Horror Podcast Intrigues Listeners

“Dirty John” is the crime mystery podcasters have been waiting for

By Tiffany Van Gilder Contributor

Cover art of the Dirty John podcast; depicts a red rose in a black and white background. A surgical gloved hand is also seen holding a syringe.
Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times

Podcasts are overlooked. People don’t realize that they can be even better than a book, movie or television show, especially when they take place in our own backyard. This is what makes “Dirty John,” a podcast based on a 2014 true crime story in Orange County, a must-listen. The first season consists of six 50-minute episodes that will make you want to binge-listen the entire season.

Narrated by Christopher Goffard, who reported the story for the Los Angeles Times, “Dirty John” is about a woman in her 50s named Debra Newell. After meeting John Meehan through a dating site, the two quickly fall in love and get married. Shortly afterwards, Debra discovers that John is a con artist. The six episodes go through Debra’s story, with insight from herself and her kids. They also delve into John’s background and past.

Not only is the story interesting and intriguing, but it might result in a change of perspective. You are given a look into a crime that happened in close proximity to the Long Beach area—one that could happen to anyone. The story takes place in the Newport Beach and Irvine area. Locations mentioned include the Irvine Spectrum and Balboa Island.

Most of the crimes we hear about are shootings or murders. They aren’t usually focused on manipulation, deception and survival. “Dirty John” conveys the emotion, intensity and fear the affected family experienced, making the podcast unforgettable.