Terra Newell has shared new details about the night she killed 'Dirty John' Meehan.

Warning – This post contains spoilers for Netflix’s Dirty John.

When Debra Newell met John Meehan for a candlelit dinner in October 2014, she thought she had met the man of her dreams.

Right from the beginning, however, Debra’s daughter Terra Newell was incredibly suspicious of the new man in her mother’s life.

Although John initially came across as incredibly charismatic and successful, it wasn’t long before Debra and her family discovered John’s true side. Behind his carefully crafted fake persona, John Meehan was a compulsive liar, a manipulator and a drug addict.

When Debra eventually left John, he spiralled out of control, lighting Debra’s car on fire and stalking her daughters.

Check out the trailer for Netflix’s Dirty John here. Post continues below…

On August 24, 2016, it all came to a dramatic end when John confronted Debra’s daughter Terra in the car park of her apartment, brandishing a knife.

Luckily, John dropped the knife and a struggle ensued between the pair, ending with Terra stabbing John 13 times.

Now, speaking to The Hit Network’s Grant, Ed and AshTerra Newell has shared more details about the night she killed her mother’s husband.

“It was my life or his. In that moment, it was so serious,” Terra told the radio show.

“I tried to get away from him and I was trying to run away at first but I couldn’t disconnect from him so I had to fight back,” she continued.

“I think I stabbed him 13 times.”

dirty john cast
Julie Garner, who plays Terra Newell on Dirty John and the real life Terra Newell. Images: Netflix and Getty.

Terra also explained how her love of TV show The Walking Dead played a part in her survival instincts.

"In that moment, I wasn't really like thinking about how many times I was stabbing him. But the last two to the head, I actually gave those two some thought," Terra admitted.

"I was just thinking if I don't kill him, then he's going to get up. I watch a lot of Walking Dead... so I was killing him like a zombie."

When the paramedics arrived at the scene, Terra was distraught when she realised John wasn't dead.

"I thought I killed him but then the paramedics came and they started to revive him," she told The Hit Network's Grant, Ed and Ash. "I told them, 'Don't do that! He'll try to kill you too'."

Terra also shared the extreme extent of John's drug addiction, which Debra only discovered several months after ending things with John.


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"Before my mum broke up with him officially, we found out that he went to jail," Terra said.

"When he was in jail that time, he cut his stomach open and then he put poop in it."


It's believed John cut his stomach open in an attempt to be moved from prison to hospital.

"[He did it] just to get high off the drugs," Terra said.

Since the death of John, Terra has been diagnosed with PTSD and has undergone extensive therapy.

Unlike her sister Jacqueline (her character was named Veronica in the TV show) Terra has been heavily involved in both the Dirty John podcast and the TV series.


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The now 28-year-old said she wanted to be involved in the show so people would understand why her mother ignored her and Jacqueline’s concerns for so long.

She also wanted her fight for survival to be portrayed accurately.

Since the release of the Netflix series, Terra has started a lifestyle blog, where she blogs about her experience with PTSD, and her love of zombies, animals, travel and country music.

Read more on this topic:

The real life faces behind Dirty John, Netflix's chilling new true crime series.

This is what Terra Newell's life looks like after Dirty John.

Debra Newell was terrorised by 'Dirty' John Meehan for years. This is what her life is like now.

Everything we know about Jacquelyn Newell, the woman Dirty John's 'Veronica' is based on.

How Terra Newell coped with meeting Eric Bana's Dirty John, the man who left her traumatised.