Sherri Papini and the Legacy of Denise Huskins: The Story of Two Abductions

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If you haven’t heard of the Denise Huskins case, let me catch you up: Denise was kidnapped by a total stranger from her home in Vallejo, California in March of 2015. She was released a day later near her parent’s home in Huntington Beach, nearly 400 miles away.

Police soon labeled the kidnapping a hoax because the story was “outlandish” and that the ransom amount was too small.

Well, wouldn’t you know, four months later, they caught a Harvard-trained attorney, Matthew Muller, with a shit ton of evidence in his vehicle and oops, it turns out he was the rapist psychopath that Denise had described.

Bizarre crimes DO happen. Statistics don’t matter when someone is totally off the rails. Huskins sued the Vallejo police, and though I couldn’t find any info on the outcome of the lawsuit, I hope she got a buttload of money.

So this brings me to another abduction victim, Sherri Papini.

Sherri was kidnapped while jogging in Redding, California on November 2, 2016.  She was released on the side of the road in Yolo on Thanksgiving of that year.

Sherri, like Denise, had an “outlandish” story. She was kidnapped in a dark SUV at gunpoint by two Mexican women (one young, one older) and held at an undisclosed location before being released. According to reports, her hair was chopped, she was beaten, and had been left on the roadside still chained.

Hoax theories are flying on forums. FLYING, I tell you. The Shasta County Sheriff, Tom Bosenko, is either a genius or clueless, no one can tell. He has played it straight the entire time, releasing descriptions of the suspects, and not commenting on many details in the case (Keith Papini, Sherri’s husband, has probably released more information than anyone involved).

I wonder how much Bosenko’s decisions have been informed by the Vallejo Police’s boneheaded decisions on declaring a hoax so quickly with Denise Huskins.  Bosenko is probably aware of the case, and may be loathe to comment so he doesn’t pull a Vallejo.

But that also leads me to wonder…Seven months later and still not a word about the investigation. A reporter in Redding found out that Sherri has a history of possibly bizarre behavior and her family has called the police on her before. However, that alone doesn’t tip the scales and like I said, bizarre and statistically unlikely crimes happen.

So is the Papini case suffering from the Valejo police’s error? Bosenko can’t publicly declare a hoax on the small chance that this “outlandish” story is true? Or is the Papini kidnapping a legitimate abduction, with Bosenko sitting on evidence, and the perpetrators just haven’t been found?

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