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Publisher's Summary

Many listened to the Dirty John podcast, which introduced the world to John Meehan, a dangerous serial predator who infiltrates the life of Debra Newell and ultimately dies at the hand of her daughter, Terra. But there was an overlooked story that’s now being told, in full, for the first time. In The First Wife: John Meehan’s Reign of Terror, Tonia Bales recounts her harrowing experiences as John’s wife of 10 years and the mother of their daughters, Emily and Abby. Highlighting new details and revelations, Tonia shares the abuse she suffered from the man she once believed to be her soulmate, but who ultimately revealed himself as a coercive and controlling terrorist. Through exclusive archival materials and all-new interviews with the people who knew her and John best, uncovering long-held secrets and including perspective from their daughters, Tonia embarks on a re-investigation of the man she thought she knew. The multiple bombshells she unearths include one that will change her and her daughters’ lives forever.
©2021 AYR MEDIA, LLC (P)2021 Audible Originals, LLC

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What listeners say about The First Wife: John Meehan's Reign of Terror

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  • Waywardsister22
  • 24-07-21

better than Netflix

What the first wife goes through usually determines how the rest will be treated when married to/dating an abusive partner. couple that with psychopathy and you're in for a bumpy ride. As a former Criminologist I was just as interested in the discussion in the bonus episodes as I was in the initial story telling. That family went through hell and I can only commend the First Wife for her strength, determination and love for her children. Worth every minute of your listening time.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-07-21

Very brave women 💪

Interesting to hear this side of the story. Well narrated, however there were a couple of glitches where phone conversations where inaudible and one of the bonus chapters would not load after download.

1 person found this helpful

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  • GillyAnne
  • 11-08-21

Sound quality problems

Very interesting but there were sound quality issues whilst listening to their recorded telephone calls, so I missed a lot of the information.

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  • Macfhelen
  • 09-08-21

gripping

I love these investigative audios. Difficult to believe that such quality comes free with membership

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  • missmodette
  • 07-08-21

Dirty John just got Dirtier

Loved this podcast! Great informative story telling & I loved the bonus episodes with Laura breaking down his behaviour

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  • Michael
  • 03-08-21

ok but nothing special

it is ok, nothing special but it wasted some of my time, listen if you have nothing else and your bored

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  • MS f A S.
  • 31-07-21

fascinating

An amazing fleshing out of the Dirty John story. didn't listen to the extra bits as I just needed to listen to the story. I might go back now and listen to the extras.

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  • Alibookworm
  • 28-07-21

Real life at its human worst

I have great admiration for Tania. This book should be added to the essential reading list for life.

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  • Lucy Keogh
  • 01-08-21

tonia is amazing

I learnt so much from this. so impressed by tonia's strength and humanity. great stuff

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  • Lisa Ziolkowski
  • 24-07-21

Fantastically informative

This podcast was fabulous. I binged the entire series in one day. It was very engaging in general, but the part I liked most was the inclusion of bonus episodes hosted by Laura Richards, an expert on domestic violence and stalking. She provides important nuance and context after each installment, which helps the listener really understand the true narrative. She provides valuable insight about domestic violence/coercive control and stalking. I highly recommend this podcast to anyone who would like to learn more about the psychology of abusers. This series could really save lives. Well done all who were involved in making it.