'American Nightmare' Couple Addresses Police 'Victim Blaming'

'American Nightmare' Couple Addresses Police 'Victim Blaming'

Home / Entertainment / 'American Nightmare' Couple Addresses Police 'Victim Blaming'

By Kelly Coffey-Behrens on January 30, 2024 at 1:00 PM EST

Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn are addressing the police "victim blaming" they endured amid the popularity of the Netflix documentary, 'American Nightmare.'

The true crime docuseries tells the true story of a 2015 home invasion and kidnapping of Denise Huskins -- an incident that police initially claimed was a hoax.

At the time, Quinn told police that he and his girlfriend were awakened in the middle of the night after armed intruders broke into their home. They were then tied up with zip ties, blindfolded with blackout swimming goggles, and then forced into a closet.

They ultimately took Huskins, leaving Quinn alone in the home.

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Quinn told police that Huskins had been held for $8,500 ransom, but police didn't believe him due to the "extreme story" he was telling. They then accused Quinn of murdering Huskins and faking her kidnapping in an attempt to get away with it.

It was later revealed that Huskins really was kidnapped, and she was held captive for two days and raped twice by her kidnapper.

The couple is now speaking out about the victim blaming, and how they had to relive it following the release of the Netflix documentary.

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Aaron Quinn Accuses Police Of Having 'Tunnel Vision'

After the documentary was released on Netflix, Quinn is looking back at the "challenging" treatment he received from police during the investigation.

“We go through a home invasion, kidnapping, and you are just trying to do the best you can,” Quinn told PEOPLE of the harrowing incident. “You're in a situation you've never experienced before and all you're trying to do is survive the situation. Or in my case, I'm just trying to help the police in any way I know how.”

“There was no right answer because [police] had already had tunnel vision,” he continued. “So they said I was too calm when I was giving my statements, but if I was more hysterical, they would've said he's acting, and vice versa for Denise. So you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.”

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After Denise Huskins returned home two days later, the police then publicly shammed her, accusing her of making the entire incident up. Police also claimed the couple wasted their time and public resources.

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Police Call Denise Huskin's Case A Real-Life 'Gone Girl'

Although police accused Huskins of fabricating the story, her kidnapper sent letters to the police, confessing and defending Huskins. Police, however, still did not believe it and dubbed the story a real-life 'Gone Girl' case.

“The magnitude of the victim blaming was... How do you even prepare? It was all very shocking and hard to know what to do with,” Huskins told PEOPLE. “And really it was just so damaging. I mean, you're already vulnerable coming out of a situation and feeling really weak and then you just keep getting beaten down and blamed."

'Gone Girl' is a novel written by Gillian Flynn which was turned into a movie starring Ben Affleck. The book tells the story of a husband who becomes a prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance -- but it turns out the kidnapping was never real and she staged the entire thing.

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“‘It's Denise Huskins' kidnapping,' [or] 'Vallejo kidnapping case.’ Name it what you want, give it a name, but it's not ‘Gone Girl,’” Huskins told the outlet. “That's what popped into the law enforcement's mind. That's a narrative that drove their thinking. And then that's what they relayed to the media.”

“And then everything was shaped around that and seen in that lens,” she continued. “But if you take it step by step and look at it just objectively, it's nothing like ‘Gone Girl.’”

'American Nightmare' is streaming on Netflix.

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