There’s finally something new on the agenda for true crime podcast fans. Dirty John is a six-part series from the team at the Los Angeles Times, and it’s every bit as juicy, creepy and gripping as its This American Life predecessors. Here’s why you need to download it now…
What’s it about?
A wealthy interior designer, Debra Newell Stewart, from Orange County, California, falls for an anaesthetist (John) who she meets on Match.com back in 2014. The first episode maps out their relationship, and the rest describes the shocking criminal case that follows.
Can you give away any more?
It’s not a plot spoiler to say that the opening few minutes of the first episode feature a police report of a graphic murder. Details unravel about John’s shady past, and it’s a tantalising wait to discover who exactly is the victim, and who is the perpetrator, of the crime.
Why is it so gripping?
First of all, Debra is scarily relatable – she’s a warm, generous person who believes the best in everyone. Secondly, there’s the inevitability of the murder, and the tense wait to find out whodunnit. Thirdly, there is seemingly no end to John’s psychopathic behaviour; from a criminal past to horrifying police evidence against him, it’s a terrifying real-life crime story.
Christopher Goffard, the journalist who wrote the original exposé on the murder case for the LA Times. It also features extensive interviews with all the main individuals involved, including Debra, her daughters, and members of John’s family.
The best bit?
Remember listening to Serial and not being able to picture Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee? The internet is full of images of John, Debra and her family, so it’s even more cinematic than other podcasts of its ilk.
Where can I find it?
Download on iTunes now – before someone ruins the ending.