Skip to main content

tv   ET Entertainment Tonight  NBC  October 8, 2016 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

9:00 pm
the apartment. i didn't. >> were you there when she was shot? >> no, i was not. >> are you sure about that? >> you're really scaring me right now. >> i'm not trying to scare you. >> reporter: but dan did seem scared and angry. he insisted he only helped sam after the murder and then only under duress. >> no, i had nothing to do with it because my life was in danger with my wife. i'm sorry. >> how was your life in danger? >> he threatened it. >> we're going to give you time listen to me. >> yes, sir. >> all right. stand up. we're going to go back in there. >> reporter: detectives were frustrated but -- >> we were still hoping to find sam and thought he was going to lead us to sam. >> reporter: the interrogation, act 2. an actor confessing what he says was his role that night at sam's apartment.
9:01 pm
went off. community college... or inappropriately-timed political discussions. ...cause it's as if it didn't even matter. ...over and over and...
9:02 pm
>> reporter: this was a long day's journey into night and back into day. detectives had been awake for more than 50 hours and they were exhausted. but they couldn't give up on dan wozniak. >> it sounds like you thought dan was telling you the truth about everything except where sam was. >> we were taking him at his word because he was involving himself and incriminating himself as an accessory in this homicide. >> reporter: and they now also
9:03 pm
dan was also perhaps involved somehow in julie's murder. so they tried again. >> why don't you have a seat? >> reporter: they brought dan back to the interview room for one more crack at him. >> we want to talk about what happened to sam. >> reporter: but dan didn't waver. >> i don't know what happened to sam. i dropped him off. i'm waiting for his phone call. that is it. >> reporter: and then a reality check. >> you're arrested. for murder, okay? accessory to murder. that's what you're being arrested for. that's it. then we're done. >> hold on. >> we're done. we're done. unless you want to talk to us, we're done. >> i'll talk. i'll talk. whatever you -- >> no, not whatever. we want to hear -- >> yes. i will talk. yes. i will talk. i'm awake, i'm listening, i'm active, i'm -- yes. >> reporter: dan tried negotiating. >> i will talk to you about anything, if it gets me to my wedding on friday. that's what i will promise. anything you want. >> what do you want to tell us? we're not throwing -- what do
9:04 pm
what do you -- >> the truth. >> start talking. >> oh, my god. >> go ahead. we're listening. >> i don't know what else to say. i don't. >> yes, i -- yes, i helped sam get away. yes, i did not know what he was planning till then. yes, i lied to you guys earlier. yes, i did stuff that i'm not that's it. i'm a better guy than this. i'm sorry that i took money, and i'm sorry that i cheated the system. i'm sorry. i'm sorry. >> reporter: but ed everett and the other detectives still thought dan knew more than he was saying. >> dan, you got the answers. you can help us. >> i don't know what else you want me to say. i don't know. i don't know. >> tell us the truth. you're not that good of an
9:05 pm
your stuff. this is your chance to clear the air. >> reporter: they kept pressing. >> where is sam? >> not without a bargain that i am out friday. >> we're not in a position to bargain. >> then -- okay then. >> reporter: deadlock. until -- >> okay, fine. you know what? he didn't come down. he came down and said help me. and i went upstairs, and, yes, i saw the [ bleep ] body. is that what you wanna hear? >> no. we want to hear the truth. >> that is the truth. >> okay. >> then tell us what happened. how did that -- up there? >> reporter: detectives reached into their tool kit. they'd just taken a dna swab from dan. they didn't have results, but decided to bluff. >> how'd your dna get on her? >> because i was right over the body. >> what's that? >> because i was right over the body. >> okay. so how'd your dna get on her? >> that i don't know. >> dna doesn't just fall off. >> i don't know. >> okay. >> i didn't touch her. i didn't do anything.
9:06 pm
>> what'd you see? >> saw two gun shots in her head. and i saw her pants like ripped and cut. and i saw like [ bleep ] written on the back of the shirt. >> reporter: was the seasoned actor suddenly forgetting his lines? >> where were the two bullet wounds? >> i don't know. sam said he shot her twice. >> okay. >> and i saw -- >> but you just -- >> i saw -- >> you just -- >> i didn't see -- >> you just told us you saw two bullet wounds. >> no. >> -- standing over her. >> no, no, no, no. okay. >> whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, stop. >> okay, okay. >> 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. >> listen, he said he shot her twice. when i walked in -- >> i saw two bullet holes to the head. that was -- that was your -- >> that's not what i meant. that's not what i meant. i apologize. >> reporter: dan was getting
9:07 pm
sam after the fact. then he admitted he'd seen julie's body. he also contradicted himself, first saying sam told him about the bullet wounds, then saying he, dan, had seen them. with every slip, dan seemed to put himself closer to the actual murder. >> dan says he could see two gunshot wounds? >> yeah. >> meaning he was there when she got killed. >> yeah. that's when the lightbulb went off. insisted he had nothing to do with julie's murder. but now he admitted he did help sam clean up the scene. >> went to his apartment and that's when he's -- that's when i saw julie and i freaked out and looked over and then i said, okay, well, what do i need to do. so we found the two shell casings. sam picked them up. i'm like, take the shell casings so they don't find those. >> reporter: detectives wanted details. >> so why was -- why does he
9:08 pm
>> i don't know. i don't know. he said he was just seriously messed up and had about three or four pills. >> how about her pants? >> her pants were -- it looked to be like cut. and so he said he used the scissors to cut them as best he remembered. he was blacking out a lot. he didn't remember everything that he had been doing. >> reporter: this statement seemed to match the facts. julie's autopsy showed she had not been sexually assaulted. the scene had been staged to make it look that way. detectives felt dan was finally starting to cooperate. >> you're a good guy. you're a good guy. you just got yourself in a bad spot, man. >> you want to do the right thing.
9:09 pm
>> i do. >> all you got to do is point us over to sam and let's close this chapter. it's done. okay? >> where is my phone? >> what's that going to do? >> wait for it to ring. >> reporter: if he was waiting for a call from sam herr, it never came. but dan from the police station did call his bride to be, rachel. and a strange story now took yet another turn. >> no don't, don't, don't, that can't be found. >> reporter: as news of dan's arrest starts to spread, some seem more rattled than others. >> he freaks out and has this
9:10 pm
it's cool get the iphone 7 on us and unlimited data
9:11 pm
two billionaires, spending millions to buy a senate seat for joe heck. smearing catherine cortez masto with ads called "bogus," "highly misleading," and "false." as attorney general, it's cortez masto who held banks accountable and helped nevada homeowners. and governor sandoval praised cortez masto's dedication to fighting sex trafficking. don't let joe heck's billionaires fool you. catherine cortez masto has always stood up for us.
9:12 pm
9:13 pm
reporter: rachel buffett and dan wozniak. two talented actors who had co-starred in plays. then fallen in love. and in less than 24 hours, were supposed to walk down the aisle. instead, dan was sitting in jail, charged as an accessory in the murder of julie kibuishi. and rachel was left to break the news to family, friends, and
9:14 pm
>> i go to my friend's and knock on the door and then at that point just start bawling. that's when i finally broke. >> reporter: with a friend at her side, rachel went to her parents' home to tell them what was going on. >> and my mom's just -- she's lost it. she can't speak. she's bawling. >> reporter: it was a mess, and not only because of the cancelled wedding. rachel's older brother noah was also under suspicion. you think noah knows where sam is? >> reporter: noah was driving dan around in noah's smart car hours before dan's arrest, and so detectives brought in noah for questioning. that's gotta be a brutal conversation to have with your parents. >> and my mom's already breaking down and hyperventilating just by me saying, "we need to cancel the wedding, and dan and noah are in jail." >> reporter: what finally happened with your brother? >> noah says that they
9:15 pm
said, all right, get this guy out of here. he doesn't know anything. >> reporter: turns out, he really didn't. noah was released, and never charged. meanwhile, rachel notified dan's parents and describes a reaction she did not expect. >> it was just his dad that was home. his mom was at work. so i explained what's going on to him, and he just has the opposite reaction. he's just completely mellow and i remember one of the phrases he used was like, well, he was a really good son. he was a good kid. i was like, did you just hear what i said? >> reporter: as she and a friend were leaving, rachel says she had another strange encounter. >> dan's brother and his girlfriend pull up and kind of
9:16 pm
and so i get out, and i walk up to the car window and tell them, you know, dan's been arrested. yada yada yada. and he freaks out and has this look of fear in his eye. >> reporter: a short time later her phone rang. it was dan calling from his jail cell. the call recorded by police. >> what did you do? >> i helped sam cover some stuff up and helped him get some that's it. i didn't murder anybody. >> babe, why on earth would you try and cover for him? >> because we needed the money. >> no. we never need money. we need to be good people and just have each other. >> i'm sorry. >> reporter: rachel revealed she had new information for detectives. >> my mom's working on cancelling all the wedding plans now. and i just talked to tim and i need to make a phone call to the
9:17 pm
>> why? >> because tim's involved. >> because of what? >> or -- i need to call the detective first because i need to call him and let him know before they catch me on this recording device because it looks like i'm not trying to tell them right away. tim says he has evidence with him or he knew where it was or something. >> reporter: with that fo suddenly changed. >> then i'm doomed. >> what? >> tim said that? >> yeah. do you know that tim has some evidence? >> yeah. oh god, oh god, oh god. >> reporter: it's the voice of a man in a trap. >> well, this is ridiculous and i have to go tell the detectives
9:18 pm
tim did speak up? >> only to me so far and it was in passing. i said i'm going to the police station right now. danny's been arrested and he starts freaking out and he's really frantic and he said something and something slipped that he had evidence. >> no don't, don't, don't, don't, don't. that can't be found. >> reporter: dan sounded desperate. >> no babe, i'm gonna do it. >> listen to me, no, no. >> what? >> trust me, please. >> reporter: dan begged rachel to come back to the police he said he was about to do something that was going to change everything. and he wanted rachel to be there for it. >> i have to tell the truth on what i did and i think you know what it is and it's bad. imagine the worst and that's what i did. >> reporter: dan, alone in the spotlight. >> i had a couple of different reactions. the immediate reaction was, "did
9:19 pm
heard?" [?diggy? by spencer lud] choose to smooth. choose effortless glide from side to side. choose knee-loving, underarm-caring, bikini line-bearing. choose venus swirl. with five contour blades and a flexi-ball, it pivots with every dip and divot. choose to smooth.
9:20 pm
red 97did you say 97? yes. you know, that reminds me of geico's 97% customer satisfaction rating. 97%? helped by geico's fast and friendly claims service. huh... oh yeah, baby. geico's as fast and friendly as it gets. woo! geico. expect great savings and a whole lot more.
9:21 pm
and use aveeno? absolutely ageless? night cream with active naturals? blackberry complex. younger looking skin can start today. absolutely ageless? from aveeno?. [?diggy? by spencer ludwig] ? ? before taking his team to at gilman: go get it, marcus. go get it. gilman used his cash rewards credit card from bank of america to earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. at places like the batting cages. ?? [ crowd cheers ] 2% back at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs. and 3% back on gas. which helped him give his players something extra. the cash rewards credit card from bank of america.
9:22 pm
reporter: the plot line was as complex as anything on stage or screen. a young woman, brutally murdered. her apparent killer vanished in
9:23 pm
and at the center of it all, the actor, the director, dan wozniak in custody in orange county, california. the process of going back and forth with dan is pretty long and laborious. >> yeah. it was frustrating. >> reporter: particularly frustrating, because everett and the other detectives were beginning to believe that everything dan wozniak had been telling them was all just a grand, elaborate performance. but they still didn't know what the real story was. then the actor himself sudnl seemed to drop character. dan wanted to speak with the detectives again. what do you think's coming this time? >> i think he's going to give us more bs and he's going to add or change his story and -- >> reporter: but he's not going to give you the truth? >> no. no. >> reporter: what's wozniak's demeanor at this point? >> he's just, kind of, beyond himself as -- as we bring him into the interview room and at some point, he sits down and starts pulling at his hair. >> you said you wanted to talk
9:24 pm
what's going on? >> i'm crazy and i did it. >> you did what? >> i killed julie and i killed sam. >> okay. all right. >> i killed them both. >> reporter: you didn't see that coming. >> no. >> reporter: dan wozniak dropped a bombshell on detectives. sam herr was not a murderer on the run. he was already dead. and he, daniel wozniak, was the >> reporter: okay. so when he blurts that out, what's your reaction? >> the immediate reaction was, did i just hear what i think i heard? >> reporter: even for seasoned detectives, the story dan wozniak told was almost beyond imagining. dan said he went after sam first. they drove together to a theater, a place where dan had once taken the stage. dan had told sam he needed help
9:25 pm
from the attic. >> i said, "you need to bend down and help me lift this thing up," and when he bent down, i grabbed the gun. i shot him once and then he was still alive. he was still talking, saying "i need help." >> reporter: what did he say to you? >> i need help, something hit me. it felt like an electric shock. >> reporter: and then, wozniak said, he fired again. >> he started bleeding. he wasn't moving. he wasn't talking. >> reporter: dan said he took sam's cell phone, th audience. in this video, shot by a cast member's husband that very night, you can see dan and his fianc?e rachel performing in the musical "nine." this was a different theater from where sam herr's body now lay. and dan, who had just committed murder hours earlier, showed no signs of stress as he played the starring role apparently effortlessly. >> can't you see this role was
9:26 pm
anymore. >> reporter: dan told police that during the show, backstage, he texted julie from sam's phone, pretending to be sam. those were the odd texts that interrupted julie's dinner at her brother's house. >> i was saying, you need to come over tonight. you need to come over tonight. >> uh-huh. >> no sex. just i need you to come over tonight. >> reporter: after his twin the other as sam herr, dan drove back to the apartment complex and waited. julie arrived, wearing the tiara her brother had given her that evening. >> and i said like, sam just called me and he was going through some stuff. she said, yeah, me too. i said, well, i have a key. let's go in. i opened the door, i let us in, and then i just went to the bathroom real quick because i was really nervous and i loaded
9:27 pm
hallway and then said, "oh, by the way, did you see this in sam's bed?" she's like, "what?" i was like "he was really freaking out over it." i said, "lean over look at it right there." when she was leaned over, i put two bullets in the back of her head. >> reporter: dan admitted scrawling those nasty words on her back and to splitting her pants with a pair of scissors. the next morning, he said, he returned to the theatre with an axe and a saw. dan used those, he said, for the gruesome task of dismembering sam's body to make it harder to identify him. dan said he scattered some of sam's remains at a local park. but sam's torso, he told them, was still in the attic of the theatre. >> okay. um, what was going on in your mind when you were dismembering the body, dismembering sam's body?
9:28 pm
laughing. >> okay. why do you think you were doing that? >> i don't know. i reached a point to where i couldn't even believe that i was doing this. i don't know. i don't know. >> tell me, what is it about me that the church does not like? >> reporter: and that next evening, dan took the stage once again in the musicalne yet another pitch perfect performance captured on videotape. you've sat across from a lot more murderers than i have, but that seems astonishingly, sort of cold-blooded and remorseless. >> it was shocking and these were two of his so-called friends. it's horrific. it's sad. it's horrific.
9:29 pm
of course, wanted to know, what was all this about? what drove dan to do it? >> your motive behind killing sam was -- >> money and insanity. >> money and insanity. okay. [ laughing ] >> i don't know. i don't know why i did it. >> reporter: the century's old motive -- money. more than $60,000, in fact. sam herr's combat pay. >> when he was deployed, basically all the money that he was earning in the military just deployed. >> reporter: and dan wozniak wanted that money? >> yes. >> reporter: and julie kibuishi? dan said he killed her to cover his tracks and to frame sam. >> to make it look like he was on the run and he did it. >> he was the one that did it. >> right, and that if he was disappeared completely, you'd never find him. and it would all go away. >> reporter: but none of this
9:30 pm
steve herr, sam's dad, remembers when police showed up at his door. >> they came in and they said sam's been found. he was murdered. and for whatever reason, i said, i don't know what made me say this, i said, at least he wasn't dismembered. okay? the next morning, i get a call from the costa mesa police. he says, "steve, before you find out, we just want to let you know sam was dismembered," and that -- that's when i just lost it. >> reporter: the very next day, sam herr would have turned 27 years old. sam's friend, ruben. >> you know, the -- the night that it was his birthday, his father's praying to find his head. sorry. so it's very upsetting, you know. >> reporter: when police told you that they thought that julie
9:31 pm
cover up a different murder, sam's murder, what'd you think? >> it's probably the pain is more painful than you're ripping your own body parts, you know, apart. to hear that your daughter's been killed like that. i don't know how to describe it. >> reporter: dan wozniak was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. dan's older brother tim, along with tim's girlfriend, was also arrested and charged with accessory to murder. detectives believed they had helped hide some evidence, including the murder weapon. wesley, the teenager who had used sam herr's bank card, was not charged with any crime. and despite his confession to police, dan pleaded not guilty.
9:32 pm
death penalty. a year after his arrest, dan sat down for an interview with msnbc's "lockup." by then, it seemed, his story had changed again. he now claimed he did not kill sam and julie. >> they were saying that i shot both of them and decapitated one of them. it's not true. >> reporter: and then dan spoke about his ex-fiancee, rachel buffett. he said the hardest part of being in jail was missing her. >> if i was given the opportunity to talk to my fiancee right now, i'd either say can i be with you out there or can you be with me in here. >> reporter: here, in jail, with him? an unusual comment. was there any possibility rachel had something to do with these crimes? you think dan's protecting
9:33 pm
dan? >> dan would be protecting rachel. rachel's protecting rachel. >> reporter: you think she knows more than she's saying? >> oh, definitely. >> reporter: just what did rachel know? i asked her. >> this is my name. this is my life. this is my entire future. and i have nothing to hide and i'm innocent. >> reporter: rachel, the actress, or rachel, the accomplice? police and investigators don't believe you were honest with them. >> mm-hmm. >> were you honest with them? ont can be really frustrating. talk to your doctor about viberzi.
9:34 pm
medication you take every day that helps proactively manage both diarrhea and abdominal pain at the same time. so you stay ahead of your symptoms. viberzi can cause new or worsening abdominal pain. do not take viberzi if you have or may have had pancreas or severe liver problems, problems with alcohol abuse, long-lasting or severe constipation, or a blockage of your bowel or gallbladder. if you are taking viberzi, you should not take medicines that cause constipation. the most common side effects of viberzi include constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain. stay ahead of ibs-d... ?? lots of vitamins a&c, and, only 50 calories a serving... good morning, indeed. v8.
9:35 pm
9:36 pm
9:37 pm
reporter: in november 2012, two years after the murders of sam and julie, while rachel buffett's former fiance, dan wozniak was awaiting trial on murder charges, rachel was arrested and charged as an accessory. she posted bail and was released.
9:38 pm
rachel publicly announced her innocence. >> are you saying you're innocent? what are you saying? >> i'm completely innocent. >> reporter: and she agreed to sit down with us because she wanted to tell her story. >> i'm innocent. and it's -- that's what hurts me most, i think, in this whole situation is they're trying to say i'm somebody that i'm not. >> reporter: so, who is rachel buffett? she says just a wanna-be actress with some very realistic dreams. >> there's a gazillion movies made about the blonde that comes from oklahoma to be a famous movie star. it's a dime a dozen in l.a., you know? but it was still something i liked to do, so i continued doing it. >> reporter: and in the course of doing what she loved, she met dan. >> no, no! >> he actually fell for me first. and at the time he was -- he had
9:39 pm
with him so often. >> reporter: he eventually professed his love and asked her to give him a chance. to win your heart? >> something like that, yeah. >> reporter: and he did win her over. he proposed and she said yes. >> i wasn't head over heels in love, but i was okay with it. >> reporter: rachel said money was tight for the young couple. >> you know, neither of us had career jobs or anything. so, yeah, money was always up and down and hard to get. >> reporter: but rachel says she and dan continued to plan for that may wedding and that her parents said they'd foot the bill. >> my parents are traditional, and they were going to pay for it. >> reporter: of course, that wedding never happened. one week before their scheduled nuptials, on friday, may 21st, 2010, the day dan wozniak told police he murdered sam herr, rachel says her fiance was acting strangely.
9:40 pm
to pay the rent, and he had borrowed it from loan sharks saying, yeah, i lied to you and i'm in trouble now. and i owe bad people money. and, you know, i'm going to get hurt. >> reporter: rachel says she saw sam herr that day, leaving the apartment with dan. but remember, she and dan both told police sam had last been seen with a third man, a guy in claimed to have seen that person with her own eyes. >> when dan and sam left, there was no third person with them? >> i was under the impression that there was a third person. i heard about that person. >> from dan? >> i believe so. that's how i remember it now. >> reporter: but at the time, police say, rachel did say she saw the nonexistent third man. it's a major reason she was charged as an accessory.
9:41 pm
issue of the third person is -- is a crux of this case? >> i know now, yeah. i don't remember saying i saw him. i can believe that i told the police there was somebody, and i probably would have said it with confidence, because i trusted dan. >> reporter: when dan returned to the house without sam, rachel says dan was almost frantic. >> it looked like he was having some sort of panic attack or heart attack. he was like, pacing around the room, holding his heart, leaning up against the wall. >> reporter: rachel says dan told her he needed to go to his parents' house to get his things. he returned in time for them to head to the theater for that night's show. and by all accounts, both dan and rachel's performances in "nine" that evening were on
9:42 pm
stage, captured on this video, rachel broke down in tears. some of her fellow cast members later told police that crying on cue was unusual for this amateur actress. and some of them speculated she was crying because she already knew sam herr was dead. >> people who think i'm guilty and are looking for some sort of justification i think are clinging to that. but i just think that's utterly ridiculous. stage, that was acting? that wasn't guilt? >> that was acting, and, you know, you sit there and like you think of anything that's made you upset throughout the day or week when you're trying to cry for a scene. and that's what i was doing. and it was because i had had a stressful day, i guess. >> reporter: but that crying episode wasn't the only thing investigators found odd. after the two performed in "nine" that night, dan was back
9:43 pm
phone, ultimately luring julie kibuishi to sam's apartment. sam had a flip phone, which had a very different look from dan's own smartphone. >> you never noticed that the phone he was texting on was not his regular phone? >> no, i didn't. >> reporter: and then, there was the couple's shared computer in the apartment. the computer on which police later found searches for "how to hide a body" and "quick ways to ki >> you ever see any indication that he had searched for anything relating to murder or violence or how to cover up a murder? >> no, i did not. >> reporter: and using that same computer, rachel posted a comment to julie on facebook the night she was killed. >> you returned a message to julie almost right at the time that she had to be meeting dan at sam's apartment? >> uh-huh. >> reporter: that caused police
9:44 pm
rachel's story. that she didn't see dan leave the apartment that night. she told them she'd fallen asleep on the couch watching a movie. rachel says when she was called to the police station interview room a few days later, she was shocked when dan, whose story was still evolving, told her his elaborate tale of helping sam cover up a murder. >> there's nothing he can do at this point to -- >> sure, sure. >> -- make it better. >> absolutely. >> you know, i was just like speechless at this time. i'm kind of on overload. and in shock and also growing angry. >> reporter: but if you watch the tape, rachel seems rather calm. >> why did you lie to me? what does noah have to do with any of this? >> nothing. he drove me to pick up the
9:45 pm
>> from wesley. >> who's wesley? >> wesley's a kid i did theater with. >> reporter: detectives felt they were watching two performers acting out a script. >> so that conversation between the two of them felt rehearsed? >> yeah. i was expecting a, "oh, my god. what are you -- what -- what did you do? how could you help him?" it wasn't that. it was just -- it was very odd. >> so if police or prosecutors tell us that was all set up were reading lines, that's what, that's bull? >> that's bull, yeah. >> reporter: you had no idea what he was going to say? >> that's correct. >> reporter: rachel says she didn't know that dan murdered sam and julie until he called her from his jail cell to confess. >> and that was the first time you knew about it? >> that's correct. >> reporter: investigators found more reasons to suspect rachel. for example, the way she echoed
9:46 pm
sam's parents and friends all say that was a lie. >> reporter: your repeating that story is being taken by police and prosecutors as an example of you continuing to advance a narrative that your boyfriend set up to make the murder happen. >> well, two things. i told them that, yeah, dan said it. but also, i think sam confirmed it. like, sam also told me that or confirmed it in some way. i don't understand why people think it's odd that i would use the same language or terminology that dan had used. because obviously i'd heard it, you know? >> reporter: detectives also wondered, why, when they spoke to rachel, after julie's murder, did she ask police whether they had looked into whether sam had killed julie? >> when you met with detectives you asked them, did you look at
9:47 pm
sam as a suspect, which was at the time exactly the theory that dan wanted the police to pursue. >> mm-hmm. >> reporter: so in that meeting with detectives, were you essentially doing dan's work for him? >> no, i was not. that was -- the way he set it up made that the obvious conclusion that everybody should look for sam. the police were doing that too. and me, as an outsider, would assume that that was a logical thing to do. >> reporter: did you at any time make any statement or take any specific action to shield dan from scrutiny or suspicion? >> not in any way. >> reporter: police and prosecutors don't believe you were honest with them. >> uh-huh. >> were you honest with them? >> i was. i know my heart, and god knows my heart. and that's my comfort is god's in control, and god knows i'm innocent.
9:48 pm
dan wozniak. i told the truth to the best of my capability to try to help the police get to the bottom of things. my heart was always in the right place. >> reporter: but ed everett believes rachel as innocent bystander is just another actor playing another role. >> rachel buffet says she had no idea that dan wozniak was a murderer, that he was going to kill sam, that he did kill sam, that he was going to kill julie, that he did kill julie. she says she didn't have any advance knowledge of any of that. do you believe her? >> no. >> reporter: she wasn't charged with murder. >> we don't have the evidence to prove it. she's a better actor than -- than daniel. >> reporter: but before rachel would have her day in court to proclaim her innocence, it would
9:49 pm
what did she know? >> learning about all this incredible stuff and she has no reaction? you can see it on the interview tape. she has no reaction. >> and two families in mourning finally get an answer. >> everything is based on me
9:50 pm
i'm lucky to in detergent couldn't keep up. so, i switched to tide pods. they're super concentrated, so i get a better clean. tide. number one rated. it's got to be tide the chase freedom unlimited card earns you unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything you buy. the cash back is unlimited and you can spend it on anything. like, whatever the next ad is selling.
9:51 pm
but my guy knows what to bring... like viagra single packs for ed. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain or adempas? for pulmonary hypertension. your blood pressure could drop to an unsafe level. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing. ask your doctor about viagra single packs. when i was a little kid, i made a deal with myself that i would never grow up. we met when we were very young... i was 17, he was 18. we made the movie the book of life. we started doing animation. with the surface book, you can do all this stuff. you can actually draw on the screen. so crisp. i love it. it's almost like this super powerful computer and a tablet had the perfect baby. it's a typewriter for writing scripts... it's a sketchbook for sketches...'s a canvas for painting...
9:52 pm
reporter: the writer stephen king says murder is like potato chips. it's hard to stop at just one. orange county prosecutor matt murphy told a jury
9:53 pm
killing binge. >> sam herr's a war hero. he was a war hero. he served his country. and turns out he's murdered by some two-bit actor who snuck up behind him and shot him in the back of the head. and then you have this beautiful, 23-year-old young woman with a tiara on her head. and he literally shot her in between her right ear and the tiara that she had been wearing. >> reporter: it had been a long time getting into this courtroom. more than one hundred hearings over five and a half years. >> it was brutal on those families. >> reporter: from the moment steve herr learned his son was missing, he hasn't rested. >> when you find out your son, your only child, has been murdered, as a father, i can't think of any other -- any other way to act. it was the most crushing event that ever happened to me, that can ever happen to anybody.
9:54 pm
sense of punishing somebody else. this is about you knowing? >> everything is based on me knowing the whole story. >> reporter: now it was december of 2015, and steve was about to find out. the prosecutor laid it out for the jury. dan wozniak's plan to solve his financial problems, in eleven steps. >> number one, apparently don't get a job. number two, figure out what sam herr's pin number is, kill him, and take his atm card. >> reporter: after withdrawing money and using julie's murder as a decoy -- >> six, stage the scene to make it look like sam is not only a
9:55 pm
seven, if questioned, use charm and acting skills to make sure the police spend all their time looking for sam. eight, make sam disappear, make sure the police cannot find sam. >> reporter: then, said murphy, get more money, so dan could pay off his debts. and finally -- >> and eleven, have an awesome wedding. >> you have this -- this plan, this evil, maniacal, meets real detectives really doing their job. and wozniak is putting on his -- it was a play. >> reporter: turns out two cops were tougher than any theatre critic. >> they spotted him a mile away. they gave him all the room he wanted to completely hang himself. and that's what he did. >> reporter: dan's older brother, tim, testified against him. on the stand, he told the jury dan gave him a box to hold on to. but said he had no idea that
9:56 pm
accessory. he pleaded not guilty. and his case is pending. his then girlfriend, who was also charged, had her case dismissed. in court, dan's defense attorney did not offer an explanation for dan's actions or call any witnesses. when jurors got the case, it took them less than three hours to reach a verdict. >> we the jury in the above entitled a daniel patrick wozniak guilty of the crime of murder. >> reporter: this was a death penalty case. jurors now had to decide whether dan wozniak should live or die. defense attorney scott sanders made absolutely no excuses for his client. >> we did nothing in the course of the guilt phase of this case to indicate that we were challenging his responsibility for the crime. >> reporter: but he did ask the jury to consider whether dan would deserve the death penalty.
9:57 pm
in the defense's view, it was dan's fianc?e, rachel buffett. >> i call her a shrewd girlfriend, very shrewd, very sharp. >> reporter: sanders reminded the jury of that odd moment when rachel went to the police department to see dan. >> she's learning about all this incredible stuff and she has no reaction, and you can see it on the interview tape. she has no reaction. >> reporter: he said that while dan didn't fool the cops, rachel just might have. >> these are good officers. if y l still gets past them. >> reporter: but prosecutor murphy saw things differently. >> they got to come up with somebody to point their finger at to take your attention off of daniel wozniak and what daniel wozniak did. so rachel's our villain. all right? and that's fine. they can do that. it's -- that's their job to do it. okay? and it's your job not to get misled. >> reporter: jurors, once again, had an important decision to
9:58 pm
just more than an hour. >> we the jury in the above entitled action determine that the penalty be imposed upon the defendant daniel patrick wozniak to be death. >> reporter: death for daniel wozniak. and as for rachel buffett she has pleaded not guilty to the charge of accessory to murder. her case is still pending. a final scene to this tragedy that started on stage and spilled into real life. >> i'll never forget a month before this happened walking around a park, and i'm -- tend to say, you know what, sam. if something happens to me, take care of your mom and this and that. and we have this. we have this. he said well, you know what, dad? if somebody happens to me, i lived a good life. i saw so many things that i never thought i was able to see. >> reporter: was that a premonition? maybe. but either way, it was important for steve to hear his son say those words "i lived a good life," because it wasn't always
9:59 pm
he went through some rough times. >> and he went to the army and he found a purpose, he became a man. he grew up. >> reporter: julie's mom june says she doesn't want to show her grief to her own family. so she mourns privately, with a gift her daughter gave her. >> she was a music person. and then so every -- my birthdays and mother's day, she used to make me a cd so that i can play that in my car. so that was my -- that's her gift for me. whenever i go to work and come back, i play that cd and i take this one long way. there's one road that it's straight and without a signal. i mean, just -- i use that road and i turn on and blast her
10:00 pm
>> 10 seconds! [ indistinct conversations ] [ light laughter ] 5 seconds!! [ laughter ] >> [ french accent ] and so that is why i feel so strongly about you. waiter? [ footsteps approaching ] >> yeah, hold it. . yor said -- >> garrett, we're on the air now. >> yeah, i know, man, but -- >> this is the opening. >> i know. richard pryor's here tonight, and i thought that i would open the show -- you know what i mean? -- do the fall. >> wait a minute. i always open the show. is it understood? >> yeah, yeah, hey, look -- >> i do the fall. and i say, "live from new york, it's 'saturday night.'" it's my trademark.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on