I’ve been getting some really insightful questions from commenters who listened to the Sword and Scale podcast. Margie W and Liz G brought up some interesting points, and each asked great questions that often overlapped.
I’m going to answer some of the questions now… but some will have to wait for the book.
Q: Did Noah and Nate (Rachel’s older brothers) know Dan had borrowed tools from their apartment?
At the time of Sam Herr’s and Julie Kibuishi’s murders, there were five Buffett family members living in that converted office space. It’s likely someone saw Dan borrowing the saw and ax, especially since he didn’t try to hide the fact. Dan has said Noah was present when the tools were returned, and Noah learned at some point how the tools had been used.
Q: The day Sam Herr was murdered, Dan Wozniak firmly believed Sam and Rachel had an affair. He learned this information from Rachel one week earlier. Was jealousy a contributing factor to both Sam’s and Julie’s murders?
Q: Was there jealousy toward Julie Kibuishi from Rachel Buffett?
I’m going to quote reader Liz G:
“Dan’s downfall was very likely the fact that Julie got murdered.”
In other words, he may never have been caught if Sam had been the only victim.
I have my own opinions on that:
I think she felt she had to wait out a couple of months just to make sure Dan wasn’t going to tell the police anything about her own involvement in the murders. It looked to me like she jumped ship when she felt secure in Dan’s decision to continue to protect her. However, Dan has his own opinion, and it’s more entertaining. He suggested Rachel may have found a sex tape that Dan made with his ex-girlfriend while engaged to Rachel.
Side Note For Rachel Buffett…
Happy belated birthday! I’m guessing it was much more enjoyable than the one you spent behind bars. I apologize for being one month off when I sent you the birthday card at the OC Jail.
Rachel, if you are at all interested in giving me your side of the story, and you believe Dan is being untruthful, please allow me to interview you.
Q: Why did you make the title of the blog a question?
I added the “?” on the title because a close friend kept begging me to change the name. She was worried about some of the meaner comments I’ve received over the years.
I am aware that calling Daniel Wozniak my friend has caused a lot of anger.
I did not expect people to wish for my death.
Still, I originally chose the title because I knew it would grab people’s attention when they searched the case of Sam’s and Julie’s murders. It has.
But after thinking it over, I realized my friend was right about the blog’s title possibly upsetting people so much they don’t actually read the blog. I’m hopeful the “?” shows that I am asking important questions.
I’ve debated with myself on the title of the book. Same as the blog’s name? With or without a “?”
Q: When will the book be released?
I’m just not sure. I work on the book like it’s a full-time job, but a lot depends on my next panic attack (regarding my own anxiety about putting out the best book possible). Also, my kids are home all the time because of the pandemic, so my writing does get interrupted often.
No worries though; I am motivated! I am lucky that, unlike so many people during this pandemic, I’m not having any financial issue to keep me from writing.
It means a lot to me when readers tell me they are excited about reading my book. I also really appreciate compliments about my writing (more than you know.)
I’m so glad I started with the blog first. It has taken some time, and numerous experiments, to figure out just how to tell you all Daniel’s version of the events leading to the murders, but still show that I’m questioning and analyzing his words like we True Crime lovers do.
You readers and I are going to delve into his story together. I honestly find a lot of credibility in what he’s told me. But it’s all very complicated.
A good example is what Dan has told me about Chris Williams.
If you recall, Chris was an extremely important witness in both Dan’s and Rachel’s trials. He was Rachel’s alibi for Sam Herr’s murder.
According to Daniel, the money borrowed from Chris Williams was for the purpose of buying ecstasy and Oxicontin, and Chris was waiting around all afternoon because he wanted to pick up a purchase. That’s how Daniel tells it.
Daniel also claims Rachel didn’t tell the Costa Mesa Police about her own alibi because she didn’t want to admit to a drug deal. This is just one extra branch on the tree of Daniel’s story that wasn’t brought up in trial at all.
So… how much of the story Daniel has told me will you guys choose to believe once you’ve heard everything?
Side note for Chris Williams…
It would be amazing if you’d let me interview you. Don’t worry, you don’t come off as a bad guy in Dan’s story at all, but he does have you included in drug using and purchasing.
Q: Is the blog and the book you’re working on a collaboration with Daniel Wozniak?
The book is in no way a collaboration with Daniel. I don’t share my work in progress with him at all.
There are places in the book when I’m recreating conversations Daniel told me he had with Rachel, Julie, and Sam. I have occasionally sent him early drafts of those pieces to confirm that I’d grasped the gist of what happened.
However, we both agreed early on that he would answer my questions, but have no involvement in what I write. He has absolutely no editorial or “veto” power.
There are numerous quotes included. I believe readers will appreciate the opportunity to hear some of this story in his own words.
I do actually feel like Daniel is a real friend to me. Even a good friend. I also believe this person isn’t the same man he was in 2010.
I’m not saying, “Oh he’s changed. He deserves to be free.” That wouldn’t be fair. It wouldn’t be justice. I’m sure some of you will doubt my sanity, but without Rachel Buffett in Dan’s life, I don’t believe he is dangerous in any way.
I don’t feel like I can say the same about Rachel Buffett. She could probably find any man to help her be dangerous.
Q: Why did Rachel ask, “Did you kill them?”
Yes, Rachel Buffett did ask Dan Wozniak if he killed “them” when she spoke to him on a recorded telephone conversation from the Orange County Jail. This was before Dan confessed, and before he dropped the bombshell that Sam Herr had also been murdered. Rachel found out about Sam’s killing as soon as Dan arrived back at their apartment, and Chris Williams had left.
There has been a surprising amount of interest in my hair color change. I actually find it kind of funny for a number of reasons.
- I’m a natural blonde. My real hair color is slightly redder than the current color, but when my roots show, it’s difficult to see much of a difference.
- I lived as a blonde for many years before Rachel Buffett was even born.
- My hairstylist is my really close friend. Going back to blonde was completely her idea. I took some convincing actually. I was worried that I’d look like a member of the Malfoy family. She now thinks it’s hilarious that my hair color has sparked such interest.
- My husband and my kids really like the blonde.
I really haven’t taken this “criticism” with much offense, but it’s nice that some readers were worried about my feelings.
Here is a groovy picture of me and my older brother that was obviously taken before Rachel Buffett was born in 1987.
Hopefully, that will put an end to all the silly rumors.
Have any of you watched the HBO docuseries I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, about Michelle McNamara’s book on the Golden State Killer?
McNamara’s book is so beautifully written, but she didn’t live to see it published.
I find this story so heartbreaking, especially for her young daughter and her husband, comedian Patton Oswalt. The whole situation resonates with me in a way. She was writing a book about terrible crimes, but in the telling, she was also part of the story.
The HBO series focuses a fair amount on Michelle’s anxiety and stress about her writing the best book she could write. I feel rather connected to her overall story. I actually got to meet Patton Oswalt before his show at the Irvine Improv, because he likes my husband’s art. He was extremely friendly and welcoming. He also blew my mind when he did a bit onstage about his True Crime-obsessed wife. I remember feeling very simpatico with their lives.
18 thoughts on “Answers To Your Comments”
You should keep the blog title for your book , but with the question mark. Love the blog.
Yes, I have the book, “I’ll be gone in the dark”. Haven’t seen the series; but the book was excellent.
I discovered your blog two days ago and binge read it. I’ve known about this case for a few years, and although, like others who’ve commented, I have issues with many things you’ve written, that’s peripheral to the fact that I look forward to reading your book. Wozniak is where he should be, and I’m quite sure he’s a psychopath. Thirty years of addiction to drugs tells me drugs had nothing to do with his taking the lives of two innocent people; whatever his reasons may be, there was no conscience involved in what Wozniak did and how he did it. And if you don’t have a conscience, I sincerely doubt you can grow one later on. I wish you all the best in getting your book published, which — based on the subject matter and your excellent writing and storytelling ability — you should certainly be able to. In the meantime, I look forward to upcoming posts.
I’ve read your entire blog and this is the first time I really felt you’re in dangerous territory of losing all objectivity and ruining your potential book. Daniel is telling you this stuff to mitigate his responsibility because otherwise he has zero chance of ever winning a future appeal or getting out of jail. He’s using you. He’s lying through his teeth and you’re writing it as if it’s true or at minimum, likely. Rachel had nothing to do with these crimes. Jealousy had nothing to do with these crimes. It was over money, period. You really need to take a step back and consider how gullible you are. If I was a publisher, i would say “no effing way” to your manuscript.
I DO NOT agree with your opinion and you have every right to express what you think. Last month I found a black leather brief case with a legal pad that contained the notes of Daniel Wozniak. I am closely connected. On this legal pad was a ledger of expenses that he was going to incur for his and Rachel’s wedding. It was his rough draft budget. They were going to elope in Vegas and between the marriage certificate, lunch, gas, and ceremony he forecast less than $300 for the wedding. This is speculation but he has also received a second DUI and bailed out and needed to pay bail so he wouldn’t go back to jail. His family was capable of helping but in an email to his brother he chose not to involve his parents. Was the money for drugs? YES! He isn’t lying about that. Daniel does not have a long history of drug use unlike his brother.
So why didn’t this “real story” you’re hearing about now , come out at trial?
I love these “stories “ the “what really happened” stories that convicts tell after conviction when they have nothing but time in their cells to recreate scenarios to a) explain away evidence B) make themselves look better or even human c) get out of their situation.
I also believe that without Rachel’s involvement in his life, Dan would not have been a violent man. Why? Because I was around him during his high school years. I was a teacher at that school. My children knew him. Dan had even been a guest in my home. When I initially heard the news about the murders my response was that Dan could not have done it. Or if he did, something was very wrong. He had to have been heavily using drugs or something.
Rachelbuffetismyfriend?.com for mentioned intellectual property production. Did you hire Dan for your play? When did you first meet Dan? Anyway at least rachel is moving forward with family life . My niece I tell you…or film. Who knows. Good person.
Daniel and family were my neighbors. He had two older brothers and probably from the age of his parents, he came along as a “surprise”–a much loved and well raised surprise. At a young age he was interested and involved with theater and a lot of time was spent by parents taking him to and from different aspects of a young actor. We moved away from CA when Dan would have been 17 or 18 and still in high school. My question is: Is his Mother involved in his life at all now? Does she visit him in prison? I am SO sorry for that wonderful woman. Thanks
And btw, I too read everything you post and am happy for your blog.
In seeing his performances on stage i have to say he is quite the quintessential cheeseball.
Like kid trying to act like a grownup and failing miserably.
What an oaphish face.
You can not have credibility with your book on a true crime case if you are VERY GOOD friends with the convicted murderer. I don’t get why you don’t see that and expect people to buy or be interested in a one sided or at the least, bias slanted in favor of the murderer book. It’s a bedrock rule of journalism that you don’t get involved with your subject. Take that to heart please. It truly does a disservice to the murdered victims and the victims left behind to exploit a proven liar/murderers words about a horrible crime he committed AFTER he’s been convicted. This “story” or version of events as you call it, should have come out at trial when he had the chance to present a defense. Don’t you get that??
He executed two people for money. He confessed to the crime. And now he’s telling tales in an attempt to get himself off death row.
Of all the good, and more likely innocent people behind bars you could have written a blog about, you chose this slimeball.
He really doesn’t deserve anyones attention or help.
I’m new to your blog and read the whole thing in 2 days (not an easy task). I really like your writing style and look forward to your book.
But one thing I felt I needed to comment on at the end was this:
‘According to Daniel, the money borrowed from Chris Williams was for the purpose of buying ecstasy and Oxicontin, and Chris was waiting around all afternoon because he wanted to pick up a purchase. That’s how Daniel tells it.’
This doesn’t make sense. He ‘borrowed’ money from Chris to make a drug purchase and Chris waited around for the drugs?
In actuality, Chris would of just given Daniel the money and waited for him to return with the drugs. If Daniel couldn’t get the drugs, he would just return the money.
Unless he was purchasing something else, I don’t get it. Something doesn’t make sense with that.
Anyway, great job.
BTW, I strongly believe that Daniel is lying to you to some extent.
I honestly don’t see Rachel pulling the trigger on Julie. She may have manipulated Daniel into doing it, but not the trigger person.
I would imagine this is Daniel’s hopes of having one conviction overturned and possibly get a 25 to life sentence with parole.
Just my opinion. I’m like the armchair quarterback. Just like you.
My daughter and I attended the closing night of “Nine” where Daniel and Rachel starred. The theater was very small (like 99 seats) and we sat very close to the stage.
I didn’t know anyone in the cast, and we attended simply because “Nine” is such a great show, and I wanted to see how a small company would do it in a small theater.
I was completely knocked out by Daniel’s performance. In fact, on the way home, I commented to my daughter that I intended to follow his career and get tickets to every local show he was in — he was just that good!
A few days later, I saw his photo in the LA Times. And the rest, well it’s the rest.
Does Daniel claim that Sam had sexual intercourse with Rachel Buffett?
I have followed this story for a long time and even read a book about this case. I enjoy your blog.
I am curious to know why it seemed that neither Rachel nor Dan worked at any real jobs! It seemed as though they were constantly borrowing money from other people or Dan was scheming up ways to get money from his parents. Was their only job was unpaid theater work? Other than Rachel having been a Disney princess? Maybe if they’d both gone even gotten a low paid job of some sort, this could have worked out better for them.
Did it ever occur to either one of them that possibly, they had no real future as actors and should do something else with their lives to earn money?
Also, do you think Rachel was angry at Dan for confessing to the murder? After all, if he’d never confessed, there might have been a small chance they would not have gone to prison.
So I will await your responses. Thanks.
Hi. What about the informant situation of Tim Wozniak who was spotted in Sam Herr’s car the day after his murder with Daniel Wozniak? He should be tried with Daniel in a federal court. Oh but what about Dawn the informant who was driving around in the Buffet car. I recall Dawn’s baby father died, I knew him in sea scouts. And then Devon’s dad died too both age 20. Now two more deaths around Dawn Southern. She is a criminal informant in my experience of her stalking me for 30 years. I got away from Rachel’s Aunt so I wouldn’t be number three. Did she work for Ed Everett? Well a 800 page pleading was put into case about informants. Did Daniels parents bribe Ed to adjust the case to let him win an appeal? The Deboer family Betty Deboer was Rachel Buffet maternal grandmother and the family has NF2 a genetic mutation passed to half the kids which they kept secret. Rachel’s Aunt in her front yard today has the trussle from garden shop for the planned wedding. Marianne brought up to me idea of beach wedding to save money. So all you speculators about a rich beach wedding are wrong apparently. Also the home in seal beach on second Street was tiny. The owner who lived two doors down passed away of old age and so they had to move. I used to babysit noah and even rachel. They were a good family. David has a bachelor’s degree from csulb and told me prior to marianne he only had two girl friends which he regretted as he was not as pure for her as he wish he could be. Good man I have known for 35 years or so. Buffets are good people. The pending federal case will clear a lot of this up. Rico cometh.
I would like to see Daniel’s full police interrogation. Where should I send the request? Is this available for public?