VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — The ordeal of Denise Huskins, whose kidnapping from her boyfriend’s Northern California residence was first dismissed as a hoax by legislation enforcement, is getting renewed consideration as the topic of a brand new Netflix docuseries, “American Nightmare.”

Right here’s a have a look at the details of the case, which captivated the nation:


On March 23, 2015, Huskins was kidnapped by a masked intruder who broke into the house in Vallejo, a metropolis within the San Francisco Bay Space. Her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, advised detectives he woke as much as a brilliant mild on his face and that intruders had drugged, blindfolded and tied each of them up earlier than forcefully taking Huskins in the midst of the night time. Quinn additionally stated the abductors had been demanding an $8,500 ransom.

A Vallejo police detective interrogated Quinn for hours, at instances suggesting he could have been concerned in Huskins’ disappearance. Quinn took a polygraph take a look at which an FBI agent advised him he failed, the couple stated later in a e book about their ordeal.

Huskins, who was 29 on the time, turned up unhurt two days later outdoors her father’s house in Huntington Seashore, a metropolis in Southern California, the place she stated she was dropped off. She reappeared simply hours earlier than the ransom was due.


That very same day, police in Vallejo introduced in a information convention that they’d found no evidence of a kidnapping and accused Huskins and Quinn of faking the kidnapping, which spurred an enormous search.

Police stated they turned suspicious as a result of Quinn waited hours to report the kidnapping. On the information convention, spokesman Kenny Park expressed disgust over the assets supposedly squandered, with 40 detectives assigned to the case, and the concern it brought about among the many group.

“It was such an unimaginable story, we initially had a tough time believing it, and upon additional investigation, we couldn’t substantiate any of the issues he was saying,” Park stated.

However Quinn and Huskins had been adamant that it wasn’t a hoax and insisted they had been the victims. Quinn’s legal professional defined the delay in reporting to police by noting that his consumer had been sure and drugged.


The couple had been confirmed proper when Matthew Muller, a disbarred, Harvard-educated legal professional, was caught and charged in Huskins’ abduction.

Muller was arrested on June 8, 2015, in South Lake Tahoe for a home-invasion theft that occurred in Dublin, a metropolis within the Bay Space, and that had similarities to the Vallejo case. Investigators discovered a laptop computer that resembled one which belonged to Quinn and had been taken.

A search of a stolen automotive linked to Muller turned up quite a few different gadgets, together with a water pistol with a flashlight and laser pointer on it, and a pair of goggles just like those Huskins and Quinn stated they had been compelled to put on throughout the kidnapping. Within the goggles was a strand of lengthy blond hair, the identical colour because the sufferer’s. Detectives additionally decided that the car’s navigation system historical past turned up a Huntington Seashore handle.

Muller pleaded responsible to the kidnapping and is serving a 40-year jail time period.


Huskins and Quinn sued the town of Vallejo and its police division for false imprisonment, defamation, false arrest and intentional infliction of emotional misery, and reached a $2.5 million settlement in 2018.

Throughout Muller’s trial, prosecutors stated he used a drone to spy on the couple earlier than he broke into the house with the faux gun, tied them up and made them drink a sleep-inducing liquid. Whereas they had been blindfolded, Muller, who was wearing a full-body wetsuit, performed a recording that made it appear as if there was multiple kidnapper, they stated.

Muller put Huskins in his trunk, drove her to his residence in South Lake Tahoe and held her there for 2 days. Investigators stated they discovered movies of Muller arranging cameras in a bed room after which recording himself twice sexually assaulting his blindfolded sufferer. The Related Press sometimes doesn’t identify victims of sexual assault except they arrive ahead publicly with their tales, as Huskins has ceaselessly performed.

Throughout and after the kidnapping, Muller used an nameless e-mail account to ship messages to a San Francisco reporter claiming that Huskins was kidnapped by a crew of elite criminals training their techniques.


Huskins and Quinn married in September 2018 and have two younger kids. In 2021 they launched their e book, “Sufferer F: From Crime Victims to Suspects to Survivors.”

That very same yr the town of Vallejo and its police division each apologized to the couple.

“The Huskins Quinn case was not publicly dealt with with the kind of sensitivity a case of this nature ought to have been dealt with with, and for that, the Metropolis extends an apology to Ms. Huskins and Mr. Quinn,” metropolis officers stated in an announcement despatched to KGO-TV.

Police Chief Shawny Williams, who was not in that submit on the time of the kidnapping, referred to as the couple’s ordeal “horrific and evil,” apologized for the way they’d been handled and promised to make sure that “survivors are given compassionate service with dignity and respect.”

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