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.

Couldn’t turn it off   (5/5)

Wow wow wow. This was an incredible depiction of Dirty John. You must listen.

How can a whole family be this dumb?   (4/5)

Is it bad that I hate all the victims? “I’m scared for my life... but I love him. Her dee dur. 🤷🏻‍♀️” I can’t. They’re just too naive.

.:::::   (5/5)

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Wow   (5/5)

Amazing story. It was told and edited expertly. It made a Friday work day FLY by. Wondery podcasts are top notch, and Dirty John is no exception. You owe it to yourself to give this a listen.

Justice At Last   (5/5)

What exceptional story telling! And what a mind boggling example of how evil and treacherous people can be.A riveting podcast that just flew by, would certainly recommend. ♥️

I’m sure you   (5/5)

No ty

Th in few Dre truth b   (2/5)


the podcast that got me into podcasts   (5/5)

I tried listening to so many podcasts over the course of over a year and could not get into any of them until I heard dirty John. This is so well written, does such an excellent job of examining the psychology of those involved and does a great job of using this unusual story to reveal the ugly and far too prevalent scourge of domestic violence.

I didn’t want this to end   (5/5)

Such a fantastic podcast.

Excellently Told Story   (5/5)

Well written, produced and told. It is difficult to understand why women (or men) go back to their abusers but this story uncovers the psychology behind it along with a compelling tale. Thank goodness this women had devoted daughters and nephew who kept telling her the raw truth. In this case it was mental abuse with the threats of physical. I also could emphasize with Debra, the woman at the center of it, even though I have never had this experience myself.

Excellent   (5/5)

Very well done podcast and nicely edited.

Excellent   (5/5)

Binged in one day!

💛   (5/5)

Really great podcast. Nicely edited.

Love!   (5/5)

Love this podcast

In my favorites   (5/5)

I binged this in one day... While I was at work at my DOG KENNEL... needless to say I was very invested in the end. I teared up several times and I’m not very emotional. I recommend. It’s amazing. Can’t put it down. Engaging. The story telling is do well done. You never know what’s coming next

Very entertaining!   (5/5)

I really enjoyed this podcast series! It is well written and produced and suspenseful if you don’t already know the story. I would recommend this to anyone that wants something a little different...and best part is...there is zero politics involved! Ha!

Enjoyed but..   (3/5)

The truth it was really hard to listen to the daughters Cali drawn out Kardashion accent it was like chalk against an old antique board... this was not easy to state this truth. Tara spoke like a very traumatic victim she sounded like a 10 year old ... I was so confused about her age.. my heart broke for her. How her mom could allow this man into their lives was insanity...learning to live thru this by learning to kill Zombies 😳🤡😳🤡😳🤡 the other daughter her voice gave me seizures 😳😳😳😳😳 but somehow I kept going truth I would walk away when their voice became overwhelming

Great   (5/5)

Great journalism and story telling. Production value is on point. Very glad you published this story! Great podcast!

Got me hooked!   (5/5)

This is the first podcast I listened to. I’ve been addicted ever since! Great storyline. Goes to prove love is blind, deaf and dumb!

The worst voices in human history   (1/5)

The podcast itself was fine, but I genuinely couldn’t focus on it most of the time because of how annoying Debra and Jacquelyn Newell’s voice were. I listened to the end to hear how the story finished, but it was painful at times to listen

Perfect Podcast   (5/5)

Very little captures my interest but, wow!! Scary up to the end. I was intrigued... I almost talk myself out of listening to the last episode because I was afraid he killed someone. Very impressed.

The real hero   (2/5)

I’m fairly certain I left a review when I listened to this initially but then I watched the show and was annoyed all over again. The true hero of the story is the young girl who came along and saved Terra. And she was not given the accolades in this podcast and then was completely written out of the show. Much better to focus on the nit wit who can’t formulate a sentence who thinks she’s fighting zombies.

Thank you   (5/5)

I don’t listen to podcasts in general. I just called off a relationship last week that I suspected fail play. I’ve been in this relationship for a couple years..Abusive, manipulative and deceptive As luck would have it I stumbled on this this podcast by accident and began to listen.. I couldn’t stop listening! So many things that Debra said resonated with me and most important validated what I’m feeling. Red flags were unveiled and I’m NEVER going back to this man. Thank you for opening my eyes and knowing what I was feeling was real and not me or to think I was crazy. I have felt fear and been torn with my emotions of my heart. Now I know this relationship was absolutely toxic and I’m out for good. I can’t thank you enough!

👌🏼   (5/5)

Great story. Love the people although Debra can be a bit childish. Terra is god.

Good storytelling, awful people   (2/5)

The storytelling is great. The people in this story are the most annoying, awful, people I have ever listened to. Debbie is an idiot and has no regard for her family. Arlane (sp?) is ridiculous in her speech about forgiveness. I almost threw up. Billy Vickers? what in the actual hell.

Well done, but the main subjects are not smart, powerful women   (3/5)

It was annoying.

She’s so stupid   (2/5)

Just finished the podcast after watching the Netflix series & holy cow Debra has truly got to be the most annoyingly stupid individual. I really hope that she is not accurately portrayed, if so can’t say I’m surprised she’s been married 5 times.


This podcast did not disappoint. This is the first podcast I recommend to new podcasters.

Not the sharpest tools   (2/5)

There seems to be only one woman in this family that has any sense. I couldn’t stop listening because I can’t believe they are so, well, ignorant. Zombie She’s a keeper.

Very well done   (5/5)

This podcast kept my attention and was told very well.

Could have done without the first person interviews   (3/5)

While I liked the overall story, the first person speaking was painful. By the end, it was more a joke to finish because the actual family members talking, especially Terra, took away from the story rather than adding. I’m disappointed as the LA Times and Wondery are reputable sources but this was not their best work. Could have been summed up in half the number of episodes.

Nope   (1/5)

Unbearable to listen to daughter’s storytelling. Quit on first episode.

Awesome podcast   (5/5)

This is one of the better podcast I have heard in a long time about a true crime case.

Very well told   (5/5)

This was a great podcast. Narrator/author did a great job with the details.

Love the podcast ... it’s the fellow reviewers I don’t love   (5/5)

Amazing podcast .... it’s really brought me up close and personal.. I have so much respect for the Newell’s as well as johns family for the impact and trauma they faced . As a fellow survivor and fighter of abuse - I resonate deeply with the story and truly understand how it effected each individual . I do have to say it bothers me deeply that people could comment on how people speak when talking about horrific times in their lives, or judge somebody for their decisions- when in love with a sociopath narcissist. It’s easy to ask “why don’t you just leave?” If it was that easy.... abusive and dangerous relationships wouldn’t exist. I found it fowl and offensive. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t make it wrong. I enjoyed this podcast and I appreciate the family for sharing their story to help bring light to those who are stuck or fighting and feel afraid . There is hope.

Debra? Really?   (5/5)

I loved the podcast, but it’s childish in the way Debbie handles everything. Going into the podcast, I would have never guessed that John died, because of her giggly and nonchalant attitude towards him. She NEVER apologizes for her daughter almost being kidnapped and murdered. She just giggles about how much she loves him and how they had to be secret. This podcast makes her out to be the victim, she’s already buried herself there. She’s selfish and petty. Has zero remorse of what happened to her family.

Love this!   (5/5)

Love this podcast so much! The show is great as well —- highly recommended to other other people as well :)

Dirty John   (5/5)

Amazing story and extremely well done.

Thoughtful & poignant   (5/5)

I appreciate the light this story shines on coercive control through the eyes of abuse survivors and their families. I really hope that this compelling series may educate listeners on the complexity of trauma and recovery. I really empathize with the trauma bonding Debbie and the other women experienced. Bravo to them for coming forward to share their truths.

Equally interesting & terrifying   (4/5)

Great podcast— well paced! But holy moly, all of her children’s voices are nails on a chalkboard.

No   (1/5)


👏🏽   (5/5)

The podcast is so much better than the Netflix show. Loved it!

Typing?   (3/5)

Why can I hear typing 38 minutes into episode 3? Just wow.

Great podcast   (5/5)

Intriguing, frustrating, chilling I also saw some personality parallels to “ the Donald”- scary

Arlane Hart   (5/5)

Great podcast. The most disturbing part thus far has been Arlane defending the man who murdered her daughter. While listening it became clear very quickly that Arlane is a callous narcissist masquerading as a god-loving woman. She hides her ignorance and egomania behind her illusion of Christianity. The first thing she said when Cindy died was “I’ll be ok.” CINDY is dead. It’s not all about YOU and if YOU’LL be ok! Cindy lost her life, her future, and her hopes and dreams. But her own mother couldn’t care less. Meanwhile Arlane defended the demonic savage who killed Cindy! How DARE she deface her daughter’s memory this way. Poor Cindy is turning over in her grave wondering how her mom, the one person is supposed to always love her, turned on her and supported the sociopath who took EVERYTHING from her. It is devastating and downright nauseating to witness a mother abandon her dead child. Cindy was gone, so she could not be there to defend herself at the trial. Therefore, Cindy was RELYING on her loved ones, like her mother, to defend her memory and fight like hell for her and for justice. But instead Arlane disregarded her own daughter’s life like a worthless piece of trash. Arlane is a deranged hypocrite who blindly follows her self-crafted pseudo-religion. She is an accomplice to misogyny for trying to help that man get released- and she put OTHER WOMEN IN DANGER by doing so! Christianity teaches us to do the right thing. It does not teach us it’s ok to murder!


I saw the television movie and thought it was GREAT! I couldn’t believe how incredibly stupid this well accomplished woman is. After everything that was put in front of her and everything she knew to be the facts she still allowed herself to be wrapped up with him.

Unbelievable woman   (3/5)

As I listened to the last episode where the podcast producers tried to justify Debra Newell’s actions I wanted to get sick. This woman (mother which I will use the term loosely) put her family and so many other people in danger because of her selfishness. The producers tried to compare Newell’s circumstances to his first wife, but these were two very different circumstances. Newell had ample opportunities to make different choices and decisions. She chose to be gullible and traded that for some sick need she had. I think her behavior was selfish and irresponsible.

Good   (5/5)

I like it

One example of a story many can tell   (5/5)

Of the many disturbing podcasts (i.e. Dr. Death, Bad Batch, etc.) that I choose and enjoy listening to on a regular basis, Dirty John was equal parts fascinating, educational and disturbing. The final episode of this podcast allows this particular story to serve as a reminder that this woman and her family are far from alone in their experience. The podcast is well produced and the information is presented in a manner that is easy to follow from episode to episode. The subject is difficult to listen to and disturbing for a variety of reasons, including how easily it all appears to have happened. There are several moments that as a listener it was difficult to continue to listen because you know how it was going to end, but you didn’t know. Listen to Dirty John.

Well told!   (3/5)


Poor performance all around   (1/5)

The vocal fry during victim interviews is atrocious and the background music is confusing and doesn’t seem to match the mood of the story at all. I grew so frustrated with the family portrayed here and the drawn out nature of the story that I had to stop listening after episode 4. It became completely unbearable at that point. I do not recommend this podcast to anyone - wish I could un-listen to the episodes I did listen to.

No Spoilers, but...   (5/5)

I was so moved I was rooting and feeling adrenaline at the apex of the story. Great listen.

Train wreck   (3/5)

I have to say that this story is captivating and I feel for anyone whom has endured domestic violence. This John is a terrible person. But… those daughters. It is hard to listen to them. There could be a whole other season on this dysfunctional family.

Agree with other reviews- good story but terrible voices   (3/5)

The story is ok, similar to other true crime novels. But my goodness it is so tough to feel any empathy or connection to these women. They just come off so stupid. The slow voices and “kardashian” tone is completely awful. Overall- worth the listen if you can put up with the stupidity of the women.

Twist and turns and zombies!!   (5/5)

Literally this show is so fxxxxxing good! Captivating, educated, thorough, and all around good! 10/10

Love it!   (5/5)

The podcast is better than the Bravo series.

Amazing   (5/5)

Listen to this about a year ago. Came to leave a comment on how detailed and how much I lovedd this podcast. The Netflix series is followed to a T and is almost exactly how I imagined. Great story telling

Be excited   (5/5)

This podcast is AMAZING

Second time listening   (5/5)

Just finished watching the tv adaptation of the story and decided to give the podcast a second listen. Just as riveting as the first time I heard it! A truly incredible story told incredibly well.

Devaluing a daughter’s self worth   (4/5)

Debra Newell’s mother message to her daughters was, men are more important than you, no matter how nefarious their behavior is. She devalued her daughters’ self-worth through the caring guise of her interpretation of forgiveness. Cindy’s husband was a controlling abuser that shot his wife point blank in the back of the head. And her mother ‘loved’ him. What a disservice to your deceased daughter’s life and memory to defend her killer in court, and what a twisted message to give your only living daughter. At least Debra’s daughters were on to the con man. BTW, there’s no mention of Debra’s father. Absent. What role did he play and where was he through all of this? Must have missed that detail. Detective Trapp is a much better story.

No words   (5/5)

Unbelievable and fascinating! Don’t look up the story and ruin the surprise. Trust me!

Gray story, impossible to empathize much with the victims though   (5/5)

This is harsh but I found it difficult to empathize with the mother and daughters very much from the first moment I heard them talking. Their speech patterns and accents are similar to that tacky, vapid way the Kardashians speak or the way the people from The Hills sounded. The story is so good though that I continued to listen and just chided myself for my unkind thoughts about the way they spoke. The daughters 100% are worth listening to despite their annoying speech. Turns out though, that it really was impossible to feel very sorry for the family because of both Debra and her mother. Seriously, they come off as so, well, to be blunt, stupid. Debra’s mother is completely complicit in the fact that her own daughter’s killer served less than 3 years in prison for murder. Extreme forgiveness is NOT synonymous with Christianity and look what it did to your kids! One dead and the other a moron. Then there’s Debra. Jesus, Debra, what kind of nitwit marries a man after 5 weeks? Well okay, we all do impulsive things, but then who the hell goes back for round 2 after you find out he’s a dangerous criminal who tried to rob you and threatens your daughters?

Binge worthy   (5/5)

Worth a listen

Must hear!   (5/5)

This is definitely worth a listen!

Love it, Debra is a fool   (5/5)

Great story full of unbelievable twists and turns. But on my second listen to the series I am convinced that Debra is a negligent idiot. Sorry, I’m a woman and a mother, I want to empathize with her but I can’t. There’s a limit. When a man says things like “I’ll throw your daughter in the ocean” AFTER you’ve found out he’s a lying fraud, you friggin LEAVE. You feather brained nitwit.

High quality podcast   (5/5)

This podcast gives an excellent layout of this story, and delivers a shocking surprise at the end. Definitely worth a listen.

Could be better   (3/5)

It was good story but theses whiny voices are so freaking annoying. Tara needs speech class and the mom is not smart at all.

Wow   (1/5)

I got the feeling this was great journalism, but as soon as the daughter started speaking I couldn’t finish the first episode. The hole I’m a kardashian slow talk makes me wanna rip my ears off lol. There has to be a limit to how much Prozac a woman should be aloud to take. Seems as though f this family could of been taken advantage of by a cactus.

Brilliant   (5/5)

Deception and twists - sadly people like this do exist ! Awesome pod cast and well presented and researched

Love love love   (5/5)

So I started out listening to another podcast called Detective Trapp & loved. So while listening I heard about this one and fell in love as well!!! The narrator’s voice is amazing and chill. Now I’m watching a series on netflix called “Dirty John”!! Let’s see how the series is up here!

Really entertaining and love the little musical songs   (5/5)

So relaxing I fell asleep and I love how it’s like an intense show

Love it   (5/5)

Loved so much now I’m watching the series on Netflix

Five stars   (5/5)

So captivating. Worth all the hype.

Wow   (5/5)

Binged this in one day. Couldn't stop.

Good but needed a little help with recording techniques...   (4/5)

After listening to Serial and how well the author demonstrates her knowledge of recording audio and editing, this podcast falls way short. Oftentimes in a recorded interview, the interviewee was mic’d but not the interviewer so that you had a hard time hearing what he was asking. There were other times that the audio was bad and no explanation was given as to why. Also sometimes, the dialogue was hard to follow bec the person speaking would switch and since they had similar voices it was hard to catch. Just felt that this seemed like an amateur recording. But to be fair. the Serial author was from NPR so there’s that. But overall the content and storyline was interesting and well written.

Debra is the psycho!   (3/5)

What fascinated me the MOST about this story is Debra. I cannot imagine the guilt she must live with every day for putting her entire family through this horrendous ordeal. Terra must be forever changed and be saddled with PTSD for the attack she endured and the fact that she was forced to STAB someone to death in order to protect herself. That fact that Debra immediately found out that the man she was living with was a liar and convict and no matter what terrible evidence she continued to find, it STILL didn’t dissuade her from choosing a psychopath over her children...astounding. Also...why does everyone keep referring to Debra as a smart woman?? She sounds completely lobotomised or totally drugged. She sounds low IQ. She doesn’t even seem to sound remorseful. Sad for her poor kids. Would be more interesting to have a psychological study done on Debra to see what is wrong with her.

It’s ok.   (1/5)

More detailed than datelines coverage but not as good or entertaining as datelines depiction.

Amazing   (5/5)

Wild ride from start to finish. Very entertaining.

Dirty John   (5/5)

One of the more professionally presented podcasts that I have listened to and I listen to many . Keep them coming . Thank u

Not great   (2/5)

I couldn’t make it past episode 4 I think. The lady in the story was clearly not smart, but the narrative didn’t make this podcast any better. It got a little painful to continue listening.

Awesome!!!   (5/5)

I literally cheered out loud at the final episode!! I hated Tara and her annoying up-speak throughout the podcast... now I love her!!

Engaging   (5/5)

Enjoyed it!

How can any woman be so stupid!   (4/5)

As I listened to this podcast, I just couldn’t believe how such a seemingly smart business woman could actually be this dumb! And to put her family through hell because of Dirty John. All because she said she loved him! She’s got to be the dumbest woman in America!! And shame on her after her family tried over and over again to warn her!

WOW!   (2/5)

Another great podcast from the LA Times and wondery. After one I am hooked again!! 😁

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.

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.

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.

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!   (5/5)


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!!

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

DIRTY JOHN   (5/5)

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.

Boring and annoying   (1/5)

Story is uninteresting and follows no clear line of reasoning. You know where the end is from the very beginning, and they lead you there so agonizingly slowly I just stopped listening. And to top it off the main women who talk during about what happened to them have annoying voices and take forever to get their boring points across.

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.

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.

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

So good! Way better then the TV series.   (5/5)

I first heard this story on Dateline, then I listened to the podcast which is excellent! Then they made it into a TV series probably because the podcast was so good. The TV series in my opinion was a flop but the podcast was gripping and well told.

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!

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.