When Debra Newell first noticed John Meehan on a relationship web site in 2014, she was immediately smitten — however the mom of 4 couldn’t have predicted that her whirlwind romance would rapidly unravel right into a horrifying nightmare.
Newell’s case of affection gone improper is the topic of an upcoming Oxygen documentary titled “Soiled John: The Soiled Reality.” It options interviews with detectives who labored on the case, a few of Meehan’s former girlfriends and even his first spouse, Tonia Bales.
The stunning story was the topic of a smashing podcast in 2017 – from Wondery and the Los Angeles Occasions – and, extra not too long ago, in late 2018, Bravo premiered “Soiled John,” a scripted sequence with Connie Britton within the starring position.
“I felt that the explanation I participated in all of it, not simply the Oxygen particular, was to get consciousness on the market for different girls,” Newell advised Fox Information.
Newell, who was 4 occasions divorced, met Meehan on an over-50 relationship web site. Meehan posed as an anesthesiologist who’d simply returned to Southern California after a yr in war-torn Iraq whereas volunteering with Docs With out Borders.
Newell, a rich and profitable inside designer prepared for love, was impressed by what she learn and noticed.
“What drew me into John was primary his love for animals,” defined Newell. “That he cherished youngsters. He … was good wanting in my eyes. He was a health care provider. Principally, he checked all of the containers for me.”
After two months of relationship, the couple acquired married.
“John was extraordinarily persistent,” stated Newell. “Each day, he was saying, ‘Please, please, please marry me. You’re my soulmate. You’re the person who I wish to dwell the remainder of my life with. We’re getting older. Let’s simply do it.’ I used to be nervous, apprehensive about doing it, however I did.”
Whereas Newell stated she felt herself rapidly falling in love with the charismatic physician, her 4 youngsters weren’t impressed. Actually, one in all her daughters employed a personal investigator to verify her fears. It turned out Meehan by no means labored for Docs With out Borders and by no means even attended medical college.
What Meehan did had was a felony rap sheet which unveiled he served time for stealing narcotics in hospitals. The Los Angeles Occasions reported that from 2005 to 2014, he had “seduced, swindled and terrorized a number of girls, lots of whom he had met on relationship websites whereas posing as a health care provider.” Newell stated the report made by the non-public investigator was about 324 pages.
The newspaper added that by the point Meehan married Newell in December 2014, three girls had standing restraining orders towards him. A minimum of three others had requested them. Meehan had additionally advised Newell one in all his sisters had died of most cancers. Nevertheless, each of his siblings had been alive and properly.
“I feel that I jumped with my coronary heart as an alternative of my head, and I ignored the flags,” Newell admitted. “They had been in entrance of me, however I refused to actually have a look at them. I used to be simply falling in love. … I wasn’t proud of how he was treating my youngsters. However I wasn’t seeing loads of it as a result of how he would deal with them once I wasn’t round was very totally different once I was round … he didn’t make an effort to get to know my household, get to know my mates. He simply needed to be with me, and I assumed that was one of many largest indicators.”
Newell stated she thought then of her sister, Cindi Vickers. Oxygen shared that in 1984, Vickers’ husband Billy got here up behind her, positioned a pistol to the again of her neck and shot her to dying. After pulling the set off, Billy then shot himself within the abdomen. He would survive the gunshot and later remarried.
Newell instantly needed to finish the wedding, despite the fact that Meehan stored insisting he was harmless of the allegations. They reconciled briefly, however finally, she realized she could not spend the remainder of her life with a manipulative con artist. Newell filed to annul the wedding to Meehan in April 2016. She additionally went into hiding.
“I gave John an opportunity. I additionally had one foot in, and one foot out. I actually wanted to investigate and determine this all out by myself,” she recalled.
“Once I left I had an exit plan since you don’t stroll away from these males with out one thing violent occurring,” stated Newell. “I had one other cellphone. I had modified all my passwords. I modified emails. I had transferred cash. I had talked to my workplace that I used to be going to be gone so they might come up with me remotely. There have been many, many issues I did to organize myself to depart in order that I might go into hiding.”
Individuals journal reported Meehan filed for divorce himself, demanding half of Newell’s revenue and possession in her enterprise. He additionally reportedly lit her Tesla on fireplace, emailed nude photos of her to her household and started to stalk her.
“I assumed he was after me for my cash, so I didn’t really feel that my youngsters needs to be in worry,” stated Newell. “We thought it was me, and so I’d been hiding for seven months at this level.”
Then on Aug. 20, 2016, Meehan waited outdoors of her youngest daughter Terra’s house and attacked her. An injured Terra, who was impressed by strikes she noticed on “The Strolling Useless,” managed to battle Meehan off her. She kicked the knife from his hand, grabbed the weapon and stabbed him a number of occasions.
“She was right-handed. She didn’t suppose,” reported the Los Angeles Occasions. “She started flailing, in search of targets. She related, repeatedly. His shoulder. His shoulder blade. His triceps. His shoulder blade. His higher again. His shoulder blade. His higher again. Between his shoulder blades. His forearm. His triceps. His shoulder. His chest. His left eye — and thru it — into his mind.”
Newell would obtain a cellphone name from a distraught Terra.
“I get this name from my daughter, and she or he’s screaming that she killed my husband,” stated Newell. “It was so surreal. The guilt and simply every little thing overwhelmed me. … I don’t understand how I acquired there, however I acquired to the positioning … She was sitting on the curb. I simply needed to be together with her.”
Meehan died within the hospital 4 days later. Newell stated she and Meehan had been separated on the time. She claimed their annulment was going to be ultimate on September 13.
The then-25-year-old was by no means charged for Meehan’s dying as a result of it was decided she fought again in self-defense. Newell additionally shared Terra was despatched away for about six months to Austin, Texas the place she acquired in depth remedy for PTSD. However earlier than then, Newell reached out to Meehan’s sisters to inform them of their brother’s destiny.
“When every little thing occurred we truly known as John’s sisters,” stated Newell. “They talked about the truth that they’d been in worry, and that they had been OK with what Terra had completed. … The women had reduction. They had been many, many different victims on the market that had been rapidly now not in worry as a result of John was gone.”
Newell stated she hasn’t dated since. Nowadays, she’s hoping her story will educate others on how simply one might be tangled in a terrifying state of affairs if these evident pink flags are ignored.
“I hope folks perceive that it could possibly occur to anybody,” stated Newell. “There are numerous, many individuals on the market which are going by way of what I went by way of, perhaps otherwise. However they aren’t alone.”
“Soiled John: The Soiled Reality” airs Jan. 14 at eight p.m. on Oxygen.