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What Is the Dirty John Podcast About?

This Viral True-Crime Podcast Will Make You Seriously Question Your Significant Other

In the wake of podcast hits like Serial and S-Town, a new true-crime podcast from the Los Angeles Times has transfixed listeners. Hosted by reporter Christopher Goffard, Dirty John tells the story of Debra Newell's nightmarish relationship with John Meehan as well as their relationship's effect on her family.

Without giving too much away, it's clear from the first episode that the podcast's titular character is not who he says he is. Newell, a wealthy 59-year-old interior designer, began seeing Meehan, a 55-year-old anesthesiologist, after they connected on a dating site. After their first date, Meehan texted Newell saying he would be "the best thing that will ever happen" to her.

As the relationship rapidly progressed, her children began to express their concerns: why was he always wearing medical scrubs? Why didn't he have his own car? How come she knew so little about his past? As the story unfolds, it becomes evident that Newell doesn't know Meehan at all, a man once referred to as "Dirty John" and "Filthy John Meehan" by his college classmates.


Unlike Serial, Dirty John does not end with additional questions — you'll definitely get answers. The six-part podcast is currently available in its entirety everywhere podcasts are available. It also comes with a visual component on the Los Angeles Times website, where there are pictures of all the major players and locations. If you've been looking for a mysterious podcast to get sucked into, this is the one. Fair warning, though: it might make you seriously question your significant other.

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