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The subject of the popular podcast "Dirty John" from The Los Angeles Times, John Meehan had a lengthy rap sheet before he died after attacking Terra Newell, the daughter of his second wife, Debra. Though Meehan had most likely never (successfully) committed a murder, there is evidence to suggest he may have been well on his way to doing just that.
After being arrested for stalking his ex-girlfriend Marileide Andersen, police searched Meehan’s office space and car, where they found documents connecting him to an RV in Cathedral City, California.
"We go to the trailer and it looks like it's out of 'Breaking Bad.' It's filthy. Just lots of prescription drugs, needles, barely could walk around inside of it," Detective Julia Bowman of the Laguna Beach Police Department told "Dirty John, The Dirty Truth," a two-hour documentary airing on Oxygen. "But, there is this very, very nice computer. And the entire wallpaper is hundreds of JPEGs of women. Clicking on the pictures of the women I immediately start to recognize them either as Marileide or previous girlfriends, his wives."
Using her detective skills, Bowman also checked the refrigerator and freezer at Meehan’s office space.
"In the office building there was a refrigerator. Crooks hide things in their freezer. Open the refrigerator and there's a backpack. Open the backpack and inside the backpack there's a revolver. There's hundreds of rounds of ammo. There's a bottle of cyanide capsules," Bowman said. "Pretty much a very complete killing and kidnapping kit. We have to throw the book at this guy. When I saw the kidnapping and killing kit, I knew that John was capable of murder.”
Both Bowman and The Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard, who reported on John Meehan, thought the lack of organization and carelessness was surprising given that he had a methodical history of covering his tracks.
"Why he left all this evidence around is one of my abiding questions about John Meehan,” Goffard said in the documentary. “Maybe because he lusted after confrontation. Maybe because he kept them around as trophies.”
Meehan was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to felony possession of a firearm, burglary and stalking his ex-girlfriend Marileide, according to The Los Angeles Times.
It was after his release that he met and married Debra Newell, terrorizing her and her daughters. Meehan was killed when he viciously stalked and attacked Debra Newell's daughter, Terra, who stabbed him 13 times with his own knife, leading to his death. A clear act of self-defense, Terra was never charged in connection to the stabbing.
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