PODCAST: DIRTY JOHN
I decided to start listing recent podcasts that I’ve listened to. This week I finished Dirty John. I totally binge-listened to this and finished it within a few days. Here’s some info:
Dirty John is an investigative journalism podcast hosted by journalist Christopher Goffard and created by Wondery and Los Angeles Times.
The podcast was downloaded over 10 million times within 6 weeks of release.
The podcast was named Dirty John which was one of John Meehan's nicknames given to him by his classmates during his time at the University of Dayton. Other nicknames from this time included Filthy John, or just Filthy. The exact nexus of these nicknames was never divulged during the podcast.
Dirty John is a true crime story focusing on the life and exploits of John Meehan. L.A. Times Journalist Christopher Goffard first heard of Meehan when he learned that the police were investigating a possible murder in Newport Beach. Upon investigating, Goffard discovered a bizarre web of deceit and abuse.
The main focus of the story is Meehan's relationship with businesswoman Debra Newell, who he met via Internet dating, as well her immediate and extended family. The podcast deals with themes of abuse and manipulation, as well as the behaviours of those being abused.
I absolutely loved this podcast, it reeled me in immediately and was extremely well written and paced. The ending (which I won’t spoil) is even more shocking because of the way the story is expertly structured.
It was especially interesting to me because I too have been in a relationship with a manipulative and talented liar and a lot of the things that were said about John rang true for me. It was a cathartic experience to hear these tales and know that my troubles are over and that I wouldn’t be fooled by someone like this again.
Every podcast I listen to I compare to Serial, mostly because it was the first one I really listened to but also because it’s still one of the best, this was not quite as good as Serial but still very interesting and enjoyable to listen to.