"American Nightmare" examines the 2015 kidnapping of Denise Huskins.
Huskins was accused by police of staging a "real-life 'Gone Girl'" but later cleared.
Here's where Huskins and Quinn are now.
In 2015, a man broke into the Mare Island, California, home of Aaron Quinn, kidnapped his girlfriend Denise Huskins, and held her hostage for two days.
The bizarre case — dubbed the "real-life 'Gone Girl'" — is the focus of the new Netflix docuseries, "American Nightmare," which explores how the couple was accused of staging the incident, even though Huskins was sexually assaulted by the kidnapper, Matthew Muller.
On March 23, 2015, Quinn, then 30, reported that a man in a wetsuit brandishing a Taser had drugged him and then kidnapped Huskins. He said the kidnappers had demanded a $17,000 ransom (paid in two separate payments of $8,500) and had installed surveillance cameras in his house to track whether he had called law enforcement.
Two days later, Huskins, then 29, reappeared near her family home in Huntington Beach, over 400 miles away. She said she had been sexually assaulted
Local police were immediately suspicious of the couple's story, especially because Quinn had waited a day to report the kidnapping.
Vallejo police quickly compared the story to Gillian Flynn's novel "Gone Girl," in which a woman stages her disappearance in order to frame her husband. They publicly accused the couple of faking the kidnapping and sexual assault.
"Mr. Quinn and Ms. Huskins have plundered valuable resources away from our community and taken the focus away from the true victims of our community while instilling fear among our community members," Vallejo police spokesperson Lt. Kenny Park said following Huskins' reemergence.
Three months later, however, police arrested Matthew Muller, a disbarred lawyer and former marine, for the crime. Muller had left his phone at the crime scene of a robbery, and it contained proof that he had kidnapped and assaulted Huskins. Miller was convicted on federal kidnapping charges and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
"When I was kidnapped, I didn't know if I was going to live to see another day," Huskins told People in 2021. "I just wanted to go back to my life. And then to have people attacking you on social media, the whole "Gone Girl" label — a whole persona was placed on me that had nothing to do with who I am. With PTSD and therapy, it gets easier. But it doesn't ever really get easy."
Read on to find out where Huskins and Quinn are now.
Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn married in 2018 and have two daughters
Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn stayed together after enduring the disturbing ordeal and tried to move on with their life.
While waiting for Muller to be tried on federal and state charges, the couple filed a defamation lawsuit against the Vallejo Police Department in 2016 for falsely accusing them of staging the kidnapping.
Huskins alleged in the suit, seen by Business Insider, that: "Before ever seeing or speaking with Huskins, and without a shred of evidence in support of their preconceived conclusion," the Vallejo Police Department "treated the victim of a kidnapping and sexual assault like the criminal they refused to pursue."
The suit claimed the Vallejo Police Department had violated the couple's constitutional rights and "unfairly destroyed their reputations through an outrageous and wholly unfounded campaign of disparagement."
The city of Vallejo agreed to settle the suit and paid $2.5 million to the couple but admitted no wrongdoing.
Huskins and Quinn didn't receive a public apology until 2021, when the then-incoming police chief, Shawny Williams, issued a statement to ABC7 News.
'What happened to Ms. Huskins and Mr. Quinn is horrific and evil. As the new Chief of Police, I am committed to making sure survivors are given compassionate service with dignity and respect," he wrote.
Williams added: "Although I was not chief in 2015 when this incident occurred, I would like to extend my deepest apology to Ms. Huskins and Mr. Quinn for how they were treated during this ordeal."
The couple stayed together and eventually wed in September 2018.
In 2021, Huskins and Quinn published "Victim F," an account of their kidnapping ordeal and its aftermath.
And while the Netflix docuseries has put the "Gone Girl" case in the spotlight again, the pair have made a new life on California's Central Coast.
Huskins works as a physical therapist, focusing on Pilates, while Quinn works for Apiros – a company that trains high school athletes to become professionals.
The couple also have two children. Huskins gave birth to their first daughter, Olivia, in 2020, and in 2022, she gave birth to their second daughter, Naomi.
Huskins continues to advocate on behalf of people accused by law enforcement of false reporting.
"It breaks my heart to know just how many sexual assault victims get attacked by law enforcement and charged for false reporting," she wrote in December. "Bullying and charging sexual assault survivors only leaves the public less safe, and tells victims that the police are not safe to turn to."
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673) or visit its website to receive confidential support.
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