Daniel Wozniak Murder Case: Fiancee Rachel Buffett, Convicted of Lying to Police, Pleads Innocence in Tapes

Daniel Wozniak was convicted of two murders. Fiancee Rachel Buffett lied to authorities.
Daniel Wozniak was convicted of two murders. Rachel Buffett was convicted of lying to investigators. Handout / Getty Images

Newly obtained interview tapes show the fiancee of California killer Daniel Wozniak denying she knew anything about his murder plans.

But Rachel Buffett, an actress and former Disney princess, was convicted last year of lying to investigators and being an accessory after the fact. She was sentenced to 32 months in prison.

In 2010, during interviews with Orange County investigators, Buffett said she played no part in the crimes.

"The truth is, I did not know," she says in interrogation tapes recently obtained by ABC News, which revisited the case for Friday night's "20/20." "I was not involved and that doesn't change."

Wozniak, a community theater actor, was convicted in 2015 of the grisly 2010 murders of his neighbor, 26-year-old Army veteran Sam Herr, and his friend Julie Kibuishi, a 23-year-old college student and dancer. 

The killings made headlines around the world. Wozniak ultimately confessed to the killings, telling detectives he was "crazy" and that he shot to death Herr and Kibuishi. "It was all about the money," he is seen saying in video of his confession to investigators.

Specifically, it was about the money he needed for his planned wedding and honeymoon with Buffett, a fellow actor, he told police. Herr, his neighbor and friend, had $62,000 in money he saved from combat pay. Wozniak had no job and was about to be evicted from his Costa Mesa apartment, police said.

Wozniak lured his friend to a theater attic, saying he needed help moving equipment, he told police. As Herr bent down, Wozniak shot him in the back of the head. When Herr asked for help, Wozniak shot him again, he said in his confession.

Wozniak chopped off Herr's head and hands, and buried them in a park. He told detectives Herr's torso was still in the attic. That night, he performed with Buffett onstage in the musical "Nine," authorities said.

Later, using Herr's cellphone, he texted Kibuishi and pretended to be Herr. He asked her to come over. When Kibuishi arrived, Wozniak let her into Herr's apartment, where he shot her in the back of the head, he said.

He wanted to make it look like Herr had killed his friend and then went on the run, Wozniak said.

Wozniak was arrested after the murders when he made ATM withdrawals from Herr's account, authorities said.

Buffett was questioned about her knowledge of Wozniak's actions. She claimed innocence. But investigators didn't believe her. 

Detectives performed a voice stress analyzer test, which they said would measure whether she was being deceptive. "The entire testing process, she was very soft-spoken," Michael Cohen, a retired Costa Mesa police investigator, told ABC News. "Her answers were very mumbled and she wouldn't give me a full yes or no answer on the questions," he said. "I felt that she was deceptive and not telling us the truth."

Investigators said Buffett lied during her initial questioning and omitted key details from the day of of the murders, including that Wozniak had left home for three hours on that day.

At her sentencing hearing, Buffett read a statement.

"I hope my silence has not been misinterpreted as callous," she said. "I wish I could have saved them. I wish I'd never met Daniel Wozniak.

"My heart goes out to the Herr and Kibuishi families," she continued. "They will always be in my thoughts and prayers."

Wozniak was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to death. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has since issued a moratorium on executions. Wozniak remains on death row. 

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