*Note: You can read the first post about this case on CourtJunkie HERE.*
In what has become a rather bizarre series of events, on March 23, 2015, Aaron Quinn reported the abduction of his girlfriend, Denise Huskins. After his girlfriend was allegedly kidnapped from his Vallejo, California home, Mr. Quinn waited almost 12 hours to call 9-1-1. He claimed that the kidnappers tied him up, drugged him, and requested $8,500 for Ms. Huskins’ return. A neighbor told news reporters that she did not hear any commotion during the night and if there had been an actual kidnapping she believed she would have heard something.
Just as it appeared that Ms. Huskins’ kidnapping may have been staged or faked, the San Francisco Chronicle received an email from one of the abductors with a picture of Ms. Huskins and references to news stories from the previous 24 hours. With the tide shifting back to a kidnapping scenario, on March 25, Ms. Huskins was released unharmed near her mother’s apartment in Huntington Beach, California. There was no corroborating evidence of a kidnapping other than the vague and far-fetched stories of Ms. Huskins and Mr. Quinn. As a result, the police declared the story a hoax.
With the possibility of criminal charges hanging over the alleged victims, the story took another twist. The San Francisco Chronicle received several additional emails from an individual who claimed responsibility for Ms. Huskins’ kidnapping. The L.A. Times and Ms. Huskins’ attorney also received emails from a group claiming a role in the abduction. The email sent to Ms. Huskins’ attorney, Douglas Rappaport, was a mind-boggling 15 single-spaced pages.
The verbatim content of the emails has not been released, but the contacted parties have written about and quoted portions of the emails. Although there is a possibility that the emails were misstated or misinterpreted, the released information provides revealing aspects into who the abductors may be and their likely motivations.
Why did alleged felons write numerous, lengthy emails, which were certain to make their way to law enforcement? The risks are obvious, but the benefits are less apparent. Other than the media attention gained, the emails provide no apparent value to the alleged kidnappers. Strangely, the emails were primarily geared towards exonerating Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn, while inadvertently or intentionally providing incriminating information about themselves.
One of the emails demanded an apology from the police for calling the kidnapping a hoax. Apparently, the alleged kidnapper(s) has a sense of justice and feels that the risk of going to prison is worth standing up for his victim. The emails openly provided details about the kidnappers, such as their supposed education levels, motive, and the manner in which they carried out the crime. However, they also attempted to disguise the number of individuals involved by using “I/we,” when the majority of the communications implied more than one person. The writer also referred to his group as “Ocean’s Eleven, gentlemen criminals,” who used the Huskins’ abduction as a practice run for an upcoming high-profile kidnapping. One of the communications stated that the kidnappers used plastic squirt guns and laser pointers to mimic real firearms during Ms. Huskins abduction. This approach does not convey an air of sophistication or professionalism; it portrays amateurs pretending to be experienced criminals.
Though the overall content and reasoning behind the emails are questionable at best, the kidnappers may have revealed more than anticipated. The emails stated that Ms. Huskins was not the intended target. It was a case of mistaken identity. Ms. Huskins’ attorney, Mr. Rappaport, stated, “They felt terribly when they discovered it was her…” If Mr. Rappaport’s representation of the email is correct, then it begs the question, why did they feel bad about kidnapping Ms. Huskins versus someone else? Why did the fact that it was Ms. Huskins matter to the abductors?
There are two possible explanations for why the kidnappers were surprised by Ms. Huskins’ identity. First, when they saw her clearly, the abductors recognized Ms. Huskins as a celebrity, or second, they knew her. Since Ms. Huskins is not a famous person, the perpetrators did not react to her celebrity. Therefore, it is likely that one or more of the kidnappers already knew Ms. Huskins. The fact that it was her would not have meant anything to anyone who did not know Denise Huskins.
If the kidnappers had known Ms. Huskins previously, it begins to explain the bizarre actions and confusing emails surrounding the alleged abduction. However, since the police interviews with Ms. Huskins and Mr. Quinn have not been publicly released, we do not know the extent of their involvement or knowledge regarding the kidnapping. The numerous illogical and nonsensical elements of this case reek of deception. We do not yet know what actually happened, but we can be certain not all of the facts have come out.
*This post was written by John W. Taylor, Author of Isolated Incident: Investigating the Death of Nancy Cooper and Umbrella of Suspicion: Investigating the Death of JonBenet Ramsey. To read more about John, visit his website at TrueCrimeWriting.com.