Netflix’s latest true crime docuseries, “American Nightmare,” tells the almost unbelievable tale of a woman who endured a horrifying kidnapping and assault in Vallejo, California, only for police to accuse her of concocting a hoax.

The three-part docuseries is mainly composed of police footage and interviews with Denise Huskins, who was kidnapped, and Aaron Quinn, her then-boyfriend. Huskins and Quinn, who are now married, recount the events that transpired after an intruder broke into Quinn’s home in Vallejo, California, tied them up, drugged them and kidnapped Huskins.

While the initial intrusion and abduction were harrowing, police officers’ reaction to the events were nearly as traumatic for Huskins and Quinn, the victims say. Initially, police accused Quinn of murdering Huskins, and when her abductor released her, investigators claimed the two had invented the whole ordeal.

It wasn’t until a detective in a nearby town connected Huskins’ abduction to a similar case that the man who had abducted Huskins was finally charged with the crime.

The strange story that inspired ‘American Nightmare’

Here are some takeaways from the documentary:

1. Police initially told Quinn they believed he was a victim, but then said they didn’t believe his story

Interview footage used toward the beginning of the docuseries shows Quinn meeting with Vallejo detectives to describe the break-in. At first, a detective tells Quinn he is being treated as a victim of a crime and is not being detained.

Quinn told them about the previous night’s events — how an intruder had tied the two up, blindfolded them, drugged them, taken Huskins and threatened Quinn, telling him to pay a ransom. Police didn’t buy the story, and Vallejo detective Mat Mustard told Quinn in a recorded interview that it seemed “far-fetched” and “didn’t happen.”

Investigators eventually told Quinn they believed he had killed Huskins.

“You’re going to be that cold, calculated, brutal serial-killing monster,” FBI agent Peter French told Quinn.

Quinn shared in the docuseries how devastated and frustrated he felt.

“I thought there would be a manhunt. They’re gonna do everything they can to track these guys,” he said. “But they just keep going after me.”

2. Police allegedly put Quinn’s phone on airplane mode, blocking potential evidence from the kidnapper

Huskins’ lawyer, Doug Rappaport, says in the docuseries that the police affidavit states Quinn had told police the kidnapper was planning to contact him on his phone with updates on Huskins’ ransom. However, Rappaport said law enforcement put the phone on airplane mode instead, blocking incoming calls and messages.

When they turned Quinn’s phone back on, they found he had received two calls, Rappaport said, noting that the calls were traceable to within 200 meters of where Huskins was being held. He alleged that law enforcement could have located Huskins in captivity days before she was released.

“If they had actually monitored his phone, they could have saved me from the second rape,” Huskins said in the docuseries.

3. Once detectives learned Huskins was alive, they began investigating the case as a hoax

Henry Lee, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, received an email from Huskins’ kidnapper with audio of her stating she was alive and well but had been abducted. But when police heard the message, they allegedly insinuated they didn’t believe Huskins was being held against her will.

Huskins’ mother says in “American Nightmare” that Mustard suggested Denise may have been pretending to be assaulted for “the thrill of it.”

When Huskins’ abductor released her near her family’s home in Huntington Beach, she made contact with police. She said in “American Nightmare” that one of the first things Vallejo police did was offer her a proffer agreement, which they said provided immunity.

Police and media alike began painting Huskins and Quinn as liars who had fabricated the story of the abduction. In one Vallejo Police Department press conference, Lt. Kenny Park said the two had “plundered valuable resources away from (the) community” and owed the public an apology.

“Law enforcement did very little work into the actual crime of kidnapping. What they did focus their attention on was prosecuting Denise and Aaron,” Rappaport said.

4. Police allegedly would not allow Huskins to receive rape testing until she gave them a second statement

Huskins was repeatedly sexually assaulted while she was held captive, and her lawyer encouraged her to get a rape test done in order to help the investigation. However, her lawyer alleges in the docuseries that police refused to allow Huskins to receive an exam until she gave a second statement to police.

Huskins spoke with police and gave them details of her captivity, which she described as a painful experience.

“I go through one disgusting, humiliating detail one after the other and pull myself back into that place that I was trying so desperately to detach from,” she said.

Later in the docuseries, Huskins spoke about the devastation she felt when police still appeared to deny her account.

“Here I am, literally taken in the middle of the night, my body stolen and violated, and still they don’t believe me,” she said. “I don’t know what needs to happen to me, what needs to happen to any woman for them to be believed.”

5. The lead FBI agent on the case was accused of having a conflict of interest

Quinn says in the documentary that the FBI agent who had been assigned to the case, David Sesma, had previously dated Quinn’s ex-girlfriend, Andrea. According to Quinn, the man who kidnapped Huskins told him he was originally planning on abducting Andrea.

Although Rappaport claimed this constituted a conflict of interest, he said investigators told him Sesma would not be removed from the case.

“Is this why the investigation’s not being followed through?” Quinn asked in the docuseries. “Is this why evidence is being ignored?”

6. The kidnapper seemed upset he wasn’t being taken seriously

Henry Lee, the reporter who received Huskins’ proof-of-life audio recording, continued to receive emails from Huskins’ abductor after she was released and said the abductor appeared frustrated by the police’s ideas about the case. The emails included images of weapons and threats to commit further crimes.

“Here is Denise’s apparent kidnapper, angry that she’s being branded a liar, essentially confessing to the crime,” Lee said.

Lee forwarded the messages to Vallejo police, but he said he “never heard back from them.”

7. The case was finally solved thanks to the tireless work of a different detective

Ten weeks after Huskins’ release, police in nearby Dublin, California, began investigating a home invasion that was very similar to Huskins’ case. They soon located the man responsible, an ex-Marine named Matthew Muller.

Muller had been connected to several prior crimes in the Bay Area, including attempted sexual assaults and break-ins. Dublin detective Mistry Carausu continued investigating and found evidence Muller may have been stalking people in Mare Island, near Vallejo.

Carausu said in the docuseries that she was disappointed that law enforcement had not followed up on Muller. She continued to search for evidence of his other crimes and made the connection to Huskins’ abduction, and she contacted both Vallejo police and the FBI to present her evidence.

Huskins and Quinn were finally vindicated, and Muller was sentenced to 40 years in prison after being found guilty of kidnap, robbery and rape.

Huskins spoke of her appreciation for Carausu in “American Nightmare.”

“All I wanted this whole time was someone in law enforcement to call a hero, and she’s our hero,” Huskins said.

8. Huskins and Quinn sued Vallejo for defamation

According to the docuseries, none of the officers who accused Quinn and Huskins of fabricating their assaults were officially reprimanded.

However, Huskins and Quinn sued the city of Vallejo for defamation in 2016 and settled out of court for $2.5 million.

Huskins and Quinn are now married with two daughters, and in the docuseries, the couple spoke about their hopes for their children.

“I want them to know their value and to never let anyone dictate that or determine that for them,” Huskins said.