or Terra Newell and her family, John Meehan was the boogeyman. He had swept
their mother, Debra, off her feet, marrying her after two months of dating. But
"Dirty John" was a con man and drug addict who had seduced and threatened
countless women and spent time in jail for stealing anesthetics from the hospital
where he worked. After Debra left him in March 2016, John stalked and harassed
her and her daughters. Debra tried getting a restraining order, but a judge denied it.
On August 20, when Terra returned home from work, John was waiting in the
parking lot. He attacked her with a knife. Terra tried to fight him off, but John got
her to the ground and cut open her arm, exposing muscle. Terra kicked the knife
from his hand. She grabbed it and stabbed him 13 times. When the knife pierced
his left eye and entered his brain, John collapsed. He died days later at the hospital.
Terra's wounds healed, though PTSD still lingers. But her family, once fractured, has