When Veronica Newell met her mum’s boyfriend, John Meehan, for the second time, she tried to hire a private investigator. After selling her beloved Chanel bag to gain funds, she did just that. There was something, she thought, off about John.
Her menacing suspicion, was right.
The investigator revealed this man, who was now married to her mum Debra, had a number of restraining orders against him, he had a history of drug abuse, and he had served time in prison.
John was a compulsive liar, a master manipulator and a well experienced con artist. He had a history of taking advantage of vulnerable women.
Veronica, the eldest daughter of Debra Newell, made it her mission to convince her mum to file for divorce.
Watch the trailer for Netflix’s Dirty John below. Post continues below after video…
The gripping story, which ends in John attempting to murder Debra’s other daughter, Terra, became the focus of a Los Angeles Times and Wondery podcast called Dirty John.
It has since be turned into an eight-episode thriller series, which was recently released on Netflix.
The unsettling series deals with the theme of abusive relationships and how hard it can be to leave a relationship, even when you know your partner isn’t good for you.
The podcast and subsequent series has gained a stunning amount of attention, with people obsessed with the real life characters of the show.
But whilst Veronica – who’s real name is Jacquelyn – was the most vocal about her hate for John, she has been the most withdrawn since the family’s story has gained international attention.
Yep – Veronica “please don’t call me Ronnie” Newell isn’t actually real. She’s based on a woman called Jacquelyn.
Like Veronica, Jacquelyn, who was 24-years-old when John first came into her family’s life, was an assertive figure throughout the saga.
In the original LA Times podcast, Jacquelyn participated in the interview process and told reporters of her initial concerns and attitude towards John.
“Things unsettled Jacquelyn, like the slangy, misspelled texts she received from her mum’s number that were clearly not from her. And the way her mum kept calling to complain that money was missing from her wallet,” journalist Christopher Goffard wrote.
“Jacquelyn told her to think about the loser she was dating. She thought her mum, so nice and trusting and naive, had no idea who he was.”
It continues: “Jacquelyn bought a magnetic tracker and put it on her mother’s Tesla to monitor John’s movements when he left the house… from her iPhone, Jacquelyn began studying the strange routes he took.”
But when the news broke that a series based on the podcast was in production, Jacquelyn asked the producers to change her name. A choice also made by Debra’s nephew Toby, whose real name is Shad Vickers.