Observing a Grim Anniversary

Twelve years ago, Julie Kibuishi and Sam Herr were both brutally murdered.

Twelve years ago, the Kibuishi and Herr families were forever changed in the worst possible way. 

Sam Herr should be 38 years old now.  Perhaps he would have become an officer in the Army. He might have been married.  It’s quite possible Steve and Raquel Herr would be grandparents now.

Julie Kibuishi should be 35 years old. Julie was extremely talented and creative. Maybe she would be a successful fashion designer. She might have been married. Perhaps she would have been a mom.

These kinds of thoughts probably fill the thoughts of Sam’s and Julie’s loved ones on a regular basis, but on this day, on the day they were taken away, the pain must be overwhelming.

Writing this blog, writing my book (we’re nearly finished), certainly doesn’t make me blind to the horrible results of my friend’s selfish and cruel actions. 

My sympathies go out to both families on this tragic anniversary.

14 thoughts on “Observing a Grim Anniversary”

  1. When going through the old stories, I see that close to the time of the brutality, everyone had friends and families that they were in contact with. Julie was very popular and had no shortage of family or friends. Sam, likewise, had many friends. People had commented in the past and in retrospect of being a friend or acquaintance of Rachel.

    Dan seemed to only have his brother, Tim, during this time. After Dan was in custody, he had you, a pastor, and his mother, although there could be other people who have not been mentioned. No real relationships with Dan are mentioned before the murders, aside from Rachel, Tim, and the people Dan killed. Do you know of other people in Dan’s life?

  2. Rachel is now married to Brian Elliot. They met at Medieval Times. Makes you wonder how long they were…together.

    1. Are you sure? An old Facebook post from her brother or other relative (Noah David Buffett) from 2012 talks about helping get her out of jail. If you look at his friends, there is a person named Rachel Capito who looks like an old version of Rachel Buffett. Looks like she had twin girls. Sucks for them!

    2. Good grief, another weird setting to hook up at… Medieval Times? I wonder what his pick-up line was… Hey wench, fetch me another ale before I swing this spiked ball at you.

      1. Hello Sir Lancelot, Rachel dated the actor who played the villain at Medieval Times. On her now deleted Facebook profile back in 2011, she announced she was engaged to Bill Elliot. I guess she finally married him, if comments here are true.

  3. I’m sure you (blog author) won’t read or reply to this since it’s not blindly supporting your post— no matter it is not meant for you.
    The idea of being “special” is alluring to everybody. But what makes somebody special? Doing something uncommon seems to be lowest common denominator. In this case, the author thinks “Me not famous, but me know someone famous”, and like a bird to a shiny rock she flocks to “Pat” in hopes her own life can take on some meaning. Basking in the outer edges of his limelight, she feels like finally she’s not just another nobody.

    Out of this whole case, I find Sam and Julie to be by far the most intriguing and compelling characters. The unlikely friendship struck up between the war-hardened softie and the bright, compassionate creative reminds me of why life can be beautiful. The capacity for people to good and create beauty is a slap in the face of a universe that is chaotic and indifferent to senseless cruelty.
    I’ll give you a hint to why your attempts to “philosophize” on the nature of “Pat” keep falling so obviously flat. THERE IS NOTHING OF SUBSTANCE TO BEGIN WITH. He did it because he felt like it and probably wanted money, simple as as that. There is no deeper reason and this makes him less interesting than a brick wall—Destruction is trivial; creation is a miracle.
    This story still makes me sad, seeing bad things happen to good people. But that’s the crux of it too. I feel sad because Julie and Sam are the folks that make life worth living. And knowing that people like them are out there at least makes me believe in something.

  4. There’s one thing that I can’t figure out in this whole story. Ok, so Chris lends Dan money for his marriage and honeymoon. Why was he trying to collect the money before Dan even had his bachelor party? I just wonder if Dan would have done any of this if he had more time to pay back the loan. He had been told by Chris that the money came from very bad people who would most likely hurt him if he didn’t pay up. I’m not blaming Chris, but if he was worried that much about lending the money then he should have said no when Dan asked. To create a fake scenario in which somebody could get hurt badly over the money just makes no sense. I’m not sure how well he sleeps, but I think that would make me wonder if I did the right thing there. Not lending the money, or giving a reasonable amount of time to pay it back, without some crazy loan shark story may have saved a couple lives here. Very sad to think of it that way.

    1. Dan and the rest had planned to murder the Wozniak parents before Dan and Rachel ever met Sam. Around Christmas, the Wozniak boys sent their parents on a hot air balloon ride and Tim left the door unlocked so Dan could steal his dad’s gun. They never killed the parents.

      In February, Dan and Rachel moved to the apartments where they met Sam and later Julie. Dan got fired from jobs for stealing and Rachel was financially useless. Dan kited and floated checks, he stole, he borrowed $2,000 from Rachel’s brother Noah, and then he borrowed $100 from Sam. When he borrowed money from Sam, he allegedly saw Sam enter his PIN and then saw the balance for Sam’s combat pay.

      Dan got a DUI. He and others that included Noah discussed how Dan could pay his DUI because he needed to act in the play Nine. Sam was not paying anything toward Dan’s DUI. Somewhere along the way, Noah allegedly said he should because “he has more money than any of us.” At some point, allegedly, the discussion turned to syphoning Sam’s account at $400 per day and Noah said I wouldn’t mind being paid back at $400 per day.

      Chris needed money for surgery and his friends held a benefit concert. He is a friendly person. Dan and Rachel needed money for the DUI and rent. Chris loaned them $2,000 when they asked for $3,000 because he felt sorry for them. Dan said he was expecting money and promised to pay Chris, I think it was on a Wednesday. Dan did not pay Chris.

      Chris had bills that needed to be paid for his surgery and he thought Dan would not pay him, so he told Dan that the money was a loan from “bad people” who will break Dan’s legs if they did not get paid back on Friday. I don’t know the first day Chris said that.

      Chris talked to Dan on the phone Friday and Dan was panicking. Chris went to Dan and Rachel’s apartment. Dan was not in, so Chris talked to Rachel and told her that he was there to calm Dan and to give him until Monday to pay back the loan. Rachel told Chris to not give Dan more time because “he won’t pay you back at all.”

      Dan came in the door with someone he said was his brother and it was later learned that was Sam. Neither Chris nor Rachel told Dan he had more time to pay back the loan. Dan and Sam left.

      Dan returned a few hours later with $400 and no Sam.

  5. Your writing shows a definite bias which is unfortunate and your dislike of Rachel is obvious. It concerns me that your book, when it eventually comes out, will not be a completely factual account. As shown here you allow your friendship with Daniel to cloud your writing. At times you also surmise about many things rather than present actual facts. I suffer secondhand embarrassment when you come across as sounding like an infatuated teenager.

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