'American Nightmare,' Netflix show, examines Vallejo kidnapping

A new docu-series released on Netflix details the story of the kidnapping of a Vallejo woman that police there wrongly concluded was a hoax.

The case of Denise Huskins' abduction gripped the Bay Area and beyond nearly a decade ago.

Now, Netflix's "American Nightmare" chronicles what happened after Huskins' boyfriend called police in March 2015, saying that an intruder dressed in a wet suit broke into their Vallejo home, tied him up and abducted Huskins.

From the start, police were skeptical of Aaron Quinn's claims. Police pressured him, eliciting a confession that Quinn killed his girlfriend.

But then Huskins turned up alive days later near her family's home in Southern California. Vallejo police labeled the whole thing a hoax. They said the couple led them on a "wild goose chase."

Eventually, a former Marine and lawyer, Matthew Muller, was convicted of kidnapping and raping Huskins. He assaulted her in a Lake Tahoe cabin before driving to Orange County, where he let her go. In 2022, he was sentenced to 31 years in prison on state charges for rape. In federal court, he received a 40-year sentence for the kidnapping.

Dublin police helped crack the case by identifying Muller as a suspect while they investigated a similar home invasion.

Huskins and Quinn sued Vallejo and were awarded $2.5 million.

KTVU's Henry Lee is featured in the documentary, because he extensively reported on the bizarre case.

"It was surreal to revisit the scene," Lee said.