In May 2010, Costa Mesa, California policedispatch received a 911 call reporting a dead body found in an apartment.
Costa Mesa Police rush to an apartment complexwhere they make a gruesome discovery.
“At this point, all we knew is that we hada young female, deceased with a wound to the back of her head, ” said Costa Mesa PoliceLt.
“When we went out to the crime scene we foundshe was in the bedroom lying partially on the bed and her legs on the floor.
“Then there are things written on the backof her shirt.
Someone wrote “All Yours, F- You” on her shirtand it really looked like it was a run of the mill domestic violence case, ” said OrangeCounty Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy.
A purse and wallet near the body reveal thevictim's identity: Her name is Julie Kibuishi.
Julie by all accounts was a sweet young woman.
She was 23, loved to dance, and was very talented.
But now Julie is dead and the prime suspectis the tenant of the apartment.
His name is Sam Herr, a war veteran who iscurrently MIA.
The police zeroed in on Sam pretty quickly.
Texts recovered from Julie's cell phone atthe scene suggest a volatile romantic relationship.
Authorities believe they've solved the “whodunit”part of the case.
Now they just need to find Sam.
They questioned Sam's father, who discoveredthe body and made the 911 call.
Herr was in disbelief, repeatedly said'No, my son couldn't be involved in this.
There's no way, '” said Everett.
“We didn't quite believe him at that point.
Just because we couldn't find him, it washis apartment, dead girl, and it seemed like he was on the run.
” But bringing in their fugitive won't be easy.
He's an Army veteran, trained killer, andhe's been accused of something similar before.
“Sam Herr had a criminal history that ledus to believe that he was a suspect in this case, ” said Everett.
When detectives ran Sam Herr's record, theydiscover that eight years earlier he was arrested and charged for the same thing.
This pretty quickly got police thinking Samwas the killer and they started looking for him as their number one suspect.
“We took into account his military background, “said Everett.
“We didn't know where he'd served in Afghanistanand if he was exposed to PTSD.
We didn't know what the relationship betweenJulie and Sam was.
We didn't know if the message on her sweaterwas intended for someone third party, or for us, the police department.
We didn't know if we had a love triangle.
He was our number one guy.
” Then the police got a tip from Sam's bank:His ATM card is being used at one of their branches.
And it appears their wanted man is close by.
Investigators pull the bank's surveillancecameras expecting to see Sam — but they don't.
Who is this person using Sam Herr's ATM card? And where's Sam? Minutes later, a second ATM swipe, this timeat a pizza place.
Police arrive just in time to catch the deliverydriver en route to a home address in Long Beach, California.
Now stationed outside Herr's house, SWAT teamsprepare to take down a violent and mentally deranged combat veteran.
But when they knock on the door, they find16-year-old Wesley Freilich.
Freilich is immediately ruled out as a suspect.
In fact, Wesley doesn't even know Sam Herr, but he does know Daniel Wozniak.
“He told us that Dan Wozniak had given himthe credit card and he had just been there a couple hours earlier and he had picked up$400, ” said Everett.
But who is Daniel Wozniak? And what's his connection to Sam Herr? 31-year-old Daniel Wozniak was a communitytheater actor in Orange County.
He lived in Costa Mesa right across from OrangeCoast College.
He was engaged, he had a hard time holdinga job.
Wozniak was deeply in debt, needed money forhis upcoming wedding and was facing eviction when he concocted a plan to kill a neighborand steal his money.
That neighbor was Samuel Herr, an Army veteranwho had reportedly saved $50, 000 from his service in Afghanistan, prosecutors said.
Wozniak allegedly hired the 16-year-old boyto use Herr’s ATM card to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Daniel's fiancée is his acting partner RachelBuffett.
Their wedding is less than 48 hours away.
By all accounts, he's living the high life.
In fact, he was at his bachelor party in HuntingtonBeach when homicide detectives break up the party with an arrest warrant.
Lieutenant Ed Everett finally lays eyes onthe elusive Daniel Wozniak.
“I immediately looked at Dan Wozniak.
He made eye contact with me, he immediatelyturned white, you could see the blood kind of draining from his face, ” said Everett.
“I knew at that point there was more to him.
He either knew where Sam was at, he was hidingSam, helped Sam flee, or he had more involvement with this than he was letting on.
” Cops haul Wozniak in and back at Costa MesaPolice headquarters, Daniel denies any involvement in Julie Kibuishi's death.
He claims his only crime was a credit cardscam that he and Sam had concocted.
“Basically, he came up with some scheme aboutusing the credit card and he was going to give the credit card to Wesley and they weregoing to pull all this money out of Sam's account, and then Sam would report that hewas a victim of theft, ” said Everett.
But before Wozniak could cash in, he claimsSam Herr made a startling confession.
He says Herr told him he was drinking heavilyand was depressed.
He said Herr tried to make love with Kibuishi, and when she said no, he killed her, according to Wozniak.
Wozniak claims after the confession, he droppedHerr off at a local shopping center and never saw him again.
But police believe Wozniak is covering forHerr, so they turn up the heat during their interrogation and demand a DNA sample fromWozniak, which he gave.
Once the DNA was collected, Wozniak's memorystarts to sharpen.
“At that point, he became visibly nervous, that's when he started to add more details to the story and make some changes, ” saidLt.
Detectives are starting to get the impressionthat Daniel Wozniak is worried his DNA will show up in Herr's apartment.
But why? “Yes, I helped him get away, ” Wozniak saysin a video of the interrogation.
“Yes, I knew that he had killed someone.
And yes, I knew that I.
” Detectives remind him they have his DNA.
“Where's that DNA gonna show up?” they ask.
“Um — uh, in Sam's car, ” says Wozniak.
He insists he did not see Julie dead in theapartment, and his DNA won't be on Julie.
Detectives still suspect Wozniak is holdingsomething back.
They decide it's time for the “good cop, badcop” routine.
First up, bad cop.
For killing her, OK? That's what you're being arrested for.
You don't want to talk to us, tell us anymore, that's it.
Then we're done.
We're done, ” one detective tells Wozniak.
“Unless you want to talk to us, we're done.
” “I will talk to you about anything if it getsme to my wedding on Friday.
That's what I will promise, ” says Wozniak.
Enter “good cop” Lt.
“Dan you got the answers.
You can help us, ” he tells Wozniak.
“I don't know what else you want me to say.
I don't know, I don't know, ” says Wozniak.
“Tell us the truth.
You're not that good of an actor, ” says Everett.
“Dan Wozniak was an arrogant guy and I thinkhe thought he was going to act his way out of this, ” said Everett about the interrogation.
But Daniel Wozniak seems to be cracking underthe pressure from Costa Mesa's finest.
“OK, fine, ” says Wozniak on the interrogationvideo.
“You know what? He came down and said 'Help me.
' I went upstairs, and, yes, I saw the goddamnbody.
Is that what you want to hear?” “No.
We want to hear the truth.
” “That is the truth, ” says Wozniak.
Then detectives press hard.
They know Wozniak is about to break.
So they bluff.
Detectives tell Wozniak his DNA was foundon Julie Kibuishi's body — even though those results won't be available for weeks.
“How did your DNA get on her?” “'Cause I was right over the body, ” says Wozniak.
So how'd your DNA get on her?” “That I don't know, ” says Wozniak.
“DNA doesn't just fall off.
” “I don't know.
I didn't touch her.
I didn't do anything, ” says Wozniak.
Orange County Senior Deputy District AttorneyMatt Murphy is watching in the next room.
He's not impressed.
Then detectives move in for the kill.
“What'd you see?” “I saw two holes in her head.
And I saw her pants like ripped and cut, “Wozniak says.
“And I saw, like, 'f— you' written on theback of the shirt.
” “Where were the two bullet wounds?” “I don't know.
Sam said he shot her twice, ” says Wozniak.
“I didn't see.
” “You just told us you saw two bullet wounds.
You were standing over — ” “No.
No, no, no, no.
” “How did your DNA get on her? 'I was standing over the body.
I saw two bullet wounds to her head.
' It's exactly what you said, Dan.
You can't even keep your lies straight.
” There's no second take for this actor.
Daniel Wozniak can't keep his lines straightand his script has just been flipped by his own admission.
Then a sudden stalemate.
Daniel Wozniak refuses to talk.
He wants to go back to his jail cell.
While behind bars, he calls his fiancée RachelBuffett.
“He calls Rachel, who has just talked to hisbrother Tim, and she has learned that Tim has evidence relating to the case, she doesn'tknow what it is, but he's got evidence, ” said Matt Murphy.
Police record the conversation.
“What did you do?” asked Rachel.
“I helped Sam cover some stuff up, and helpedhim buy some stuff.
I didn't kill anybody.
” Said Dan.
Rachel: “My mom's working on canceling allthe wedding plans now.
And I just talked to Tim, and I need to makea phone call to the detective now.
” Dan: “Why?” Rachel: “Tim says he has evidence with him.
Or, or he knew where it was.
” Dan: “Then I'm doomed.
” Rachel: “What?” Dan: “Tim said that?” Rachel: “Yeah.
Do you know that Tim had some evidence?” Dan: “Yeah.
” Rachel: “Well, this is, this is ridiculousand I have to go tell the detectives the truth.
” Dan: “No, don't.
Don't, don't, don't, don't.
That can't be found.
” “When we listened to those jail recordings, it showed us there was panic in Dan Wozniak's voice, ” said Everett.
“That was one of the few times that therewas some emotion, and it was the emotion that he was going to be caught.
Rachel Buffett was cool, calm, collected.
” Now Rachel Buffett must choose between herfiance or freedom.
Rachel: “No babe.
I'm gonna do it.
” Dan: “Listen to me.
” Rachel: “What?” Dan: “Trust me? Please? I have to tell the truth on what I did.
And I think you now know what it is, and it'sbad.
Imagine the worst.
And that's what I did.
” Suddenly, Wozniak is desperate to speak todetectives, and he spills his guts.
“I'm crazy and I did it, ” Wozniak says inthe recorded interrogation.
“I killed Julie and I killed Sam.
Where's the body?” “I killed them both, ” says Wozniak.
” “Sam came first.
It was all just about the money.
That was it, ” says Wozniak.
“One hundred percent.
“He was colder than an iceberg.
No feelings, no emotion.
Just nothing there, ” said Lt.
Sam was doing a good deed trying to help Wozniakmove something.
When Sam turned his back, he knelt down, Wozniakpulled his father's gun, shot him.
Then, after killing Sam Herr, Daniel doesthe unthinkable.
Police say Wozniak sent texts from Herr'scellphone to lure Kibuishi over that night.
Once inside the apartment, Wozniak snuck upand shot her.
Then he stages the crime scene to frame Herr.
And the motive for this heinous crime? Money.
More than $50, 000 Herr got for serving inthe military.
“Wozniak wanted money so that he could goon the Royal Caribbean's cruise line and take an awesome cruise, ” said Murphy.
“He literally wanted this money for his honeymoon.
He killed these two people so he could takea trip.
” And in one of the fastest deliberations inthe history of Orange County trials, the jury takes just one hour to find Daniel Wozniakguilty and recommends the death penalty.
Detectives claim Rachel Buffett knew aboutwhat Dan did, and her case is still pending.
She's charged with three counts of accessoryafter the fact.
She's pleaded not guilty.
“Daniel Wozniak is a poster boy for why thedeath penalty exists in certain states, ” said Murphy.
“For a lot of cases, there are extenuatingcircumstances, but there are a few that are so awful and unnecessary and the grief thatthey cause is so profound for the most trivial reasons, that they really should be subjectto the ultimate punishment, and this is one of those cases.