Denise Huskins was kidnapped in March 2015 and held for ransom after being held at gunpoint and drugged by a stranger. However, police — and much of the general public — was hesitant to believe the story, as it was startlingly similar to the plot of Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl. While it later turned out that the kidnapping was real, Huskins says she is still the target of online harassment from people who don’t believe her story.
The day after Huskins was kidnapped, her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, called the police to report the incident and explained that strangers demanded $8,500 in ransom then took her to an undisclosed location. The following day, a recording of Huskin speaking was emailed to the San Francisco Chronicle and a day after that, her father received a voicemail saying that she had been left safely at home.
The story is clearly bizarre and drew a ton of questions, specifically about her boyfriend, whom the public said took too long to report the crime. The police were also unable to confirm the supposed events and would therefore not refer to her as a victim. They called their efforts to find her a “wild goose chase,” and even went as far as saying that “this event appears to be an orchestrated event and not a kidnapping.”
Four months later, things changed. On July 13, 2015, the FBI arrested Matthew Muller for home invasion and kidnapping after he became the prime suspect in a case similar to Huskins’ account. The lawyer wound up pleading guilty and Huskins’ family demanded an apology from police. Later, a local San Francisco reporter was contacted by two possible suspects, saying they intended to kidnap another woman but accidentally took Huskins. Since the incident, Huskins and her boyfriend have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Vallejo, California and its police department.
But because of the police’s initial reaction, there are still a ton of people out there who doubt her story. On Sunday, Huskins wrote a Facebook post exemplifying the horrific messages she gets from strangers online.
“Are you that horrible lying woman who faked her own kidnapping? Oh wow you are such a horrible person,” the message read. “You are going to hell for the bullsh*t u have done. I’d like to slap u a few times. I’d like to have my wife beat u up bad too… and just so u know, ur not as pretty as u think. I’d put u at a 5 outta 10. And I bet ur p*ssy stinks bad. You are an ignorant sl*t and a filthy liar and I’m glad ur going to hell. Eat sh*t wh*re.”
Huskins told followers that the messages sent her “into one of my many PTSD episodes of terror,” causing her entire body to shake while she sobbed.
“All I did was survive, and I was criminalized for it,” she wrote, with her boyfriend adding, “Denise endured unimaginable horrors and should have been treated like a hero when she got home but instead she continues to endure vile messages such as this one.”
Despite the attack, Huskins received a ton of support from strangers online, and posted on Monday to thank everyone for their love and kindness. “There have been many unbelievable and awful things about this experience, but what I do know and am so grateful for is that Aaron and I have such an amazing support system,” she wrote.
At least there’s some good left on the internet.