Criminal protip: don't confess "off the record"

mullerMatthew D. Muller, 38, is in jail after confessing to a kidnapping, “off the record and on background” to a TV reporter. Kevin Poulsen reports on the bizarre, Gone-Girl like convolutions of the case.

It’s the latest twist in a case that began last March, when 29-year-old Denise Huskins was taken from her Vallejo, California, home, held for 48 hours, then released 400 miles away in Southern California with no ransom paid. She later said she had been sexually assaulted during the abduction. The kidnapping was strange in a number of ways, including its high-tech theatrics. The perpetrator drugged Huskins and her boyfriend, interrogated them for personal information and online passwords, attempted to monitor the aftermath of the crime with a webcam, and used anonymous remailers, image sharing sites, and Tor to communicate with the police and the media during and after the crime.

The Vallejo police announced at the time that the whole thing had to be a hoax staged by Huskins and her boyfriend. But then a second, abortive home invasion occurred in nearby Dublin last June. This time the victims fought off the attacker, and a cell phone abandoned at the scene led law enforcement to Muller, a Harvard Law School graduate and former immigration attorney with a history of mental health issues.

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