Hello! Some of you readers may be new to my blog Daniel Wozniak is My Friend. You may have found this site through the podcast Sleuth. If so… welcome!
This blog and I have come up as a topic of discussion on Sleuth a couple of times. If you’ve come here via Sleuth, you might think of me as “The Blogger,” or “That Blogger Woman,” because that’s the moniker I’ve been assigned on Sleuth.
You should know that I have been using a pseudonym, Murderer Musings, since I started writing DWIMF in January of 2015.
On the recently released season finale, I learned that Sleuth has “two million listeners,” and that is a lot of people, right? I figured at least a dozen or so of those engrossed Sleuth fans might come here to check out what I have to say. Because Daniel Wozniak, the convicted murderer sitting on death row for the brutal murders of Sam Herr and Julie Kibuishi, is my friend. And I’m writing a book about all of it.
Don’t worry; I have plenty of friends who are not incarcerated.
Who is The Blogger?
I love true crime. When the idea came to me that I might want to write a book about Daniel Wozniak, a friend suggested I begin by writing a blog first, and use it as a jumping-off point for the book. I liked the idea and didn’t see the logic in writing the book before Daniel and Rachel had even been to trial. This gave me some much needed time to hone my writing skills in a relatively safe environment. I think you’ll notice a marked improvement in the blog posts as you read them from the beginning.
When Daniel’s former fiancée, Rachel Buffett, was sentenced in November, I decided as soon as the holidays were over, I would put the blog on the back burner for a bit and focus entirely on the book.
Well, not entirely… I am married and I have two children at home. So, seeing Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse and going out for Mexican food with my family will occasionally take priority over my work.
Like Daniel and Rachel, my background is in the local theatre world. I’ve directed. I’ve written. I’ve acted. My goal has always been to share an interesting story in a creative and engaging way. I don’t use the word “journalist” to describe myself. I’m a storyteller, and Daniel Wozniak is only telling his story to me.
Years of Direct Access to Daniel Wozniak
Daniel and I talk on the telephone almost daily, and in the past three years, he’s written to me… a lot. The picture here doesn’t do justice to the number of letters I’ve received from Daniel Wozniak. It’s not even a drop in the bucket. I have hundreds of letters, but I’m not going to put them all on the floor to take a picture because they are organized (at least in a way I understand) in files and crates with titles like “Life with Rachel” and “Leading up to the Murders.”
It’s Enough to Make Your Head Spin (Apparently)
Daniel Wozniak can communicate with whomever he wishes, in spite of the suggestion I’m somehow controlling with my ability to do a 360 with my noggin. Unfortunately, I have no such skill, and I don’t even have a recipe for (vegetarian) split pea soup.
Clever The Exorcist reference was thrown in by Editor Matt. Thanks EM
I do not claim Daniel Wozniak has never communicated with other writers or journalists. He has told me that any contact he’s had in the past three years has been minimal, merely to explain that he will only be telling his story to me, “The Blogger.” I personally have not seen or heard any evidence to the contrary, so I tend to believe he is telling me the truth in this regard.
Why Wasn’t I On That Podcast?
Sleuth host Linda Sawyer asked me to come on her podcast more than once. Despite Sawyer’s claim that appearing on her podcast would be great publicity for my book, I turned her down. Since the book isn’t finished, it seemed like putting the cart before the horse.
Also, I want to tell the story in my own way, and in my own time. True crime and my theatre world crashed into each other, and I really want to understand exactly how and why this horrible event happened. I’ve been piecing together this disturbing puzzle for over three years because I want to know the truth.
I don’t have any illusions that my book will bring more justice to the Herr and Kibuishi families, but maybe they’ll have some questions answered… assuming Julie’s and Sam’s loved ones believe Daniel has been honest with me.
Has Daniel Heard the Podcast?
Daniel is not able to listen to Sleuth or any other podcast besides San Quentin’s own podcast, Earhustle (Great podcast. You should check it out). Daniel doesn’t have the Internet or a device with which to receive it. I’ve tried to play the podcast over the phone, but SQ background noise is loud and I don’t have great cell phone reception where I live, so I’ve attempted to give him a general overview of each episode.
It would be so convenient if there were written transcripts of all the Sleuth episodes.
Often, the information stated on Sleuth coincides perfectly with the story Daniel has shared with me.
And sometimes… it doesn’t.
When that happens, I have questions for Daniel. That’s nothing new in our friendship; I’ve bombarded him with questions ever since I first wrote to him. I want to know the truth, and it’s challenging.
I’m aware that most people are going to trust a popular podcaster over a convicted murderer.
What About Tim?
However, Tim Wozniak, Daniel’s brother, is not a convicted murderer. Whatever role Tim may or may not have had in this crime, as of today, he’s never been charged with murder.
I met Tim for the first time when I visited him at the Orange County jail. Daniel wanted to make sure his brother was doing okay behind bars, and I wanted to talk to Tim because he’s an integral part of this story.
I don’t know Tim very well. We’ve messaged a fair amount, we went vintage clothing shopping, we’ve had coffee at Starbucks, and we ate Taco Bell. In all my communications with him, Tim has seemed cautiously aware of what he says to me.
I’m not suggesting Tim Wozniak is cautious because he’s dishonest. To not be cautious would be foolhardy, considering his situation, and all that has been said about him on the Sleuth podcast.
According to Tim, he had only one brief conversation with Linda Sawyer, and he told her nothing that incriminated him (or Rachel) in the murders of Sam and Julie.
Is he telling the truth?
Show Your Work
It would be a lot easier to know who to believe if Sleuth host Linda Sawyer would play a recording of even one of the conversations she claims to have had with Tim Wozniak.
Overall, the podcast Sleuth has been exceptionally helpful for me as I work on my book. I often feel like it’s paving my way with introductions to information I’ve only previously heard from Daniel himself.
That said… Come on, Sleuth fans. I can’t be the only listener who would like a little more solid evidence to accompany accusations made on the show.
Questions For Me?
Some of you might have a few questions for me. That’s understandable. I just ask you take some time to read the entirety of my blog and get a sense of who I am and how I write before you go comment-crazy. It’s likely I’ve already answered your questions in a previous post…
Again, welcome, and thank you for visiting the blog. I never forget that my “project” only exists because Sam and Julie were viciously murdered and stolen from their families. I hope you’ll read my book when it’s finished, and maybe we can all gain some understanding about this incomprehensible tragedy.
24 thoughts on ““The Blogger””
I found your blog a year or 2 ago, before the SLEUTH podcast began so naturally I was intrigued to hear what information was uncovered by the podcast. I’ve really learned a lot from the podcast and it sounds like you have, too, so I was disappointed by the tone of this latest blog post.
You sound like you were offended by being referred to as “The Blogger” but I don’t think that was meant as a dig at you. You ARE a blogger and you’ve chosen to keep your identity private, instead referring to yourself by your moniker. If the host of the podcast, Linda Sawyer, referred to you as “Murderer Musings” she’d have to preface it by saying “the blogger” so the audience would know who she was talking about or refer to you by your real name. Given how much info she has on this case I’m betting she knows your name but obviously respects your desire to remain anonymous and didn’t use it in the podcast. This post didn’t seem like you reciprocated that respect.
You referred to Linda Sawyer as a “self-proclaimed journalist” as though she was just some amateur with a podcast when she’s actually a bona fide journalist who has spent 3 years objectively researching this case. You have spent about the same amount of time on the case but more so focused on only Dan’s perspective. You like to remind readers over and over that he’s only going to tell his story to you so I don’t think you need to passively aggressively try to discredit Ms. Sawyer because she’s not trying to swoop in on your “territory.”
Also to that point, you challenged Ms. Sawyer to provide audio recordings and proof of her conversations with Tim. To my recollection I’ve never seen any such backup documentation of your actual conversations about the murders with Dan on your blog so I’m not sure why you think the audio recordings need to be provided. She’s provided plenty of other proof that she’s researched this case.
I think collaboratively you could both uncover the truth in order for all accountable parties to be brought to justice if your motivation is truly to provide answers and some semblance of peace to Sam’s and Julie’s families as you claim. The story of how an unlikely blogger and a podcaster worked together to bring justice to two families and hold the Orange County DA’s office’s feet to the fire to ensure that happened? Now THAT is a book I’d LOVE to read!
Thank you so much for being a longtime blog reader, and for taking the time to write this thoughtful comment. You’ve brought up some valid points that I’d debated while writing the post.
Editor Matt likes to ere on the side of caution and included “self-proclaimed journalist” because he was unable to verify Linda Sawyer’s credentials. In interest to fair play, we have since edited that out.
Sometimes I’m tempted to use emoticons in my posts, so my intentions will be clearer – a winking face to show my intended tone of voice. I don’t mind being called “The Blogger” at all. It’s completely appropriate and, unlike “a blogger” it acknowledges my work as being a significant aspect in this story.
I met Linda Sawyer during Daniel Wozniak’s trial. She approached me upon making the connection I knew Daniel personally. My numerous interactions with her in the past three years have led me to believe she is a very driven individual. Linda has made some specific accusations about me controlling Daniel Wozniak, and has compared me to Linda Blaire in The Exorcist. I don’t think that is respectful journalism.
I’m not attempting to discredit Sleuth, but I believe journalists should be able to prove their claims. On the finale of Sleuth, guest Daniel Hawkyard relayed his own recent telephone conversations with Daniel Wozniak. Hawkyard stated that Daniel had issues with Sleuth’s content.
However, if either of the Wozniaks is lying to me, I’d like to have proof. How else can I question their claims?
I’m not a journalist. I have tried to be very careful throughout the entirety of the blog to not come across as a journalist reporting the news. I analyze. I guess. I read news articles and link them to the blog. I talk to Daniel. I give my opinions.
However, please let me know if I’ve made any specific accusatory statements that could use clarification or explanation.
Wow! Right on! I could not have said that better myself. I just recently came across the Slueth podcast (actually I’m new to the podcast world!) and I was so fascinated with Linda Sawyer and how she did these episodes that I listen to every single one of them in a week. I just now found out she passed away while googling to see if she had other podcast stories. That is truly a loss- she was a class act.
Yes, I did find your blog because of the podcast. But I have to tell you reading your posts I cringe. You are so giddy to talk to a murderer. Like you are meeting a celebrity. You do realize this person has killed people right? It’s one thing to want to get to the bottom of the crime and understand the mind set but talking about sending a cute picture of yourself and likening receiving a letter to getting a text for a new boyfriend is just gross and in fact dis respectful to the people who lost their lives. I tried to keep reading to see if I could put it behind me but I certainly cannot. Lessening the victims to nicknames The Vet, Tutor Girl…as if they are just characters in your little play is so demeaning. I suggest you take a writing class so you can improve your skills, and also take a class on empathy. I am truly sickened at how excited you are to be a friend of a murderer. Makes me question your motives.
Bravo. I agree completely.
Sassy exactly she is to proud.
You’re absolutely right. I feel similarly towards her to the way Mike described Daniel on Sword and Scale: like an annoying musical theater type that feels that the world exists as a stage for their life to play out on (obviously badly paraphrasing here). To insist that she feels the murders of Sam and Julie were “monstrous” but refuses to apply the term to the person (or persons) responsible is a cop-out, a fallacy, and frankly disgusting. These acts weren’t monstrous inside of a vacuum; they were monstrous because a MONSTER committed them. If I were the close loved ones of Sam and Julie I would be disgusted. Reading an author like Michelle MacNamara, who we tragically lost too soon, and comparing it to this is like…well. I almost added a totally hyperbolic analogy, but I thought better of it.
The description of her standing on a chair because she needed to get the guards attention to go to the restroom was it for me. Jesus…
I really feel weird about you
And why the hell can a deathrow convict CALL you daily
T should be nice when sale your book to give the money to Sam and Julie parents !!
But sadly I think you will give it to that scumbag Wozniak friend
I’m never rude but on your blog. I’ve become. MAD. Really mad
And I don’t know Sam or Julie
Not to be disrespectful as I agree with these posts…you did befriend Dan after he was incarcerated, before that he was an acquaintance at best. Any way, that’s not my point.
Daniel is incarcerated with other high profile cases -Scott Peterson convicted of murdering his wife & unborn son, Cary Stayner, who killed women, beheaded one, near Yosemite..there are more. I’m curious if Daniel has any interaction with them and others. If so how has those interactions gone – etc.
I found your blog when searching for specific info about visiting San Quentin. I binge-read the entire thing over the course of 2 days. I enjoy your writing style & find the story fascinating. I have considered similar questions about how to reconcile violent behavior with a compassionate and caring human being. I look forward to reading your book.
I too question your motivation for writing this blog and your book. So you are best friends with a killer and you sound like you admire him.
I couldn’t care less if your hair is blue or Daniel’s hair is longer than usual. What I care about is the crime he committed.
I’m sorry, I think you cannot add anything new to what has already been written or said about this murder.
I think Rachel knew more than she led on, Tim the brother was an accessory after the fact. The “mastermind” and killer was Daniel. He killed two people. He was convicted and is on death row.
Why is he a hero to you? Why do you admire him and care about him so much?
I can understand the fascination with true crime. But Daniel is as nice a person as Ted Bundy or Charles Manson was. He is a psychopath who I guess loves your admiration. He should rot in prison and don’t get this much attention.
Because podcasting and blogging are relatively fresh to our ever-expanding media experience, I believe flexibility is something that must be considered and, probably, included. This throws up flags of thunder for anyone whose ever spent an evening at a city council meeting, or a court proceeding, with a pad and pencil but, hell, the times are a changing. Fast and furious is what we’re lookin’ at now. Who reads one story when you can Google a dozen?
Does this bring down the the level of reporting?
I have to say, I’m a true crime listener and had not heard heard this story. “Sleuth” sucked me in right from the beginning. I think it’s the way Linda Sawyer spilled it. She had an agenda, and I get it. I’m used to listening to Sword and Scale, where every thing is played out in an hour. This pulled me in for days. Her reporting was loose—a little repetitive—but compelling. I couldn’t turn it off.
I only hope that you can take the loose constraints of journalism and offer us something we don’t already know.
Linda passed away last month on February 10.
What are your thoughts on the death penalty being phased out at San Quentin? Never saw that coming! I’m sure Daniel is happy!
Here’s a post all about it! — editor Matt
The families noted that the two victims were kind and caring people who died while believing they were helping a friend. Sam Herr was lured to the Los Alamitos air station under the guise that he was helping Wozniak move boxes. Kibuishi was lured to Herr s apartment thinking Herr needed emotional support.
I finished reading your entire blog. I think the reason you might be having difficulty getting the concept of a book out of you is that you are not a natural author.
You might bang out a ten minute play or two… but you really have some terrible habits that are jarring to read through.
I’m still of a mind that you have latched on to a horrendous situation and have in your own way and with your own self righteous justification – probably made it worse for people.
I can only take solace in the fact that your actions have chained you to it yourself forever. Your sympathies are certainly in the wrong place. I hope you can evolve enough as a person to one day see this.
This is the bit of the message where I would normally try to offer something positive to you. But I honestly cannot. Perhaps the best thing you can do is to continue your course of action. I think that may prove to be self punishing in itself.
Harsh but accurate.
I have long thought that what MM might need is some training and education in journalism, or at least a good understanding of the history of true crime writing (Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, etc not just reading but understanding the history/context of their writing), or at least to not balk at the idea of journalism.
Finding your own voice as a writer is a long process, and while there’s an interesting angle here, it’s not the Story. Even the murders, the relationship, is not Story.
You see this all the time with documentary filmmakers who think the subject is story, and while it’s intriguing, the film is left lacking.
Story in nonfiction is much different than what’s considered story in drama and fiction.
MM I do wish you luck with writing your novel, but as someone who has also had fringe connections with the victims and those who are guilty, I deeply worry that you won’t question beyond what this one man provides, and will use that angle as an excuse to not exploring many aspects of this case that are curious.
Curiosity, it seems, is your greatest vulnerability and perhaps strength. Don’t close it off especially when looking at yourself and your feelings and motivations.
Remember in the end, that you owe nothing to Wozniak and his family. Even Capote managed to piss off Hickock and Smith in the end, and refused to see them before their execution.
Just listened to part of “Sleuth”, then googled for more of the story, leading me to DWWMF posts. Reading through and finding I was reading from a blog, which I found very well written and informative, then mention of a book, of course I wanted to find it. I couldnt, no where to be found. Nor can I find the owner’s name. Who is the author? Is the book completed? If so, is the title the same as the blog? I’m actually disappointed. What is your name?
Jeanie, Sleuth was produced by Linda Sawyer. She died February 10, 2019, from complications of hernia surgery. Days before her surgery, she gave her work to R. Scott Moxley. Nothing more has been said of her unfinished book.
After reading through the comments, almost surprised at all the lengthy judgemental comments, after of course they couldn’t tear themselves away from it obviously, but I guess I wasn’t really surprised. What their minds can’t quite comprehend, due to the title, is that DW is not really a friend. You two have formed a bond, lack of better word. You have great compassion for the situation he is in. In this day of true crime fanatics, including your judgers, your blog is a goldmine. I’m pretty sure you write with ease because your content flows so well with a tad of humor. I wish you well and hope you complete what you’ve started. It must be gut wrenching. Follow the likes of those before you who have left a path for your desires. One last thing, what DW did was not the actions of a normal person. I won”t call him names but what he is deep down is just as evil as the best of them. He cut the flesh of another human and chopped his bones and has Sam’s blood all over him, still. I’ll be looking for things from you in the future. And again, what is your name?
I’m on episode 16 and I’ve yet to interpret what I’m listening to as accusations. I am thoroughly enjoying it and so sorry Linda has passed away. I also want to reiterate that Linda had quite the journalism history with many if not all the major networks… If she’s referred to herself as ‘self proclaimed” or if anyone else has used this moniker to describe her, it must have been in jest…. but I tend to think it may be meant to be derogatory if referred to her work by anyone other than herself. I listen to many… many true crime podcasts… hers is the best I’m listened to. I’m wondering if pod owners are looked at as less than an authentic true crime story teller, like fake or something like that, undeserving at best. I am enjoying reading this through this blog as well as the comments and wait impatiently for DWMF. True Crime journalism comes in all shapes and forms these days… everyone is grabbing hold… Some indeed are awful.
Are you still talking to Daniel every day? Over time, if you still are, I can’t help but believe he will loosen up and want to unload or share more and more… hmm, or maybe not. But it could also be decades or on his ‘death bed’… prob. not then if his inner secrets would implicate others. If that’s true, he’s proving to be loyal to someone(s), even though he couldn’t give back the loyal friendship he received from Sam and Julie. Protecting someone has its merits. The psychology of murderers attracts so many of us true crime fanatics, and certainly not glorifying the actions of the sick individuals who have no value on life…. Its just so absolutely facinating and actually I feel bad that I find such interest in this macabe genre.