd,’ ‘difficult’ to work with, and suggest that she is very ‘conceited.'”

    Rachel certainly is odd and difficult. She grew up stuck in the middle and home-schooled with her other four siblings (Noah, Nathan, Hannah, and Abraham). Rachel cries victim: “I didn’t do anything wrong!” Yet, she craves the center of attention by posing front-and-center in birthday pictures while crossing her fingers. Rachel claimed upon release from custody, “I read the entire Bible while in jail.” However, she has not been seen anywhere near Cottonwood for years. Her older brother Noah (Head of Maintenace at Santa Catalina Company–remember to say “hi” if you are in Avalon!) claims, “She is a good girl” and “Leave my sister alone, in an older brother soft of way.” He forgets to mention how Rachel and Dan moved out of his place so she could drink alcohol and take ecstasy daily. Rachel also hooked up with Sam and Jake (not “Big Dave” Barnhart (who now works for the USDOJ) because he was “too fat and that his fat hid his penis like Dan.”).

    She certainly believes she is entitled.

    Rachel’s entitled nature stems from her upbringing and parents, as demonstrated by her father, Dave (http://articles.latimes.com/1996-09-11/local/me-42682_1_seal-beach (“My home-schooled children are too good for your schools and truancy laws. You are depriving their intellectual and artistic abilities to do whatever they please.”), and mother, Marianne (“I will teach others to be beautiful like me through hair and makeup”). All five (5) of the Buffett children believe they are “artists” and “better than.” In general terms, there is a sense of entitlement growing up in a beach community in southern California as an intra- (e.g., Seal Beach vs. Huntington Beach vs. Laguna Beach vs. Newport Beach, etc.) and inter- (e.g., beach v. inland/Valley, 949 vs. 909ers, Laguna vs. Laguna Niguel/Laguna Hills (e.g., not Laguna)) sense of survival. However, the Buffetts’ entitlement is triple-layered with “We are too open-minded and intelligent to be held down by school. The Buffetts are artists and their special abilities and intelligence surpasses those of the commoners. Dilly, dilly!” The Buffett children: dabble in wine connoisseurship claiming expertise in pairing wine with music and boating (even parlaying an appearance on “Shark Tank”); play and design musical instruments (e.g., handmade guitars–only custom-made instruments for the Buffetts!); open drinking establishments with a military theme despite the accessory after the fact charges stemming from the first-degree murder of a veteran; claim to sing jazz and church choir solos better than Josh Groban; film short movies mocking those with European accents; make short films with Noah and Rachel singing Christmas songs while their friend, Shane El Salvador (who has documented his own mental illness issues), saws off the stump of a Christmas tree and laughs like a madman into the camera (and off-camera claimed he was mocking Dan); and claim cartoons are designed after them.

    MM could write a multi-volume treatise on the Buffetts and Matt/mwsmedia could produce a 10-part Netflix Series, Making a Murderer II.

    Lastly, this site needs Dan’s contact information:

    Daniel Patrick Wozniak
    CDC Number: BB-1116
    San Quentin State Prison
    San Quentin, CA 94974

    The Unholy Trinity made be found here:


    A minor suggestion–please spell Rachel’s surname properly. Although while heavily intoxicated, she recently boasted that she hopes that individuals commenting on the case online spell Buffett with one “t.”

    Dilly, dilly.

    1. Hey, J.Sarah. You mentioned that Keith “purposefully misspelled [Schwett] as “Swett” in “Killing for You.”” I think he spelled it Swett because that is how his name is spelled in transcripts. Most of Keith’s book comes from transcripts and published news stories. Killing for You is a great book to get all of the public information on the case in one tome along with some interviews from people who knew people involved in the case. Linda is working on her book and, like Keith, she has great experience in producing various media about crime and killers. Also, how do you have so much insight on the people you discuss?

  2. One of the producers of ‘Lockdown’ would later sat DW was plucked out of a crowd of inmates because of his odd look; (high-water uniform & ‘boy next door’ look). DW obviously became frustrated during the interview. He was obviously being hammered into elaborating about his case. ‘I can’t…I’ cannot…I can’t…!’ OC jail officials surely suggested ‘Lockdown’ hone in on DW in order to gather any evidence that be used against him during his subsequent trial- a practice not uncommon as recent news reports seem to confirm (‘OC snitches’).

  3. Don’t apologize for writing this book. As with Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood’-the story of this heinous crime must be gathered & shared. Did the expense of the upcoming wedding/honeymoon between he & Rachel Buffet drive this man to transform into a demon for 48 hours? Does DW’s childhood hold secrets that served to bend & shape the Psyche of the affable OC thespian who was- light on his feet & a sucker for dames? Fuck the writers block (aka fear)- you already know the story girl- share it….so the Netflix movie version can get made.

  4. Hello and Merry Christmas. I’m a long time lurker and I think Ive seen the video you’re talking about. I have no idea if it’s edited or if it’s even the full video. It’s not listed on YouTube as “Locked Up”. It’s just listed as “Facing the Death Penalty”. https://youtu.be/EILEDfCT-HM

    Id love to know the explanation behind it. I saw it months ago and thought he seemed nuts for doing such a video.

    You’re a fantastic writer though, and although I believe Daniel deserves to be where he’s at(death row) I do appreciate your insight and the knowledge you have of this.

    Looking forward to your next post!

  5. I don’t really understand how they could have possibly manipulated the part where he says that he’s not sure what his charges are. He’s already confessed to murder by this point, as you know. How could he possibly be surprised when the producer shows him the newspaper articles?

    I love to play devil’s advocate, but I just can’t make the pieces fit in this scenario….

  6. Dear Moderator, can you please keep this blog updated about Rachel Buffett’s trial that looks to be on schedule and start on Feb 9th? I want to follow it but don’t want to drive to Santa Ana everyday for it….


  7. I’m also curious- as a theater director, how does it work in terms of payment? How is a theater funded? Only ticket sales? Was Daniel paid for his performances? I’m also curious what most of the actors are doing careerwise. Was the theater a stepping stone in hopes of making it big in Hollywood? I guess Im confused because Daniel didn’t seem to have Hollywood aspirations. Was the theater just a hobby for him? Or other actors as well? What about yourself? Did you have aspirations to direct films someday?

  8. Does anyone have a copy of the 2011 Msnbc lock up unholy trinity. Jason Russell Richardson is featured on the show and I would love to be able to watch it again.

  9. Finally it sounds like you’ve regained a little semblance of sanity and stopped fawning over this murderer. Good grief. You could still stand to improve on your writing, though.

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