In the latest update on the case against suspected home invader and kidnapper-for-ransom Matthew Muller, former employers and colleagues have come forward to describe some of his behavior during the short six-month stint in which he was employed by a San Francisco law firm in 2011.
Prior to his attempt to become a "gentleman criminal" and expert in weapon-free ransom kidnapping, Muller was reportedly "a really sweet guy" according to a professor at Harvard Law School who knew him, speaking to the Chronicle. A former colleague at the SF firm, Emily Gumper, who's now an attorney in Portland, said she was "surprised and shocked" by reports of his arrest.
The Sacramento Bee reports that Muller's parents are both career educators, and they quote one of Muller's former English teachers at Bella Vista High School calling him a "high achievement student" who was otherwise unmemorable.
He spent his years after high school in the Marines, after which he may have begun to show signs of mental illness, however he had a highly productive and successful time in college and law school, earning summa cum laude honors from Pomona College.
The Bee also clarifies the confusion around Muller's short and aborted law career: He was employed for six months by immigration firm Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza (formerly Reeves & Associates), at which point he abruptly resigned, telling clients he was starting his own firm, and decided to steal a bunch of confidential files from the firm before his departure. According to a complaint filed in federal court by Reeves in 2011, Muller "boldly, and in stealth mode" went through the firm's network, downloaded files, and "tried to cover his tracks by using a computer application to erase signs of his conduct." The firm also alleged that they had surveillance video of Muller wandering the office at night with a sleeping bag, but he refused to admit that he was sleeping there.
Muller then got a job two years later at another immigration firm, Kerosky Purves & Bogue, but quickly got into trouble for failing to show up for cases. This is when his disbarment proceedings began and he's scheduled to be officially disbarred next week.
Further, we learn that among the items seized by the feds upon Muller's June arrest, and on their July 1 search of a storage locker in Vallejo, were four or five drones, a four-channel wireless video camera, and more gear likely associated with the Huskins kidnapping, including a "stained mattress pad" and duct tape. ABC News adds that there were 42 pills, including a "weight loss medication," some "sensual massage lubricant," women's makeup, and two Hyatt Hotel key cards. He also was driving a stolen white Mustang at the time of his arrest, but it's unclear from whom it was stolen.
One more new detail that makes it sound like Muller has perhaps targeted women he personally knew for home invasions: The Bee spoke to a Palo Alto police officer, regarding the unsolved 2009 home invasion that just came to light, who told them Muller "was originally a suspect in the Palo Alto case, but authorities believed they had insufficient evidence to arrest him."
We're still awaiting details as to why the ex-fiancé of Aaron Quinn, Huskins' boyfriend, had been the original kidnapping target of Muller and his associates, or what connection there might be to the couple Muller allegedly targeted in Dublin.