I began watching Dirty John at my mother’s insistence. She has a history of loving true crime TV shows, along with crime-based fictional shows, so I was a bit hesitant to take her recommendation because that’s just not me. I’ve never been one to love “The First 48” or “Dateline NBC,” which are some of the most popular true crime TV shows.
Still, I started watching the documentary “Dirty John: The Dirty Truth” at her insistence. This is a 1.5 hour documentary on Netflix that includes interviews with the real people involved in the story: the Newells along with other family members and investigators. (Scroll to the bottom for a link to a Youtube upload of the documentary if you don’t have Netflix.)
If you’re brand-new to Dirty John, let me try to fill you in. It’s what I can only refer to as a true crime phenomenon. It’s based on an online dating story gone bad that happened in recent years, where John Meehan targeted a mature, wealthy divorcee with her own business in what could be described as a romance scam. The story culminates in 2015, but from the beginning, which was a couple years before that, Meehan started dating Newell with the intention of eventually taking her money.