American Nightmare (2024) s01e01 Episode Script

Part One: The Boyfriend

[bird squawking]
All right.
[gentle music playing]
[screaming, laughing]
[man] Hey, D.
- Say hi! [laughs]
- Hi!
[both laugh]
[phone line ringing]
- [laughs]
- [line continues ringing]
[operator] Emergency.
[music fades]
[man] Yeah. I
My girlfriend got kidnapped last night.
[dramatic music playing]
What do you mean she got kidnapped?
[thrilling music playing]
[birds chirping]
[man] Someone came into our house.
[kids speaking indistinctly]
- [lawn mower whirring]
- [man] Tied us up.
Took her.
[operator] And you didn't call last night
when this occurred?
[man] I was tied up.
[operator] You
What time did you get untied, sir?
[man] This morning.
[thrilling music continues]
They gave me sedatives.
[music ends]
- [operator] What's your girlfriend's name?
- [man] Denise.
- [operator] What is your name?
- [man] Aaron.
I've got the call in for service.
We're getting officers on the way.
[suspenseful music playing]
[officer] All along
this one goes to the right.
[birds chirping]
[officer] Okay, so last night
you were asleep with your girlfriend.
[Aaron] When I woke up,
there were lights flashing.
They said, "Aaron, face down on the bed."
And you said that you got drugged?
They gave me, I think NyQuil
and Diazepam or something.
Did you guys drink any wine or anything?
Have you ever used any drugs before?
No, I have not used drugs.
[officer] Why don't you
come out here for a second?
[suspenseful music continues]
[cat meowing]
[music intensifies]
[music fades]
[intriguing music playing]
[door creaks open]
Okay, Aaron, this is Stephanie.
[Stephanie] First thing I'm going to do is
to swab the inside of your mouth.
[officer] She's going to go ahead
and, uh, take blood.
[detective] Sorry, man. We gotta make sure
we get everything off.
[music continues]
[door creaks open]
- [detective] Hi. How you doing?
- [Aaron] I'm good.
I'm, uh I'm Mat Mustard.
First of all,
I don't know that anybody told you this,
but I want to make sure you got it.
We We're treating you as a victim
in relationship to this.
You're not being detained
or anything like that.
You're sitting here in jail clothes
'cause that's all we got.
I just want to make sure that you
you understand where we're at.
[pensive music playing]
Ultimately, at the end of the day,
it's about Denise.
Where is she, and what happened to her?
These kidnappers took
took a person I loved.
And I don't know where she is.
I was thinking, "I'm going to tell
the police every detail I can."
"I'm here to help them."
"I want them to find her."
So pick a point in time and
and let me know where
where you want to start,
and tell me what happened.
[dramatic whoosh]
[footsteps treading]
I woke up. There's this
white bright light blinding us.
[Aaron breathing heavily]
And I see three laser dots crossing us.
[Taser buzzes]
The Taser goes off, and the man says,
"Aaron, lie face down."
- [Mat] They called you by name?
- [Aaron] Yes.
[Mat] Okay.
[Aaron] He then asked Denise
to tie my hands behind my back.
[breathing shakily]
- And I feel Denise get on top of me.
- [Denise breathing heavily]
I can feel her pulling on the zip ties.
[breathing heavily]
And then he puts on
swim goggles over my head.
They're blacked out. He's blindfolding us.
And I sit it up, and I feel this kind of
foam headphones over my ears.
And then this music starts playing.
Kind of like a
[wind chimes tinkling]
Wind chimes.
[Mat] So, ultimately, there
there was this pre-recorded thing
- that you were listening to?
- [Aaron] Yeah.
There was a recording saying
they were going to take our vitals.
The voice tells me that
he's gonna take my blood pressure.
I feel him wrap the cuff around my arm
and feel that squeeze.
[BP monitor bulb pumping]
They were going to give us
a sedative to keep us calm,
which was a mix of NyQuil and Diazepam,
or something of that.
So I drink it, and then
he instructs me to lie back down.
And I'm shivering, um,
either from the cold or the sedatives,
and I asked for a blanket.
And he goes, "Oh, I'm sorry."
"I I forgot how cold it is in here
because we're all wearing wetsuits."
[pensive music continues]
Later he took Denise to a different room,
he brought me down to the couch.
[dramatic music playing]
And he said
"We have a problem.
This was intended for Andrea."
What the fuck?
[Mat] Andrea?
Yes. My ex-fiancée
who was living at the living at the house
'til September.
I broke up with Andrea
months before the kidnapping.
Why are they targeting her?
And he said that they were
going to take Denise anyways
because I could pay him enough money
to make it worth their while.
He said that would be about 15,000.
They tell me that they're installing
a camera that's going to be viewing me.
If I go outside the view of the camera,
they're gonna hurt Denise.
At some point,
he took my car, took Denise.
- [Mat] You have one car?
- Yeah.
- [Mat] Which is a?
- Toyota Camry.
[Mat] Okay.
[car engine revving]
I heard my car running in the driveway.
And, uh
[music continues]
- [car revving]
- [tires screeching]
- The kidnapper takes Denise away.
- [dog barking in distance]
And the sedatives hit me and I I'm out.
[nostalgic music playing]
[dog barking]
[pensive music playing]
[on voicemail] Hey, Jane,
this is Detective Terry Poyser
at the Vallejo Police Department.
I was hoping you'd call me back.
[Jane] I get a phone call.
My daughter's been kidnapped.
I just have a meltdown.
It just didn't make any sense.
[suspicious music playing]
She has a new love.
She has a new relationship.
She's already a doctor
of physical therapy.
She's got all this stuff ahead of her.
This just can't be happening.
Denise has been kidnapped. What the?
It was like something hit me.
This is every father's worst nightmare.
So, I call the Vallejo PD.
They tell me that she was
taken out of her boyfriend's home,
and they're questioning him.
- [Denise] Aaron.
- [TV playing indistinctly]
Say hi.
[Mike] I had never met Aaron.
- [Denise] Aaron. Hi.
- [Mike] I don't know anything about him.
But Denise's boyfriends
were always of good character,
and she seemed happy.
I just don't know Aaron at all.
As a brother to her,
I just can only think to protect her.
So if this guy had anything to do with it
My My level of suspicion just raised.
[inhales deeply]
Big time.
[pensive music playing]
[reporter 1 on radio]
Breaking news out of Vallejo.
Police have issued an alert for a woman
who's been kidnapped for ransom
from a home on Mare Island.
[reporter 2] As a crime reporter,
I'm rarely in the office.
I'm almost living in my car.
I cover the worst of the worst.
Murder, sex crimes, abuse of children,
but this was completely bizarre.
A 29-year-old woman's been kidnapped
in Vallejo.
This is a nice community.
This is a place
where you can raise a family.
[bicycle bell rings]
It just feels safe here.
So this is very rare. It's really rare
to have a kidnapping at all.
First thing I do is
look her up on Facebook.
I want to know
as much as I can about Denise.
[gentle music playing]
Denise Huskins seems like
the All-American girl.
Very attractive.
She's a physical therapist.
This is a case I know the entire
Bay Area media will be all over.
- [indistinct chatter]
- [cameras clicking]
[Henry] Vallejo police
called a press conference.
Lieutenant Kenny Park comes out.
- Whenever you guys are ready.
- [man] Yes, sir.
There's definitely a sense of anticipation
in the air.
Shortly before 2 p.m.,
Vallejo Police Department
was contacted by a 30-year-old male.
He was essentially
saying that the female, Ms. Huskins,
was forcibly taken against her will
from the residence.
[suspenseful music playing]
It quickly circulated among the media
that the witness to this kidnapping
is Aaron Quinn,
and Aaron is Denise's boyfriend.
[music continues]
The kidnapping happened
in the middle of the night,
but he didn't report it for several hours.
So we're looking at each other like,
"What is this about?"
"Why was there this delay?"
As of this moment,
Ms. Huskins's whereabouts are unknown,
and we are treating this matter
as a kidnap for ransom.
Most abductions are not stranger-related,
so we're looking at suspicion
falling on the boyfriend.
[reporter] Why would this guy wait
maybe 12 hours to report it to you?
Well, unfortunately, again, I can't go
into too much details at this time,
and we are currently working with him
to piece the puzzle together.
[mysterious music playing]
[Mat] So, unknown people
broke into your home and kidnapped her?
- How did these people get into your home?
- [Aaron] I don't know.
[Mat] They didn't kick in the front door?
- They didn't kick in the back door?
- No.
There's nothing like that
in relationship to how somebody got in?
There's No, it was very planned.
[Mat] Okay.
[inhales deeply] So what happens next?
[ominous music playing]
[Aaron] I wake up
still under these sedatives. [echoes]
[breathing heavily]
So exhausted,
and the clock says it's about 11:30.
Six hours have already passed
since Denise was taken.
[breathing heavily]
There's red tape
marking where I need to be,
and there's a fucking camera
staring right at me.
[Mat] I haven't seen it.
Is it a web-based camera?
It's like, mounted on the
It's mounted on the ceiling
in the corner of my room.
Like, kind of like how that's mounted.
[eerie music playing]
So I can't call 911
because they're watching me.
[phone chimes and vibrates]
Eventually, I get an email
from the kidnappers.
They want $15,000 ransom paid in cash.
I call Chase to ask
how much I could advance.
And I reply that I could advance 3,500.
I write that back to the kidnappers.
Then I don't hear back from them.
[menacing music playing]
Five minutes.
Ten minutes.
Twenty minutes.
And now I'm starting to panic
because I'm thinking
I don't have the money that they want.
And in my head,
I'm just thinking away like,
"Well, how much time does Denise have?"
So I say to myself
"I can't trust these fucking assholes."
And it feels like my only choice
is to reach for help,
even though it's a huge risk.
[menacing music continues]
I trust the police.
I think they're going to help me.
[music ends]
[pensive music playing]
[woman] We arrive at the police station
with no idea what's going on.
We asked to see Aaron.
We were told that we could not,
that he was being questioned.
[Joe] The detective led us
to a meeting room.
He starts asking us questions about Aaron.
[man] And there is Aaron Quinn and Dad
walking towards Canada.
Uh, fulfill your dream.
Aaron was a really easy kid to raise.
[Joe] Come on, Aaron. Come on!
[Marianne] Captain of the football team.
He's had a lot of girlfriends.
He broke their hearts too.
[Joe] Aaron had never been a problem.
He never committed any crimes.
He didn't use drugs.
He was working at the flagship hospital
as a physical therapist.
- He's just a good kid.
- [Marianne] Mmm.
We only met Denise one time.
She seemed really nice.
But after everything that happened
with Aaron's former fiancée, Andrea,
I just didn't want him to rush things.
[birds chirping]
[Mat] You started your story
at three o'clock in the morning.
Back me up to last night.
Denise came over around six.
She, uh
She brought a pizza over for dinner.
[Mat] Is the intoxication level high?
Is it low?
No, I mean, we had
I had four beers and a cocktail.
[Mat] What's the conversation?
- [Aaron] Our conversation? Um
- Mm-hmm.
What's the topic of conversation?
Well, it's something
her and I have had Uh
'Cause I also work
with my ex-fiancée, Andrea.
We had some issues with that.
[suspicious music playing]
[door closes]
[investigator] You're not in
any kind of trouble or anything like that.
This is about Aaron.
And we're trying to get
an understanding about Aaron.
You know, I understand you guys
had a past relationship?
Um, we broke up.
[investigator] Good terms? Bad terms?
Somewhere in the middle?
Very bad terms.
2014, uh, I found out that
my fiancée Andrea was cheating on me.
The rejection,
um, wrecked me.
It was particularly hard
'cause Aaron, Denise, and Andrea worked
at the same hospital,
in the same rehab unit.
I mean, we we get along okay at work.
It's been sad, but we
you know, I asked him
to stop coming into my office.
I mean, he would want to hug me,
and, you know,
sometimes he would try to kiss me,
but I told him that wasn't okay,
and, um, and he knew it.
[investigator] Is he still trying
to get back together with you?
I think he would be open to the idea.
[Mat] Your relationship
to, um, your ex-fiancée
Where was Denise's opinion at?
She want wanted to limit communication
to what needed to be for work
because of the fact
that I had been talking to my ex and
at at a time
when I was still dating Denise.
I have a picture of a woman.
Tell me if you recognize her.
[Andrea] Uh, her name's Denise.
[investigator] Okay.
She works in the same unit as you?
[Andrea] Yeah.
I would say hi to her,
and then she, like, would
she would, like, pretend I wasn't there.
Noth Nothing, like, big.
That was kind of my first indicator
that they might be dating.
Denise. Did she have reason
I mean, did she, like, discover something?
- She found text messages.
- [Mat] What did they say?
Um, that I mean, saying that
I still cared about Andrea.
That I wanted
to work things through with her.
So she she thought that
you were going to get back with Andrea?
Uh, she was concerned about that.
- [Mat] Was she mad?
- [Aaron] Uh, I mean
'Cause you're cheating?
No, well, she felt that
it was emotionally, so.
[Mat] She felt that what?
Emotionally that I was, uh
that I was cheating in some sense.
[Mat] Did you truly love Denise?
I do love Denise.
[dramatic music playing]
Search continues for the Vallejo woman
possibly kidnapped for ransom.
[reporter] Federal and local investigators
are working around the clock.
[reporter 2] Police are using search dogs
right now around the neighborhood.
[reporter 3] Sonar-equipped dive teams
have begun searching
in the waters around
the Mare Island Bridge.
[Henry] Vallejo Police are pulling out
all the stops.
They got dogs. They got boats.
They're looking everywhere for Denise.
Behind me, you can see
a lot of media coverage taking place here.
It's just a complete media circus.
[gentle music playing]
So I get to the house.
It's a pretty yellow house. It's idyllic.
It looks like something a kid would draw,
except there's yellow tape.
[police siren wails]
You got cops coming in and out,
dusting everything.
You got cop cars all over this street,
and it's just
this whole place is shut down,
and you're wondering,
"How can this be happening
in such a beautiful neighborhood?"
[pensive music playing]
So I go door-to-door asking neighbors,
"Did you hear anything? See anything?
Do you know anything about Denise?"
She's really nice. They work a lot,
so you don't see them a lot.
We really hope they find her
and everything's okay.
Who takes people for ransom these days?
It gives me the chills
just thinking about it.
Sometimes life is stranger than fiction,
I guess, but I I just hope all is okay.
How is it possible
that no one saw or heard anything?
That Denise just disappeared
in the middle of the night
from this house?
[Devin] I'm scrolling Twitter.
Different clippings and footage.
And it just becomes overwhelming.
We see the boats,
and we don't know what's going on.
I'm worried that they found a body.
[reporter] Search teams
have been checking area fields.
Cadaver dogs are among the searchers.
[Henry] Look, I'm a crime reporter.
Usually when a woman is reported missing,
she ends up dead.
How else can you explain that they're
searching that area near the house?
So we're all thinking he called the cops,
made up a whole cockamamie story
about her being kidnapped
just to cover up that he killed her.
[clicks tongue, inhales deeply]
It's always the boyfriend.
[Mat] I'm gonna
I'm gonna be honest with you.
I'm gonna
I'm gonna be completely square with you.
Your story's very elaborate
and, in some ways, far-fetched in my mind.
I I Trust me, I know.
[Mat] Listen. Listen.
I'm here to find the truth.
I'm a puzzle maker.
[unsettling music playing]
And I put a lot of puzzles together.
I don't think
she was kidnapped from your home.
What do you think?
[Mat] I think something bad happened
in your house,
and it happened between you and her.
No. Oh, no!
[Mat] Do you think that people
kidnap people for $20,000?
- I don't know. I
- [Mat] They don't.
- I know. I
- [Mat] No, they don't.
And they're wearing w-what,
did they swim in wearing their w-wetsuits?
I mean, come on, man.
It doesn't make any frickin' sense.
So now I get out my puzzle pieces,
and I start figuring it out.
Okay, how do I make it
so you look like a monster?
Do you know that the comforter
is missing off your bed?
That's what the police officer told me.
- [Mat] Blankets are missing?
- Yes.
Why did you take the blanket
and comforter off the bed?
As the frogman, why do you do that?
To take the body. I'm assuming
that's what you're getting at.
So it's obvious to me whatever happened,
happened in that bedroom.
- What happened
- [Mat] Maybe she overdoses.
[Mat] Are you playing with
prescription dr drugs from work?
- It's okay if you are.
- [Aaron] I'm not.
[Mat] And you take too much
and she overdosed, you're like,
"Oh shit, what am I gonna do?"
- I can see that happening too.
- [Aaron] That didn't happen.
[Mat] There's blood in your house.
- There's blood?
- [Mat] Yeah.
I don't know if it's hers or not yet.
I'm gonna presume it's hers.
I'm going to presume that she wasn't
alive and kicking when she left the house.
I don't know, maybe, hell,
maybe you call Andrea's name out in sex,
and she got pissed,
and you carted her ass out of there,
and you dripped her blood
going down the stairs.
I did not do that.
Yeah, you did.
They did not come into your house
and kidnap her and take her for ransom.
That did not happen.
You sat for hours and hours
and hours and hours
trying to figure out,
"Oh my God, what am I going to do?"
But the longer she stays wherever she is
and she begins to rot,
the more of a monster you look like.
[unsettling music playing]
Tell me the truth
about what the hell happened.
[music stops]
I didn't do anything.
I didn't.
So, what what's the next stage here?
[phone vibrates]
Gimme a minute.
Let me think about what's next.
[door creaking open]
[pensive music playing]
[objects clattering]
[indistinct chatter]
[FBI agent] Stand up for a second.
Stand up, right there.
[Aaron] Okay.
[FBI agent] What else?
[pensive music continues]
[Aaron exhales]
Okay. Have a seat. Have a seat right here.
Right, Aaron. There's no question
in my mind that you failed this test.
[pensive music continues]
So was it an accident?
Or are you a calculated monster
who got pissed off
because there was a breakup,
and you just decided
she wasn't gonna be with anybody else,
and so you were going to just kill her
and dump her?
She's gone.
She's gone, and you know she's gone.
- I don't know she
- Yes, she's gone.
You're going to lose
the respect of your family.
You're going to destroy them
'cause they're going to defend you,
and everything
that they've worked hard for
will get flushed down the toilet.
You're going to be that cold,
calculated, brutal serial killing monster
that strangled the life out of her,
killed her,
and then callously dumped her body
somewhere where we'll never find it.
[Aaron] I did not take her.
You You know where she is,
and you know what happened to her. So
- I guess I guess I need a lawyer.
- Hold on, hold, hold on.
- Hold on. What's that?
- I guess I need a lawyer.
I want you guys to find her.
I want you guys to find her.
I don't know where she is.
I didn't do anything to her.
So I guess I need a lawyer
to facilitate something. I don't know.
Here you go.
[thrilling music playing]
[attorney] I've been
a criminal defense lawyer since 1978.
I get calls all the time from the jail,
from from the street,
and you go,
"Hey, this is some crazy bullshit."
Six o'clock in the morning,
picked up the phone,
never heard anything like this.
Here's this middle-class guy
who probably believes in the police,
being interrogated about
the disappearance of his girlfriend.
He's been down there for 18 hours.
And they're making him the fall guy.
What the fuck is going on?
What the fuck is going on?
[Dan] I go down there,
and my first view of Aaron,
he's pale as a ghost,
and you can tell that he's been crying.
He's been eaten alive.
You know, it's like chum for sharks.
And I said,
"He's given you DNA samples.
He's given you fingerprints."
"If you're not going to arrest him,
then he's leaving with me."
[dramatic music continues]
[female attorney]
When Aaron comes in with my partner, Dan,
he immediately begins
telling me what happened.
I wake up to this crackling sound.
And the room lit up.
And the story I hear from him
is absolutely incredible.
Then the man comes over and starts putting
what feels like swim goggles over my head.
Goggles, wetsuit. This is insane.
And then I say,
"We're going to go over it again."
I wake up to this crackling sound.
[Amy] He is ready to go.
lit up.
"You've got to find her.
She's been kidnapped."
When I made the decision
to call the police,
I thought there would be a manhunt.
They're gonna do everything they can
to track these guys.
[inhales deeply]
But they just keep going after me.
I'm not a violent person.
I don't have a record.
My brother's in law enforcement.
I come from a good family.
I work helping people.
I can't be called a murderer
over and over.
[pensive music playing]
I would never hurt Denise.
I love her.
I didn't treat her well.
Took advantage of her empathy.
I betrayed her trust.
Finding text messages was the last straw.
But I told Denise I was sorry.
And I needed to show Denise that I was
taking actual steps moving forward.
I was going to start going to therapy.
I was gonna stop talking to my ex.
I felt like we could start over.
But now Denise is all alone. On her own.
[voice breaking]
I just wanted someone to help us.
[Amy] Aaron's been very open
about how his relationship with Andrea
caused problems with Denise.
[contemplative music playing]
The fact that there is a potential motive
means that if Denise turns up dead,
they're going to nail him.
Then Russo comes up to me
away from earshot.
"What do you think? What do you think?
Is he believable?"
And I said,
"Dan, I believe him. What about you?"
I believe him, and I believe in my heart,
but nobody in fucking North America
is going to believe this story.
[dramatic music playing]
[newsreader] Twenty-eight agonizing hours
since Denise Huskins was reported missing,
police say kidnapped for ransom.
Vallejo police admit that at this point
they still cannot answer the question.
What happened to this woman?
I was in a panic.
I didn't know what to do.
They don't give you a handbook
that tells you
what you do
when your daughter gets kidnapped.
And so I just want to get up to Vallejo.
I take the first flight I can,
drive over to the police station.
There's all kinds of press.
[reporter speaking indistinctly]
And I wanted to go on TV
to to reach out to Denise.
I want her to know that
the family is is there.
We love her,
and we're not giving up.
And if you see this,
just use some inspiration to fight back
if you can and come home.
[brooding music playing]
Denise was a determined little girl.
She had dreams,
and she stayed focused on those dreams.
I pray that she hears the message.
Uh, I pray that nothing really bad
is happening to her.
Just pray that
she's alive.
[inhales deeply]
[pensive music playing]
[Henry] Tuesday afternoon.
I get an email.
Subject line, Denise.
And there's an audio clip on it.
[unsettling music plays]
Hi, my name is Denise Huskins.
I'm kidnapped. Otherwise, I'm fine.
Wait, wait, wait. What?
It says, "My name is Denise Huskins.
I've been kidnapped."
She sounds calm as can be,
not stressed, not upset,
not nervous, not jittery, and it sounds
like she's just ordering from a menu.
I'm wondering, "Why would someone send
this to me? Did anyone else get this?"
I'm looking around.
Is someone playing a cruel joke?
I have no idea
if this is legit or made up.
But ultimately, I decide
I need to get this to Vallejo PD
because if that's her,
they need to have this immediately.
[thrilling music playing]
[Mike] I get a phone call
from the detective.
"I need you to come back to the station."
[horns blaring]
[Jane] There's a recording
of Denise's voice.
We had to go and quick.
I'm just getting so anxious.
I'm starting to hyperventilate.
[Mike] And they have a laptop
in front of me.
[Aaron] I lean into the speaker.
[Mike] And I hear a voice.
Hi, my name is Denise Huskins.
I'm kidnapped. Otherwise, I'm fine.
Oh my God, it's her.
[sputtering] It's her.
[hopeful music playing]
She's alive.
There's no question that's Denise.
[punk rock music playing]
[Denise over recording]
My first concert was Blink 182.
[Aaron] I knew her first concert
was Blink 182 with her friend Bethany.
Then she talks about a plane crash
that happened that day.
[Denise] Earlier today
there was a plane crash in the Alps.
158 people died.
She's somewhere alive.
[Jane] And I want to know if she's hurt.
I I want to I want to touch her.
[Mike] I can't imagine
what she's going through.
[sobs softly]
So let's go find her.
But then the agent says,
"Well, you know, I'm catching up here."
"We're gonna ask you a few more questions.
See if we missed some things."
And I'm thinking,
"What the fuck are we doing?"
[pensive music playing]
[Jane] A detective walks into the room
and says, "Hi, I'm Detective Mustard."
He's asking us questions that
are are about Denise's character.
How many boyfriends does she have?
And how long
did she have these boyfriends,
and does she drink very much?
Kind of seems like he's trying
to find something or find the dirt.
[Jane] Detective asked me
if there was anything in Denise's past
that could help shed light on anything.
And, at that moment, I remembered
that when Denise was a small child,
she was molested.
And Detective Mustard says that women
that have been sexually assaulted
often pretend to have it happen again
so they can relive the thrill of it.
And I am
I'm I'm just aghast.
[pensive music continues]
[FBI agent] What I'd like to do
over the next couple of hours
is try to figure out what has happened,
where was Denise
[Amy] It's a a late hour,
and the room is filling up.
You have FBI agents,
top homicide investigators,
all grilling Aaron.
So I make a decision to record everything.
[FBI agent] Your relationship with Denise
was on the rocks, correct?
[Aaron] Uh, I wouldn't I wouldn't say
I wouldn't describe it as on the rocks.
They asked him
non-stop questions about Denise.
[FBI agent] Did she scream
when she was taken out of the house?
[Aaron] N No.
[FBI agent] Okay. Did she fight at all
while being taken hostage?
[Aaron] I never heard her scream.
[FBI agent] Does she know
that you have money?
- [Aaron] She's aware of my finances.
- [FBI agent] She's aware of your finances.
[Amy] I start to think to myself,
"Do they know about things
that I don't know about?"
[FBI agent] Did it ever come to mind
that maybe Denise
was behind this?
[music intensifies]
[music fades]
[Dan] When I talk to Amy about Denise,
I I am mystified, honestly.
Can this fucking thing get any stranger?
[seagulls cawing]
[dog barking]
[birds chirping]
[pensive music playing]
[line ringing]
[operator] Emergency.
[woman] Hi, this is Highway Patrol.
I have Mike Huskins on the line
regarding his daughter
that's been kidnapped.
[Mike] I just got a a message on my phone
from her, it's definitely her,
that she's walking over to my house
on 19th Street.
[Aaron] Amy calls me and she tells me,
"Turn on the news
'cause Denise has been released."
I'm like, "How?"
That woman who was reported kidnapped
from a home in Vallejo
was found safe this morning
more than 400 miles away
in Huntington Beach
in Southern California.
[Aaron] And I can't believe it, I
They actually let her go.
I thought I would never see her again.
I just can't hold back my emotions.
I can't tell you
the prayers that have been answered.
She somehow survived it.
Who kidnapped her?
Was there a ransom paid?
And why exactly did any of this happen?
[Marianne] What is going on?
Why is she being released
in Huntington Beach?
It just made no sense.
[Henry] Huntington Beach
is where she grew up,
400 miles away from Vallejo.
It's almost like a door-to-door service
after you've been kidnapped.
[reporter] The Huntington Beach
Police Department are reporting
that Huskins appears unharmed
with no visible injuries.
[Henry] She's wearing a hoodie.
She's hiding from the press.
She looks more like a suspect
and not a victim.
[cameras clicking]
[Aaron] Something's wrong.
I started thinking about
how can I get there as fast as possible.
[Amy] And so I text Mat Mustard,
"Aaron wants to talk to Denise."
And the cop's reply was
[announcer] Live from
the KGO-TV Broadcast Center.
This is ABC 7 News.
[news theme music plays]
Good evening once again.
We are awaiting a news conference
with the Vallejo Police Department
regarding Denise Huskins.
The Vallejo Police Department
is going to hold a press conference.
I'm shocked.
I mean, they haven't even talked to us.
They haven't called Aaron.
What the fuck is that about?
[indistinct chatter]
[cameras clicking]
- Hi.
- [reporter] Hi.
A Huntington Beach police officer
briefly spoke to Ms. Huskins,
and all indications initially
was that she would be cooperative
with the investigation.
As of right now,
we have not heard from Ms. Huskins,
and we are no longer in contact
with any of the family members.
[intriguing music playing]
The statement that Mr. Quinn provided
was such an incredible story,
we initially had a hard time believing it,
and upon further investigation,
we were not able to substantiate
any of the things that he was saying.
[Amy] Denise needs to talk to the police.
She needs to verify, back up
what Aaron has already told them.
None of the claims has been substantiated,
and I can go
I can go one step further to say this.
Mr. Quinn and Ms. Huskins
have plundered valuable resources
away from our community.
[dramatic music plays]
[Amy] I know that Aaron is a victim,
but I begin to wonder of who
who's really behind all of this?
I've never ever heard of a case
where the kidnappers drop their victim
at the front door of their family's house.
[intriguing music continues]
And when I listened to the proof of life,
I thought to myself,
"My God, this woman is talking so calmly."
Hi, my name is Denise Huskins.
I'm kidnapped. Otherwise, I'm fine.
[Amy] Denise had caught Aaron
texting with Andrea.
She may be feeling so humiliated.
She may be so angry.
Maybe this is about revenge.
[music continues]
Police are now calling it
a wild goose chase.
Investigators say
the claim was orchestrated,
and there was no kidnapping at all.
Police believe it was all
an elaborate hoax.
[reporter] It appears the family
were likely duped as well.
Why are they saying this?
Why are they doing this?
It's It's crazy.
Huskins and her boyfriend could face
both state and federal charges.
[Henry] We, in the media,
we were very sympathetic with Denise.
We thought, you know,
she's this innocent victim.
Now she turns up alive.
Things are starting to turn.
And this movie Gone Girl
just came out the year before.
It stars Ben Affleck.
[music continues]
Rosamund Pike.
It's a movie about a woman who finds out
her husband's been cheating on her,
and so she fakes her own disappearance
to set him up for murder.
[Ben Affleck as Nick] I don't know
where my wife is, and I came home to this.
It's weird, right?
[Aaron] When I woke up,
there were lights flashing.
They said, "Aaron, face down on the bed."
[Henry] Everyone thinks
her husband killed her.
But then she shows up alive.
- [gasps]
- [people exclaim]
[Henry] So we're wondering,
maybe Aaron did something to upset Denise
and that this is her way
to get back at him.
Police are now wondering is Huskins
a real-life Gone Girl, like the movie,
who fakes her own kidnap
for ulterior motives?
[music fades]
[thrilling music playing]
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