“The Blogger”

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.

Guilty – Part Four

December 14, 2015 was day three of Daniel’s trial. I couldn’t go to court that morning, which was unfortunate, because I missed one the most important witnesses of the guilt phase: Tim Wozniak (one of Daniel’s older brothers).

Luckily, I had some friends in the audience who took detailed notes! (You know who you are – and thank you.)

Continuing The Examination of Sergeant Ed Everett

Let’s start with the beginning of the day, which saw the continuing cross-examination of witness Sergeant Ed Everett. At the end of “Guilty – Part Three,” we heard the Sergeant testify that he believed Rachel Buffett should be sitting next to Daniel Wozniak and on trial for murder.

I’m guessing that this was the defense’s favorite of the police witnesses.

There was a lot of back and forth between the prosecution and the defense. The main goal seemed to be establishing if Rachel was part of the entire murder scheme, or if she was just an accessory after the fact. Matt Murphy was determined to have the jury know that there isn’t any actual evidence proving her involvement. Scott Sanders wanted them to know Everett’s personal opinion on the case.

During questioning, the defense established that Everett is one of the highest trained individuals in the Costa Mesa Police Department. Based on his training, he believes that “all the signs are there,” but proof can’t be established because the only person he knows who “has that proof is Mr. Wozniak, who seems to not want to offer it…”

So, we all get the point. Everett thinks Rachel was involved in the murders. There is no proof to his opinions.

And really, did they think it would make any difference to the jury when determining Daniel’s guilt? Scott Sanders had to know better than that. So why even draw attention to Rachel in the first place? Were they trying to sow a tiny little seed of reasonable doubt? More likely they were hoping this information would help Daniel during the penalty phase. (Spoiler alert – It didn’t!)

Murderer Musings TV Lawyer (MMTVL) is curious if the police are still actively investigating Rachel Buffett’s role / knowledge of this crime.

Next Witness: Derek Baker

In 2010, Derek Baker was the property manager of the Camden Apartments. He testified that Daniel and Rachel were in the eviction process at some point before the murders.

During cross, the defense established that no eviction actually took place and that the original notice had been settled with the apartment management’s lawyers.

OK, I get that the prosecution was determined to show Daniel was in terrible financial debt, but there are LOTS of people in much worse debt than he was in. His bank accounts were all overdrawn, but not by insane amounts.  Also, he didn’t have any credit cards.

MMTVL wants to know what kind of deal was made with the management lawyers.

Next Witness: Jeff Kociencki

Jeff Kociencki (not sure about the spelling) was a close friend of Daniel’s in high school, and I’m guessing his testimony was a tad detrimental for the defense.

Jeff said that Daniel had asked him for an alibi.  Back in May 2010, Jeff got a call from Daniel, who told him that a murder had taken place at the Camden Apartments and Daniel was being questioned.  Daniel told his friend Jeff that he’d been alone at the time (“strolling around a duck pond”) and just needed Jeff to say they were actually together. Jeff did not agree to this.

MMTVL: Mr. Kociencki, did you happen to laugh when Mr. Wozniak said he was strolling around a duck pond? I apologize, Your Honor, but come on…a duck pond?

Next Witness: Tim Wozniak

Tim is the middle of the three Wozniak brothers, and ten years older than Daniel. Here is what I was told about Tim’s testimony:

  • He spoke quietly, his eyes were glazed over, and at times, his face was very red.
  • His answers were short. He gave minimal details. He often couldn’t “recall” the answers to questions.
  • Tim was asked if he was getting immunity for testifying against his brother. His answer was no.
  • During cross-examination, Tim said that his lawyer told him if he testified he wouldn’t go back to jail.
  • So, it’s 5/27/2010. Tim had been looking for Dan to get some money from him. Tim went to Dan’s apartment at some point, but didn’t find him. Later the two of them talked on the phone and make plans to meet at a 7-11 around 2 AM.
  • The defense made sure the jury knew that Tim was drinking and smoking pot that day.
  • At the 7-11, Dan gave Tim a crate and he put it in the back seat of his car. Dan also gave him “a small amount” of money in bills and change for gas.
  • At one point, they went to Noah Buffett’s apartment, took the saw and other tools (from the earlier photos) out of the crate, and left them at Noah’s.
  • I think that Tim was alone after that. He still had the crate. Inside the crate is the backpack, which contained the checks, id, phone, shell casings, bloody clothes, and the gun.
  • Tim took the gun out and gave it to some guy named Bob. Tim called him a “ballistics” guy. (No follow up on that!)
  • Tim admitted to throwing the backpack over the fence into the backyard of his parents’ neighbors’ house.
  • After Dan was arrested, Tim talked to Rachel, and found out that Dan was in trouble and needed a lawyer. Tim told Rachel “Dan left me a crate with stuff in it.”

That was all the information my friend gave me. It was pretty interesting stuff.  Thank you again, unnamed court observer.

MMTVL: Does anyone happen to have a transcript on them?? When Rachel talked to Tim, was this the first she learned anything about a gun? Did Tim tell her what was in the crate? Did he know he was hiding evidence when he threw that bag into the neighbor’s yard!? Could he not find a better location to hide evidence? What’s his alcohol of choice?  Is it whiskey? Did he happen to drink a lot of whiskey before throwing that bag into his neighbor’s yard? Yes, I know that isn’t relevant, but damn…the neighbor’s yard..?

Side note – Daniel doesn’t appear angry at all with his brother for testifying against him.

To Be Continued…