American Nightmare Netflix: What happened to Denise Huskins, was she kidnapped, did they ever find who did it?

Police initially believed the Denise Huskins kidnapping was a hoax inspired by the movie Gone Girl - they were wrong

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American Nightmare is the latest true crime documentary to drop on Netflix that has left people reeling. The three-episode series tells the horrific ordeal of Aaron Quinn and Denise Huskins. In March 2015, the couple were woken by an intruder, Denise was kidnapped and what followed was a terrifying and bizarre chain of events that lead to Quinn being the prime suspect in her murder.

Law enforcement initially found the story too far-fetched to believe, labelling it a hoax inspired by the movie Gone Girl. But it was all terrifying true. Here is what happened to Denise Huskins and if they ever found her kidnapper.

*This article contains spoilers for American Nightmare along with descriptions of crimes some readers may find disturbing*

What is American Nightmare about?

American Nightmare tells the terrifying story of the kidnap of Denise Huskins which authorities believed at the time to be a made-up hoax inspired by the plot of the movie Gone Girl. However, the case was horrifyingly real, both Quinn and Huskins told law enforcement that an intruder had broken into their home, forced Quinn to drink a liquid laced with drugs and kidnapped Huskins, who stated she was put in the trunk of a car and taken to a property in Lake Tahoe where she was sexually assaulted on camera twice.

After receiving demands from the kidnapper, Quinn went to the police where he soon discovered he was the number one suspect. However, two days later Huskins was released at her father's home, with the couple both finding themselves now being investigated by the police.

The plot of American Nightmare as described by Netflix, reads: "After a home invasion and abduction, a young couple's recounting of the events is too far fetched for the police to believe. Why did the victims seem so calm? Was it all a hoax? From the filmmakers behind The Tinder Swindler, this three-part docuseries unravels the consequences of our cultural rush to judgment, and the damage done when law enforcement decides the truth can’t possibly be true."

Was Denise Huskins really kidnapped?

Yes, Denis Huskins was really kidnapped. The 37-year-old physical therapist was abducted from Vallejo, California, where she had been staying the night with her now-husband Aaron Quinn. Despite police officers finding their story hard to believe, it was terrifyingly true.

Did they ever find out who kidnapped Denise Huskins?

In June 2015, Matthew Muller, a former Harvard Law School graduate, US Marine and Gulf War veteran was apprehended and charged with the crime of kidnapping and sexually assaulting Denise Huskins after he left his mobile phone at the location of another failed kidnapping. His Lake Tahoe property was searched where police discovered videos of Muller sexually assaulting Huskins.

What happened to Matthew Muller?

In September 2016, Muller pleaded guilty to the kidnap of Huskins and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. At his sentencing US attorney Phillip A. Talbert said: "Muller had advantages in life that most people only dream of, yet he used his considerable intelligence to plan and execute the physical assault and psychological torture of two innocent strangers."

He continued: "It is difficult to imagine the level of suffering that Muller inflicted on his victims. The sentence handed down today takes into account that suffering and strives to ensure that Muller will never again commit such crimes."

In 2018, state charges were filed against him for the sexual assault of Huskins, he was sentenced to an additional 31 years in state prison for these crimes in 2022 and is currently housed at the FCI Tucson prison in Arizona.

Are Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn still together?

Huskins and Quinn are still together, they have married since their ordeal and have welcomed a child, they have also written a book about their experience in 2021 called, "Victim F: From Crime Victims to Suspects to Survivor".

The couple filed a lawsuit against the Vallejo Police for defamation after their claims that the kidnapping had been a hoax. In 2018 they received a settlement payment of $2.5 million.

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