The case of Matthew Muller is so bizarre that when police originally heard the story, they dismissed it as an elaborate hoax. Now, victims of Muller are demanding apologies from the officers who accused them of lying.
According to the NY Daily News, Muller had kidnapped Denise Huskins and her boyfriend Aaron Quinn. The two were drugged and blindfolded with blackened goggles and played a pre-recorded message letting them know that if they complied, they would not be hurt. The AP adds that the recording used simulated whispers to make it seem like Muller had accomplices. Huskins was then raped twice at Muller's parents' property in South Lake Tahoe; Muller had made calls to Quinn demanding ransom money during the ordeal. Huskins was eventually dropped off on a beach with a pair of sunglasses. Muller had even used drones to spy on the couple before the abduction and had made obtuse references to videotaping his crimes to please an unnamed "boss" and use as blackmail against Huskins if she were to ever report the situation.
When Huskins finally made her way back home from the beach, police refused to ackowledge the reality of the crime and likened the situation to the novel and film Gone Girl in which (spoilers ahead) the protagonist stages her own kidnapping for nefarious purposes.
Muller was later arrested for robbery elsewhere, with police finding key evidence (including a pair of goggles with Huskins' hair still on them and Quinn's stolen computer) on the criminal. Huskins and Quinn are now demanding police apologize for their disbelief.
"You treated me like an object, a toy, an animal," said Huskins to Muller in a statement. "I still have nightmares every night ... Sleep is not rest for me. It is a trigger."
Quinn added that he "cannot and will not ever be the same."
Muller was described by court documents as a mentally ill disbarred Harvard-educated lawyer and former U.S. marine suffering from "paranoia, a break with reality, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, mania, and bipolar disorder."
Some are wondering if imprisonment, rather than psychiatric treatment, is the humane way to handle this situation: "We're trying to find a way to get Mr. Muller to be rehabilitated and allow him to return and lead a productive life," said Muller's lawyer. "I think that Mr. Muller has tremendous potential. ... There was another side of Mr. Muller that was the side that allowed him to commit these crimes."
“Matthew Muller is a very dangerous character. He should never be given the freedom to commit these acts again,” Huskins’ father wrote in response. “I’m pleading with you to show no mercy on this criminal and please sentence him to the maximum sentence allowed by law.”
"Muller committed a serious and violent crime that terrorized the victims in this case," Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert said in a statement after Muller's guilty plea.
"This is not a man whose fancy law degree or background should give him a pass," added Quinn and Huskins' attorney.
Muller has pled guilty to the crimes and will now face 40 years in prison. “There’s nothing I can say,” he said. “I’m sick with shame that my actions have brought such devastation. I hope my imprisonment can bring closure to Aaron and Denise and I’m prepared for any sentence the court imposes.”
[Photo: Dublin Police Department]