It sounds like a tale ripped straight out of a movie script. In March 2015, Denise Huskins and her live-in boyfriend Aaron Quinn were the victims of a home invasion. An intruder had broken into their Vallejo, California home, where he proceeded to tie the couple up, blindfold them, and forced them to drink a sedating liquid. Using a fake gun to force the frightened couple to comply with his demands, he began playing an audio recording, leading the couple to believe that there were multiple people involved in the operation.
Huskins was taken from her home and placed into the trunk of the kidnapper’s car. When Huskins awoke, she was brutally sexually assaulted. The intruder demanded a ransom, but no money was ever received. Huskins was released two days later near her mother’s home in Huntington Beach.
When Huskins was released, rather than the help she thought she would receive, police had different ideas about the kidnapping. They told Huskins and Quinn that the story was too far-fetched to believe and that the kidnapping was a hoax.
Police claimed that Huskins “didn’t act like a kidnapping victim.” They also compared the story Huskins told to the movie Gone Girl, in which a woman lies about being kidnapped after she had been missing for several days. According to police, they became suspicious of Huskins’ story when she reappeared carrying luggage and claimed that she did not wish to be reunited with family members. It wasn’t until police picked up disbarred attorney Matthew Muller for a robbery and kidnapping attempt at another home that they realized the couple had been telling the truth.
For days prior to the kidnapping, Muller had used a drone to stake out the home of Denise Huskins. Video cameras were placed around a bedroom at Muller’s home, and footage of the night of the kidnapping show Muller repeatedly sexually assaulting Huskins, who was forced to remain blindfolded. Police were able to uncover this evidence after finding a computer stolen from Quinn in Muller’s car. It was this single piece of evidence that unraveled a story so bizarre that police had refused to believe it.
Muller has since received a 40-year sentence in exchange for his confession, but the case is far from over. Huskins has since filed a lawsuit against the Vallejo Police Department for a range of complaints including defamation, false arrest, false imprisonment, and unreasonable search and seizure. The case is still pending.
The couple claims they remain so traumatized by the incident that they regularly check underneath their bed for intruders and Huskins says even the act of falling asleep is a trigger for her. At Muller’s sentencing, Quinn told the judge that he “cannot and will not ever be the same.”