The Break-In, Kidnapping Was So Bizarre No One Believed Them

Katia Savchuk pens an incredible piece for 'Atavist Magazine'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2022 11:00 AM CDT
The Break-In, Kidnapping Was So Bizarre No One Believed Them
Speedo swim goggles with black duct tape covering the lenses were found in the trunk of a car linked to Matthew Muller.   (Getty Images)

Katia Savchuk's incredible piece for the Atavist Magazine is called "A Crime Beyond Belief," and that pretty much nails it. In nearly 20,000 words, she peels back the onion on a March 2015 home invasion and kidnapping in Vallejo, Calif., that was so bizarre police and the FBI wrote it off as a hoax cooked up by the supposed victims. Only it really did happen, and a brand-new detective in a suburb 40 miles away ended up being key in unmasking the perpetrator: a former Marine and Harvard-educated lawyer who at one point was on track to be one of the top immigration lawyers in the US but was brought down by his psychosis and the crimes he committed. As for the 2015 crime, it was branded by the media and, allegedly, police as a "real-life Gone Girl." Aaron Quinn, then 30, and Denise Huskins, then 29, say they woke to a wet-suit-clad intruder.

Quinn told police the man zip-tied them, put blacked-out swim goggles over their eyes, and sedated them with NyQuil and diazepam—after taking their blood-pressure and inquiring about their health. Quinn told police headphones were placed on him and various recordings were played; he was ultimately told that Huskins was being taken and he needed to pay a $17,000 ransom to get her back. She ended up being released less than 48 hours later, and her story synced with Quinn's. Police didn't buy it. But three months later, a Bay Area family reported a home invasion to police; the intruder had fled but left a phone behind—which was traced to a cabin in South Lake Tahoe. Inside were Matthew Muller and plenty of bizarre contents—and in a car tied to Muller were blacked-out swim goggles with a long blonde hair stuck in them. Detective Misty Carausu would be the one to put two and two together. (Read the truly amazing full story.)

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