American Nightmare's Denise Huskins issues message to viewers of horrifying "real-life Gone Girl" series

23 January 2024, 15:05

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By Katie Louise Smith

Denise Huskins' horrifying ordeal has been shared in a new Netflix docuseries, but she wants viewers to look at the bigger themes of her case.

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Denise Huskins, the focus of Netflix's latest true crime series, has issued a message to viewers about the horrifying documentary.

If you've watched Netflix's American Nightmare docuseries, you'll know that it's not your typical "true crime" series. There's no unsolved crime for enthusiasts to dive into and there's no left over mystery surrounding the case at the end. There's also very little focus on the actual perpetrator of the crime.

Instead, American Nightmare focuses on survivor Denise Huskins, who finally has the chance to recount her traumatic ordeal in her own words, and expose the trauma she was subject to at the hands of the police who didn't believe her or her then-boyfriend.

Ahead of the series' release, Denise took to Instagram to provide some context surrounding the series, and urged viewers to be aware of the bigger themes at play across the three episodes.

American Nightmare's Denise Huskins issues message to viewers of Netflix true crime series
American Nightmare's Denise Huskins issues message to viewers of Netflix true crime series. Picture: Netflix

"I can’t believe it’s coming so soon. It’s been a long journey to get here, especially in finding the right team to share our story," Denise wrote. "Tune in on Jan 17th, and you’ll see this is not 'just another True Crime'.

"This goes way beyond just us as victims, and this one case," she continued. "The bigger themes of rushing to judgement, victim blaming, misrepresentation in the media, false accusations fuelled by tunnel vision and confirmation bias in law enforcement, and the dangerous tactics they use to try to get a false confession, are sadly all too common in our world."

Denise added: "But perhaps more importantly, it’s a story of hope when all feels lost. I believe anyone who’s overcome a trauma can connect with different parts of this series and what we went through. We look forward to having you watch."

If you haven't already seen the series, here's what you need to know about what happened to Denise Huskins.

In 2015, Denise and her then-boyfriend Aaron Quinn's home was broken into. They were both sedated, Aaron was tied up and Denise was kidnapped by an unknown man.

When Aaron awoke the next morning, he told the police what happened but they did not believe his story. The Vallejo PD eventually decided that they thought Aaron had killed Denise and they tried to get a false confession out of him.

48 hours later, Denise re-appeared. She actually had been kidnapped and raped, but the police did not believe her because they were now hung up on a theory that she had attempted to recreate the plot of Gone Girl, where the main character faked her disappearance.

The police publicly accused Denise of lying, and held a press conference saying they believed the kidnapping was an orchestrated event.

It wasn't until a police officer from another district began investigating a different sexual assault case, that evidence of Denise's kidnapping was eventually uncovered and the man (Matthew Muller) who kidnapped her was arrested and charged.

READ MORE: American Nightmare: Who kidnapped Denise Huskins? Here's where Matthew Muller is now

American Nightmare: Denise Huskins recounts her horrifying ordeal
Who kidnapped Denise Huskins? Matthew Muller was arrested after a different police officer investigated Denise's case. Picture: Netflix

At the end of the series, it's revealed that Denise and Aaron (who are now married with two children) sued the City of Vallejo for defamation, false imprisonment, false arrest and intentional infliction of emotional distress. They reached a $2.5 million settlement in 2018. However, none of the police detectives who were attached to Denise and Aaron's case were reprimanded.

Since watching the series, viewers have been flocking to Denise's Instagram account over the past week to send her messages of support.

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