The Wild True Crime Story That Led To Bravo’s ‘Dirty John’

You might know Bravo as the network behind The Real Housewives franchise and popcorn-friendly reality TV shows but sometimes the network pulls off a scripted anthology series that unnerves us while gaining the praise of the true crime crowd. Dirty John, based on the highly popular 2017 true crime podcast, Dirty John, is one of those series.

The show premiered in the fall of 2018 and you’re going to want to know about the podcast before tuning into the series. The series is based on the research of Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard, who chronicled the romance between Debra Newell and a con-man named John Meehan, who she met through an over-50’s dating website. Debra is quick to discover that John is harboring a darkly disturbing past full of potentially deadly secrets.

Why are so many people fascinated with the story of a woman who met a man online that turned out to be a psychopath?

The Podcast Was A Major Hit

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@LATChrisGoffard/Twitter
@LATChrisGoffard/Twitter

The true crime podcast shot to the top of the Apple charts, with more than 10 million downloads in a sixth week period. Surprisingly enough Dirty John is Goffard’s first podcast, who spent a year putting together the story.

Additionally, he felt compelled to investigate the situation and he told The Music that “Something about John Meehan chilled me in a way nobody else has.” He came off as the perfect husband, but he doesn’t seem to fit the bill.