Sam Herr, the Afghanistan war veteran who was murdered along with his tutor, Julie Kibuishi, more than five years ago, will be the subject of the Investigation Discovery documentary The Perfect Murder.
Get ready for the season finale episode, titled “Curtain Call,” which tells the story of a broke actor who resorts to murder to give his bride the wedding and honeymoon of her dreams. On the show, you’ll most likely hear from law enforcement officials who pursued the case and possibly Sam Herr’s devoted father, who made the harrowing 911 call.
2010: A Father’s Worst Nightmare
Steve Herr had a close relationship with Sam Herr — so close that when his son failed to meet him as planned, he called him and later visited his son’s apartment after his calls went unanswered. Steve couldn’t have prepared himself for what he’d see next.
Using his key to enter his son’s apartment in Costa Mesa, Steve called out to Sam Herr but didn’t get an answer. At first, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The place was neat and clean as usual, and it didn’t appear as if any kind of struggle had taken place. Then, Steve Herr entered the bedroom, where he found the body of a woman on the bed. He knew immediately that the woman was dead.
Once police arrived at Apartment 410, they noticed that the woman was positioned on the bed as if she had been sexually assaulted. And there was one more mysterious detail: The victim, identified as Juri Kibuishi, aka Julie, had been killed while wearing her tiara crown, and the words (All Yours F**k You) were scrawled on her sweater next to the body.
Steve Herr’s first thought was that his son had done something unthinkable. After all, Sam had served in Afghanistan on the front lines and had frequent bad dreams as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder. Plus, Sam Herr was not inside his apartment, and no one knew where he was. To police, Herr was most likely the killer.
The Truth Is Finally Revealed
It became apparent that something else had occurred after Steve Herr saw that his son’s debit card was being used. The police examined bank video surveillance, which captured the face of a skateboarding teen who had used Steve Herr’s debit card. When police confronted the teen with this information, he pointed the finger at a man named Daniel Wozniak, an actor who lived in the same apartment building as Sam Herr, according to the OC Register.
Text messages also showed that Sam Herr had texted Julie Kibuishi that night, telling her that he was with Dan Wozniak. The next text Julie received was one begging for her to meet with him so that they could talk.
In the interrogation room, detectives laid it on thick, demanding to know the whereabouts of Sam Herr and probing Daniel Wozniak for more information about what happened to Julie Kibuishi.
Community Actor Needed Money
Daniel Wozniak, an actor working in the local theaters, blurted out that he had seen Julie’s dead body with two bullet holes in her skull at the apartment. This was a dead giveaway to detectives, who were sure that he was the killer.
Eventually, detectives learned the fate of Samuel Herr. Neighbor Daniel Wozniak shot and killed him, and then the war vet’s body was dismembered and discarded in a park in Long Beach, California. To make it look like a murder-suicide, Wozniak then sent Julie Kibuishi a series of text messages pretending to be Sam Herr. When she showed up to the apartment, Daniel shot and killed her and left her on the bed. It’s a visual that Sam Herr’s father, Steve, will never get out of his mind, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Animals got to my son’s body parts in El Dorado park. They found him. They ate his flesh off him. They urinated on my son.”
During the trial, prosecutors stated that Daniel Wozniak needed money for his upcoming wedding and an expensive honeymoon vacation with Rachel Buffet, his bride-to-be. Wozniak, who had a history of changing jobs, didn’t have the money to provide the wedding that Rachel wanted. Instead of being truthful about it, he devised a sick plan to kill two innocent people to secure some fast cash.
It was a terrible betrayal of trust for Sam Kerr, who had been friends with the always-out-of-money actor. As for Julie Kibuishi, the bubbly and intelligent Japanese-American college student, she was just doing what came naturally to her: being there for a friend in a time of need. She had no idea that she was walking into a deadly trap that would silence her forever.
But let’s not give it all away. Find out how the case of killer Daniel Wozniak ended by tuning into The Perfect Murder this Wednesday, August 24 at 9 p.m. on Investigation Discovery.
[Image via Couperfield/Shutterstock]