Vallejo kidnapping victim Denise Haskins and her husband Aaron Quinn have released a book about their 2015 experience titled “Victim F”—the pseudonym given to Haskins in the paperwork surrounding the case.
In the book, Vallejo Detective Sgt. Matt Mustard has been said to have allegedly humiliated rape victims.
The book, which came out on June 8, is a scathing indictment from the Vallejo Police Department as well as the FBI and, to a lesser extent, the couple’s employer, Kaiser Permanente.
The case, dubbed by some as “Gone Girl” in reference to the plot of the popular film and book, in which a woman frames her husband for his fake murder, has attracted nationwide attention. From the very beginning, VPD was criticized for only suspecting Quinn, for treating him like a suspect, not a victim. Once Haskins was safely released from the kidnapper near her mother’s home in Huntington Beach, the VPD described the kidnapping story as a “hoax.”
Haskins and Quinn sued Vallejo and walked away with a $2.5 million settlement.
In the book, Mustard is portrayed as a tobacco-chewing interrogator intent on pinning the crime—perhaps even Huskin’s murder—on her boyfriend, Quinn. The pair narrate the minimal police work done by the VPD to nab the actual kidnapper, later identified as Matthew Müller, after a dog investigation by Dublin Police Department Detective Misty Carousu is what really happened.
Perhaps the most disturbing allegation against Mustard in the book is something that Haskins’ mother is said to have told the detective when they were looking for her daughter, whom she said was a child. was tampered with.
“I just want to let you know that in our experience, women who have been sexually assaulted before often pretend it’s to get attention again and re-live the excitement and thrill of that experience Has been,” Mustard is accused of saying.
According to the book, Denise’s mother, Jane, was “so frightened and furious” by the remark that “she could hardly think straight.”
The Times-Herald reached out to the Vallejo Police Department and Mustard as well as the Vallejo Police Officers’ Union for comment, but did not hear back by press time.
Vallejo defense attorney Daniel Russo, representing Quinn, said such words should have thrown the mustard off.
“It should have fired him,” he told the Times-Herald. “Such a comment Neanderthal so (sleeping) that it should have been his job (removed). And the fact that it doesn’t show you what a (bleeping) cartoon the Vallejo Police Department has become. Yosemite Sam (bleeping) at the helm.”
Mustard was president of the Vallejo Police Officers Association from 2009 to 2019, when he was replaced by now-defunct Officer Michael Nicellini, who is suing Vallejo for allegedly being a “racist cop.”
Mustard wrote an email to the Times-Herald in January 2020 after the newspaper contacted him about his resignation from the union presidency.
“Does a quote from me really matter?” He asked. “A long time ago I stopped reading the negative things you write about me and the other Vallejo officers.”
Mustard said he questioned what he saw as the paper’s portrayal of the Vallejo authorities as “corrupt and racist” and added that “we are all like you. We are spouses, parents who are our Trying to provide for families.
Mustard was voted Vallejo Officer of the Year in 2015, the year of the kidnapping.
Haskins and Quinn both outline receiving the cold shoulder from their employer Kaiser Permanente in Vallejo, where both were employed as physical therapists at the time of the abduction.
“Unlike Denise, I’m a permanent employee, so Kaiser hasn’t completely ignored me,” writes Quinn in the book, describing her conversations with her employer during the case. “But they won’t let me back until I make a comprehensive inquiry about my relationship with him. The prospect of facing another interrogation almost throws me into a panic attack, and I suspect Kaiser is searching for a reason to fire me.
A spokesperson for Kaiser Permanente said: “We have great sympathy for all that Ms. Haskins and Mr. Quinn endured and only the best of luck to them and their family.” He said the organization fully cooperated with law enforcement concerned with the matter.