Netflix’s American Nightmare Is Literally Unbelievable But Literally Real

The story presented in Netflix’s American Nightmare was called the “real life Gone Girl.” And then something unexpected happened …

(L to R) Aaron Quinn and Denise Huskins in American Nightmare
Photo: Netflix

This article discusses the real life events behind American Nightmare and will therefore “spoil” the docuseries.

The events that unfold in Netflix true crime docuseries American Nightmare are hard to believe. I know that because I didn’t believe them. At least not at first.

On March 23, 2015, Aaron Quinn called 9-1-1 and reported that his girlfriend Denise Huskins had been kidnapped from their California home. According to an extremely groggy-sounding Quinn, a masked man wearing a wetsuit had broken in, tased them, injected them both with a sedative, and then taken off with a tied-up Denise. What was already a strange case only got stranger when Denise returned to her parents’ home a few days later, seemingly no worse for wear.

The police held a press conference in which they accused Quinn and Huskins of making the whole thing up and wasting precious law enforcement time and resources on a scam. The media latched onto the case, emboldened by its similarity to David Fincher’s Gone Girl, which had come out just the year before and featured a vengeful woman concocting her own disappearance to frame her husband for murder.


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