The lowdown on the Dirty John Podcast
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.
Who is Dirty John?
Not since we binged NPR’s S-Town Podcast have we been so invested in a true crime story. John Meehan or “Dirty John” is the guy your family warns you about. John is a swindler, a liar, a crook & is a walking, talking wolf in sheep’s clothing. Meehan spends his life preying upon the vulnerable & makes no apologies for any of his vile behavior.
Quickly, John weasels his way into Debra Newell’s life. Despite John’s penchant for wearing blue surgical scrubs out in public, Debra falls hard for him. John caters to her every need & showers Debra with affection. Initially, Debra’s family is wary of him & that feeling only grows as we delve deeper into their relationship.
Who Should Listen to the Dirty John Podcast?
Obviously, true crime aficionados will eat this podcast up. I listened to it over the course of 2 days & was on the edge of my car seat by the last episode. Dirty John is terrifying in a very real way as it reminds us that true evil can enter our lives at any moment.
While it’s easy to judge Debra Newell for her lack of judgment, I didn’t. John Meehan is a true con-artist. If we’re honest, I think we can all say we’ve been duped by at least one person. Debra longed for love & longed to be loved. She was able to overlook the warning signs her family picked up on. I believe Debra wants to see the best in everyone. Perhaps she picked up on the only bit of good Meehan possessed.
Everbody is Really Into This Dirty John Podcast
It seems like everyone is talking about the Dirty John Podcast. Sarah Larson of The New Yorker states that “In the end, Dirty John leaves you with a powerful set of thoughts and emotions about the darkest sides of the human need for love.” Alex Flood of the NME Blog encourages listeners to “try and listen without bingeing the whole thing. We bet you can’t.” Heather Mason of Hello Giggles warns if “you decide to dive into the story of Dirty John, you’re sure to come out on the other side a little — or, a lot — more paranoid.”
I am Really Into This Dirty John Podcast. While listening, I found myself seeking out fellow listeners through social media so we could discuss the episodes. I want to talk about it! Who lends a new boyfriend their car without asking questions? What would you do if your friend’s boyfriend shows up in stained surgical scrubs for dinner? How is Dirty John able to masterfully manipulate his way out of everything? So many questions, but that’s what makes the Dirty John Podcast so memorable to me. Christopher Goffard expertly narrates the series & Really delves into the emotional bond of the Newell family & how Dirty John almost ruined them.
What other Podcasts are you Really Into?
Christopher Goffard is an author and a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. He shared in the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s Bell coverage and has twice been a Pulitzer finalist for feature writing, in 2007 and 2014. His novel “Snitch Jacket” was a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel. His book “You Will See Fire: A Search for Justice in Kenya,” based on his Times series, was published in 2011.
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