Daniel Wozniak's Jailhouse Closeup

[Moxley Confidential] The actor and double-murder defendant's appearance on MSNBC's 'Lockup' has one victim's dad crying foul

A freshly groomed 6-foot-2-inch Daniel Patrick Wozniak smiles tenderly into a television camera and utters what could have been a personal greeting for a video-dating ad. "I'm easygoing," says Wozniak, 28. "I enjoy long walks on the beach."

Orange County's most infamous professional actor adds with an even bigger smile and a disarming chuckle, "I'm an Aries."

There's no hint of anger or madness in Wozniak's presentation. If it weren't for the stark institutional backdrop and his orange smock, you might assume he's a funny, harmless guy.

Daniel Wozniak in Nine, his last stage performance before his arrest for the alleged murder of Samuel Herr
Emily Brauer-Rogers/OC Weekly archive photo
Daniel Wozniak in Nine, his last stage performance before his arrest for the alleged murder of Samuel Herr
Samuel Herr
Samuel Herr

"I just want people to know that no matter what, throughout all of this, I'm really a good guy," he continues during an episode of MSNBC's Lockup: Extended Stay Orange County Jail. "Almost everyone in my life will say so."

The "this" Wozniak cited is a double murder that included the gruesome decapitation and dismemberment of Samuel Herr, a 26-year-old former U.S. Army soldier who served in combat in Afghanistan before enrolling at Orange Coast College. Law-enforcement officials say Wozniak killed Herr with two gunshots to the head inside the theater at the Los Alamitos Joint Training military base on the afternoon of May 21, 2010.

The circumstances of the second person's death are equally puzzling, if not as grisly. Hours after Herr's murder, someone used his cell phone to send text messages to lure Irvine's Juri "Julie" Kibuishi to the dead man's Costa Mesa apartment. Kibuishi—a 23-year-old aspiring fashion designer and popular graduate of the Orange County High School for the Arts—was shot twice in the head in Herr's bedroom. Her killer removed some of her clothing and positioned her partially nude corpse to imply that she'd been sexually assaulted. Police believe Wozniak wanted a then-missing Herr, Kibuishi's friend, to be blamed.

On Lockup, Wozniak denies he's responsible or had a motive. "The two victims were my two close friends, Sam and Julie," says Wozniak, who is shown with a Bible while happily making an egg-salad sandwich in his barren, one-man cell. "Just two of the nicest people I have ever known."

But Costa Mesa police have already done plenty to undermine his declarations of innocence. They tied Wozniak to ATM withdrawals from Herr's bank account after the murder and found Herr's torso in a theater where Wozniak performed. Perhaps most damning, they deftly obtained a post-Miranda-warning confession.

At a 2010 press conference, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas claimed evidence shows that a "broke" Wozniak—who worked part-time in telemarketing in addition to the acting—plotted the crimes for financial gain in the days before his scheduled wedding and honeymoon. According to Rackauckas, Wozniak's "callousness" is underscored by the fact he enthusiastically starred in performances within hours of the killings and bloody dismemberment. "He's an actor who considers himself to be a star and all other people to be living props in his play," said Rackauckas.

The DA signaled how much he wants a courtroom victory in this case by assigning the trial to acclaimed homicide prosecutor Matt Murphy. Murphy, an 18-year veteran, has never lost a murder trial. If the prosecution wins this one, Wozniak's punishment could be the death penalty. But there likely won't be a trial for at least two or three years.

In the meantime, Wozniak's Lockup appearance infuriates Steve Herr, Samuel's father and a Vietnam War-era veteran. He asks, "How can MSNBC let Wozniak spread lies?"

On the first anniversary of Samuel's murder, Herr granted me an interview after a morning visit to his son's Riverside County grave. The loss remains visible on his face. He believes the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) and MSNBC should not have given Wozniak a pretrial, televised forum.

"It made great television," Herr said. "But it's not fair and balanced to let Wozniak say anything he wants before the trial and not have the Costa Mesa police, a prosecutor or me on the show even for a minute to tell the public the truth. This monster killed my son and Julie. That's the truth."

Tears formed in Herr's eyes. He looked down. He sighed heavily before adding, "Do you know how hard it is to watch him smiling and laughing on that show after what he's done? He decapitated my son. They let him say he's innocent. He's an actor. He knows how to fake emotions!"

It's particularly galling to Herr that an articulate, calm Wozniak is presented quoting Bible verses such as Psalm 39, openly dreaming about a rendezvous with his fiancée, pouting about how the Southern California media have portrayed him as "Satanic" and claiming he was clueless as to why arresting cops raided his Huntington Beach bachelor party at Tsunami restaurant the night before his wedding.

"I have full faith, and the truth will set me free," says a solemn Wozniak. "I just pray daily. That's it. And not so much for myself, but for all the lives that have been shattered through this event."

Though law-enforcement officials believe they can ultimately use the MSNBC interview against Wozniak, Herr isn't so sure. He wonders if the show violated the spirit of Marsy's Law—California's voter-approved victim's-rights legislation—because he wasn't notified in advance about Wozniak's participation in the show and, in his view, it was "entirely one-sided" for the defendant. (Marsy's Law requires that victims and their families be notified before sentencing and parole hearings, but it says nothing about media interviews with pretrial defendants.)

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39 comments
whatwouldtheydowitho
whatwouldtheydowitho

I watched this episode of lock up raw lastnight on youtube. The first thing that came thru my mind when I saw Wozniack describe himself was that he seemed way to comfortable and calm. His "friends" had been brutally murdered one of them completely taken apart and he was sitting in jail for it. If it were me and I was innocent I wold have been a total wreck I would have shed real tears for my friends and their families instead of fake ones. YOu could totally tell it was an act. When he quoted the verse from the Bible I got sick to my stomach because in my mind I saw him confessing. Of course he made it sound like "life is so short". But really that verse in the Bible would bring someone who was guilty and knew thier days were numbered comfort in knowing they might be forgiven by God for what they have done on earth. I am not God. But if I were I wouldnt easily forgive someone like Wozniack. He took life from more then just those 2 people. I had to research what happened to him and came across this coloumn. I really hope Mr. Herr got justice for his son. Even tho justice will be alot more forgiving to Wozniack then he was to his son. I hate that poeple do these horrible things to other poeple. Then get taken care of for the rest of their lives in a proper way. Get to say goodbye to their friends and family get a last meal, a last prayer, a peaceful moment. I think an eye for an eye a life for a life should include a death for a death in the way the victim died. GOd forgive me for saying that. But thats my take on real justice.

smuzy6
smuzy6

Im not gonna comment about the crime as i know nothing about it but i will comment on the soldier saying if a soldier can't be safe on base where can he. Maybe you ought to watch the documentary on how many woman soldiers are raped on bases by other soldiers some of high rank. I bet they felt safe too. Your a complete tool for making that comment. And no im not a woman just thought that was a dumb ass statement!

aswafford23
aswafford23

I watch MSNBC Lock Up all the time and I don't feel they should be bashed fer airing a story, in my opinion it actually helps to shine light to the monsters that lurk this world. Anyone can see that this man is a liar and a very guilty man because an innocent person wouldn't have the nerve to be smiling laughing and interacting with the camera crew in such a manner as he did. Thru his own eyes I witnessed a man with no soul. So Mr.Herr most of the public are in the corner of you and your family I have seen his episode twice and didn't believe a word he said either time. I didn't know any of y'all personally but I morn fer your loss. I couldn't imagine the pain you and your family endure with such a loss of your loved one. My prayers are with you all. I'm so sorry. I understand that this show may have struck a nerve but its the killer who is to blame fer his actions not the show who ran the story. They were just doing their job and in my opinion a lot of people not from the area only knew of the story based on the shows that aired it. My deepest sympathy fer you and your entire family!

Catch-the-killers
Catch-the-killers

The Buffett siblings did it all! Rachel and Noah took these precious lives! I hope they get figured out! If they get away with this they will probably do it again one day. They are real sickos to commit these horrible murders and then let Daniel face death for it. Dan really got involved with the wrong family!! Rachel killed Sam. Noah killed Julie to cover for his sister. These two are a fatal combo and I hope they get figured out! They give me the creeps!

sherr
sherr

To DeathPForWoz: I just read your comment. This is Sam's dad. Can you call me at my cell (661-803-8229) or contact my e-mail (steve.herr@sbcglobal.net)? I'd like to ask you a few questions. Thanks.

matt0186
matt0186

This sick fuck deserves to suffer for what he's done. The thought that my family had any interaction with him whatsoever sickens me. He should be executed publicly for the murder and dismemberment of a  US Army soldier who's been to combat only to be killed and have his body mutilated at home. This fucker puts on a pretty good show, pretending he's innocent. This sick bastard told police where he hid the body parts in the park! Cry out again and tell people they're wrong about wozniak, tell them again how this sick bastard is innocent.

meg_campbell6
meg_campbell6

I watched the MSNBC show last night and can honestly say, I didn't buy his story for one second. First of all, if he WAS innocent, wouldn't you think he would at least be sad about the death of his "friends" ? To him the airtime was just another way to use his acting skills. I just feel sorry for the families of the deceased and the victims too, I'm sure your pain is unbelievably great. I will say, as a viewer I did not believe his one-sided story! Mr. Herr, I pray that you will get justice for your Sam and his friend, Julie! I will be following this awful case with the hopes that 12 people can see through the bullshit as well.

anonymous
anonymous

Dan was a friend of mine. And although I mourn for the friend he used to be, I know him too well.  He did it.  He's crazy and sick.  He's always wanted to kill.  I thought he was joking. He's a great actor, don't believe it.  Sorry Dan, but you deserve it.  I'd be terrified everyday now, if he was walking the streets. Its two years later and I still wake up sick from nightmares.

preymant
preymant

Hey Danny-boy, I can't wait for them to convict you ... and then 20 years later when they fry you I am going to find your grave and then dance on it, then squat down and take a sh*t on it, and then p/ss on it.  I am not kidding - I have a list of dirt bags that I do this to.  I am literally going to dance on your grave and then drop a prooch on it ... and there is nothing ... NOTHING ... you can do about it.  Now eat them apples big boy.  Burn in it ... burn in it.  Bye bye co*k f@g!!

Grianneluv
Grianneluv

I wasn't fooled by Wozniak's acting for one second. I hope he gets life. An early death is too good for him.

Tobyaber3
Tobyaber3

Steve Herr shouldn't worry about MSNBC letting this monster spread lies. I learned of this case from the show, and as soon as the producers mentioned Herr's body found dismembered in Wazniaks theatre, common sense will tell you, he is guilty. Wazniak is scum and he cried at how he was portrayed in the media! So disgusting. I'm in Ohio, and I'm going to follow his case for the victims and their families and pray the justice will prevail!

Dme85
Dme85

Oh yes. He is quite the actor. I'm watching it right now. If you didn't hear the other side, you'd totally believe him. What a sociopath.

DeathPForWoz
DeathPForWoz

I went to high school with this murderer! I want to know what the hell is his "motive"?! I used to work at a jamba juice down the street from the military base and I'll tell you... It was sometime between 2-5pm, he came in to my job with a taller man that looked about his age. I smiled at him, which I highly regret now. A few days later, I heard about his arrest! I also heard he confessed to it and told the cops where to find victim's body... How does he have a valid motive for that? My heart truly still hurts for the victims, and their families. He is such a monster and I really hope he gets the death penalty. I'd be happy to testify against him since I saw him on the day the murders took place, taking his one of his victims out for a smoothie before he murders him?! Unbelievably sick human being he is. He's thinks he's innocent! That msnbc locked up" show was such a joke. Just another oppurtunity to get on camera for him. He was enjoying every minute of his camera time. Makes me so sick! Ugh!

Fpats
Fpats

I watched the show last night and was not the least bit fooled by his fake tears. Steve Herr I understand your feelings about the show but he didn't fool me and o doubt he fooled anyone else. He's a horrible evil sadistic sociopath.

Jonathan Rhodes
Jonathan Rhodes

Maybe he did it, maybe not! But how dare any of you bringing shame to his name until hes found guilty! How would you feel if you were accused of doing something so gruesome, but were innocent and everyone was saying these things about you??? Show a little heart!!!

Daniel Wozniak
Daniel Wozniak

Its so crazy this guy is nuts. No, I'm not him!! Lol.

MaryK714
MaryK714

DANIEL WOZNIAK IS INNOCENT!!! HE IS A GOOD PERSON WITH A HEART OF GOLD. CAN YOU EVEN CONSIDER THAT HIS ARREST WAS A MISTAKE???

Anonymous
Anonymous

I just wish everyone would stop using photos from the last show he was in. It's unfair to his other cast members who were shocked and sickened by the crimes and in NO way want to be forever linked to him this way.

NikkiNotDarlin
NikkiNotDarlin

I understand that there is obviously anger from the family and friends of the two people who were brutally murdered, but it goes without saying that Mr. Woz is legally able to tell his side or version of what happened. It's America and it's called freedom of speech, even though in this case what he's saying is most likely not true and definately not popular, he can and does have the right to say it. He has the right to stand up in court and tell the same story, and he also has the right to grant interviews for the rest of his natural life to tell his version of the story. The public has to realize that Mr. Woz will not go away if he is in prison. He's still eating, laughing, proclaiming his innocence and living. There's nothing illegal about him doing that. If he did it, then he will suffer what a jury hands him, but unless the state kills Woz, then he will always be able to speak his truth no matter how warped that truth is. People shouldn't get upset about him proclaiming his innocence, they should focus on getting a fair punishment when Woz goes to court.

Irritated
Irritated

Too bad he won't get a fair trial. It's funny that not one shred of evidence that he did it has been released to the public, yet everyone loves a good story, the actor that saw everyone as his pawns. None of you knew him. So until the trial happens and the evidence clearly shows he did it, how about you let Lady Justice do her job.

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Ikitty Mailguard1
Ikitty Mailguard1

what ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty" ?mr. wozniac has the right to tell his side of the story, like we have the right to say what we think (unless we're being tracked by the police and lose that "freedom of speech" rule...)if he did it, then he should ride the rail to the needle.if he didn't, his life has been tainted forever.

another aries

Rob
Rob

This sick minded piece of shit deserves the death penalty. MSNBC should have never given this coward any airtime. The fact that he laughs and eats makes me sick. He is a failed actor who is a liar and a murderer. He has no conscience on what he's done and the people he has affected. He belongs in hell for what he's done to Sam and Julie and the friends and families left to suffer. RIP Sam thank you for being a best friend all these years. Justice well be served!

Titus Aurelius
Titus Aurelius

I'm so suprised in recent times of the murders committed on US Military bases. I have always felt so safe on a military base. How did this scumbag get access to Los Alamitos Base in the first place. If a soldier cannot feel safe on a military base, what have we done.

Speechless
Speechless

He committed one of the most heinous, gruesome, nightmarish murders in OC history. And he is smiling on TV. No words.

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Yilulu12

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Iamseanstevenson
Iamseanstevenson

Daniel Patrick Wozniak is a sick f~ck satanic murderer.I hope he gets the death sentence. The rage that this man makes me feelis toxic. Don't be fooled by his acting. He is a good acto but a monster in sheeps clothing.

policeman1280
policeman1280

@smuzy6 You're a tool for thinking his statement would somehow exclude female soldiers. Bad things happen on bases and shouldn't - I don't see where you got a problem with this. It's also beyond me why you feel the need to bring up a topic completely unrelated to the "event" in question, only to insult other people.

sherr
sherr

To the person who wrote this comment: Please contact me (Steve Herr) through my e-mail (steve.herr@sbcglobal.net) or call (661-803-8229). Thank you and I appreciate this comment as well as all the others that support me and my wife. Steve Herr

Spintunes4me
Spintunes4me

show a little heart um yeah he needs to ride the rail liberal bullshit blah blah blah liberal bullshit blah blah blah f*** this guy

Steve
Steve

Sorry Maryk714, he confessed!

Grnwchhar
Grnwchhar

He doesn't have the right to taint the jury pool. MSNBC should never have given him that opportunity. But, I am grateful that MSNBC doesn't have many viewers. I did not see the show because I would never watch MSNBC.

WakaWakaWaka
WakaWakaWaka

Innocent until proven guilty... or until you lead the police to the body...

Anonymous
Anonymous

Um, yeah - sorry. But many of us did know him and know a little about this. He confessed, genius.

Newwavetron
Newwavetron

Well to be fair, as this did take place in OC, some of us did know him and were friends with his victims...

Fpats
Fpats

If you read about the story the police have evidence against him and have a confession.

He's scum and im another aries

vanhattan
vanhattan

Aaah...sorry to break it to you lamsanstevenson, but let me correct your statement; 'Daniel Patrick Wozniak is a sick f-ck Christian murderer'. A Christian sociopath murderer for sure, but a Christian non the less. Sad and pathetic. I hope he gets to meet Jesus soon.

kevstar6942
kevstar6942

He can't taint the jury pool. The court will ask potentail jurors if they watch the show or know about the case. Plenty people do watch the show, otherwise they wouldnt have the highest ratings for Lockup. Why would the father of the victim watch the accused on tv? Sorry you don't get that free speech is one of the rights we fight for.

 
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