Many listened to the Dirty John podcast, which introduced the world to John Meehan, a dangerous serial predator who infiltrates the life of Debra Newell and ultimately dies at the hand of her daughter, Terra. But there was an overlooked story that’s now being told, in full, for the first time. In The First Wife: John Meehan’s Reign of Terror, Tonia Bales recounts her harrowing experiences as John’s wife of 10 years and the mother of their daughters, Emily and Abby. Highlighting new details and revelations, Tonia shares the abuse she suffered from the man she once believed to be her soulmate, but who ultimately revealed himself as a coercive and controlling terrorist. Through exclusive archival materials and all-new interviews with the people who knew her and John best, uncovering long-held secrets and including perspective from their daughters, Tonia embarks on a re-investigation of the man she thought she knew. The multiple bombshells she unearths include one that will change her and her daughters’ lives forever.
I’ve binged some podcasts before, but I always knew going in that was going to do that. I did not expect to with this one, although the original “Dirty John” podcast was fascinating to me. However, I think this was even more so. Take a listen, you won’t regret it.
Hooked from Episode 1!!
This is excellently told! The detail and the recordings, the journal entries, the interviews! All of it is great! I was hooked from episode 1 and couldn't wait to have time to listen to the next episode! I knew nothing of "Dirty John" before this podcast and instantly found myself immersed in the stories! Great podcast - now to search for more like it!!
This was amazing. I took one star from the "performance" rating because (I hate to say it) I found the host of the bonus episodes grating. She went on at length when I wanted to keep hearing the story. It's still totally 100% worth listening to, though.