13 episodes

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Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. Reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times.

Dirty John Wondery

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 1.9K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

All episodes are available for free, with remastered ad-free episodes available for Wondery+ subscribers.
Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. Reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    The Real Thing

    The Real Thing

    Debra Newell, an interior designer in Southern California, meets John Meehan on an over-50 dating site. His profile looks exciting: Anesthesiologist, divorced, Christian. She falls in love fast. But her children dislike him and warn her that his stories don’t add up. A psychologist advises Debra to set firmer boundaries with her kids, saying she has a right to be happy.




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    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 39 min
    Newlyweds

    Newlyweds

    After an intruder appears in John and Debra’s livingroom, John insists that they install security cameras. Debra begins to wonder whether he is spying on her. Her nephew, Shad, looks into John’s background and confronts him with what he finds. Debra’s vision of an idyllic marriage is shattered when she discovers a stash of paperwork in John’s home office.




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    Do you like the music from Dirty John? To find out more, as well as find other podcasts to listen to, go to Wondery.com




    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 36 min
    Filthy

    Filthy

    Debra grapples with the question, “Who did I marry?” The story of John’s mysterious past unfolds through the eyes of his sisters, his law-school housemate, his ex-wife, and an Ohio cop who hunted him. The origins of John’s nickname are revealed. Bed-ridden in an Orange County hospital, he pleads with Debra to take him back.




    Subscribe today so you don't miss an episode: https://smarturl.it/dirtyjohn




    Do you like the music from Dirty John? To find out more, as well as find other podcasts to listen to, go to Wondery.com

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 46 min
    Forgiveness

    Forgiveness

    Debra is in hiding, living out of hotels and disguising herself with a wig. Debra fears she will meet the fate of her sister Cindi, who was killed by her husband as she tried to escape a bad marriage. John has explanations for the accusations against him. He weeps and apologizes. Three decades earlier, that had helped Cindi’s killer walk out of prison. 




    Subscribe today so you don't miss an episode: https://smarturl.it/dirtyjohn




    Do you like the music from Dirty John? To find out more, as well as find other podcasts to listen to, go to Wondery.com

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 42 min
    Escape

    Escape

    Episode 5: John finds a lawyer and plots to unleash a blizzard of lawsuits against his enemies, with the aim of proving to Debra that he is the victim, in case after case. The lawyer believes her life is in danger. As her painful isolation from her family deepens, she secretly plans her escape from the marriage. 




    Subscribe today so you don't miss an episode: https://smarturl.it/dirtyjohn




    Do you like the music from Dirty John? To find out more, as well as find other podcasts to listen to, go to Wondery.com

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 47 min
    Terra

    Terra

    Jacquelyn and Terra Newell suspect that John has been watching them. When Jacquelyn tells her mother that he is in town, her mother believes she is mistaken. Jacquelyn warns Terra to carry her pocket knife. But Terra is preoccupied by a country-music concert, and she is watching for the wrong car. 




    Subscribe today so you don't miss an episode: https://smarturl.it/dirtyjohn




    Do you like the music from Dirty John? To find out more, as well as find other podcasts to listen to, go to Wondery.com

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
1.9K Ratings

1.9K Ratings

ANHenny ,

Couldn’t stop listening!

I listen to so many podcasts, but don’t think I’ve ever been as hooked as with this one! I wish I could listen all over again not knowing the story 😂

David Rhys ,

Needs to be a film. SUPERB.

Beautifully presented. Professional sound. An utterly engaging story.

BinxyBeaut ,

Poor Cindy!

Wow. Cindy’s mum’s behaviour is not forgiveness. It’s victim-shaming and loving her abuser more than her own daughter. No wonder her other daughter continuously accepted emotional, financial and psychological abuse. Poor woman. The woman have been taught to be submissive. I wish all the victims well.

Finally, think the host should have explored the ways of emotional and psychological abuse as part of this. Being intelligent has absolutely no bearings on being groomed. Seems like him questioning the victim, rather than exploring and explaining the dangers of manipulation, put the issue on the victim. This is why it’s a 3 star. Would have been a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness rather than makes a woman seem like it’s her lack of awareness. He’s a sociopathic, pathological liar. It’s hard to battle against that.

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