Is He Guilty?

Whenever I write about Daniel Wozniak, I make sure to use terms such as alleged or accused or suspected as I talk about him being a possible murderer.

I believe in all the “a person is innocent until proven guilty” business we talk about in the United States.

We can’t forget that Daniel hasn’t been tried yet.

I feel kind of bad for Daniel when he’s referred to as a “brutal killer” in the headlines, but he tells me he’s used to it.

He actually did plead “not guilty” at his arraignment.  He is in jail awaiting trial, not serving a sentence.  Technically, he could have been awarded bail. There are other people who are facing charges for this same crime, and they are out on bail.

Why didn’t Daniel Wozniak get bail?  Well, because he confessed.

Yes, I know.  That doesn’t look good for my friend.

Does The Confession Guarantee He’s Guilty?

Here is the thing about confessions: they can’t always be trusted. Sometimes, they are coerced.

Let’s play devil’s advocate (no pun intended) here for a minute.

Perhaps there are some reasons why Daniel’s confession could be taken with a grain of salt:

  1. No lawyer present!
  2. The police threaten the woman he loves with a long prison term if someone else doesn’t take the blame.
  3. He wants to protect members of his family.
  4. No lawyer present!
  5. It takes five different versions of said “confession” before the police think it’s plausible enough to go along with whatever evidence they have.
  6. He is very drunk when he is questioned by the police because he was arrested at the end of his bachelor party.
  7. He is young and naive (only 26 at the time) and believes in the system.
  8. He is young and cocky and believes he is smarter than everyone else (Sorry Daniel, I have to call it like I see it).
  9. Oh and did I mention; NO LAWYER PRESENT!

I’m not willing to completely accept the word of the police, or to call my friend a murderer, unless he confesses to me himself.

Which he hasn’t.  In fact, he’s hinted that the real story is quite different from the one the authorities are telling.

Do I think he is innocent?

Hmmm… No, he’s probably not completely innocent of this crime.

Do I believe that he managed to…

  • Lure a 26 year old combat veteran to a public theatre on a joint forces training base in Los Alamitos, California on Saturday afternoon.
  • Murder the man by shooting him twice, then leave his body hidden in the building.
  • Perform that night as the lead in a sold-out musical with his supposedly unsuspecting fiancé.
  • Return home with his fiancé after the show.
  • Use the murdered man’s cell phone to impersonate him in a series of texts to a young woman who is friends with the man.
  • Convince her to come to the murdered man’s apartment that night (which is in the same complex where Daniel lives with his fiancé).
  • Sneak out of his own apartment, unbeknownst to his fiancée, and go to the murdered man’s apartment to meet that young woman.
  • Shoot her twice in the head.
  • Stage her body to look as though she had actually been raped and murdered by the man who lives in that apartment.  The man who is actually dead in a theatre about twenty miles away.
  • Sneak back into his own apartment and have a good night’s sleep with his fiancé curled up next to him (with no sign that anything out of the ordinary had taken place).
  • Wake up on Sunday, acquire some sharp cutting tools (I’ve read a couple differing statements about exactly what tools and where they were acquired), manage to ditch the fiancé again, and go back to the to the training base.
  • Get the tools into the theatre building in order to decapitate the murdered man and cut off his arm and hand.
  • Sneak presumably blood covered tools and body parts out of the building in the middle of the day.
  • Dispose of the body parts in various areas of a nearby popular nature reserve on a Sunday afternoon.
  • At some point, return home to extremely patient fiancé.
  • On Sunday night, perform as the lead in a sold-out musical with his fiancé.

I’m not quite sure if Daniel is alleged to have disposed of the body parts in the afternoon or at a later time.  However, if he still had them when he returned home, then he managed to hide them from his fiancé Rachel until he was able to get rid of them.

“Just ignore those body parts in the trunk of the car, honey.”

Please don’t get me wrong.  I’m in no way belittling what happened to these victims and their families.  The part of this crime that can’t be debated is that Sam Herr and Julie Kibuishi are dead.

Do I Think He’s Guilty?

I’m just not positive that my friend, Daniel Wozniak, is the person who killed them.

I’m not positive he didn’t either.

But doesn’t this all seem a little implausible…?

Let me know what you think—leave a comment!

What I Want to Know About Daniel Wozniak

I asked Daniel a lot of questions in my early letters.   I was super curious about his day to day living.
I’d stick to asking basic stuff.  Our correspondences are obviously not private and he still hasn’t had a trial, so what is the point in asking questions he can’t answer?
I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about me “interviewing” him, but clearly, that is what I was doing.

My Questions To Daniel

Here’s what I wrote to him in September (I also mentioned that I hope he has plenty of that yellow legal pad paper):
  • Did you study art at all?  I loved the card you made me and I was ridiculously impressed by your skill.  I’m limited to stick figures myself, ha ha.
  • What does your cell look like?  Do you always have a “celly?” (Yeah that’s right. I’m learning the lingo).
  • I’m reading the biography of Damien Echols (West Memphis Three) right now.  One thing that struck me was his feelings of anger and hatred toward the guards.  He says “it’s the guards and not the other prisoners that make being incarcerated so much harder…”  So, your take on this?
  • This might sound silly, but have you considered starting some kind of theatre group behind bars? Performance therapy?  You might be laughing at my prison naivety right now.   Maybe you could entertain the masses with Shakespearean monologues??
  • Do you have a lot of family and friends supporting you through the trial?  I’d be interested in attending it.  I want to know the “more to what happened” because I’ve always believed there had to be…
  • So why were you reconnecting with your parents?  Was it your drug use that caused a rift between you?
  • Do you think she (his now ex-fiancee) ended your relationship out of anger or fear because of the charges she’s facing herself?   Did you have a big wedding planned?
  • OK, here’s a big question.  I’m not sure if you can even answer this one.  You seem like it bothers you that people would believe you were motivated by money… You don’t want people to think you had major financial troubles. The thing is, Daniel, to me it seems like society would consider it a lesser evil to believe that a person might do certain things when facing a desperate financial situation.  If you didn’t have money problems then what would you want people to believe motivated you?
  • Is your lawyer a public defender?
  • You said you were visited a couple times by one of  your victims’ dads.  HE had written in his letter  “one of my victims,” so I was just going with his terminology. Which dad? Has he explained his  motivation for wanting to visit you?
  • Was “Lost” actually your favorite TV show?  I’d read that somewhere.  I was a huge fan of “Lost.”
  • I have to ask you how you are handling the possibility of getting the death penalty.  Are you afraid of this?

Answers For Daniel

The rest of my letter was answering his questions about me.  I called it a fair exchange of information.
  • No, I don’t consider myself to be a religious person.
  • I was adopted as a baby and my adopted mother is an undiagnosed bi-polar, self-proclaimed born-again Christian.  Years of her craziness has left me with a bad taste in my mouth for organized religions.  (I told Daniel that for simplification, I could be considered an Agnostic who leans toward spirituality.)
  • I told him about my adopted dad — who passed away 8 years ago — and that I loved him tremendously in spite of his unchecked alcoholism.
  • I shared that I now have good relationships with both my biological parents (I just found my biological father last year).
  • That I was reading the second Game of Thrones book (I didn’t want him to think that when it comes to reading materials, I’m all crime all the time).
Oh, and I also included a copy of a good review he got when he was acting in the play “Nine” (his last performance before the arrest).
I finished my letter by asking if I could maybe visit him at some point…I signed the letter with “your friend,” and I meant it.