The Fake Kidnapping That Was Not Fake And Was Definitely a Kidnapping And…

Back in the day, when I was blogging about crime all the time, I would’ve been tempted to really dive into the nuttiness that has recently come to light regarding the kidnapping of Denise Huskins, but honestly, I’m not feeling it today.*

It’s too crazy. From “The Hoax That Wasn’t…,” a post published by CBS’s Sacramento affiliate:

It started as a kidnapping investigation, then police called it a hoax. Now the FBI is saying the kidnapping of Denise Huskins was a real event, and that a man has been arrested in connection with the case.

A 59-page criminal complaint was released on Monday with the news of Matthew Muller’s arrest. It details him as a Harvard-educated former attorney who once taught at the prestigious school, but was disbarred earlier this year.

The 38-year-old is from Orangevale, and is a former Marine who suffers from Gulf War Syndrome and is bi-polar [sic].

Now just go read the rest yourself. Because I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve been covering crime on a regular basis since 2004 and reading true crime tales since I was 11 or 12.

If you’re curious about the guy who allegedly conceived of this insanity, a friend tweeted some links she found last night:

(Edit: I want to note that the facts known about Matthew Muller seem to make the two links above line up, but the guy’s appearance seems to have changed in a marked way; enough to make me wonder if the first really is him. Error? Identity theft? Who knows? Anything possible in this bizarre situation.)

That’s a start, I guess.

*I certainly don’t rule out writing about this later, but last night I was just too locked in a state of “WHAT THE FUCK” to wrap my head around it.

The Allegedly Fake Kidnapping Tale of Denise Huskins Gets Weirder and Weirder

Denise Huskins
Denise Huskins

It’s not big and dramatic, and that’s good, but this alleged ‘hoax’ kidnapping of a physical therapist named Denise Huskins is evolving into one of the weirdest news stories you’ll read. And it was already weird.

Especially after this, from the San Francisco Chronicle, published yesterday:

Over the past several days, a person claiming to be one of Huskins’ kidnappers sent The Chronicle a series of e-mails saying the incident was real, and that if police did not publicly apologize to Huskins and Quinn by noon Tuesday, the abductor would be a “direct agent of harm.”

Then the “kidnapper” (I know sarcastic quotes are a tired blogging trope but it’s early and I can’t think of what else to do with that) decided to back off the threats. In emails sent to attorneys for Huskins and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, the sender said they would “not attempt any further damage or harm.” The Chronicle reports the writer went on to say they were rescinding their threats because doing “otherwise would disregard and dishonor the one positive thing we learned from this, that it is not some game and real humans are involved.”

If I wasn’t a middle-aged man who feels stupid using emojis or emoticons, I’d insert some kind of side-eye symbol here.

To go much further would lead to quoting the Chronicle more than I want, but a few things are worth noting: the paper reports one email was 9,000 words long. This is significant because if police really want to unravel this strangeness and have suspects in mind, the person who wrote the correspondence gave them a lot to work with, from a psychological point of view. I’d be surprised if some kind of forensic analysis isn’t being done on several levels with the emails alone. Then there’s this–the Chronicle quotes the “kidnappers” as saying “For what it’s worth, what could have ended up as a prolific and dangerous criminal group has disbanded […] and you have Denise Huskins to thank for that.”

Well. Good to know.

Previously, in my experimental Tumblr crime blog.