In American Nightmare, when Denise Huskin came back to her Huntington Beach home, the media branded her as a fraud who faked her own kidnapping for ulterior motives. The people also believed the unsubstantiated claims that the media made without knowing what had actually happened with Denise. I do not blame the people, but clearly, the detectives could have done a way better job, and that was the first thing that came to my mind after watching American Nightmare.
Why did Matthew kidnap Denise?
Matthew Muller broke into Aaron Quinn and Denise Huskin’s home late at night in 2015, and he kidnapped the latter and took her to his hideout. Everything happened in such a strange manner that the authorities had a very hard time believing Aaron when he informed them about the incident the next day. The reason why the investigating officers thought that Aaron was misleading them was that there was no clear motive on Muller’s part. He did ask for a ransom, but the dots just didn’t add up. And additionally, during the entire charade, he said that he had come there for Andrea and not Denise. Andrea was Aaron’s ex-fiancé, and they had separated after the latter found her cheating on him with another man. Also, the bizarre details that Aaron gave to the authorities about the things he remembered made it even more difficult for them to believe his narrative. He told them that Muller was wearing a wetsuit, and then he put swimming goggles on them, with their lenses completely covered by duct tape so that they couldn’t see his face. Muller drugged both of them, took Denise out, and placed her in his car truck. Because Denise was drunk, she didn’t make any sort of noise, and that’s how the police got another point to rebut Aaron’s story, as generally, it never happened that such commotion took place, and nobody from the neighborhood got to know about it.
Muller didn’t even reveal his real intentions to Denise, and he kept her under the impression that he was doing it for money and that he was a part of some big crime syndicate that was operating in the black market. Muller was well aware of what was happening in the outside world, and he was constantly tracking, through the news channels, the developments that were being made. He kept Denise for a few years before he told her that he would sexually assault her, as her bosses needed some collateral in case Denise and Aaron told authorities about them. Muller assaulted Denise a second time, giving an excuse that the video didn’t come out as they would have desired, and they needed something more proper. It was evident that Muller wanted to pretend to be the good guy, and he kept telling Denise that she should follow his instructions if she didn’t want to deal with his bosses, who were way worse than him. It was evident that the agenda of the kidnapping was not asking for ransom but assaulting Denise.
Muller was scared about the fact that the police would find him eventually, and he knew from the very beginning that he was not going to do anything to her. Muller was a pervert of the highest order, but he was not a killer inherently. He had graduated from Harvard Law School, so he was well aware of the ramifications of his actions. It is difficult to understand how such an accomplished scholar could have become such a delinquent, but that side had always been there inside Muller, and it probably came out for the first time when he was staying on Mare Island back in the day. He used to peep inside the windows of the students, and he caused quite a furor, to the extent that the students had to literally take matters into their own hands when the authorities did not help their cause. It was called the Peeping Tom incident, but since the law enforcement authorities did not act diligently, Muller’s identity was never revealed. Muller, in my opinion, was definitely bipolar, as he had these two distinct sides inside him, and the fact was that he was well aware of it.
How did Misty catch Muller?
Had it not been for a cop with a conscience, the law enforcement authorities would have never been able to link Muller to Denise’s case. There was an incident that happened in Tahoe where a man entered the house of a couple and tried to sexually assault their 22-year-old daughter. The local police were very easily able to locate Muller after that, but the fact that he had been doing it for a long time didn’t come to light. Misty Carasau found swimming goggles at his place, and she saw that a strand of blonde hair was stuck in them. She instantly got a gut feeling that it belonged to somebody who had been molested by this deranged man. Upon investigating his case, she found out that he had attempted to sexually assault a woman in 2009, too, but he left her unharmed after she told him that she had been abused earlier, too. It was sheer luck that Misty Carasau got to know about Denise’s case, and then she started to connect the dots. Denise had told the authorities that she had been taken away in a Mustang, and the authorities had found a white Mustang parked at Muller’s house, which he had stolen from Vallejo. We saw in American Nightmare that even after making such breakthroughs, Misty Carasau had to literally convince the FBI and the local police in Vallejo to connect the dots and start investigating in that direction. But finally, the link was established, and the FBI realized that all that time, they had been looking in the wrong direction. Muller was charged with several offenses, one of which was kidnapping Denise Huskin and sexually assaulting her.
Where is Matthew Muller as of now?
Muller was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2017, as shown in American Nightmare, but in 2022, he was given an additional 31 years, specifically in the case of Denise Huskin. For the longest time, Muller took the defense that he was mentally unstable and needed treatment. It was established in court that he used a drone to spy on Aaron and Denise, and he tracked their movements for several days before breaking into that house on that fateful night and kidnapping Denise. The police were able to retrieve the videos that he recorded of him and Denise, and it was enough to establish that he sexually abused her and that the defense of mental illness also did not hold ground. As of now, Muller is in prison serving his sentence, and he says that he is guilty of how much distress he caused his victims.