In the recent past, Netflix has garnered wide viewership with its catalog, including more and more true crime docuseries and programs. Ryan Murphy’s ‘Dahmer’ portrayed the true story of Jeffrey Dahmer and his ruthless cannibalism. Now, the streaming giant is back with another thrilling true-crime docuseries, ‘American Nightmare’, which seems to be inspired by David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’.
‘The Tinder Swindler’ makers Felicity Morris and Bernadette Higgins are back with another thrilling subject. This time the focus is on the 2015 story of Denise Huskins and her husband, Aaron Quinn. The couple, who live in Vallejo, were subjected to media scrutiny after the police department framed them for staging Denise’s abduction and imprisoned Aaron. However, the story took an anti-climax ‘Gone Girl’ turn when the police found it was not staged.
What Happened With Denise Huskins And Aaron Quinn?
Netflix’s three-part docuseries ‘American Nightmare’ brought forward the story of Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn, which changed the lives of the couple for the worse. In March 2015, at the couple’s Vallejo apartment, robbers entered and told them, “Wake up; this is a robbery. We’re not here to hurt you.” They blindfolded them, sedated them, and took Huskins away.
Aaron Quinn was left alone, and he was told that they would guide him to deliver the ransom. He was threatened that Denise would be killed if he tried to contact the cops, and there was camera surveillance.
In the first two episodes of ‘American Nightmare’, the couple narrates the story of what happened with Aaron as he became the suspect in allegedly killing Denise and how the police system failed the couple, who were in real distress, unlike the plot of the Ben Affleck-starrer ‘Gone Girl’, which was released a year before the incident.
The detective in charge of the case, Matthew Mustard, refused to believe Aaron Quinn’s side of the case, and he was detained by the Vallejo police under the suspicion of killing the wife and dumping her body. Denise’s brother hired a lawyer to get Aaron out.
Meanwhile, Denis Huskins was taken far away from Vallejo. The kidnappers kept calling Aaron for ransom, but the police confiscated his phone. In a twist, one of the men told Huskins that he wanted to kidnap Aaron’s ex-fiancée, who lived with him, but they instead got Denise, who looked similar to her. She was raped and tapped, but the kidnappers released her near her hometown of Huntington.
Did The Couple Actually Stage The Crime As Told In ‘American Nightmares’?
After Denise Huskins was released, the Vallejo Police Department deemed the abduction to be an “orchestrated event and not a kidnapping.” The police asked the couple to release an apology as they had instilled “fear among our community members.”
Another twist in the story came when the kidnappers sent emails to the San Francisco Chronicle, telling them that Aaron Quinn and Denise Huskins were being pushed under the bus. They said in their emails, “We are responsible for the victims’ suffering and the least we can do is come forward to prove they are not lying.”
In the same year, a similar kidnapping happened in Dublin, California, where the robbers tried to kidnap, but the couple was able to shoo away the robber with his phone left at the crime scene during the skirmish.
The intruder, upon tracing, was Matthew Muller, a Harvard graduate and ex-US Marine. The arrest took place, and Matthew was sentenced to 40 years of imprisonment by the Sacramento federal court. He was also charged with sexual assault, robbery, burglary, and false imprisonment of Aaron. Muller was sentenced to 31 more years of imprisonment.
Aaron Quinn and Denise Huskins then filed a defamation lawsuit against the City of Vallejo and its police department for maligning their image in the community, which “unfairly destroyed their reputations through an outrageous and wholly unfounded campaign of disparagement.”
The lawsuit was settled out of court for $2.5 million. The couple married in 2018, and they are proud parents of two daughters, Olivia and Naomi.
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