Vallejo Police Department’s social media inundated with vitriol over Netflix “American Nightmare” doc

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PIX Now morning edition 1-28-24


PIX Now morning edition 1-28-24

11:08

The Vallejo Police Department’s social media pages have been bombarded with negative comments from all over the country after the release earlier this month of a Netflix documentary that outlined a bungled kidnapping case. 

The documentary “American Nightmare” came out on Jan. 17 and examines the so-called “Gone Girl” case about a couple on Mare Island in Vallejo who were targeted by a kidnapper and rapist. 

Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn woke up on March 23, 2015 to a man who blindfolded and drugged both of them. Huskins was abducted and subjected to sexual assaults while Quinn struggled to get the police to believe him once he had the opportunity to reach law enforcement. 

The case was indeed bizarre, with the perpetrator — later identified as Matthew Muller —  dressed in a wetsuit and forcing Quinn to listen to pre-recorded instructions from a “professional group there to collect financial debts” that would kidnap Huskins and demand $15,000 in ransom for her safe return. 

What unfolded made for a tale worthy of a disturbing true crime documentary. Vallejo police didn’t believe Quinn and thought the whole thing was a hoax, even going as far as to announce that at a news conference. The department was sued over their handling of the case in 2016.

The Netflix documentary obtained footage from police and the FBI, who went from questioning Quinn to accusing him of lying. The prime bully in the footage was then-Detective Mat Mustard, who would go on to be given Officer of the Year from then-Chief Andrew Bidou. 

Specifically sparking anger was Huskin’s mother, Jane Remmele, relaying a conversation she allegedly had with Mustard about her daughter’s previous sexual molestation when she was young. Remmele said Mustard told her that women who have been abused will often pretend it happened again “to relive the thrill of it.”  

This account is also mentioned in the 2021 memoir “Victim F: From Crime Victims to Suspects to Survivors” written by Huskins and Quinn with Nicole Weisensee Egan. 

And it is toward Mustard that most of the social media vitriol has been lobbed, especially about the “thrill” quote. 

Take Saturday’s Facebook post from the department that went up just before noon about 2023 crime and police call statistics. By Sunday evening, there were 164 comments, nearly all of which were only about the kidnapping case.  

“The Mustard has definitely gone bad, throw it out,” wrote a commenter from Canada.  

A Massachusetts woman said that police like this are “why there is no trust for officers in this country.” 

“Officer of the year?” She asked. “May you be stripped of this and any title in the months to come. May your families turn on you and you live the rest of your lives in misery and lonely solitude. May detective Mustard never have a daughter who is a victim of sexual assault because we all know she will forced to suffer in silence.” 

“How does it feel to be publicly shamed and humiliated?” asked a commenter from Alabama. “It’s not fun when the shoe is on the other foot is it? A serial rapist showed more sympathy for the victim than your police department did. Let that sink in.” 

“Fire Colonel Mustard in the library with a candle stick! Get a CLUE,” wrote a commenter from Texas. 

Yelp had to disable the Vallejo Police Department’s page due to “unusual activity” in the form of a flood of reviews that the site said it needed to review to make sure they reflected “actual consumer experiences rather than the recent events.” 

There is also a Change.org petition to have Mustard dismissed from the force that erroneously describes him as “head of the Vallejo Police Department,” but had received 2,261 signatures out of the 2,500 sought as of Sunday evening.  

The current head of the Vallejo Department is Interim Chief Jason Ta and Mustard was never chief. 

The Vallejo Police Department is not commenting on the Netflix documentary or its fallout. 

As for Muller, he was sentenced to 31 years in prison in 2022.



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