Aggregated reviews for Dirty John

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.

Darling Deb (5/5)

Darling Deb tangled with Dirty John and he met his match with Terrifying Tara. What a story!!!! Just mesmerizing.~~Naughty Nicole~~

Hard Pass (2/5)

It’s a somewhat interesting story, but starring generally unlikeable people, told in a jagged format by an overwhelming boring narrator.

Great podcast (5/5)

Pure evil. I found myself wondering how Debra could be so snowed by John.

Dear God (2/5)

I love true crime podcasts but holy crap I can’t make it through this one. Debra and her mother are absolutely horrendous, callow people who completely disregard their own children in favor of clearly evil and sick men under the veil of Cristian forgiveness. It’s not that John is “that convincing”, it’s that Debra is that desperate, gullible, self centered, and clueless. It’s impossible to feel bad for her and the real victims (her kids) vocal fry is so distracting that it’s hard to listen without squirming. I can’t wrap my head around the hype surrounding this story.

Gripping story (5/5)

Could not stop listening.

Fascinating (5/5)

So well done. Very compelling, had to binge it! What a weird and sad story.

Great (5/5)

Great podcast!!! Really enjoyed it!! Thank you for the great story telling!!

Fantastic podcast (4/5)

This podcast was very well put together. They went far in depth and kept the timeline going. Some podcasts have a lot of ads. This one has an appropriate amount of ads, not annoying. The only problem I had were the voices were a little annoying to listen to. You always look for those good podcast voices, and these weren’t great. But they can’t help that.

This Shouldn’t Have Happened to Terra (5/5)

First I’d like to say my heart goes out to Jacquiline, Chad and especially to Terra. What a remarkable and brave young woman. She will suffer the scars of this for the rest of her life. I’m horrified by Debra and her mother. I believe they hold some responsibility that this happened to Terra. What Mother would take the side of any man over that of their daughter?? Debra choosing romance over the health and welfare of her child is reprehensible. And the Grandmother testifying in the defense of her daughter’s murderer. How sick is that??? Debra’s child-like giggles when talking about all the things John did for her made me sick to my stomach. There is NOTHING funny about this situation. She sounded like she is still in love with him. Disgusting! Fantastic story telling here by the LA Times, but one of the most disturbing stories I’ve heard.

Dirty John (5/5)

Such a great podcast!

The grandmother in episode 4 is a lunatic (1/5)

I’ve never been more uncomfortable listening to someone speak in my entire life. I’ve listened to endless podcasts about serial killers, rapists and criminals and none have been more fake and twisted as the grandmother giving a re-enactment of her experience when the the police came to her and told her her daughter had been murdered. She really needs help and I hope she gets it. Was she looking for an Oscar for that performance? What an absolutely infuriating person. I hope her family sees or eventually sees her for the completely insane person she is. I’ve never been more disgusted and I really hope she sees this and takes a look at her self. Change is possible at any age. The main victim of this story and her mother are the worst people imaginable and I can’t listen to this garbage anymore. I’m so mad right now, hopefully any of this makes sense.

Podcast newbie (5/5)

Amazing show!

Addictive! (5/5)

You will binge this!

Oh man this was good!!! (5/5)

Seriously gained a new fan here!!!

wow (5/5)

Did not see that coming.

Great story but too fast! (5/5)

Intriguing story but they all talk so fast! It makes it difficult to listen to and keep up with.

Very entertaining (5/5)

Loved it

Great show- (5/5)

Great show: so well done. It was put together so finely and incredibly entertaining I binged the whole thing in a day. One of the best of the genre.

Miserable to listen to (1/5)

My husband and I love to listen to podcast on road trips, but this was miserable to hear. The story drug and the storytelling was not captivating at all. We lasted 4 episodes and turned it off & googled the ending.

Great Podcast! (5/5)

One of my favorites!

OH. MY. GOD! (5/5)


Well written & presented (5/5)

Great Podcast but OMG the daughters! Would ANY of this came to the horror it did if they kept other ppl the past! How would lives play out IF her daughters just lived their OWN life! Especially Jacqueline, she’s guilty of stalking, deformation of character, slander, harassment, etc..she just never got caught legally. But wish she’d understand what it would feel like if someone always tried to rehash her past in a future happy new life if her hatred ever causes a paper trail for her. She’s just as crazy as Dirty John... The kids are so spoiled & need to let others, mom included, live their OWN lives & be there IF needed. All they need to give is love, stop the judging madness! Seriously though “girls” how do you know that you didn’t alter history!? Vibes were in the air from the tension put there by people that had no right to do so... I’m sure if Deborah’s daughters read this, they’ll snub their noses & think I don’t know what I’m talking about... but I have an entire portfolio of similar situations that studied families like yours vs those that just offered love... let your mom make her own history & stop altering there only if asked to help! That’s the only thing I disliked about this podcast..

Crazy story (5/5)

It’s crazy to think this really happened to a family. Crazy stuff. It makes me think twice about meeting someone that’s for sure ! My absolutes favorite podcast I have heard yet

Mind Blowing Story!! (5/5)

This story is so well laid out and done!! My mind is completely blown! The story is so enthralling!!

Okay (3/5)

I’m intrigued by the story, however, the ladies voices (I think Tara and Debra?) are so whiny and annoying — couldn’t even make it through the first episode unfortunately

Absolutely Worth the Listen (5/5)

I almost didn’t listen to this podcast because of the negative reviews, but I am extremely happy that I have it a chance. The story is incredibly enthralling, it’s presented in a professional and engaging way, and yes the commercial breaks are annoying, but you can skip over them easily and if it means the podcast is free and available to anyone who wants to listen then it really isn’t that big of a problem. The story is well researched and truly shocking, I recommend it to anyone who likes podcasts about true crime.

Binge Worthy! (5/5)

Shockingly Disgusting & Disturbing and that’s just my thoughts on the Health Care System!

Very informative but disjointed... (3/5)

The story is a good one although it can be tough to follow along sometimes, due to all the flash backs and flash forwards during the chapters. It’s well read and the participant’s interviews were very well done. But sadly, the sheer amount of commercial breaks during the episodes killed any and all flow to the story for me. I doubt I would listen to another podcast from this same source again.

Dear John. Amazing TRUE story. Well written and holds your attempt. (5/5)


Meh (2/5)

Not as great as I hoped. Not very captivating and the music is HORRIBLE. It’s like they are making a joke of this entire story of putting this light hearted weird salsa music. Also all the daughters, and narroators voice is unnerving.

Great podcast (5/5)

Very informative, holds your attention.

I (2/5)

Edtdw I fccccccccccccccf jigging morning is uhh Buthelezitfusshiiivyg

Sets the standard (5/5)

After finishing this podcast, I expect nothing less in terms of quality.

Nope (1/5)

Can’t get through episode 4. Between Debra’s whiney voice and her level of stupidity, I’m out.

Sucked in (4/5)

Was completely sucked in with the story line. Master manipulator. He was a twisted man.

Like a book you can’t put down (5/5)

Excellent story, well told. Hi lights the trappings of abusive relationships and how warped they can make the victim. Also, hi lights the power of intuition as the woman’s daughter’s new almost immediately that this guy was trouble. The Mom should be ashamed of herself for not listening sooner to the opinions of her own kids and for not protecting them, however you can see she was handed this personality trait directly from her own mother. Sad but interesting story.

Unreal (3/5)

I guess the podcast itself is decent but the storyline is so frustrating it’s unbelievable! The two mothers in this story give love and forgiveness a bad name. I just hope that any woman that listens to this story is smart enough to cut off any family member, especially their mother, as oblivious as these two. I’m on episode five and I am so annoyed by these two women and their actions that I don’t even know if I can finish.🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ wake up people, when people show their true colors, believe it the first time!!!!

Dirty John (1/5)

I really couldn’t understand Debra ! My Kids come first last and always

Debra Newell is so dumb (5/5)

Great podcast but I still can’t believe how dumb Debra Newell is. If I were Terra, I would never speak to her again.

Best (5/5)

Definitely in my top 5 pod cast


Dirty John is one of the most fascinating true crime stories I’ve ever heard. Everyone who worked on this did an outstanding job— especially with the narrative pace and the structure of each piece of the story. Highly recommend to true crime fans who want to hear a story that deviates from the usual “murder/missing” stuff.

Newell Family: A Case Study Waiting to Happen (4/5)

The family, specifically Debra Newell and her mother, display a level of detachment from reality that is both astounding and appalling. Debra continually places herself in a position time and time again where she will undoubtedly be exploited, no matter how much evidence is dredged up about John’s disgusting past . Her mother’s detachment is far more disturbing, testifying ON BEHALF of her daughter’s killer, who is serves two years for manslaughter en lieu of murder. The psychology behind Debra and her mother’s undying forgiveness could serve as a great case study. Good production, insane story.

Good but (4/5)

Their voice was really annoying. It was the worse part of listening to this

Dirty John (5/5)

It was well told and I was hooked from the beginning!

Extremely suspenseful (5/5)

I loved this podcast!!! I was sucked in from the second I started listening. Thank you for a well told story. Great reporting! Can’t wait for mor stories like this.

Great story (4/5)

Great story, but the guy’s voice is so whiny, nasally and annoying. I wish someone else was the host.

I don’t understand the hype (2/5)

We downloaded this whole podcast to listen to on a long car trip. It left us very disappointed. The story and the reporting elicit no sympathy. The people seem gullible and ridiculous. The family members laugh as they are talking about how this man caused them so much pain, both emotionally and physically. I’m honestly not sure this woman’s family ever speaks to her again.

Best (5/5)

One of the all time greatest crime podcasts to date!

Terrifyingly Detailed (5/5)

Im literally just picking up my jaw from the floor! The details of this story are just disturbing down to the core. I don’t see how people still use dating apps after hearing such craziness

Hooked!!! (5/5)

I listened to this whole thing in one day. This was so amazingly well done, and I was literally screaming at certain parts because of the drama and the suspense. This was amazing!

Least favorite tc podcast (1/5)

Least favorite true crime podcast. I understand that you can’t fully control who your sources are when trying to organically unfold a story. But for Pete’s sake, give the speakers a tip or two. The youngest daughter and her boyfriend are SO HARD TO LISTEN TO. the girl has issues with maintaining a consistent pitch and it sounds disgusting. Same with her freeloading boyfriend. You’re 24 and living at home, questioning who your mom has sleeping over. Ughhhh her voice.

Hooked! (5/5)

This podcast hooked me like Serial & S-Town did a few years ago! Really makes you think about trusting that gut “this is not a good person” feeling.

So good (5/5)

This story is insane. Like others said, the daughter’s voices are very valley girl and grating but the story is good enough to overlook. The grandma...has professed her “love” for both dirty John and the man who killed her other daughter. It’s crazy to think how blind everyone was to this man who was clearly a psycho (and in grandmas case, TWO psychos). Just so very disturbing.

Awesome (4/5)

This is my first podcast ever and I couldn’t have picked a better one to listen to. Dirty John is a very good podcast to start with. At times I used to hope it would never end. It’s such an informative and detailed podcast.

Textbook Psycho (5/5)

Great podcast. This is about real people. A fantastic cautionary tale. I met a psycho early on in my dating life and the lessons I learned from that experience have allowed me to spot them quickly and avoid many scary entanglements. You (the judgers on here) think you’d never get sucked in to something like this but, good people just don’t have the mentality to go up against this level of gaslighting, manipulation, evil, and crazy. Terra is an unlikely hero. She did what she had to do, stop criticizing her voice...she isn’t an actress, this is her LIFE! I hope she got to see Aldean. This kind of thing goes on everyday, right under our noses. Be alert and reach out if you see signs of someone in this type of situation.

Not expecting that ending! (4/5)

Good listen, drew me in and that ending was surprising!

Chilling and Fascinating (5/5)

The podcast is both chilling and fascinating. It’s absolutely worth listening to.



The daughter ruins this (2/5)

Content is decent...... I have never heard a more annoying voice than her daughters. Like one of those girls in high school that makes the stories longer and more drawn out just to hear themselves talk.

Production value is poor (3/5)

This was an LA Times podcast. With their resources the audio quality should have been terrible. It was very often garbled and those interviewed sounded like they were in a tunnel. I had to continuously raise and lower the volume to hear the interview portions.

Addicted (5/5)

Everyone I know that’s even remotely interested in true crime has recommended this podcast to me and now I know why. I’m totally addicted to Dirty John. This story is unbelievable, entertaining, heartbreaking, frightening, and frustrating among so many other things. Don’t know what took me so long to finally get on bored. Once you start you won’t want to stop.

Not enough cannibalism (3/5)

Terra should have sunk her teeth into that nut job. The only way to kill mr Meehan was the jugular. Daughters were dumb but not delusional like the mother. I can’t believe these people truly exist. Dumb doesn’t do these lovely ladies justice. Love John as a villain tho. A soft three out of five.

Loved it! (5/5)

Thoroughly enjoyed this podcast

Great podcast! (5/5)

Such a binge-worthy podcast!

One of the best podcasts (5/5)

I highly recommend this wonderful podcast. It is interesting, well organized and evenly paced. I also enjoyed and appreciated the final episode in which some of the subjects, law enforcement and domestic violence professionals came together in front of a live audience to review the cast, explain various factors and answer questions.

Excellent (5/5)

Listened to this whole podcast driving during a summer long trip. It was so interesting and very good. Thank you for telling the story! Loved it

Dirty John (4/5)

Great podcast! I know from my own experience with a family member that these controlling and manipulative type of men can completely take over a person. I did have a hard time accepting the fact that Debra saw how he mistreated her daughters and still remained with him and even got back with him a second time. Again, I saw this happen to my own sister. But, I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that Debra basically chose him over her own daughters. I guess my biggest shock was at the end, Debra said she couldn’t pull the plug, but had his sister sign the papers to pull the plug. This man just attempted to kill your own daughter!!!!

What an ending!! (5/5)

Listened to the whole thing in one day. What an ending!!

Not great (2/5)

It's a cool story but it felt like they dragged it out. Probably could've been summarized in 3 great episodes but instead they made it 6 and repeated themselves and got off topic a lot.

Binge worthy podcast (5/5)

I had no intention of listening to every episode in one sitting but I got sucked in. Great podcast

Couldn’t finish (2/5)

I tried to finish at least the first episode but listening to the daughters was horrible!! All their statements sounded like they were ending it with a question.

Dirty John (5/5)

Riveting and chilling. Such an important look into the mind of such a calculating predator.

Dirty John Got What He Deserved (5/5)

Listening to this story blows my mind at how utterly clueless Deborah was/is. How did she allow all that abuse and keep coming back for more! Dirty got what he deserved and I’m happy he’s dead but that woman is one clueless lady. Maybe it’s because of the way she was raised by a mother who uses religion to forgive the animals who viciously murdered her own daughter. Because of her testimony the guy only served 2-years when he should be serving life or be dead via the death penalty. It doesn’t make her a good person because of not defending her daughter it just makes her a strange and weird person who uses religion to pretend she’s a good person.

Love you, guys!❤️ (5/5)

Best podcast!

Good story, terrible characters (5/5)

Well written, but my goodness those daughters have annoying voices. Why is everything they say a question? Hard to listen when they talks

The one that started it all (5/5)

This is the first podcast I’ve ever heard regarding true crime. Now I’m totally obsessed! This is the first and the best!

Very good (5/5)

This podcast is very well done. This story is incredible honestly!!

Super meh (2/5)

Listening to it cause I’m bored at work but the narrator and the way the describe the women is super sexist I feel and just basic. Things feel like they are being told in a jumbled way the timeline isn’t really clear. Mostly feels like I’m listening to bad fiction. This is a harsh review, sorry guess I’m feeling brutally honest today, I dunno

Great story. (5/5)

Dirty John is quite well done. It is not exactly what I first thought it was but still impressed. Even if you don’t like the first few episodes, listen all the way through because E6 is well worth the wait.

Hard to understand which is most disturbing. (5/5)

Weird confluence of forgiveness, predatory and idiocy.

Interesting and really frustrating (2/5)

This was really interesting but I was so frustrated with how naive these people were. The clips that had the daughters talking were also kind of hard to listen to because of the way they talked.

Terra (4/5)

Omg i literally had to take a whole star off because of how annoying Terra and the sisters in general sound. It’s hard to get through but other than that It’s a solid pod.

Dirty John (5/5)

Fabulously written!! I had a dirty John. After I was thrown through a wall I finally left him and never went back.

Stop the Uptalk (4/5)

I am really enjoying this podcast, but the daughter and the uptalk is so distracting and irritating. If you know someone that does this, please help them.

It’s cute (5/5)

I liked it

Addictive (5/5)

this is a very good story.....allbeit, Debra comes off kinda dumb, but she wouldnt be the first woman to be blind to a man. I cant take the laughing after every sentence from both debra AND her mother. Its just weird and annoying. not everything is funny or cute....look at your life and what happened!! They both live in a LaLa land/life....good lord.

Couldn’t get through the first episode (1/5)

Couldn’t do it. Sorry might be good but the interviews with the daughters were awful. I went into the bathroom and got a quip tip? Can’t do the LA way of talking where dialog sounds like it ends in a question.

Incredible Story—Tone Deaf Delivery (2/5)

This is such an incredible story of survival and resilience with an ABSOLUTELY tone deaf, tone deaf, tone deaf treatment of abuse and violence. The victim blaming is off the chain! There’s also no time or thought afforded to trauma. I would love to hear this retold by the ladies over at I, Survivor!

Great for true crime lovers (5/5)

Great story and they actually interview people involved. Definitely recommend.

GO TERRA!!!!!!!!! (5/5)

Terra is so strong and amazing. That mother really has some problems to choose a man over her children. I hope she feels a lot of regret, and people learn from this story. Family over everything.

Painful (1/5)

Showcasing some of the dumbest women on earth. Unbearable listening to the daughters speak. The epitome of what’s wrong with California and spoiled human beings.

Dirty John (5/5)

This was spell binding and so relatable. Everyone has been touched by a Dirty John. This is a story of healing and love.

Good (4/5)

The narrator’s voice is what a stale fart would sound like. Good story.

Loved it! (5/5)

So good!

They only had themselves to blame... (4/5)

I know that might sound harsh but listen to this podcast and tell me if you don’t reach the same conclusion. I honestly don’t know who is worse, Debra for taking back and man as psychotic as John or her mother for pleading for her daughter’s killer husband to be free. What mother does that?! This man murdered your daughter! He shot her execution style because she wanted a divorce. The only person in this podcast that I feel sorry for is a woman whose family defended her killer. Debra my be smart in business but she is dumber than a box of rocks. I don’t feel sorry for her. Maybe John was that family’s karma for completely disrespecting the life and memory of a woman whose only mistake was falling out of love with her high school sweetheart. Where is the justice for Cindy? I’m sorry, this family disgusts me. What a bunch of gullible idiots these women are.

Really enjoyed this (5/5)

I had seen an episode of dateline or 20/20 on this, but luckily forgot the details. I couldn’t stop listening! What a crazy story. Host does a great job telling the story

Amazing podcast (5/5)

This podcast had me on the edge of my seat I finish all episodes in one day... it’s so terrifying to know there’s people out there like that, so vindictive...poor souls. Sometimes the people that say they love us the most are the ones who hurts us the deepest. Bravo 👏🏼 to everyone who worked on this podcast

Emotional package (5/5)

This podcast is amazing because it just makes you think. It has anger, sadness, joy, and suspense. It has all these emotions in one podcast. It is so addictive even though it is really frustrating.


why on earth would they use these daughters voices it’s absolutely painful to listen to and way to irritating to ignore. leave the interviews out and the HOST should talk about it true podcast style

Annoying (3/5)

UGHH! her daughters LITERALLY sound like the voice I use to make fun of spoiled preppy girls who can’t spend a second without scrolling thru Instagram. I’m not going to make any character judgements about them because of their voices, I’m sure they are great people, but it makes their accounts BRUTAL to listen to. Seriously, we’re talking like 10 words per minute and up talking to the max... painful.

Annoying (3/5)

UGHH! her daughters LITERALLY sound like the voice I use to make fun of spoiled preppy girls who can’t spend a second without scrolling thru Instagram. I’m not going to make any character judgements about them because of their voices, I’m sure they are great people, but it makes their accounts BRUTAL to listen to. Seriously, we’re talking like 10 words per minute and up talking to the max... painful.

Emotional vacuum! (5/5)

Left me an emotional wreck! angry, shocked, judgemental —questioning, and of course empathy for the victims. A difficult, yet compelling journey -I hope listeners are wiser and more educated in assessing the danger of unhealthy relationships. Well done.

Frustratingly addictive (5/5)

I couldn’t stop listening. I was constantly frustrated and angry with Debra!!! She brought a monster into her family.... even after she knew more about him. Selfish.

Gripping! (5/5)

I couldn’t stop listening!

Guilty Pleasure (5/5)

I’ve listened twice!

Compelling (4/5)

I could not stop listening to this podcast. The thing that struck me the most was what a moron Deborah is, as is her mother who insisted she loved him. Deborah put this monster before her children because she was in love with the idea of being in love and was so insecure she couldn’t stand to be alone. She’d rather be with this cretin even after she saw the evidence of what he was. The one thing that puzzles me is why there was no mention of his steroid use. He was injecting steroids daily that contributed to his his rage. I hope Terra can get over her trauma eventually. The biggest hero of the story is the dog Cash.

Must listen (5/5)

This is a amazing podcast! I already listened too it twice already!

Interesting (4/5)

This story is pretty fascinating

Recommend!!! (5/5)

Gripping. Loved it

Master class podcast. (5/5)


Ashamed.... (5/5)

I loved listening and learning... so angry Hospitals hide and pass doctors off. I wasn’t hurt until ten years later. But my surgeon was a hack....

Keep it up wondery!! (5/5)

Fascinating story with a fantastic production. Keeps you engaged and on the edge of your seat.

Debra Newell (5/5)

I loved the journalism in this story this was a terrific podcast. A note about Debra, the woman was pathetic I’ve seen interviews and she makes me cringe. Her children should always come before a man. She still sounds like she is in love with him. She is one of this’s women that can’t be without a man and her family were not as important to her.

Wow (5/5)

I’m in shock. This was an extremely riveting podcast that’s hard to believe. Hoping the family of John and Debra can find peace.

Too annoying to make me sympathize (1/5)

The girls with the uptalk need to see a speech pathologist. The mom was married four times and then lets the guy move in after a few weeks? Her psychologist should lose her license.

Wonderful!! (5/5)

Great revelation of what domestic abuse is like from the inside. And what a good boy that Cash is, am I right?

So great (5/5)

What a great show!

Worth listening (3/5)

It was a good podcast and entertaining, but wasn’t as organized as other crime podcasts I’ve listened too. Episode two repeated a clip and sometimes the story line was a little disorganized

Coersive Control (5/5)

Thank you for putting a label on the torment I endured from my ex-husband. Without visible signs of abuse people in your life just don’t get it. Your abuser can be fake-nice and no body will believe you. With Debra’s story and others like it, and the defining words “coercive control”, we now have something to point to and something to relate to. It kind of made me feel sick to hear those words and and say out loud “OH MY GOD! that’s what he did to me”! But I am finally able to say something besides “it was abuse, but not physical”. I actually used to wish that he would hit me so people could see and understand that it wasn’t all in my mind.

Amazing podcast! (5/5)

So suspenseful and interesting. Great story telling as well!

Phenomenal Case Study of Psychopathy and Codpendency (5/5)

I first saw the Dirty John Bravo series and was fascinated by this virulent grifter and psychopath. It's tempting to judge Debra's pathological codependency and trauma attachment. But given the family's Christian upbringing and trauma history, Debra couldn't see that the boogeyman cannot be rehabilitated, redeemed nor forgiven. There is evil in the world and sometimes folks don't know they're in over their heads until it's too late. Also the most fatal time for survivors of domestic violence or domestic terrorism is when they leave. I think it was poetic justice what happened to John. "And though she be little she is fierce."

Wow. 1 800 799 SAFE (7233) (5/5)

This story was just wow so well written and the podcast kept me on edge. God bless the families that has to endure johns wrath.

Wow! (5/5)

Awesome story! Strange family though. Most of the time you just cannot believe what’s coming out of the mother’s mouth; it’s beyond me. My mother would never. Way to go Tara! She’s my fave. Everyone else in the family is useless. So useless I even rooted for John at one point just because it’s all so unbelievable.

SMH (4/5)

This podcast was great at revealing how absolute gullable people are. The giggling and laughing is absurd. I don't care if it is a coping mechanism. John is the smartest person in this podcast. The mother who helped get her duaghters murderer off easy somehow drew the line at a grifter? Morons everywhere in this podcast.

Amazing (5/5)

Great story, I drove slower and slower hoping to have more time for 1 more chapter. I’d love to see this made into a movie.

Just Okay - Too Drawn Out (3/5)

There’s a lot of buildup here but the conclusion isn’t all that remarkable. Woman has abusive manipulative husband who saves his worst for her friends and family. Not a bad podcast by any means but could have very easily been one episode.

Episode 6 terra (5/5)

Omg is this girl LD?she sounds like she’s not quite all there! Zombies? Was this info necessary to the story? And thats how she killed dirty John! Zombie kill from walking dead. Thought I’d heard it all then happened to see Dirty John this weekend on oxy channel and there you go , mother daughter big hair blondes revelling in their 15 minutes. Brought to mind an ‘80s term “BIMBOS”!!!

Don’t waste your time (1/5)

Cringeworthy from the start. Slow moving, poor narrative of one of the world’s dumbest women. Annoyed but kept listening for some redemption. None found.

wooooow (5/5)

debras is a dummy .. terra was smart in the beginning & Jacquline was the smartest if them all. joking ? about taking your daughter out? screaming @ your daughter for “going thru his things” ? letters from jail? cameras in the house? this podcast was proof , your eyes can see EVERYTHING but loneliness and desperation will hold you down to anything.. its sad. Im happy everything ended how it did.. I appreciate this podcast, thank you .. Hopefully Debra found the love within herself. You Filthy , filthy John ..

Women Behaving Stupidly (1/5)

I’ll have to learn more about this case somewhere else, because I simply couldn’t take listening to those vapid, immature, spoiled brat daughters and their incredibly naïve mother. Once again, all a man need to do is say he’s a Christian and present a charming facade, and some women will be gullible enough to overlook enough red flags to fill an average garage. BTW, if all the women Family members in the story are such sanctimonious Christians, then why are they all shacked up with their boyfriends? The usual, evangelical hypocrisy, of course. The journalist does his best, but this would work much better with just a straight narration, sans the insufferable interviews.

Solid podcast (5/5)

The podcast is awesome. Debra is an idiot. I’ve been single 12 years and have NEVER been remotely desperate enough to settle for anything just to say I have something. Shame on her for letting a man come into her home and life and disrespect her children/family like that. It’d serve her right if they never spoke to her again. You can’t fix stupid

Great case and coverage of it. (5/5)

Hardcore Christians despise things like planned parenthood for providing services they don’t like, but do things like forgive their loved one’s killer and overlook the clear cry for help a victim needs. The family’s decision making is outrageous. The ONE sister sounded like the only sane one from the beginning. However, to go as far as to be on the DEFENSE. Christ, I applaud the host/interviewer for keeping his calm during that call. Loved the podcast though

The Mother (5/5)

That mom REALLY brought the devil into her house. 5 marriages makes me think she should stop looking for men. She should just go into an arranged marriage. No luck picking men. To keep going back to that nut...

Favorite (5/5)

Favorite podcast ever!

Love the podcast- but this family is full of morons (5/5)

But can’t stand how Debbie’s youngest daughter, Terra, ends all of her sentences on a high note as if it’s a question. Sounds like such a California airhead. Her other daughter, Jacqueline sounds just like Kim Kardashian...very airhead and very “better than everyone”. Sooo snobby it’s hard to listen to them. Very cliche Orange County.

Crazy but real (5/5)

Having been through similar things it’s hard to believe but is real. It is easy to become blinded and unrealistically thinking things can get better and just wanting to see what could be the good in someone. It’s a very dangerous situation and have to listen to those around you and see the signs for what they really are. Don’t put anything past anyone!

Truly irrational woman! Fascinating (5/5)

Wow it blows my mind how anyone can be so mislead and naive. The guy is a psycho but this women is really an interesting case in herself? Wow!

Very well told (5/5)

It’s so sick, you’d never believe it to be true but it is. This is well told, easy to follow. Loved the narration.

Horrifying (5/5)

This was really the most amazingly horrifying thing I have ever listened to. Psychopaths, sociopaths and clinical narcissists are pure EVIL and can manipulate the most seasoned and wise human beings. Some of these negative comments about the ladies involved in this are repugnant. Stop and think about how many in law enforcement, in the judicial system, in the medical field, etc... were fooled by this single, one man. Why would these ladies be any wiser than trained professionals. Not to mention that most of us "good" people out here in the world want to extend the benefit of the doubt to the people around us. Either way, this show was very well done. Well produced, edited, etc. It rovided a ton of quality content.

Really? (1/5)


Mixed emotions (3/5)

Excellent story and narration. Shook my head more than once at Debra’s stupidity and the grandmother who defended Cindy’s murder. The daughter’s voices were also extremely annoying.

Interesting (5/5)

Frustrating at times because of how naive some characters either are or were portrayed, but a great story. Would recommend.

Creep (4/5)

This guy is a huge creep.

is this real life? (1/5)

i’m absolutely exhausted listening to this and have actually gotten angry more than a few times at the flippant attitudes of some of these women being interviewed. the naivety is overwhelming and to be honest, the privilege also. a mother who heard continuous information regarding her child’s abusive home situation and when her child wants a divorce from her abuser, she says “Oh, how AWFUL”. the sanctity of marriage is here in this podcast y’all, even if that marriage results in death(s). exhausted to hear these people cry while talking OVER the reality of the ONGOING situations of the victims in this podcast.

So Annoyed! (3/5)

I rated this 3 stars, not because it didn’t hold my interest but because this family is so naive and annoying it’s ridiculous. First the mom/grandmother forgiving her daughter’s husband after killing her. She allowed him to get away with cold blooded murder showing zero respect for her daughter or her memory. She should be ashamed. She taught her daughter, Debra not to be forgiving but to be stupidly naive. They all from the grandmother down to the (grand)daughters sound naive and brainless while interviewed. It’s like speaking with children. It’s really frustrating. No one should be taken advantage of but this family has placed an obvious target directly on their forehead.

Meh (4/5)

Pretty interesting. Similar to a crime show documentary in podcast form. Anyone criticizing the women in this story are crazy — takes guts to be vulnerable enough to share this story. There is only one bad guy in this story— Dirty John.

Eerily Similar Experience (5/5)

I faced something very similar to this... thankful for friends who helped me face it down, and thankful it did not get this far. Understand all too well the frustration of police doing nothing - being unable to do anything - until it’s too late. Thankful I’ve grown a spine.

Dr (5/5)

Unfolds like a weekly television series. Well written and spoken.

Ugh! (1/5)

I’m sorry but these women are just unbelievably naive. This was too frustrating to listen to and I couldn’t finish.

HIGHLY Recommend (5/5)

This was absolutely amazing. I've been painting all day and listened to the whole thing. Absolutely breathtaking.

Fantastic (5/5)

The whole time listening I was thinking Nooooo! Very well written and narrated

Good podcast (4/5)

I enjoyed the podcast. I listened to it over 2 days and had to keep myself from googling the outcome. The ending was worth it. You wonder how people can let themselves fall prey to a predator but it happens. I would give 5 stars but there are a lot of ads.

Love Wondery Podcast including this one!! (5/5)

Wondery has some great podcasts and this is definitely one of them. A must listen!!

Interesting story, but drawn out (3/5)

This was a very interesting storytelling experience; less investigative journalism than it is a thorough retelling of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However it is drawn out in too many episodes and unnecessarily pauses the narrative to focus on the daughters and family. For example, I really didn’t need a 10 minute aside on how to kill a zombie. Doesn’t really further the plot.

Could have been better. (2/5)

The daughters should have been left out of the interview process. Their voices are painfully annoying and ruined a pretty good story. It was hard for me to take them seriously.

Classic Case of Domestic Abuse (5/5)

As a retired prosecutor of domestic violence cases I can say after just one episode this is a case of domestic violence. Reviewers who blame the victim should be ashamed of themselves and learn about the dynamics of domestic violence. John played on the victim’s insecurities, isolated her from her family and was a master manipulator. Don’t be so quick to blame a victim. If you’d worked with as many victims of domestic violence as I have you’d have more understanding and compassion for Deb. And by the way, I’m male so don’t bother trying to call me out as just another woman making excuses for her gender.

Meh (1/5)

I love crime - related podcasts. This series fell short in terms of content. Debra, as well as Debra’s mom, were vocally irritating to listen to. Slow moving, repetitious content.

Good road trip podcast (4/5)

This was a great story to listen to on my 6 hour drive... there were things that were repetitive but other than some minor annoyances, I really enjoyed this. If you start listening and think you can’t make it through the first episode, hold off and listen all the way through the first ep and start the second... I wasn’t sure I’d like it at first.

Who are these psychologists? (5/5)

Great story. Amazing tale. You feel like you want to discuss it afterward. I can’t help but wonder who are these psychologists giving such bad advice!

Painful to listen to. (1/5)

I know it’s bad to victim shame, but this whole family is a joke. Debra made so many irrational decisions and knowingly put her whole family in danger, and we’re supposed to feel bad for them? I definitely don’t. I’ve heard so many good reviews about this podcast but after listening for myself, it was painfully boring and frustrating to listen to. Would not recommend if you’re really into true crime

Good story telling (4/5)

First of all, the other reviews who are judging one’s accent is really messed up. Good story telling but really frustrating. It’s hard to not pass judgment on the whole situation. I guess age isn’t always an indicator of wisdom.

Couldn’t finish (2/5)

This story tended to be repetitive. And could have been covered in shorter time. And I agree with others, the voices were quite distracting. Did not make me want to continue.

Unbelievable story told by the people involved (5/5)

I just want to point out that this podcast doesn’t have actors - these are the real people talking. So much for all these 1 star reviews about the voice of the daughters...

Debra’s horrible choices (3/5)

Listening to this podcast honestly gave me anxiety over the horrible decisions Debra made. She only cared about her kids well being after the fact, even though they had told her he was a bad guy. She may be a smart business woman, but she has no common sense. She put her kids lives in danger and I just cannot believe she went back to him AFTER she knew all the evidence. Just wow.

Absolutely absorbing!! (5/5)

Amazing story with an insane ending!!!

It’s worth the listen (5/5)

Good podcast.

What In The World!!! (5/5)

I can't wait to hear where this shady shrink is today. This Story is Nuts!!! Please hurry with episode 3. Asking my friends to get on board and listen to what is happening in the Big Bad world.

Great story but (3/5)

This is honestly a great story but like most complaints on the reviews for this podcast is that the voices of the daughters are extremely annoying. Debra also laughing so much as she is talking about John seems like she really was ok with everything that happened. Lastly the story could have been told in less episodes. You’d be better off reading the story somewhere on the Internet than listening to this podcast.

Bye bye online dating (5/5)

Scary as hell! Loved the story. Well told and post interview was excellent

Very entertaining (5/5)

Riveting! And loved the women - especially Jacqueline and Tara.

This would have been a GREAT podcast minus the valley girl voices. (2/5)

Great podcast but the valley girl voices from the daughters were very distracting and did not make them sound intelligent or believable.

Love It! (5/5)

I love true murder/crime podcast series. Very well written, produced and the story flows beautifully!

Didn’t finish. (1/5)

I did not care for this podcast at all. I found it very boring. Could hardly get through Chapter 1 as the younger daughter voice is very annoying and she has very little to contribute. I also found the other daughter to be a bit arrogant speaking of how she had worked around Physicians and she knew how they dressed and behaved and John’s attire of wearing scrubs was a red flag. My husband is a Dr an Anesthesiologist in fact and he does wear scrubs to and from his work place. I am an RN and know many Physicians that come and go wearing hospital scrubs. This big point she tried to make was pretty much pointless. As for the Mother I can’t imagine marrying someone you obviously know so little about and turned a blind eye when others would point things out. Another annoying point the Mother giggles throughout while answering questions. Funny??

🙀WOW🙀 (5/5)

😮 WOW JUST WOW 😮 ADDICTIVE The show is out too, I’ll be watching this weekend.

Incredible (5/5)

You will feel so involved in this story and just wishing and hoping for a happy ending. Beautifully done.

Great podcast. (5/5)

I’m with the other listeners. This mother should be ashamed of herself. What a story though!

Most annoying podcast ever (2/5)

I listened to the whole painful thing, but oh my gosh! So irritating. First of all, red flags galore that should’ve prevented this whole fiasco from ever happening. Victim blaming is horrible, but at the same time a little bit of common sense is kind of good. Debra was selfish and stupid, and half of the podcast she talks about John like he was a pretty okay guy. Then you have Terra who isn’t right. Listening to her talk makes you want to pull your hair out. Everything she goes back to has to do with a zombie apocalypse. Now the other daughter is, maybe, more with it, but she’s trying to appear smart and sophisticated by bragging about who she has worked for and how she’s 5’2” and only weighs 95 lbs. The


Great story! Now, please give us the, “updates.” How was the relationship with daughters, after the tragedy. What was the reaction with John’s family. What’s the mom up to, of late and the dear mother to Debbie.

Dirty John (3/5)

The woman in this story is so stupid I found the podcast difficult to listen to. She wasn’t a victim, her daughter was. She was a willing participant over and over and over, putting her children at risk. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

I enjoyed (5/5)

I really enjoyed this podcast and story. Thanks for producing this.

Very well done (5/5)

What I liked was how the writer went into Debra Newell’s background which helps us understand why in the world she was so trusting of John and kept forgiving him. Once you listened to the interview with Debra’s mother, it becomes more clear. Very well done in going into depth in that way.

Too slow (3/5)

Great story but it took way too many chapters to tell. This was an episode of Dateline and while they skipped much of the back story they managed to sum it up in 60 mins. I think 4 episodes would have been enough. The back story of her family is really interesting and explains much of her behavior in the relationship.

Not great (2/5)

Tara has the most annoying voice ever!!! And these women are ridiculously annoying.

Good story but really slow to develop (2/5)

This was a good story but it took a really long time to get to the point. There could have been half as many episodes to reach the climax and then focused some episodes on the aftermath.

Loved it (5/5)

Great podcast

Done Sooooo Well (5/5)

Great podcast! Crazy story. Frustrating people. Nasty, evil villain. Listen!

The fault is the mom (5/5)

Although I love the podcast, the mother should be BE-YOND ashamed of herself. She is responsible for the whole calamity. He wasn’t a good con. SHE was desperate. Self absorbed, silly, childish, he list goes on and on and on. You are PAYING A LAWYER to help this weirdo relate to your kids?! She should thank her lucky stars any of her kids have anything to do w/her.

Awesome story (5/5)

Great story of survival. Well-told.

Pretty good (3/5)

It’s predictable but entertaining. I like the voice of the narrator. I felt as if there are too many adds but at the same time I get that they need sponsors to afford to continue. Still a lot tho. Worth a listen!

Drags (1/5)

This pod started off strong and was very interesting but as the episodes went on, the story starts repeating and the story and interviews drag on. The interviews need to be cut and summed up by the host. It’s like they just posted entire interviews without editing. The drawl of the interviewees is painful. Couldn’t even finish to be honest. I cared that little for the story.

Hard to listen to (1/5)

This woman is weak desperate and pathetic. I can’t stand either of them.

Reviting (5/5)

Holds your attention throughout the whole story! Excellent. Well done. True crime.

I liked it! (5/5)

Very compelling story! What was the significance of Terra’s rain boots in the last episode? I must have missed something.

Interesting (4/5)

This story was interesting. I had a hard time following the series, for some reason I couldn't really follow the person. Other than losing my attention from time to time, the story is great and the podcast was good.

Agonizing (1/5)

My wife wanted to hear this on a road trip... in the end even she was annoyed. The whole story is predictable and not very unique. We painstakingly listened to the whole thing. The story could have been told in as little as 1 hour - repetition is abundant.

Good story . Well done podcast . Too long (3/5)

Too much filler and repetition . Had to power thru the last few episode and it detached me from the story . Some rambling interviews that could have been edited . Also felt it jumps around way too much . But this may have been to my deteriorating interest .

Hooked (5/5)

First and one of the best podcasts I’ve ever listened to I hate the fact that it was true but maybe that’s why it intrigued me! Very compelling. If it wasn’t for this podcast I would have never moved on to listened to more and more true crime podcasts Thanks for sharing! If you don’t listen to anything else Listen to this one !

A Cautionary Tale (5/5)

When my daughter was a teenager, I made her a gag gift for Christmas. It was based on an inside joke. We had a tradition that both kids could open one gift on Christmas Eve. Well, I made sure that the gag gift was beautifully wrapped & arranged just so beneath the tree. Of course, she chose it& it is a hilarious story told over the years. It is also a cautionary tale to not pick the package by appearance alone. Debra did so to her own, and her family’s detriment. Dirty John was the shiny paper & perfectly curled ribbons. It took a while to pull off the layers, in spite of warning alarms sounding in every direction. Debra gets a lot of flak, perhaps rightfully so, for her choices in this dark tale. Whether it was religion, family dynamics, or need to fill a space within herself, she was an easy target for Dirty John. The podcast and the LA Times brought the story to life in a compelling manner and I was thoroughly engrossed in the tale. It is well worth the listen.

Absolutely Entertaining! (5/5)

I just started listening to podcasts and was struggling trying to find good podcasts with great narration and this is just perfect! It explains the story line well and gives you different perspectives and the narrator doesn’t go off topic like most crime podcasts do.

Underwhelmed (2/5)

There was a lot of hype so I was excited to listen to it but in all reality I was underwhelmed. I have tried some of the other shows from this network and am enjoying them. I would recommend the others from this network before this one.

Couldn’t stop listening (5/5)

I was driving from Northern California to Southern California and listened to this podcast all in one go. I couldn’t stop listening and was engaged with each episode, I had to know what was next! It’s a great listen.

Riveting (5/5)

I am a new podcast listener and I have to say that I am a fan. The narration kept me engaged from the moment I clicked pay on my device. I love true crime stories and this is a great way to stay informed.

I was hooked! (5/5)

Listened on a work road trip and it helped the time fly by! Finished the last two episodes in my hotel room. Extremely well done!

Loved (5/5)

Absolutely loved this one!

Great companion to the tv series! (5/5)

Really enjoyed this. I’m glad Debra shared her story!

Never Boring (5/5)

All I can say is that Debra has some growing up to do! Hopefully, she focuses on herself and her children, and finally learns that she’s not a good picker when it comes to men. The podcast was great! I’ve seen several Discovery ID type programs on this case, but the podcast still held my interest and was never boring. I’d love to have more from this journalist.

This was crazy (5/5)

I think this podcast was incredibly well done. Thank you for sharing this story.

Not well done (1/5)

I gave it 2 stars just because the subject matter was interesting, but the narration and interviews were very poorly done. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and this is on the bottom of the list of ones I would recommend. I kept listening waiting for it to get good, and it never did. I just think a more talented narrator and producer could have done more with the subject matter. The family just came of as vapid and I think that is due to poorly conducted and edited interviews.

Crazy Story (5/5)

Crazy Story! Awesome ending! Gives you closure.

Great, gripping story (5/5)

This is a great story which is almost unbelievable at times. Hard to believe people like Dirty John exist but exist they do. Besides the fact Terra’s voice sounds like that of a 12 year old girl, this podcast is worth a listen.

Fact is stranger than fiction (5/5)

This podcast is wild. I listened to it on a road trip and it kept me at attention the entire time. It’s a good mix of entertaining and shocking. I highly recommend it!

Better than most podcasts (4/5)

I enjoyed listening to this story. It kept my attention. No complaints. I hope they do another.

Too few and too many episodes (5/5)

You’ll be hooked! Just like John’s victims...

Fine (3/5)

This family is probably the DUMBEST out of anything I’ve ever heard. I thought the kids were smarter than deb, but not even. This gurrl hears that the man terrorizing her family is in town and what does she do? ACT AS IF NOTHING IS WRONG AND PARK IN THE SAME EXACT SPOT SHE DOES EVERY DAY. Like are you serious. This family deserved everything they got. They seriously some stupid hoes.

Missed opportunity (2/5)

This could’ve been better if it also told the larger story of domestic violence— how abusers manipulate their victims (often smart, strong women) and why the victims stay. It also glosses over the dysfunction in the family and how that may have led the victims into unhealthy relationships.

Entertaining (5/5)

Some reviewers say that it is predictable, but the ending surprised me. The series was organized well and the daughters had explained the true events well.

Miss (5/5)

Absolutely addictive and so relatable no matter what social class! We’ve all seen these types of men, but it’s nice to see the victim come out on top or shall I say victims! Debra shows amazing poise and vulnerability to share her amazing story! Loved this and that show!

It Would Have Been So Easy (1/5)

So ...John says he is an Anesthesiologist.....a doctor. We find out that he is a nurse anesthetist-way different. So when the daughters got suspicious all they had to do was “google” John to see if he was an MD or call the State medical board. then they hire a PI who doesn't check credentials first thing. That alone just made the rest of the episodes become a fiction. And Debbie - you need serious man is worth your dignity, your family and your money.

Not as good as I a lot (2/5)

I finally caved to the hype and I just don’t get it. Story is completely predictable if you’ve ever watched Ncis, csi, forensic files, etc you already know the story. The daughters as narrators was a terrible idea. They don’t have the voice or vocabulary for this. It’s like listening to teenagers talk about the latest high school hallway drama. Not feeling it. Better question is how this is so popular. Sad reflection on America.

Predictable and no one to root for (2/5)

The only semi intelligent figure is the bad guy. The main character is an idiot. Her daughters are complete imbeciles, the dumbest of which dares to declare how smart she is. It’s insufferable.

2 very stupid woman (4/5)

Debra and mother are ridiculous!! Obviously Orange County rich dumb blonds are generations of stupidity. Do these women need a man so badly to prove their value that they overlook everything they’ve done? And poor Cindy disregarded as if she deserved to die because she wanted to get away from a controlling husband. Her mother should be so ashamed.

Basically a Dateline episode (4/5)

This tale of a sociopathic nurse anesthetist con man terrorizing a bourgeoise California interior designer and her family will appeal to those who enjoy “20/20” and “Dateline”-type TV shows. I found some members of this wealthy, privileged family irritating (one daughter has a particularly excruciating voice), but I mostly sympathized with them because they’re going up against a genuine monster. Slick production w/ excellent sound design and music. Read the analogous LA Times articles on their website for the full experience.

Read the LA Times article instead- same title (1/5)

Didn’t bother listening to this podcast based on reviews. EDIT- Actually, I lied, I listened to the first 5 minutes before I found the LATimes article. I also could not get over the vocal fry, and I live in Los Angeles.

Absolutely gripping. (5/5)

Binge listened immediately. Although it is different for me to understand how Debra Newell was able to not only ignore all the red flags, but totally forsake her children for a sociopathic psychopathic drug addict—I do realize people get stupid for love. Especially shallow and vain people, which Ms Newell seems to be. The story telling is top notch. And I had a family member who became bewitched by a similarly sinister person. Logic can’t exist in the vacuum of that type of relationship. I am still dumbfounded that Debra Newell can giggle while recounting the scary details of the relationship and the consequences.

Need to Know (5/5)

I’ve read several disturbing reviews about how dumb/naive the family is but it just goes to show how little so many people understand about the dynamics of inter-generational cycles of abuse and coercive abuse, not to mention the victim-blaming and misogyny. We’re not going to get anywhere as a society if we lack compassion or insight as to how and why abuse is happening. This is an excellent cautionary tale about predators in our culture. Now go donate to your local domestic violence organization, abuse is happening everywhere and dv organizations are on the front lines.

Wow! (5/5)

Loved it so much! Make sure you listen to this before watching or listening to the spinoffs. This provides great info and more in depth descriptions of what happened. Again, another predator’s tactics are exposed. And what a brave woman Terra is!!

The ending is so unexpected! (5/5)

This podcast was awesome, I loved how the real life people had interviews in it

Compelling (5/5)

Very interesting story told so well. ! If you're new to this podcast start at the beginning. Impossible to resist binging! Thank you all for the high quality work.

Save your time. (1/5)

This might be the worst podcast I’ve ever listened to. I made it to episode 5 thinking, “okay ... it’s gotta get better” since it was recommended to me. It doesn’t. The characters are infuriatingly boring privileged naive idiots. I didn’t know people could be this stupid. The narrator is flat and unemotional.

Love! (5/5)

This is the very first podcast I listened to! It got me hooked.

Fascinating true story (5/5)

A captivating true story that was covered well and made it interesting to listen to. For the reviews stating the voices were hard to listen to or the “characters” were just too stupid, that’s part of what’s interesting about this. It’s not a made up story these are real people.

Very enjoyable! (5/5)

Similar to the Serial podcasts!

BringHimBack (1/5)

If I could give zero stars I would. I will no longer support a podcast production company that doesn’t support freedom of expression.

Wondery (1/5)

Unsubscribing and refusing to listen to any Wondery shows until they explain why they still give Sword and Scale and Mike Boudet a platform. He has continuously proved himself to be toxic, sexist, and he promotes disturbing habits.

Wow!! (2/5)

This is a study in the genetic spread of stupidity. How do these people function on a daily basis.

Very well reported. Riveting. (5/5)

Riveting story. Very well reported. I want to binge-listen to whole season.

Knew him for a minute (5/5)

I knew John while working at Good Sam in Dayton. There are some pieces missing in this story, although what we heard was enough. Most unfortunate, but glad he’s gone!

Nope (2/5)

Listened to about 20 minutes, and the daughters are unbearable to listen to. I’ll pass

Keep with it through episode 6 (3/5)

I agree with the other reviewers. This series was incredibly hard to listen to for many reasons. However I’m so glad I stuck with it. Parts of episode 6 made it all worth it.

Produced well, keeps you wanting to know more. (5/5)

I’ve noticed several giving low reviews based off of the victims of this psycho but you’re not going to find perfect people. Instead, reviews should be based on production and journalism and narration. This one is done well. No annoying ongoing songs and rambling with no additional info. Instead, you listen to a story with narration that cuts to the chase. I began listening to DJ after Teacher’s Pet and if you’re like many others who started there and wanted more stories, you realize that TP was done well enough to raise the bar high and several other podcasts just don’t make the cut. Enter DJ. You’re given a good picture of who this psycho was. There’s interviews and the journalist helps you by explaining the past of his victims as well as John Meehan’s past and how he was raised. Then you hear more through the voices of his family and victims. His family also being victims. The problem with a few of the victims is that his wife’s daughters talk as if they’re reading a script. This made me wonder if this is a true story. Teacher’s Pet would occasionally have actors read transcripts and note they’re actors so I immediately thought these girls were actors. Nope. That’s how they speak. The youngest daughter talks as if she’s drunk and seems to be a process thinker. When she’s speaking, she will sometimes take a two second break and complete her sentence as if she’s thinking of how to complete the sentence as she speaks. There’s no excitement in her voice, no crying, nothing other than just answering questions as if she’s reading a story but this is who she is. She’s laid back. Her older sister I find worse. She has the vocal fry at times and every. Single. Sentence. is a question. So something like, “And then I saw him? And he saw me? And I just knew? He was going to hurt me? So I tried to get away”. If you can ignore all that and pay more attention to the story, this one will be good to listen to.

The Daughter RUINS this.... (1/5)

The Daughters voice is absolutely unbearable. Her accent and the way she pronounces her S’s and the way she describes the safe where she keeps her nice bags- the way she describes “the girls at the front desk who where their scrubs and tennis shoes ALL DAY” there just this stench of privilege I can NOT take. Even when she is describing something mundane it sounds BAD. If this is really how she talks- if this is a real accent- This has GOT to go. I feel like whoever did this podcast should have just quoted her with their own voice instead of letting her talk so much.

Brains? (3/5)

This was an interesting story but these women, oh my gosh, btwn them they share 2 possibly 3 brain cells.. I am baffled, I didn't even know people like this existed outside of an SNL spoof. Infact wait, was this a spoof, go on...! I gave this 3 stars because something about it kept me listening to the end so in amongst the the dim there was a hook.

Interesting (5/5)

I found the psychology interesting, and I’m really impressed they had the whole family willing to be interviewed. It really added to it. Some podcasts tell the story, and you just hear the opinion of people’s personalities. It was very interesting to hear the people speak. It kept my interest the whole time.

Okay (2/5)

Story was okay, main character seems dumb as doornail for supposedly being so smart and successful. Also voices of the daughters are awful. Finished it because I started it but wasn’t anything riveting.

Talk about stupid (1/5)

I rarely put negative comments on anything but this woman deserved what she got. Shame on her for putting a man before her daughters. Someone dares to talk to my kids like that individual did, he’d be done. And what the hell is up with these girls voices? Jesus Christ.

Unbelievable. (1/5)

I really tried to like it but found it to be so unbelievable. It’s hard to feel sympathetic to the wife who had a mountain of evidence and yet was so desperate for love and affection that she ignored common sense and ALL THE CLUES as to what type of man she married. Forced myself to listen to it all since I got myself in this mess but would have quit after first episode.

Love it! (5/5)


The Stupids Step Out (3/5)

Wow! The intense naïveté and downright idiocy of Debbie and her MOTHER...OMG. In some ways they are the real story...not John. Production is strong - hence three stars. I’m not sure if I can finish listening unless the reporter addresses that Debbie is not a mentally healthy person.

Dumb and grating (1/5)

This woman is incredibly stupid and gullible. Her kids are spoiled and the voices are just grating. Nothing interesting or suspenseful here

Pretty Good. Annoying voices. (1/5)

Terra’a voice is the most annoying voice I’ve ever heard. She sounded like an 8 year old trying to talk. Everyone’s an idiot in this case.

Pretty Good. Annoying voices. (1/5)

Terra’a voice is the most annoying voice I’ve ever heard. She sounded like an 8 year old trying to talk. Everyone’s an idiot in this case.

Unlistenable (1/5)

Made it 25 minutes into the first episode before the obnoxious voices of the self-important women made me want to pull my ears off. I have no idea what the actual story of the podcast is because I can’t hear anything other than Valley girl-speak. Awful.

Awful (1/5)

I could only make it through the first episode. This is basically a promo for this woman’s business. And to show all the expensive nice things she owns. The kids voices are so grating and hard to listen to. The entire family sounds like spoiled brats. Wondery has much better shows try those.

Mother willingly puts children’s lives in danger (3/5)

Wow. Thanks to “Deb” her daughter is almost murdered. I hope she realizes the detrimental harm she inflicted on her family. Listen to your loved ones if they all seem to agree you are being scammed. Listen to the FACTS. Don’t see how a mother can be capable of turning on her own children for a rank stranger. I found this to be enraging but overall well made podcast. Slightly drawn out though with irrelevant interjections .

Well researched, good flow (4/5)

Christopher Goffard not only has good investigative skills, but he can also tell a story. Good job, Chris. When I heard Terra speak for the first time I thought she was either drunk/high or had special needs. Listening to the last episode and learning that Terra was attacked and stabbed I started feeling bad for her. I figured she had suffered a head injury which would explain why she sounded delayed. Nope, no such injury, just a special girl. 4 stars!

4.5 stars? (1/5)

I’m kind of upset at the time I wasted listening to this podcast. There is no sense of emotion or suspense. The characters seem so one dimensional. Debra’s lack of common sense has you shaking your head. The story may have benefited if they excluded her daughters’ personal accounts; all monotone, drowning in up-speak and vocal fry. The narrator seems scripted and the podcast music doesn’t fit the story at all. Even the “suspenseful” parts of the story don’t give you any sense of drama or suspense. Overall very disappointing.

The mother is bizarre. (3/5)

I got so mad when Debra immediately let him live off of her and never questioned any of the BS he claimed. He had nothing and was a permanent leach also the whole murder of her sister and the way the mother reacted was indefensible and outright pathetic. Stupid family.

Poor Rich Girls (2/5)

Its like watching a train you just can’t turn it off. Does the mother & her daughters know how completely spoiled, weak, & ridiculous they sound? I would of enjoyed hearing the story from the wife instead of these spoiled rich girls.

Totally agree on the annoying vocal fry & overwhelming naivety (1/5)

But nobody is mentioning why Tara is STILL trying to tie her obsession with surviving a zombie apocalypse to this incident? This may sound be more of a relatable metaphor if Tara did not sound like she is decades younger than her actual age. Agree with other viewers on John sounds less like a grade A manipulator and more that he found a great mark. Would not recommend this. I love Connie Britton but I can’t believe she is doing this TV show.

The grandma (2/5)

I find all of the pieces with the grandma to be super bizarre and creepy. Ep. 4 I could barely get through. Especially how she keeps saying of her daughters killer, ‘I LOVE him. I LOVE him.’

Great story telling (5/5)

I would have never considered this unless my sister to,d me to listen. I was hooked immediately! Great pod cast

Naive doesn’t even begin to explain.... (3/5)

The naivety of the victim is really the craziest part of this story. The siblings trying to help their brother, I can understand, but even they cut him out of their lives. That Ms. Newell returns to him even after the evidence her children and family produce for her is incomprehensible. Well-produced podcast though.

More Kardashians than 20/20 (3/5)

Dirty John is a one episode podcast that went on for six episodes. The story is interesting, but no more interesting than a made for TV Lifetime movie. The podcast is more a study of the quintessential California valley girl stereotype than it is the criminal mind; this is more Kardashians than 20/20. At one point I Googled to see if the Newell family struggled with mental illness or developmental challenges, as their decisions are immensely unwise. I endured through the podcast but will not watch the television show. Dirty John wants to be Serial, but it’s in the minor leagues.

So hard to listen to (1/5)

Tara’s voice. I just can’t keep listen, too bad too because it sounded like such a good story.

Edge of my seat (5/5)

I binged this on a road trip. Amazing story, loved the show too.

Meh... good to have playing while I’m working I suppose (3/5)

I WISH I had the money this woman had to just throw away on this con man. She’s surprised he found $30k IN CASH at the bottom of her closet 🤨 I don’t blame her for being duped.... but for letting him dupe her again... and again... and again 😐 And her daughter’s (Jacqueline)voice & apparent attitude of entitlement is annoying.

Interesting but ending was ruined (3/5)

The last episode switches to a live format with other supplemental material that just gets in the way of the ending. Also the victim in this story, I’m sympathetic to her, but she is incredibly naive to the point that it’s just painful and maddening to listen to.

Meh (2/5)

This is a well produced podcast, and they attempt to infuse it with suspense and drama. Unfortunately, listening to the daughters is so very difficult. I would be surprised if they’re high school graduates. This could have been better if the narrator had summarized their views and kept them off. Saying they’re vacuous is being kind.

Don’t bother (1/5)

This really could have been like two episodes, it’s excruciating to listen to terra talk and the payoff isn’t really worth listening through the entire boring and privileged story of naivety.. I guess I listened bc the tv show is out and people are talking about it again but I wish I hadn’t bothered. Christopher’s voice is equally annoying to listen to and did the minimal as far as “writing” the podcast went :/

Great storytelling, really interesting story (5/5)

I really disagree with all of the bad reviews on this podcast.If you are into true crime and appreciate good storytelling, give this podcast a listen. I don’t think you’ll regret it

This woman is an imbecile (3/5)

She couldn’t of been this oblivious to so many issues....

Story is gripping. Full stop (1/5)

Was glad to hear from attorneys, John’s sisters, former (1st?) wife; really anyone but the victim/subject. Some people have that ability to speak with clarity and confidence so that you listen with interest. These people must have other talents.

Mmmmh (4/5)

On episode 3 and hooked but i do hate them commercials lol,

Interesting (5/5)

It does make you wonder how dumb and insecure this woman was though.

Guns (1/5)

Chris, blaming an object for someone ‘s murder and the the actual killer is irresponsible, people kill people not objects.

Kept Listening, Even Though ... (3/5)

I'm about the same age as this super successful woman, and halfway though, especailly when she took this idiot back, I kept saying 'What an idiot!' ... how could she not see thought this man manipulating her! I kept hoping it would get better, sought out the Dateline episode to see these people ... but still couldn't understand why they kept letting this guy into their life. Since I want to hear out it 'ended', I stayed with it. The production is excellent, the interviews are interesting, but the woman kept irritating me with her excuses of why she stayed with such a loser!

Tough listen (1/5)

Made it through one and a half episodes. Not sure how the rating were so high.

I Can’t Believe The Harshness of Some Of the Reviews (5/5)

I thought that this podcast was amazing. I found myself reacting verbally to this podcast a lot! Thank goodness I was in my car. Debra’s self esteem was so very low. That, along with being inundated with “Christian forgiveness rhetoric” from her parents made me understand why she was so easily manipulated by John Meehan. Terra is truly a hero. I was so concerned that she would be killed, but she prevailed over Meehan’s evil. So, in short, I thoroughly enjoyed how this podcast was done. For those who put down Debra Newell and her daughters in their very judgmental reviews of this podcast, I pray that you NEVER have to go through what they and other victims of John Meehan went through. I gladly rate this 5 stars!

Dumb Debra (5/5)

Good job on the production, but so hard to listen to because Debra is so so dumb and so is her mother. Also the daughters voices are almost unbearable. It was difficult to keep listening because Debra is so frustrating and she put her daughters lives at risk because of her stupid choices. How dumb can one person be?

Pretty good except daughters parts. (3/5)

Everything was great except when the daughters speak. It’s almost like they’re reading a script. Speaking super slow, sounding like they’re acting from a written script they’re reading for the first time. It just was weird and a little cringe worthy. That’s the only part I didn’t care for. That and how some people sounded like they were talking right into the microphone, then whoever else was talking sounded like they were way in the background. Worth listening to though.

The end (4/5)

The ending got me. I will admit that at first I was like ok this woman has money. What is she doing? But I have been in abusive relationships and it’s a very complex thing. I don’t want to spoil anything but after key things happen I’ll admit I get frustrated. I hate the comments saying she is so dumb. People do stupid things for love. Doesn’t mean they are stupid.

Unbelievable (1/5)

These women are pathetic! I don’t understand this high caliber of weakness. You are not allowed to play victim if you’re actively ignoring every red flag and real facts. What really got me upset was hearing the story of the sister that was murdered by her abusive and controlling husband. I can’t believe her own mother testified for the man that shot and killed her daughter. She “loves” the man that execution style, KILLED her daughter??! He ended up serving two years and a few months in prison for murdering his wife?!!! Then the mother talks almost proudly about how her forgiveness got the man out of a life prison sentence. I need someone to walk me through this logic please! Am I the only one enraged by this?!

Unbelievably stupid people (4/5)

I listened to this before there was a series on television. I will say the television series was pretty accurate. I was annoyed by the daughters voices and I almost stopped listening but it was like a bad train wreck. When she took him back that’s when I knew someone had created a work of fiction. She could not be that looney; not in real life!

Good story (5/5)

My coworker and I liked this story. If you find yourself frustrated with the characters, try not to judge and remember something they state: judgement is the last thing someone needs who is in an abusive relationship.

Great Story (5/5)

Great research and telling of this story. Binge listen the entire series on vacation drive.

Awful (2/5)

Stupid people

Great true crime listen (5/5)

On par with Dr. Death and other podcasts of the like. Shorter than most, binged in a day, it’s such a crazy story and told really well.

Yea........ No (1/5)

I agree with the other reviewers. This story is a definite disconnect. These women aren’t very smart. And the daughters..... dear Lord. Couldn't finish the first episode.

Riveting (5/5)

It’s easy to want to judge the victims initially. The more you listen, the more you understand how control and domestic violence/manipulation works. Important for everyone to listen, none of us are immune to monsters like John.

Daughter is insufferable (1/5)

Tried to make it through the 1st episode. Listening to the daughter made me want to stick my head in the oven.

Crazy story (5/5)

The details of this case are insane. Well done podcast, great listen! I recommend to anyone interested in true crime

What is wrong with some of you? (5/5)

Those that give this podcast a 1-star rating because you didn’t like someone’s voice, or are judgmental about Debra going back in to the relationship should be ashamed of yourselves. Have you no compassion? Empathy? The man, John, is a creative monster. Some of the reviews I have read make it clear why some victims of these sorts of relationships don’t come forward. They run into crass, cynical, and judgmental people like you. People that shame the victim right away without any background information. Open your minds, please. And your hearts. ❤️

The grandmother is what ruined this for me (1/5)

This woman (Arlene) made me sick to my stomach. She’s beyond disgusting. Hide behind your Christian faith, you let you’re daughter die and defended her killer. Then she lets her only living daughter get involved with dirty john. This woman is responsible for her daughters’ misfortunes.

Interesting (5/5)

I thought this story was superb! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Hard to listen through the stupidity of the interviews (1/5)

If you can get past the grating voices of the daughters, it’s an interesting listen. Doesn’t compare to Up and Vanished or Dr. Death by any means, though.

Frustrating (5/5)

The podcast itself is so good. Very intriguing story. Debra drove me nuts though. Girl, seriously? John was a horrible person, no doubt about that, but Debra’s actions speak a lot about her character as well. Who chooses a man over their kids? Overall it’s a great story, but there were a few times I just wanted to throw my phone.

Entertaining and Spooky (5/5)

I’m shocked that there are so many negative reviews for this podcast. It’s super entertaining and the classic murder mystery. Regarding the daughters voices.. Ya they’re annoying, but they barely speak! Now that I’ve listened I’m excited to watch the TV series.

Debra as bad as John (3/5)

She was so stupid and selfish that she almost got her own children murdered. I guess it was a good listen but with how stupid Debra is, it’s very predictable. I feel so bad for her family. I’m glad Terra is still alive.

If you’ve dated a dirty John.... (5/5)

If you have ever dated a sociopath or a narcissist you will identify with this story on all levels. It does happen to good, smart, intelligent, confident and successful women. I wish there were websites that could warn the next victims. However, you never listen to the “ crazy exes” the con artist is too good at his manipulation. I admire these woman for coming forward. It’s hard to hear “ why would you go back?” Or “ How could you ignore the signs?” Trust me when I say it can happen to you! Great podcast! Glad the good guys won!

Fascinating (5/5)

Great story about how a sociopath inserts himself into a sub par family. Crazy how insecurity can destroy you

My ears are bleeding (1/5)

Every. Single. Voice. Every voice on this podcast was like nails on a chalkboard...Excruciating to listen to. The Narration and questioning are super weak and not worth the listen. However, I am not one to start something and not finish it so I will struggle through the remainder of this train wreck. However, if I can somehow spare your time and brain cells, use this review as a cautionary tale of a well intentioned podcast gone wrong.

Ignorant Comments (5/5)

Regardless of how these people may or may not be in the story and regardless of the intelligence of the people it’s still a good story. We should empathize with someone who we believe to be less aware or ignorant of their situations and not condemn someone to their ignorance. They were good people in a bad situation and no one deserves what has happened to them. Ads are annoying but these people still have to make a living, so skip them and stop crying about it.

Smart and Thorough - Imbues a hope for capacity for the weaker sex (4/5)

There’s a candor and intimacy in these voices. There are many “Dirty Johns” out there and many women who want to believe that people are good at heart. I don’t think we should ever stop talking about stories like this. We must resist victim blaming the women and men who seek their human right to be loved, and instead empower EVERYONE with knowledge of how to sidestep those with evil intent. Thanks to Chris Goffard of the LA Times for his investigation and good storytelling.

Yes (5/5)

Listen to it. It’s amazing

Wasn’t worth the time (1/5)

I’ve heard so many people suggest this that I finally gave in. I feel like I wasted my time. Who are these people? I can totally believe how they can be manipulated but this was excessive. Honestly, if this was me I would be embarrassed and it seems like they thrilled with the fame 🙄. And the one daughter’s voice is so “Valley girl” I struggled listening. Definitely better true crime podcasts out there.

Are people really this naive? (1/5)

Not sure how I found this podcast, but after 1.5 episodes I started thinking this is one of those badly acted dramas they want you to believe is a true story. The ones where you think to yourself, “no one is this stupid”. And start screaming at the Dumb Blond teenager to take off her high heels before she runs through the woods. Can’t listen to this level of stupidity, and the valley girl “” talk really confirms my idea of Southern California rich girls. Good grief. They need a life.

Too Many Commercials (3/5)

I think I have listened to at least 4 different commercials in the first episode alone. I have never listened to a podcast with so many!

Don’t bother (1/5)

I’m a little confused why there are positive reviews at all. Don’t waste your time. It’s garbage.

Wow (5/5)

Amazing. The daughters speeeaking, like....totally makes, cringe??? You know? But that’s not the podcasts fault!! It’s worth it!!

Good coverage; constant facepalm (3/5)

Story is told well, but literally have never experienced such stupidity in a woman. It makes it frustrating to listen to. Before Deborah made any attachment to John her family was upset by him. What kind of woman would allow a man to treat her kids like that? She was in no need of money or other financial support. It’s just mind boggling and senseless that she spent ridiculous amounts of money on a deadbeat that any simple search would’ve told her was not actually a doctor. I’m not giving this less than 3 stars because I think it’s not the journalist’s fault that the victim was so stupid.

Are you asking me or telling me? (3/5)

Good story but I can’t get passed the way the one daughter speaks. Every sentence is stated as a question. I thought they live in California not Canada.

Waste of time (1/5)

This is one of the worse podcasts I have listened to. The fact that people are as stupid and ignorant as they are amazes me. This guy was a waste of skin. Deborah was about as stupid as they come. And the fact that Vickers only spent 2 years in jail for premeditated murder due to their family is a disgrace in the judicial system of California

Stupid Debra! (1/5)

This Debra’s willful stupidity and ignorance is simply beyond my understanding. The sad truth is Debra would have stayed with John had her daughter not killed him. Moreover, she probably would have defended him if he had succeeded in killing her daughter. The next time you want to cover a story of abuse, choose a woman who doesn’t continually participate in her own victimization.

This podcast is mediocre (2/5)

Mediocre is the perfect word for this podcast. The story is dragged along to make it as long as it is and the host has a very bland matter of fact style. Again and again what is presented as a big moment or a plot twist just never delivers. The absolute worst offense though is the multiple ad breaks within each episode. This is a huge no in storytelling. It completely breaks any flow and is very annoying. Especially when it is the same ads again and again. We have heard them already. I simply get annoyed each time and skip through them. Whoever edited this and gave the final go ahead is asinine. If you want to hear an example of how to properly structure a podcast like this the first season of serial is the template. The creators of this failed to learn the primary lessons of that legendary podcast and have created something ultimately very forgettable. Only worth a listen I suppose if you really enjoy the true crime genre.

Dumb but logical? (3/5)

I first heard of this was the TV show with Connie Britton. Even then I thought, “Really?” I don’t care how book smart you are but this was crazy! First, I would never disregard my children with their thoughts and feelings but they weren’t crazy thoughts! They were common sense thoughts! How did you not do research this time in age?! I struggle from a woman desiring love at her age and not being smart enough to know he was a jackass. I’m a Christian as well but even after forgiveness for what Jimmy did, I would have a hard time disregarding my child’s life and best interest as a mother. I can forgive but I’m not the judge and by inserting unnecessary thoughts of forgiveness after he never gave any thought to the future of his own children? I’m sorry. What did he expect? He obviously didn’t expect forgiveness! He cried and wondered why! Maybe that’s the craziness! However if my children ever spoke to me like they portrayed on TV I would have smacked them myself! Hate they had to go through it all but at the same time I’m sad that our own justice system can get it so wrong on some and yet the victim always has the case of proving their right! So sad but this story is captivating!


This podcast is incredible. I finished the whole thing in 6 hours, could not stop listening. The content is interesting and it’s told in such an engaging way that keeps you on your toes. A must listen to!!

Can’t. (1/5)

I can’t get halfway past the first episode. The girls voice is like nails on a chalkboard.

Hard to sympathize, but interesting insight on sociopaths (4/5)

The storyline is mind blowing in the sense that the woman makes so many incredibly idiotic moves that only her privilege saved her from the consequences. That part of the story is quite numbing. But learning the background and insight provided about John was interesting and kept me wanting more.

Don’t listen to the naysayers (5/5)

I listened to this podcast so quickly, it was insane. So many reviews are talking about how dumb these people must be, and giving one star reviews because of the voices. Don’t listen to these idiots. I was chilled by this story because it reminded me of someone I know. There’s nothing stupid about falling for a con man’s antics, and these people are lucky to not have had that experience. Anyway, this podcast is amazing and legit gave me goosebumps all the way through.

What accent did the older daughter have? (2/5)

I had to fast forward thru the oldest daughter’s part. She either has a very distinct accent I don’t understand or doesn’t know how to pronounce words correctly. The mom is a moron.

Just Desserts (5/5)

Love this podcast. Interesting how much other reviewers like to victim blame. Don’t be wealthy or a woman because then bad things are your fault, I guess. Hope y’all never come into contact with a real con artist because they prey are arrogant people who think they are too smart to be conned.

Dirty John (5/5)

All my coworkers can talk about just downloaded and listen to the trailer 😳 Going on a short trip next weekend will be cruising down the highway with Dirty John Can’t wait to start this season😱

So many very silly stupid women (1/5)

This is hard to listen to for all the reasons the other reviewers have. His first wife is ridiculous and Debra is so incredibly stupid i can’t feel any compassion. I’m not sure I can get all the way through the series it is so annoying.

YAWN... (2/5)

So, I am not sure what is more absurd, the actual podcast of the ads.

Hhmmmmm (1/5)

Wealth, surface beauty & insecurity are the basis for this nonsense

Great podcast...but wanna punch the idiot family (3/5)

You can tell this podcast was done well. Great production and the story flows. I think a different story would be better to tell. The daughters voices are annoying but they are the only ones with any sense in this family. The act like John is so manipulative, no your just that stupid. Like beyond idiots makes you question that people this moronic can be In the world. Debra your a grown women whose successful but has no real brain waves functioning. The dumb apple doesn’t fall far from the dumb tree. She gets it from her mother you can’t say she’s sweet when she’s just that thick. I wanted to cry during the story of her daughter being shot I understand forgiveness but seriously you trashed your own dead daughter in court. What is wrong with these people. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Held my interest (4/5)

What held my interest is how I could relate to this family. We all have a family member or friend who seems to not be able to be without a partner for any period of time. It was chilling to imagine that this situation could happen to anyone we know. It’s true that many of us would not make the same decisions given the suspiciousness of his stories and behavior; however, I do understand how one can find yourself in these situations. His first wife did not seem to always have the toxic relationship with him- there was a turning point. My point is don’t judge too harshly and learn what you can from these ladies experiences.

Idiots! Idiots! Idiots! (1/5)

Debra is an idiot! I tried to listen to the podcast after watching the movie with hopes that these women weren’t as stupid as they were portrayed but nope!!! The fact that Debra went back after knowing what he had done to other women makes her just plain selfish! 5 marriages!

Whoa (5/5)

The way some of these comments blame the insecure woman instead of the sociopath man is insane!

🤨 (1/5)

Annoying voices and I feel sad for all involved!

Dirty John (4/5)

I saw the movie on tv, I enjoyed the podcast my first time reminded me of radio a thing of my past

Empty Calories (2/5)

Was looking into similar Wondery podcasts after listening to Dr. Death, and this was... a real step down. The reporting is solid, I suppose, but the story felt very tabloid-y. Agree with the other folks - more info about sociopathic tendencies in general and how they tied in here would have made the podcast more interesting. Instead I felt like I was listening to Dateline meets Kardashians.

Gripping crime drama (5/5)

I binge-listened to this while working and was very gripped. An intimate portrayal of psychological abuse.

fantastic storytelling (5/5)

I binge-listened to this whole Podcast in one day because I couldn’t possibly wait to hear more. THE ENDING THREW ME FOR A LOOP and the vivid description of events kept me on the edge of my seat. I’m sad it’s over!

Trying (3/5)

I’m trying my best to get past the voices of the daughters in this podcast, but they are beyond annoying to listen to. I’m not sure if they were just nervous, or were reading off what they were saying, but they absolutely come off as preppy airheads. Sorry, but I have to be blunt about it. I hope this isn’t just a story about dumb rich people. Halfway through the first episode, I’m not sure if I’ll continue it.

Kind of shallow (2/5)

This guy was obviously a horrible person to so many people and it’s completely understandable that the family would see him as pure evil. What I take issue with is the way the podcast seems to agree that he was a boogeyman or devil when obviously we’ll never hear from him because he’s dead. I’m not saying that because I have any sympathy for him, but I think it’s incredibly lazy to just label someone as evil and leave it at that. Woof, it’s also really hard to hear about how the family was basically fine with the sister’s husband for abusing her and murdering her in cold blood. If forgiveness is important to you, that’s commendable but that doesn’t mean you have to take his side and continue to have a normal relationship. The way the mom talks about her daughter telling her that she was being abused and ignoring her because he’s nice at picnics, is so baffling. If him shooting your daughter in the head doesn’t show you how wrong you were, nothing will.

Wow this family... (1/5)

Listening to the family is too hard, such dumb people... such better stories out there to highlight! Ugh I keep listening but need to stop so much annoying Christian ideology’s.

Very good podcast (5/5)

Stories like this are important because they highlight that there really are some thoroughly rotten, manipulative, lying people out there. And on the opposite side, the Newell family comes from a point of view of seeing the value of forgiving and constantly trying to see the best in people. But there really are people that you shouldn't let into your life, or into your family. I loved the Walking Dead tie-in with the story. And the end was pretty satisfying. The episodes are pretty well organized. I really didn't have a sense for who was who and why things were significant until I listened to it the second time.

I don’t get it (1/5)

This is the case of an ignorant insecure women and yes a manipulative man. It’s sad but not intriguing or interesting and I find it hard to listen to!

Don’t listen if your an old hag (5/5)

If your old and haggy, might be a bad episode, man or woman.

It’s like it satirizes itself (3/5)

This is produced really well and the narrator does a great job but it’s too bad he couldn’t just tell the climactic story himself— the daughter is so bad at retelling it and has such little emotion, it’s literally like an SNL skit. A huge climactic letdown after hearing the whole thing play out.

Amazingly well done (5/5)

I couldn’t stop listening to this. Wish there were more episodes. Hoping this reporter will do more.

Scary and fascinating- with the best twist ever (5/5)

Portrait of a psychopath seducing a naive professional woman.

Terrible (2/5)

The podcast was put together good and it was easy to follow the story. But it’s nothing but a desperate old rich lady with too much money and completely desperate for love and attention. How sad that the kids had to deal with it. After so much evidence on how vindictive this man was and she still wasn’t convinced. I don’t know what else her kids could’ve done. If the ending was different and Terra died instead, she would’ve forgave him like how her mother forgave her son-in-law for murdering her daughter. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree...

Wow! (5/5)

Character development of this podcast is amazing. The unraveling of a true crime story with lots of drama plot twist and intrigue. If anyone is looking for a little laughter today after this serious podcast please head over and check out NashvilleMisty.

Loved it! (5/5)

I know there is a show adaptation now, but I’m afraid to watch. The podcast was just so good that I don’t want the show to taint that in any way. Anyhow, do yourself a favor and listen! You won’t be able to stop once you start.

Who are these people? (1/5)

This may be the DUMBEST & most NAIVE family I have ever heard of. Hearing the grandmother describe the murder of her daughter was aggravating. How she can sit there and say she still loved the murderer and that she talked to him and forgave him after he recovered from his self inflicted wounds?!?!?!?!? I’m sorry, I’ve never been in a situation like that, but c’mon. These people are ridiculously dumb.

Dirty John podcast (5/5)

I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts and this one is very well done and they told the story very well. Loved listening to it while I work.

Bleh (1/5)

The daughters’ voices are unbearable to listen to. Couldn’t make it through the first episode.

Good podcast, stupid protagonist (1/5)

Unfortunately, it is hard to listen to this podcast without being blown away by the mind boggling stupidity of a woman who consistently ignored the repeated warnings of her own family, a private investigator, and her own discoveries to stay with an obvious conman just because he catered to her low self esteem issues. I was also completely appalled by her mother who was so eager to get a reduced sentence for the man who murdered her own daughter. What is wrong with these people? Finally, the youngest daughter could seriously use the services of a good therapist and a vocal coach who could help her sound more like a woman and less like a hesitant child. On the other hand, I was blown away by the bravery and articulate ness of the 14 year old girl who rushed to help her. Kudos to her!

Good podcast, stupid protagonist (1/5)

Unfortunately, it is hard to listen to this podcast without being blown away by the mind boggling stupidity of a woman who consistently ignored the repeated warnings of her own family, a private investigator, and her own discoveries to stay with an obvious conman just because he catered to her low self esteem issues. I was also completely appalled by her mother who was so eager to get a reduced sentence for the man who murdered her own daughter. What is wrong with these people? Finally, the youngest daughter could seriously use the services of a good therapist and a vocal coach who could help her sound more like a woman and less like a hesitant child. On the other hand, I was blown away by the bravery and articulate ness of the 14 year old girl who rushed to help her. Kudos to her!

Cringeworthy (3/5)

This is a pretty good podcast but the mother and the oldest daughter just make me cringe.

Disappointed (2/5)

I think there was a great opportunity here to talk about how toxic masculinity and male entitlement perpetuate the cycle of abuse, but the end of the podcast just glosses over that entirely and lands on “some people are just bad!” A lot of the reviews here talk about how stupid the family is, and while I think they definitely didn’t always make the best choices, what the podcaster neglected to explore in depth was how the culture of Debra’s family when growing up encouraged believing men’s stories over women’s. I felt like the podcaster danced around this a LITTLE bit but I was disappointed by the lack of in-depth analysis at the end - especially the whole “how could Terra have possibly fought him off!” bit. The story itself is not that interesting - women deal with this kind of abuse regularly and most know or have met men like John before. I think the podcast would’ve been far more effective if it focused more on how John ended up the way he did even despite his lack of obvious trauma.

Shocking (5/5)

This story is riveting and I binge listened to it in one day. It would be interesting to have a follow up episode with a psychiatrist who could help explain his or her theory on the mind of a person like John Meehan, and how he was able to get away with the things he did for so long. Fascinating story and well done podcast.

Ehh... Narration wasn’t captivating (3/5)

I usually don’t leave reviews, but I feel like this series is so hyped that it deserved a review. I liked it, interested to see the TV series on it, but I feel like the story could have been told better. I usually like the true story and know that Hollywood will probably insert more drama into the story, but I feel like this story will be much better dramatized. I personally had a hard time getting into it for the first two episodes and if they wanted to tell it like a suspense story it was annoying that I knew right away he dies and was stabbed. The best episode was the ones where we hear from John’s sister and ex wife. I wish they had told the story a little differently. I liked the narration style of Dr. Death much better.

ANNOYING!!! (1/5)

The Newell family are all annoying and extremely dumb. Rich people with low IQ!!! Debra Newell should not have kids! Putting a man over your children?!?!!! She deserved getting conned but her daughter had to pay for her sad mistake. Advise for Debra Newell, please don’t be so vain. It was clear that you were with him for the physical attraction. “Looking for love” is a lousy excuse for a woman your age!

These people are vapid morons (1/5)

Uggg this story is almost unbelievable because there’s no way people can be this stupid. Why is everyone talking so rapidly? You can barely understand it.

This family is dumb and easy manipulated (1/5)

Maybe John wasn’t as good a con man as the journalist is trying to portray. I think Debra is just easy manipulated and lonely. Her mother irritated me she is very naive and it bothered me to listen to the ignorance of her forgiveness for her daughters death.

Well Told By Host (3/5)

Debra, Terra and the grandmother come off as ignorant and really takes away from the horrible situation this monster created. At least Terra watched The Walking Dead and learned how to kill monsters. Only thing that saved her. Debra... I have no words for her that are kind. Her actions and choices put everyone in danger. Just because she wanted someone to touch her.

Compelling (5/5)

This is very well done. Lifetime on steroids!

Ads in the middle (2/5)

Not a fan of ads during the middle and throughout the podcast. Please put at beginning or end. Now I’m no longer listening because it just takes away from it all. Had high hopes but will just watch the show instead.

Mildly entertained (2/5)

The story is typical for anyone who has worked in corrections. It’s nothing more than a low-life who target unsuspecting women. First episode was a giveaway. Dr. Death was a far better podcast... 👀

I was hooked immediately! (5/5)

Interesting story with twists and turns. I’m listening to it for the 2 time now.

It’s about Sociopathy (5/5)

Scary. But, this isn’t about toxic’s about the mental illness of sociopathy. These people, men AND women, are super manipulators who know how to charm the pants off anyone. Not all are killers, but they’re all liars and con artists. I’m glad this guy isn’t around to ruin lives anymore. If you want to read more, check out “The Sociopath Next Door”. Odds are you know someone. Being aware is so important so you can protect yourself. Again, it’s not just men...sociopathy doesn’t care what your gender is. Women sociopaths can be just as evil.

Unbelievable (3/5)

Debra is a moron. Any woman who is willing to throw away her own children for a virtual stranger can be described as nothing less.

Great podcast/dumb victim (5/5)

This is an awesome podcast! I was engaged the whole time. That being said, I was also enraged the whole time at Deb, the victim in this story. She ignored every sign and not only put herself at risk, but her family. A lot of parts were hard to hear because it’s hard to imagine anyone being that stupid.

Eh (3/5)

It’s a good concept but I think they chose the wrong point of view or portrayed it badly? Like i could not feel bad for Debra all of her choices are naive and dense that I can’t empathize with her. The story in general is interesting the narration is just hard to listen too

Beautiful escape (5/5)

I call it a beautiful escape because Debra is first, beautiful and although her escape was beyond a terrifying experience, but in the end she escaped and is still beautiful! She demonstrates all of the traits of a strong yet vulnerable beautiful woman simply looking for love as we all do! Her daughters and nephew are heroes! She is now a hero for domestic violence survivors! May God bless them all and great reporting! A PLUS ALL THE WAY THROUGH!!! Simply a beautiful escape!!!

Enthralling! (5/5)

This was excellent, I couldn’t stop listening. Goffard did an incredible job!

Eh (2/5)

The host and the production was well done . the story on the other hand ... not so much . Debra is hard to sympathize with and Debra’s mom makes the story SOOO much worse because she really did not care for her children at all . who doesn’t call their child when they don’t show up to something they scheduled ? Hard story to get through because it makes no sense .

My heart go out to the families John hurt. (5/5)

I am in my 20s and met a “Sneaky Pete” in my early 20s. I was with him for 5 years. He was much older then me and played me for money, sex and what caused the end of our relationship was the underline lying. He lied about his age, finances, love life and his substance abuse problems. It felt as everything was a lie nothing was real. Peter was just so handsome, smart, sweet, loving and kind in the beginning of our relationship but that wasn’t who he really was. I left after finding drugs in our house which I flushed down the toilet and he tried to kill me after finding out. He choked me out so bad that my whole neck was black and blue plus I had a broken rib from him. Thanks from the strength of God I fought him off and got away after a year of hiding. I am so thankful for my family and friends for helping me to get away. It is not as easy as it seems to get away from someone like a Dirty John or Sneaky Pete. I couldn't change my number for business but I blocked him but sadly that never stopped him! He would call me 7 plus times a day from other numbers leaving messages “I should just kill myself. I will never be safe. No one will ever love me and how worthless I was without him.” I found out for my old neighbors the next girlfriend wasn’t as lucky. After a week and a few days of me being moved out of our home the police report stated that his new girlfriend committed suicide in the house. Which I still don’t believe. This woman was kind hearted and had young children. I still don’t believe that Mel left this world on her own doing, knowing Peter. I spoke to Mel before finding the drugs after looking thru the phone bill. I paid bills every Sunday. I saw multiple calls to other women and even texts. He was playing all of these women at least 10 to more. I told her what he was doing and to get away soon out of the kindness of my heart because I was making a plan to leave him. He is still being a playboy and just married another woman. Still to this day I get phones every other day just to remind me how worthless I am without him and how much he misses/loves me on my business cell. What a joke! Dirty John hit home to me and made me feel as I am not alone. To see this happen to strong, smart, successful and lovely women such as Deb and Tonya. This can happen to really to anyone. Please, please, please!!! Pay attention to all the red flags and don’t make excuses for someone. Let them show you who they really are. I would never want anyone to go through what I did. Tonya and Deb, thank you so much for sharing your story! It brings light on a topic that no one wants to talk about.

I just can’t stop listening! (5/5)

This podcast actually has been the only one I’ve been unable to stop listening to..

Not so crazy ending (1/5)

The whole story is a build up to this crazy ending “that you’ll never see coming,” yet the ending is exactly what you’d expect. Very underwhelming.

Tv show is good (5/5)

In this world being rich or being poor don’t give the right for anyone to take advantage of a person steal money and put fear in their lives and family around them. Everybody wants love and some people are mean and evil and take advantage of the smart people . So before you judge this women !! Please look at yourself and see that anything can happen in this world bad and good and you may think you can control it but sometimes evil people slip in. Just have to pray they stay out of your life and path.

Not an unfamiliar story (4/5)

Many reveiews complain about the 'vocal fry' which is a little unfair, imo. Others say that the characters are unsympathetic and imply that Debra 'deserved' what happened as she and her kids were too stupid to see it all coming. The reality is, however, that unless you have personally experienced a 'Dirty John' in your own life, you probaly can't empathize with the story. Unfortunately, my family went through a similar situation and I like to consider myself and my loved ones as relatively sane and sound individuals. When a manipulator is able to get a hold of a vulnerable, older, and unmarried person, they can easily isolate and turn them against their family. This story hit so close to home and made me feel a little less alone in going through such an awful situation. Sure, this isn't as 'important' as other true crime podcasts out there, but it is an important problem that far too many families know. Give it a listen with an open mind.

Great production, horrible people (1/5)

I wanted to get into it, but there comes a part where a parent defends her child’s abuser and I just can’t listen to that. Production is great, but wow. If you get upset listening to victim blaming and people who are completely uneducated about domestic violence, don’t listen to this podcast.

Great Story (5/5)

This podcast was well written and produced. It contains twisted and turns and a very naive main character but hey... who am I to judge

Painful to Listen (1/5)

The story is pretty intriguing, however the family involved is painful to listen to in both they way they speak, the clear spoiled entitlement of the children, and just the absolute cluelessness of the family as a whole. It truly does make it difficult to have pity for them when the absurdity of their comments are spoken by them in their awful accents over and over again. If this were a made for TV movie people would not believe it’s possible.

Great writing (5/5)

I’m torn about how much she brought all of this on herself but the story and writing are stellar.

Captivating and aggravating at the same time (5/5)

Podcast was captivating and from the moment I started I could not put it down. Yes maybe the daughters voices were annoying to some but the message of stupidity and naivety was just so disturbing it was easy to get past the voices. This is hard to say but I believe if Debra‘s mother had set the proper example and never forgiven, let alone TESTIFYING ON HER SON-IN-LAW’S BEHALF for murdering her daughter Debra would’ve learned a valuable lesson. The warning signs seemed so apparent, right from the first date. You just want to shake this woman and say “what the F were you thinking??” I think the daughters did everything they could to bring her to her senses and she was just blind, and stupid.

Ugh (1/5)

Nails on a chalkboard with these voices. They can’t pronounce consonants and their collective IQ can’t even add up to 100. Couldn’t get through it.

Great! (5/5)

Very well told, listen to it in its entirety in a day! Love everything from wondery

Thank you! (5/5)

So glad this podcast was made. Women are born to care and forgive but they need to know about how they need to be aware of these evil types who pose as kind people

Too many commercials (1/5)

Too many commercials. I will go back to other podcast and delete this from my favorites.

Stupid and Needy (4/5)

I liked the podcast but was continually amazed at how gullible and needy Deborah was. Come on!!!

Egad!!!! (3/5)

You will not like this family!!! It’s impossible too!

No words (5/5)

Story is so upsetting and sad. Everyone is lonely and wants love. How dare the listeners write such terrible reviews. This is some families true story. I’m sorry for them to have experienced such cruelty. ! Haters should look at their own lives and be grateful this didn’t happen to your mom !

How could Deborah be so gullible? (5/5)

I love this podcast but I find it maddening how naive and gullible Deborah Newell was. It’s the 21st century. You don’t fall for anyone without (at least) doing a Google search on the object of your affection. I’m not blaming the victim(s). Love is blind. But even when presented with hard evidence that John was bad news, she took him back?!?

👍👍 (5/5)

Not sure what’s up with all the bad reviews but this podcast is great. Definitely worth listening to, along with “Dr. Death” and “Sword and Scale”

Worst mother I’ve ever seen (5/5)

Their mother is the most selfish mother I’ve ever heard in my life which she made her girls go through shame on her

Tarra (5/5)

Tarra deserves a vip concert experience with Jason Aldean. Please make it happen!!!

I need this erased from my memory. (1/5)

*warning this might be a spoiler* I’ll probably sound like the rest of the reviews on here but holy HELL I couldn’t get past episode 3-4. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, enter grandma. I know what it’s like to try to see the good in everyone because that’s how I am, but these people are such the extreme of it it’s not even believable. Oh your daughter was EXECUTED by her husband but you love him and forgive him immediately?? No wonder Debra is dumb as a bag of rocks. It’s one thing to be blindsided by a con man but she literally let him do whatever the hell he wanted. He could have slaughtered the whole family and she’d still say ‘but he was so nice and handsome and opened doors for me!!!!’ No wonder why he’s your fifth husband. Get real Debra. And the daughters voices make me want to throw my phone into the Atlantic and move to Africa byyyyeeeeeee.

Great story ruined by obnoxious ads... (1/5)

I LOVED this podcast. It’s an incredibly unbelievable story, however, there’s ads that play in the middle of the story which REALLY ruin the flow of this story. Such a shame.

Boring (2/5)

The story has no real cliff hangers, is very drawn out and boring. The daughters voices, I’m sorry, are so drawn out and irritating to listen to. I wish I didn’t waste my time with this one!

Love this podcast! (5/5)

So interesting and awesome!! loved the story and the twist of events. would love to hear more stories like this!

❤️ (5/5)

Terra my heart goes out to you! 🙏🏽

Good reporting (5/5)

Great job reporting this story

Our age-obsessed culture (4/5)

Dirty John is a relevant story. For one it deals with the reality of internet dating. Two it’s a cautionary tale—always do background checks and meet in public places until you are absolutely sure who you are dating. No exceptions. Third—we really are pathetic about aging. This is partly women’s fault—perpetuating this emphasis on physical youthful beauty. So Debra Newell was vulnerable because she was 59. This is a sad statement about our lives. Other than that—this reminds me of HE Lied About Everything. Dating a sociopath and not spotting it early on. Women be more careful—and less desperate. It’s better to be alone!

Good real crime story (5/5)

Lots of twists and turns. Podcast host is a good interviewer.

Amazing Journalism (5/5)

I binged this podcast within days it had me on the edge of my seat! Love the little updates they did about the bravo tv show. Great reporting by the LA time

Skip it - it shouldn’t be top ten rated (1/5)

Characters are totally un-believable especially the wife. This podcast plays like a true crime story but I couldn’t help being reminded that it’s totally fiction- and badly written fiction at that. Zzzzzz

Great reporting, cringeworthy story (5/5)

The reporting is great - kudos to the reporters for gaining access to raw interviews.

Good but the story is kind of underwhelming (3/5)

The coverage was good and the story told well. I just think overall the material and the case isn’t that interesting. I did enjoy it but was just kind of disappointed by the outcome.

Loved it (5/5)

I had no clue what this story was about. Saw an article in People Mag but didn’t have a chance to read it so I saw that it was a podcast and downloaded it. I was immediately hooked and curious of how the story was going to go and end. It was extremely frustrating hearing about Debra and how naive and trusting she was but the part that infuriated me was the part about Cindy and Cindy’s mom! How could she, Cindy’s mom, help the man that murdered her daughter! Something is wrong with that woman and it makes sense of why her daughter Debbie was an idiot. Anyway, I totally didn’t expect the twist at the end and found myself wanted to cheer when I heard the outcome of the story. I thought the whole story was riveting and glad things turned out the way they did. I totally recommended this story to a several people (warned them that there’s parts that will totally frustrate them)

How dense can one woman be? (3/5)

She took him back after possessing irrefutable truth of what a con man and creep he is! Seriously how dense can one woman be? Or is she just desperate? Or is it her upbringing? The mother is also dense!

Lame (1/5)

Thanks for the ad in the first 3min before i even care about this..other podcasts take heed have some integrity

Loved it! (5/5)

The writer did a great job! I loved how he interviewed the people involved. It’s sad that this happened to these individuals, but it’s real life. We should learn from it.

Duh (1/5)

Never listened sounds dumb

Shocked I made it to the end.... (4/5)

Thank goodness the story was engaging because, the daughters voices were excruciating to endure.

Better than the show (5/5)

I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts. I Listened to this way before It got some buzz. It’s one of the best podcasts I’ve ever heard.I Am watching the show and it’s good however, the podcast is WAY better. It is written well and I Loved the way the story was told. Kim from Colorado

Best podcast ever ! (5/5)

Soooooo gripping and literally the best thing to listen to on a long drive.

Loved this (5/5)

I thought it was an incredible story. Great ending.

Narcissistic Sociopath (5/5)

So glad the girl killed this troll .so many out there like him .

I like it but (3/5)

I like this kind of story and I’m listening to the podcast and watching the show. The criticisms in other reviews are totally valid. Terra’s baby voice breaks my head and Debbie is dumb as dirt. She is portrayed well in the Bravo production. I want to slap her. I also can’t stop hate watching it or hate listening.

It’s worth a listen (3/5)

The story is interesting. The women in this story are so very different from me I have a hard time connecting with them. I wish other people had been involved in the story aside from the one family.

Should be retitled: The Dumbest Woman on Earth, starring Dirty John (5/5)

Great production, storytelling, etc. But I cant believe how unbelievably stupid Debra is. Mind boggling.

pays off toward the end, big time (5/5)

The people I’ve seen giving this one star are also saying they quit listening. Yes, it’s a soap opera with far less importance than Serial and In the Dark. And much of how the critical reviewers assessed the characters is true—but they don’t know enough as much about human behavior as they think, and they would learn something if they listened to it all. Think you have everyone pegged by a few episodes? (Some of you think you have in just one episode.) Yeah, it’s a sociological case study. Some characters are hard to take. But LISTEN AND LEARN, people. If it was fiction, I bet many of you would criticize the twist and turn as inconsistent and unbelievable. You might have a breakthrough in your ability to believe in people. It pays off big time. You have to listen through it to get the reward. By the end, I had to criticize myself for my own dismissive attitude. But I loved being wrong. Invest your time. You won’t be sorry.

Blast from the Past (4/5)

Enjoyed the podcast and watching the BravoTV series. Crazy story but no matter how much someone wants love there has to be some common sense. This is so scary that the story is real. Hope it is a lesson to others seeking love online. The host did a good job of laying out the story and it was enjoyable.

Difficult to sympathize with... (1/5)

Should rename from Dirty John to Stupid Debra. After 4 marriages one would probably be slightly more cautious with whom she shares her life and loved ones. This guy was a master manipulator, but she gave him complete credibility after only “knowing” him for 4 months. Selfish and dumb. So many red flags that she chose to ignore for her own selfish reasons. She even admitted that he had an excuse for everything so how could she not believe him - anybody with common sense knows that’s the biggest red flag. No accountability. Also similar to other reviewers, listening to the daughters speak was like nails on a chalkboard. You’re better off reading the LA Times articles than listening to these ladies.

Attention Women (1/5)

As usual they do a great job with production value. However I have never heard of a woman as dumb as Debra. John was not a criminal mastermind, criminal masterminds don’t get arrested over and over again. This is the story about a rich lonely woman who can’t seem to make relationships work so she gets manipulated by a drug addict homeless man.

Outstandingly captivating (5/5)

My wife and I could not stop listening

How naive can you be? (2/5)

I found myself screaming at my iPhone while listening to this story. For someone who is so rich/successful, only Jacqueline seems to have a clue. Debra doesn’t just have low self-esteem, she has no self-esteem. Both Debra and her mother, who is clearly the reason Debra ended up the way she did and married five times, need serious therapy. It was hard to listen to Terra, too, though I feel sorry for what she had to do. John was a complete nut and it’s good he’s gone. Online dating is so scary.

Bimbos in California (1/5)

Man bad. We dumb.

Winner (5/5)

Not very far into it but can already tell it’s going to be good! I know nothing about the story (which is the way I like going into books, movies etc.)

Seriously? (1/5)

It’s hard to believe there are people this stupid on the earth. Between the vocal fry of The daughter and the sheer stupidity of the mother I’m shocked the actual bad guy could stay in the family long enough to commit the crimes

Somewhat interesting. Drags in far too long. (3/5)

This would be much better if consolidated into a couple of episodes. Cut out 75% of the play-by-play narration by uptalkers and the crazy Christian misogynist grandmother. Found myself wanting to slap someone at every turn. The ignorance is baffling.

A story of an obvious rich lady and a con man (1/5)


Inane (1/5)

Don't understand why anyone (ESPECIALLY people who are fans of other true crime podcasts) likes this podcast. The story itself is pathetic -- stupid, stupid people making awful decisions and a psychopath who takes advantage of their stupidity. I was cheering for John most of the time. Poorly constructed, poorly edited, and no suspense until the final episode. Still can't believe I listened to the whole thing! Run away.

Really Makes You Wonder About People (5/5)

A long story that gave me time to wonder what Deborah’s problems were while I knitted. She’s obviously not stupid. You can’t make a bunch of money and be stupid. I don’t think naivety explains it all either — after 4 failed marriages. There is something else going on......some sort of dangerous desire to live a fairy tale life. Never raising her voice, always seeing the good in everyone, the born again Christian zombie train she got on. Orange County has always been a weird place. I live next to it. I think this story is an indictment of that weirdness. It is essentially the story of a sociopath and his victim, one which many women will relate to and be glad they got out in time. One must “court reality” and leave to live in it. This could be a wake up call for some.

Loved it! (5/5)

This is a very helpful story, it doesn’t only tell you red flags to watch out for it helps you with thing that could end up in someone’s life.

Those daughters, though (4/5)

Listening to Debra’s daughters is like slow death. The description of Tara studying self defense on TV. What the heck?! The rest of the podcast was great!

Can’t get enough of this one (5/5)

I’ve listened three times and each time it’s still as incredible as the first time. Spread the word. It’s a great pod

It was OK, but not a Dr Death (3/5)

All I kept thinking about was how can this woman (the mother) be so successful in life and have no clue about her love life. #Gullible

Wow - so well done! One small BUT - too many commercials!!! (5/5)

Unbelievable story. Extremely addictive.

Too Many Advertisers (4/5)

Great story, but WAY TOO MANY ADVERTISEMENTS. The same ads in every episode and played every 15 minutes. Loved the story telling, not the commercials.

My god she is dumb!!! (4/5)

I keep trying to give her the benefit of the doubt but cmon!!!!! Her weird laughter is very off putting

Most ads I’ve heard on a podcast. (3/5)

The story is very compelling; however I’ve never heard so many adds during a podcast.

Ok listen.... (2/5)

The story itself is a bit jaw-dropping. But the times I found myself yelling, “OH MY GOD” out loud while listening were during the interviews. My god the interviews...ALL of the women make me want to pull my hair out. They all have the cadence of vapid rich girls and I just CAN’T with how naive they all are. And the narration...oy....Look, Chris, you don’t have to try so hard to make the story sound MORE noir. WE GET IT. Just.....tell the story without being so dramatic. The story itself is dramatic enough.

Good story about a pathetic woman and Pathetic family (4/5)

The woman, Debra, is a pathetic woman. Debra’s mother is equally pathetic. You almost want to throw up when u hear how she uses religion to throw away her other daughter, Cindy. Insanely delusional. Essentially a story about what happens when a con-man meets some of the most naive people you’ll ever hear about.

I couldn’t even finish (1/5)

This is basically a story of a woman who falls in love with a con man but there is no event around which the story revolves. Unlike Doctor Die - which was riveting - this podcast couldn’t hold my interest longer than 3 episodes. Needs better editing and to move the story forward at a better pace.

Yes! (4/5)

This was interesting to listen too. I have not seen the show. I agree that this lady is an idiot and I was yelling at my iPhone but to each his own. I really thought the writer told the story well. The daughters don’t speak very well (very valley girl , “like totally”) and that got on my nerves. Other than that I really enjoyed it.

Riveting (5/5)

Loved loved loved this podcast. I had no idea about the ending! Awesome work

I Can Identify - My Life Too Has Become a Lifetime Movie (4/5)

I graduated high school a year early, graduated from college, am in a leadership role professionally - and I went through losing my brother to brain cancer, being diagnosed with MS and divorcing my husband of 20 years. I got involved way too fast with a younger man who seemed happier in life, full of laughter, sweetness and affection. He was creative and fun, and we had great chemistry. He manipulated me from day one and saw my trusting ways and vulnerability. There were red flags, and I confronted him frequently...he always had a reason and seemed genuine. It began to grate on me how much he said ‘I love you’ and told me how sexy and beautiful I was. He did a lot of what John did - making me breakfast and bring it to me in bed, running errands, cleaning my car. Then I found meth...we broke up and then I too went back to him because he wrote me letters with promises, cried while professing love and seeming to open up more, and he wouldn’t give up on us. We got back together and he behaved better and seemed to improve and minimize the darkness I got glimpses of before. Cash was always missing from my wallet - as was money from my checking account and balances would climb on credit cards - ones I paid down and even hid. He was never on my accounts, but he never worked consistently so at times I let him use my cards (stupid of me). He was up all night and slept a lot during the day, he rarely contributed to rent or expenses - lots of odd jobs and cash, but then he always had an issue that needed that money. I’ve left him, gotten a lawyer and it’s been 6 weeks. I don’t want anyone else to be hurt by this guy. Watching Dirty John and listening to this podcast - there are so many similarities. Legal issues, disregard of rules and laws, egomaniac ways, turning things on me all the time, pressuring me into more sex (4-5 times a week was too little and I must not be attracted to him anymore). When I left him and fled to family, I felt so much relief and not sadness. My point is...this stuff can happen to anyone. And yes, these ladies all speak in a ridiculous manner and it’s annoying, but clearly they aren’t morons. You don’t want to believe any relationship is a waste, and I certainly was in denial and ignored a lot - I couldn’t deal with it. I felt guilty for not loving him unconditionally, for longing to be with someone who didn’t have so many problems...someone easier. Know when you encounter someone toxic or narcissistic. Listen to your gut. Talk openly to friends and family. If you see someone you care about in this situation, say something - and not as abrasively as Debra’s daughters. There have been people that knew he was no good and a bad guy, they met and liked me...but, didn’t say a thing about it. We all get scared to upset someone, but it’s worth the risk ultimately when you’re true to yourself and acting with good intentions. Be safe everyone and cherish your loved ones.

Fascinating, unexpected ending (4/5)

I am always astonished when people become so enamored by these psychopaths. I guess it’s easy to spot suspicion from the outside looking in. This story had me so frustrated with the mother and her irrationality through out.

Entertaining (4/5)

Unlike other reviewers, I won’t rate the podcast based on the attributes of its characters. I don’t agree with the policing of the daughters’ speech patterns (vocal fry, upspeak) and don’t find it to be a distraction (then again, as a Californian, what do I know ¯\_(ツ)_/¯). I binged the podcast in a single day and found it to be entertaining, albeit, a little... pulpy? As for the ads — they are frequent, but hey, we have fast forward buttons, and journalists gotta eat somehow 😗

Great story, interviewees insufferable. (3/5)

Besides Jacqueline, the idiocy displayed by these women is mind boggling. Good for Terra’s survival instinct at the end, because her slow, vapid manner of speaking throughout the podcast had me wondering if she was genuinely developmentally delayed. I understand it’s a “valley girl” cultural thing but for God’s sake it makes me want to pull my hair out.

Dirty John (5/5)

Super compelling. It was addictive and interesting. The movie is doing a great job so far too.

Just when you think... (5/5)

You have heard it all, Dirty John stuns. Once this story starts you can’t imagine how it ends. There are truly evil people out on the world. All those looking need to look hard into those they let in their life.

Debra is an idiot (1/5)

Honestly how stupid can one woman be .. ok fine .. so you fall in love under false pretenses ... BUT then you find out everything he told you was a LIE and you were living and in LOVE with a sociopathic FELON, AND YOU TAKE HIM BACK!!!!!! Sorry Debby , but this is your own fault .... smh

Ehh (3/5)

Not quite as riveting as I thought it would be? It was good enough to finish, but I didn’t love it.

Could be worse (2/5)

The podcast itself is not that bad. It’s well produced and the journalism is good, but it’s so hard to listen to these interviews. Everyone in this story is so incredibly stupid it’s hard to have any sympathy.

Very Interesting (5/5)

This was a really good pod cast. The way the story is laid out & presented is perfect. Never saw the ending coming. Very surprised

In Poor Taste (1/5)

Could not suffer the arrogant tone of narration. The storyteller has no respect for these people and passes that bias to the audience. Advertisements for home security a story about domestic violence...? NEXT

Captivating (5/5)

I couldn’t stop listening... this had me on edge the entire time and the ending!! Wow... what a crazy horrible yet amazing story.

Not making it past Season 1 Episode 2 (1/5)

These women are extremely naive. I don’t even know the end but it’s so predictive I don’t even have to listen. Thanks to other reviews for letting me know not to waste my time.

Story is great family not so much (1/5)

The actual story is almost like something out of a movie which makes it intriguing and the ending is great in that the small woman over comes the monster and saves her own life. However, the entire time I listened I could not get over how idiotic the mother and her mother were and the way they explain their story as if it was just another day in their privileged lives.

Blown Away (2/5)

Not sure what I’m more blown away by- the fact that they made a TV show out of this, the fact that Debora was naive enough to allow this, the valley girl up-speak, the grandmother, Tara in general. Really just don’t have words...

Not convincing in the least (2/5)

If you can get past the daughter’s annoying Valley girl voice in which every statement sounds like a’ll get to hear from a mother who’s daughter was shot in the head by her husband...and she has so much compassion for the murderer, she actually testified on his behalf in court. It’s absurd and just unbelievable.

Bad boy meets someone who will takes care of him. (5/5)

A terrible waste of possibly a life worth zero.

Relistening - it’s that good (5/5)

I live on pods; they get me through my work day & grocery & traffic etc. Listened to every crime related pod out there. I’m writing a review because this is so well done and some fool just criticized the daughters for speaking their gd truth. Productions were brilliant as well. I suspect some people are critiquing - or at least taking too much into mind - the new bravo show. Anywho- don’t judge the people who lived this.

Voice acting (1/5)

ALL bad. Especially Terra. She sounds like a dumb 8 year old. Super CRINGE! Of all the voices! Are you serious!? That's the best you could do? Absolutely the worst voice. Makes you want to turn it off immediately!

Good work! (4/5)

Good work! But this Debbie just pisses me off putting her needs before her family!!!! I can’t stand her!! How can she live with her self knowing the pain she caused her daughters and fam!!!

Debrah Honey... (5/5)

Fantastic podcast but it’s a little horrifying how stupid Debrah is. I can’t with these mothers that out their entire families in danger. Painful to listen to. Now I’m hearing this lunatic grandmother and it’s all starting to make more sense...

This happens all too often and I have no sympathy for this woman. (1/5)

A woman choosing a man over her children is the worst of the worst. Have some dignity.

OK Listen, Better Podcasts Out There (2/5)

The story is crazy but it’s hard to sympathize with the main character because there were so many red flags. So ultimately you just listen to know what happens next and you see it all coming, but you’re not truly engaged.

Addicting! (5/5)

I’m addicted to this story. One thing though — the narrator makes the ads for women’s hair color and shopping sites terrifying!

Story is well told characters disgusting (1/5)

What is absolutely disgusting is that this grandma and Debra have placed higher value on the love of a man than that of self love and the love you should have of your children. It is fine to be “Christlike,” but forgiveness does not negate the need for consequences. They use being Christian as an excuse for making bad and irresponsible choices. That is not being Christian or Christlike. You can forgive and understand that a person has to pay a debt for what they have done (Cindi) and perhaps it is important to learn from one’s mistakes and not repeat them. It is important to love and care for your kids and not put a boyfriend above the needs or well-being of one’s children. Shame on her for endangering her children and for the grandma to endanger her children teaching Debra to do the same. I have absolutely no sympathy. They should not be able to capitalize on their stupidity. I am sure a legitimate church would say this is absolutely not ok and they need to recalibrate. It is disgusting.

Dirty John (5/5)

Yes this is a great podcast to listen to it’s very suspenseful and you feel like your in the story I highly recommend

Good show (5/5)

I listened to this while studying for finals and it was very interesting. Y’all who are freaking out about the voices obviously just love complaining about nothing. How can anyone do anything about that? Anyways super cool podcast

oy (1/5)

came to the reviews in hopes everyone else would be in agreeance that these people are dense and annoying and i wasn’t disappointed. none of them add any sort of value to the story and tara’s voice makes me want to jump off of a bridge. hard pass.

Incredible story (4/5)

Wow. Thank you for sharing this story. I can’t say I enjoyed any of the music choices, but that isn’t important. Lol

Enthralling (5/5)

Binge listened to every word! Fact certainly is stranger than fiction in this amazing story. In the five hours I listened, I probably picked my jaw up off the ground a 100 times and had moments the hairs on my neck stood straight up. Amazing journalism and story telling!

Fantastic binge material. Wish there was more (5/5)

Probably my favorite podcast , and I’ve listened to a ton. Wish there was more like it

Can you say oblivious? (4/5)

I have to say I love the production value & investigative research LA times put into this.....BUT! So many times while I was listening I was dumbstruck at how stupid and oblivious this woman was. I mean, she been married multiple times (which should be alarm bells) but hiding her relationship status with her own family? Omg ! Warning! Red flags! Detour signs! Wrong way! And then to continue to “feel loved” she keeps believing this frightening person. Even with all this evidence?!!! It’s just tragic that they would have deaths and manipulation already in the past of this family, yet then it’s like she’s going out to search for it for herself! Seriously people. Pay attention! Groan.

Pretty good, but could use some editing (3/5)

This is enjoyable, but it is overly reliant on long, drawn-out interviews. Some of the interviews made me want to pull my hair out—do we really need to listen, at length, to Terra drone on and on about how she’s prepared for a zombie apocalypse because she watches the walking dead? Come on. Attributing her survival of this situation to her Walking Dead fandom is outrageous and stupid. And it was distracting. The story would be much improved by limiting interviews like that.

Decent story (3/5)

Decent story however the valley girl talk is a little annoying. Liikkkkkeee oh my goshhhh

Bingable (5/5)

Insane!!! Couldn’t stop listening!!

Daughters voices are ridiculous (1/5)

Is this a joke? Challenging to listen to from the start. So many red flags - poor standards for a partner and spoiled daughters with terrible upspeak ... challenge to listen to ...are these women for real like I am enraged by the stupidity and even when interviewed sound ridiculous. “I wanted to go to the concert and stuff and they were like I don’t think you are gonna go and I was like ...ok.” - is this a joke

Great podcast (5/5)

Pretty darn good. Don’t listen to too many podcasts but this got me hooked. I couldn’t wait to hear what happened next. This guy is such a disappointment of a human being.

Mind numbing (1/5)

This family is so stupid and insufferable it’s really difficult for me to provide any empathy.

Can’t stop listening but... (2/5)

Debra, ugh. But maybe the most annoying is the grandmother? Clearly John is the devil but open your eyes, women!!

Dirty John (5/5)

I love love love these episodes of Dirty John. Probably because I could relate to so much having dated online etc. thought the characters were really well played and very much enjoyed hearing the real people speak at the end of the shows. I hope there’s more I want more more more. I like that it was based on true story as well. Kind of scary that you really never know someone. CATALINA Davis, age 77

I liked it, but that lady... (4/5)

The story is interesting in the way reality tv is interesting. The mother not taking full and critical ownership over her total lack of respect and protective instinct for herself or her family is disappointing to say the least.

Loved it (5/5)

Omg I loved everything about this one! Such a great and intriguing story!

Riveting (5/5)

The narrator moves the story along so well. The interviews with the main character and her family makes the story come to life. I had chills- it was that good!

Waste of Time (1/5)

I have no idea how this has 4.5 stars. The only explanation is there are listeners as stupid as this woman is. This story, at best, should have been a one off retelling by a true crime podcast. At least there wouldn’t be enough time to delve into how stupid this family is. The whole “forgiveness” side they keep preaching as though we’re supposed to be impressed with it? No. That kind of mentality is dangerous and shame on this “journalist” for giving it any attention at all. At least put it in a “and if you act like this, you’re putting yourself at risk,” context. There’s a quote that goes something like “it’s good to be open minded, just not so much that your brains fall out.” This family went so far beyond that line in every way imaginable I’m surprised they’ve all made it this far. As another review wrote, the podcast is asking you to pick a side: Stupid vs. Evil, and that’s a fight with no winners.

It’s pretty good (4/5)

I enjoyed the story. The thing I didn’t like was the fact that this woman actually had everything bad about him out in the open and still chose to be with him. The podcast is great. The fact that she was still in contact with him, and probably would have continued if her daughter didn’t kill him, is cringeworthy.

Insane story. Very thrilling. (5/5)

I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast. Beginning to end. Insane story.

Ridiculous Women (3/5)

These women are absolutely infuriatingly naive and ridiculous. Debra’s mother has got to be the biggest moron of them all; teaching her daughters horrible lessons about love, men and family. The whole thing story is only worth telling in hopes that other ladies so desperate for love will take warning because these psychos really do exist. Otherwise, waste of time, it’s not that interesting. Good grief.

Pretty much any Dateline NBC episode but in longer podcast form (3/5)

Sure, the story is compelling enough but they manage to stretch out what would be a one hour Dateline episode into a podcast miniseries. I have to concur with a lot of the reviewers when they write about the victim and her total lack of common sense when presented with multiple red flags up front. This is like watching a horror movie where you want to scream back obvious suggestions to the naive character on the screen. Sympathy for the family but not for the main victim in all of this. It’s an addictive podcast but afterwards it will have you wondering whether you could have just read a quick news article about it and spent your time more wisely.

Intriguing and Addicting (5/5)

Love the story! Very well told!

Disappointed to hear a mom make so many dumb mistakes! (3/5)

I was entertained but found myself frustrated with Debra subjecting her adults kids to John and Debra’s mom talk about her son n law Billy how she forgave him for taking her other daughters life. Ridiculous! I will watch show next, and see how this cautionary tale plays out.

Just Ok (3/5)

In terms of production quality, I did not find this to be nearly as good as other podcasts. I also did not care for the subjects of the story. They seem flaky and awfully naive about everything.

Daughters are idiots (2/5)

Omg I just can’t listen to the last few episodes of season 1... both girls sound like airheads and Jacqueline’s voice is the worse!!! I hate how she emphasizes the end of every word. Not as good of a podcast as I thought it was going to be.

Ditto to every 1 & 2-star review + a nod to good storytelling. (3/5)

I cannot say anything better than any of the 1 & 2-star reviews about the characters in this story. I’m amazed so many people revere this story. However, I have to give a star to the journalists for good storytelling, despite the characters being completely insufferable.

I’m listening (2/5)

I love Bravo tv. This fits the drama they produce. However, I have yet to have a story portray counselors in a good light. I can understand why she goes back. However, when he starts blocking you from your family I find it heart breaking for the children to have to go through. Still not that great.

My favorite podcast (5/5)

THIS podcast has spoiled me, others seem flat and monotone in comparison. It’s disappointing how many negative and judgmental reviews there are. Chris Goffard did a great job narrating and interviewing and let them be themselves!! If you don’t like their voices tough teddy. Listen to what they are saying!! They are astute. They were living their lives and this monster arrived. I like the realness and the texture of their voices. For gods sake, Terra and Jacqueline had gut feelings immediately that this guy was evil!! Their sixth sense was very perceptive, Terra even had a dream that foretold the end which flips me out! She intuitively studied up on self-defense and kept a dog with her constantly! Debras part is how perception can be influenced by projection and societal conditioning. Debra wanted “love,” and she *is* a very nice and forgiving person so she projected that onto him, not looking into his story. When she found out it was too late! She had bonded and was under the influence of romance and fantasy fulfillment and got the rudest awakening. It will take a while to absorb the lessons here. She’s still in shock I bet. Thank goodness terra is OK!!!!! Thank you <3

Mean reviewers (5/5)

I honestly think this podcast is really good and interesting. People are so nit picky w podcasts, get over it.

Loved it !!! (5/5)

I can't say enough about this story!!

Riveting! (5/5)

This podcast is like a great book you can’t put down. The story, the writing, the production are all excellent.