Survivor Terra Newell: "I Ended The Madness of Dirty John!" - Moving Past Murder #31
Moving Past Murder Episode #31 - April 1, 2022
Dirty John, the hit podcast from Wondery and The Los Angeles Times, turned into a TV Sensation starring Connie Britton, Juno Temple, Julia Garner, and Eric Bana as the charming, handsome, sociopathic nightmare John Meehan.
But what happened to the real-life characters played by those stars? In today's episode, Collier Landry interviews Terra Newell, daughter of Debra Newell (who married John Meehan), about her experience with the psychotic John. After living in fear that her mother had become entangled with a sketchy character, Terra's fear turned into a nightmare when John Meehan charged Terra with a knife in broad daylight, intending to end her life.
However, fate was on Terra's side as the knife came loose, and she could defend herself against a monster twice her size, ending the madness.
In today's episode, we discuss...
• What happens when your life becomes a true crime nightmare?
• Recognizing coercive control.
• When self-defense ends another human being's life, how do you move past that?
YouTube link to this episode: https://youtu.be/AoAAckM3cV8
Ending The Madness Of Dirty John - Survivor Terra Newell On Finding Light In The Blackhole Of Sociopathy
Collier Landry: [00:00:00] To one woman, he was like a decorated Navy, Vietnam pilot, you know, to other people. He was
Terra Newell: a serial perpetrator in a sense?
Collier Landry: While staying married to my mother and I, and being a doctor. I mean, when I'm thinking about it as an adult, I'm like, how did you. I have time to be a doctor. He had so many different lives and girlfriends and stories, and it's the same with, with this John me and character, like how do these people keep all this straight?
Terra Newell: That's how you separate empathetic people from, you know, non-empathetic people. And that really defines like the cluster is a lot of like the narcissist sociopath, psychopaths, they lack empathy. So that's how they're able to get away with things online. Really do that. They don't have that conscience that it's not right where you know, you and I were like, we're telling a lie and we're like, oh my gosh, I can't keep up with this because this is, this is a lot.
Collier Landry: [00:01:00] Testimony continued today in the most notorious criminal trial in Richland county history. Dr. John Boyle is accused of killing his wife, Marine and burying her body in the basement of his new home in Erie, Pennsylvania. The 12 year old son lively took the stand. As I heard a scream I heard, but it's about this loud.
We have the jury find the defendant guilty. When I was 12 years old, my testimony sent my father to prison for murdering. This podcast serves as a type of therapy and reconciliation for myself. And it is my hope that it helps anyone who has experienced deception, betrayal, and dark trial. I'm Collier Landry, and this is Moving Past Murder.
Hey Movers, what's going on? Welcome back to another episode of moving past murder. I'm your host Collier Landry and it is so good to be with all of you. Once again, here on my YouTube channel on all the audio platforms that you guys are listening to apple podcast, Spotify, [00:02:00] wherever you get your podcasts from.
Thank you all so much for being here today is April fool's day. As this episode comes out and I wish I had this April fool's joke that I could tell you that. I just don't have, I thought I could come up with something really elaborate, but I can't. I mean, I guess my elaborate thing would have been like, what if somebody punched somebody at the academy war?
Oh yeah, that really happened. It was a real thing that all happened. That was violence that we saw play out on television. As Chris rock said, that was like the greatest moment in television history. Um, no, it really wasn't. It was really unfortunate. Um, but speaking of about, uh, violence on television, that is what we are going to talk about today with my guests.
But first want to say thank you for being. If you can, and you're watching this on YouTube, please click like and subscribe. It helps with the algorithm. It's right down here somewhere. Follow me on all the socials at call your Landry, Instagram, Twitter. You guys know I go live [00:03:00] every Tuesday on Instagram, live 11:00 AM Pacific 2:00 PM Eastern time on every Tuesday.
And also I have set up a Patrion for you guys to help support the program because you guys have asked. How can we solve to support the program? That is how you can do it, because this enables me to continue to deliver content that I feel speaks to you guys, my audience, and you guys are reaching out and really engaging with me.
And that is fantastic. So I know what I'm doing is really helping a lot of people. It helps me. It helps you. It's really cool to do, but I do have to keep the lights on. So there's my. I appreciate it so much. If you can do it, if not, it's okay. Just support by telling your friends, family, getting people, driving people to the program, because one day this will be a fantastic little enterprise that I can constantly do for you guys, because I really, really love it.
I gotta be honest. I have found this medium of podcasting and content creation that is based solely [00:04:00] on. Really amazing. And as a lot of you guys know, I am a filmmaker, that's what I do for a living. I made a murder Mansfield. I've made a bunch of other things I have for you guys that don't know. I have directed two music videos that have over a billion hits on YouTube.
That's crazy. I am not in the music videos, but the artist is so talented that I work with. I have just been very blessed in that world. Um, so everything is very cool. And anyways, I love creating content for you guys. That's what I want to do enough about. It's about you guys. So I have a comment that came in from a viewer, Elena Butler on YouTube, and she says, as a psychologist, I know that it's difficult to explain to girls and women that they need to run away from a sociopathic partner, as soon as possible.
Then they give them another chance. Elena. Um, and she was referring to, she had just watched my sociopath showdown or sociopath mash-up [00:05:00] episode comparing my father to that of Chris Watts, um, who was a killer in Frederick, Colorado. I won't rehash that story. It's really terrible. Um, and yes, there. It is a real thing.
And it's just not only for women, it is for men as well, but is obviously we know way more common for women. Look, my mother couldn't get away from associate path and her life was taken because of that. And, um, It's really, really hard. It, when you are in a relationship that deals with people that are having like coercive control and manipulation tactics and gaslighting, it gets really, really confusing.
It's it affects your family. It affects your life. You feel like you're going crazy. These are all normal things, and this is why I make all this stuff. That's why I share my father's letters. I share my experiences with you and I talk to really interesting people, which [00:06:00] is what we are coming to today. So there are many times when I engage with a lot of you, uh, in the real world and or you reach out to me and you guys have some really incredible stories and.
A lot of you say, oh, you know, call your eyes. I feel bad telling you my story because there's no, it's not really, as it's not horrible, like yours is. Look as I tell everyone, your experience is unique to you guys. Just like, my experience is unique to me. This is not a contest to see who can one up them with the worst shit that has happened to all of us.
I understand that I am the exception and not the rule when it comes to like trauma and overcoming all of these really hard. Things that could happen in a person's life, but in no way, shape or form. Does that ever discount the way that you guys are feeling when you're in these relationships or you are in these scenarios, or you have to deal with something that is really harrowing and you really have to find the courage within [00:07:00] yourself to overcome those extraordinary circumstances and defy seemingly insurmountable odds.
So very rarely do I come across some. Who has a story that I go, whoa, that is really, that really hits home because I can totally relate to you. Well, I had the pleasure of getting to know this young woman who I just felt this like instant connection with because wow, she's been through it too. And on the flip side, when her.
The perpetrator that was in her life was exerting curlers, coercive control over her mother and her family and her sisters. She was faced with a choice, a life or death choice. I am talking about Terra Newell. She is the daughter of Debra Newell. She was played by Julia Garner on the first season of the wildly successful podcast.
Turn television series. Dirty John, about the [00:08:00] story of real life con artist, John Meaghan, who posed as a very successful anesthesiologist and got involved and got married to her mother, Deborah, and then proceeded to re. Unbelievable havoc on her family. So much show that it ended up confronting her in a parking garage, in an apartment complex in orange county.
When John Meehan sought out to take Terra's life and by the grace of God or divine intervention or whatever you want to call it. The knife that he was trying to attack her with flew out of his hand, Tara found the strength to grab that knife and defended herself and killed John Mehan. And that might sound to a lot of you like a really extreme situation because it is, but also we're going to talk about.
Yes, she defended herself, but she also, you know, [00:09:00] is dealing with the fact and struggling with the trauma of not only the violation of seeing this man, just pick apart her family and exert this control over her mother, but also common attack her. And then for her to find the strength and turn around and be able to defend herself just.
Defend herself against this guy. You know, she's an incredible young woman who has come through so much and still like myself every day deals with this trauma and, and has to put on a brave face for the world and say, Hey, I'm here, but she's done that. And it's just one of those stories that really warms my heart.
So it was really privileged to get to know my guests today. And I am pleased to welcome to the program. Terra Newell
my guest today is Terra Newell, and I'm pronouncing that correctly general. Uh, my guest today is Terra Newell and we are discussing the real story of dirty [00:10:00] John. And, um, and as we are both true crime survivors, um, so Terra what I want to ask you is because of my sort of position that we were just talking about this previously, um, So crime con is coming up.
The end of April, we were talking about going and as people that have been through this, and then there's a fan base. So one of my, sort of, um, things that I have been very. I wouldn't say obsessed with, but trying to understand as someone who has lived through all of this stuff is why do you think people are so obsessed with true crime?
I mean, there's a convention crime con. And why do you think it's so popular? I was, uh, you know, my family's case and what happened with. Is one of the, it was on forensic files and it's one of theirs. There's 450 episodes in that show. I'm like top 10 of what happened. And I, I was speaking to the woman, who's writing the book, uh, race, a blog forensic files now, which is a [00:11:00] huge blog.
And it is writing the book on forensic files. I said, what do you think it is? Why people are so obsessed with true crime. So as someone who's been through it, who's lived through these extraordinary circumstances. What do you, why do you think. So
Terra Newell: I think that it is very intriguing to know why people do the most evil act that a person can do in a sense.
And I think that people are curious to that reason, but also, you know, going back to. Ted Bundy. And like people kind of like Laura rising him. I think people are attracted to these perpetrators in a sense. And they want to know, well, like, you know, not everyone. I think that there's two types of people, you know, there's the people that go into it.
They're wanting to know why these evil acts are done. And then there's the people that are like, Genuis like curious, like. You know, this person's attractive. Like, why [00:12:00] am I attracted to them and why are they doing this stuff? And so they want to get more involved with their own curiosity. So it's always like something intrigues them to look further into this case or whatever.
At least for me, I like to look into cases and understand like the psychopathy of things.
Collier Landry: Yeah, me too. For sure. I, um, Yeah, I think that, um, cause I just have the hardest time because these. These, you know, I got into doing the podcast as my way of, of healing. And I, I, you know, starting back with a film, right.
A murderer may as well. I got into it because I wanted to heal myself and change one person's life and bring forward these things. Now this was of my own doing, you know, I created the concept. It was originally a pilot for television. And then, you know, perch investigation, discovery agent, this whole.
Barbara Kopple two-time Oscar or got involved and then we made the film. [00:13:00] Right. But, um, for you and your circumstance, yours is a little different with telling your story because there was, and this is something I would love to, you know, I want to talk with you with your mother, but it, you know, there's this journalist that told this story, it became this podcast, 50 million people listened.
Then it became a television show and. You know, obviously when you make a documentary, you don't make any money. Right? Um,
Terra Newell: sometimes
Collier Landry: meet with myself personally. Cause I, I hardly made anything. I didn't do it for money. I did my mother's story and things of that nature, but. It's interesting because there's all these people that sort of profit along the way.
Right. And, um, you know, like forensic files through, they do a story about case there's, you know, there's very large podcasts that make a tremendous amount of money and sign big deals with companies based [00:14:00] upon sort of. I mean to not to be morbid about it, but it's almost like they, they profit on the suffering of others.
Right. The exploitation of other people's stories. So when, you know, when something like dirty, John came out and I actually had friends that worked on the show, um, the, the, you know, the first season about your story, um, D. Um, and correct me if I'm wrong. Did Juno temple play you? Um, so
Terra Newell: general temple played my sister and then Julia gardener played me in the show.
Collier Landry: Got it. Sorry.
Oh, no worries. Um, so I think that, uh, you know, when you look at these things, People sort of take them over and then it becomes this whole machine. I mean, how much, how much influence do you have in something like that? I think people are really curious about that because I think that they just go, at least in my case.
Oh yeah, you made all this money off this. I was like, no, that's not how it works, but other people did. And other people do and other people use it. [00:15:00] And I think that it borders. Let me when I, you know, the purpose of this podcast is to talk to somebody like yourself, survivors, people, how did you use called moving past murder?
So how do you move past these things? And we'll get into that in a second, but what I, what I am also very fascinated with is how there's this become this whole culture of obsession and how people cash in on it. And it, you know, for me, I did, I feel like I did it for the right reasons for you and your mother.
I feel like you do it for the right reasons. How do you sort of straddle that juxtaposition with people that are profiting.
Terra Newell: So I want to, um, tell everyone that, like, if you go on a podcast and you share like all of your story, that becomes public information. And my mom and I didn't know this, we just wanted to do the podcast to create awareness for women and.
You know, I was very religious with God at that time. So I felt that it was God telling me that I needed to share the [00:16:00] story. And I prayed, did everything and waited for that answer. So I felt it was God's calling and then it gets turned into this TV show and stuff. And it's kind of crazy because the LA times sold our story rights.
Um, and we did get a little bit from that. Um, well, you know, you get like a paycheck for selling part of your story rights, if you get involved in the story. Um, so I was appreciative of them bringing us in like that, but then I was also talking to other agents, seeing if like we could sell the story and.
It was a bit more complicated than me trying to sell my story, if that makes sense. Yeah. Um, so it kinda sucked because I'm living in my trauma and I have to relive it when I watched the TV [00:17:00] and I'm living like a broke college student right now. And there's nothing wrong about it, but it's like, well, actually there is, you know, there's people that are benefiting off of my trauma.
And I'm here paying like hundreds of thousand dollars in therapy while at least my mom is for me. And I'm so thankful that I have thought support, but if I didn't, I would be, I don't know what I would do to be honest, because just there are some days where I can't get it fully together and you know, your.
I don't know. It's just like, you have to take that time off and do yourself carrying do your things so that you don't. And for me, and I hate to say this so that I don't go straight into fight mode and want to strangle the person next to me.
Collier Landry: Yeah. It's I I'm. I, so out of anybody, I can [00:18:00] understand exactly what you're talking about because I've been there.
And whereas I had some control over the story because. Yeah. So I took the initiative for all of that is why I came to Hollywood. But when I do see, I remember watching and I watched the show probably maybe a year and a half ago, I think. And I literally watched it. I had no idea what. And I literally watched it because my friends worked on it and they were like, oh, I'm working on dirty John with Eric Bana and Connie Britton.
I was like, oh, I used to watch Nat. I'm sure you watched you like country music. I'm sure you watched it and were a massive fan as I was. I have
Terra Newell: friends working on this show too. So I was like, yeah, it was, it was exciting because of that, you know?
Collier Landry: Exactly. And that's how I watched it. And then I started doing a little backstory on it and I was like, oh, This is what I hate about this whole situation is I, I know as somebody who has been through all this, and I know that it's [00:19:00] like, oh yeah, this and this is not to shame anyone for profiting or anything like that.
This is not what I'm doing here. But what I'm saying is is your intention. R to get the story out, to help other people like me. I want to show, and you know, in my, in the film I confront my father in prison, ask him why did he kill my mother? He's a sociopath. He, you know, his name is John ironically, um, and was a dog, but he was a real doctor and he, uh, You know, I see.
So, I mean, complete parallel traits, you know, the cur, uh, the course of control, manipulation, gas lighting, you know, my father is a legit sociopath and psychopath probably I think, from what I've listened to, even in the podcast describing John, John Meaghan, right. Is. W, you know, that was the same thing in this isolation that they do.
And it just growing up with that as a child, and then you see [00:20:00] it. And then, you know, I, on this, on this show, I read my father's letters from prison. In fact, you know, I did an episode yesterday where I read it and it's just staggering. You know, I have letters from my father over a period of 30 years, you know, he went, this all happened in 1990.
So from 1990 to like 20, 22, or I don't, he hasn't written me lately. I have these letters and this, the shit that he would write me as a child and blaming me, you know, in the film we show these. But blaming me and, and just the manipulation that he it's, it's staggering. When you're a child, you don't realize this is going on.
And I remember my adopted parents would read the letters. They would open every letter that would come to the house because they wanted to see what was going on. Um, because they were looking to protect me, right. Because I w w w you know, my family abandoned me. I go into the foster care system. I tell I testify against my father.
I'm still in the foster care system. I'm finally adopted out to a family. [00:21:00] And then, uh, or they get custody of me and that I'm finally adopted. It'd be like a year later. Right. So they wanted to be protective and they got, they also knew my father, well, I was, I stayed in the small town that I was in. Right.
And it was a massive, and look, you come from orange county. So even though it's Southern California, people think. Orange county. I mean, what are you guys Newport or, or Irvine? It's a very small town vibe in orange county. 100%. It is so different from LA in that, in those terms where it is close to two major cities in California, but orange county is very much like I've done a lot of business down there.
I lived down there before, when it first came to California. It's very small town vibe. So when things like this happen, it just sort of overtakes your world like it did for me. Eh, it's, it's interesting too, to speak to someone like yourself, who's been through the same thing and hear it now, you know, you meant you were going to the Jason Aldeen concert the day that [00:22:00] when you, you know, well, I have a couple of questions about that day.
Um, and I don't really want to really, we look, we're not here to relive what happened because everybody knows that they can tune in to other podcasts. I guess my thing is there was something that I lived when I was listening to the podcast. And there was the moment which is this very sad moment in, in the fact that look, it's all tragic, it's tragic for you, is tragic for your mother is tragic for your friends, your F your family.
It's also tragic for his family and, and for him as well, that people resort to these types of things and that they think this is their only way out. And, and then you're put in this position where you're having to defend yourself, um, and feeling like your life is threatened. I do want to know, you know, one of the biggest things for me is I was yanked out of my home the day before they discovered my mother's body.
And they said, you know, 20 minutes to pack a bag, you got [00:23:00] 20 minutes. Boom, boom, boom. My dog was there and they said, well, we'll come back for your dog. And I never saw my dog again. I want to know what happened to cat.
Terra Newell: Oh, my gosh, you're going to make me cry now.
Collier Landry: Um, and Murphy and Murphy too. I must such a big dog lover and my Chihuahua would just turn 15 or 17 on the fifth, March 5th.
And she's like my little angel and I all, I love, I love animals so much. And, um, I thought about that, like this little heroic doggy, you know, and, and, and, but, but getting back to what I was gonna say was there was this moment. When they were talking about you guys were at the crematorium and he's in the cardboard box and you guys watched the bodyguard.
Terra Newell: wasn't married. I was at home on the couch. Yeah. I had nothing to do. And I had, well, my mom came back and she like had his, um, life rights in a sense, so she could sign off on his death and pull the pug. And [00:24:00] we actually had her sign over the right student sister, because we. I didn't think that that would look good.
And I don't think that she should have had that responsibility, especially after what I had to do. You know, I don't think that that should have been her choice. So we had her sign over it to her sister and cash. Speaking of cash. She actually like went with me down the hospital and stuff too, and cash was okay.
But, um, cash passed away this past. I'm so sorry, I'm a brain tumor and you know, I love him and, but it was, it was his time to go. Sure. You know, um, I actually had an ex passed away the same day as him and that ex hit me with a car and stuff. So it was like that he had to leave his role as my protection.[00:25:00]
Murphy is with my brother and his family that has kids and she's living her best life.
Collier Landry: That's good. You know, that was one of the things with, when I made my film, I screened it in my hometown and we had the projector go out. Cause it was so hot, the projector overheated and it shut down. There's this woman that was trying to get, I could see, was trying to get my attention amongst the crowds at the beginning, before the film started because of that moment.
And this was like probably one of the most amazing things about like making the film and, you know, because you're trying to get answers that you don't have. Right. I don't know much about my family or anything because my father's a lying sociopath and my mother is dead. Right. So I don't really know my family history much.
And my, and my immediate family does not speak to me. So I don't know anything. Right. But one of the things, it was always. Just, you know, carry with me as like what happened to my dog and this woman was she, I noticed her and then she came up during this force [00:26:00] intermission. I swear to God, this was my mother's, you know, obviously you're very, you're very spiritual and very religious.
So you understand, like, there are, you know, God works in mysterious ways, right? So was projectors shuts down as we're seeing this gruesome scene of me looking at the case files with her body, right. Cuts right there. And this woman comes up to me and she goes, you know, I wanted to say something to you earlier.
I was like, yeah, I saw you. And she goes, I, I think we had your dog. Was it a wire hair? Fox terror. I'm just like in complete shock. I like the whole world tunes out and I'm like, oh my God. And she's like, was it a wired hair? Foxtel? I was like, yes. And I started like tearing up and she goes, I just want you to know, I grew up on a farm and we had horses and pigs and he, he lived the best life and he lived till he was like 14 and he had the best life and he would go sleep with the little piggies at night in the pig pen because he loved them.
They were, they would play together. And he, he, he. Life that he was loved. He had free and he could run around on this farm. And I was just like, oh, I'm [00:27:00] just like balling full on balling because it was just like, this is so amazing because you know, when you talk about, I don't want to call it exploitation, but when you, when people are profiting off of your story or people are, um, know they're getting money from what has happened to you, I mean, just, they are profiting off of your story.
There are amazing little bits that you, at least for me, that you, you, they can never get that are way beyond money, which is the benefit. And, and, and with you guys calling forth this behavior, because this happens so much, and you think about how women. You know, there's so many domestically abusive situations around the world.
Misogyny is so rampant. And then you have, um, you know, with the case of my mother, you know, there's a staggering statistic that 45% of the murders in the United States go unsolved. And the fact that when the police [00:28:00] initially treated it as a missing persons case, and if it wasn't for that detective coming to the house and, and listening to me when I pulled them aside and said, my mother is.
Not my mother didn't get a fight with my dad and my mother's dead. Those types of cases are, are, were littered with those cautionary tales because so many of these people, um, these women will go missing and nobody ever hears from them again. So when you, it's amazing with you guys telling that story, there is so much good that that does because it allows other women and other people to stand up and go.
We're not going to take this or re or recognizing the signs of this because it's so insidious and just, just you with your mother and the, and the way he was predatory with you and your siblings of the isolation and all of that. I mean, it's, you know, COVID that we came through where people are locked in together and whatnot.
So it's, um, it's a thing, you know, it's a, and, [00:29:00] and, and it's amazing that you guys, despite not profiting off of that financially, the good that you've put out into the world. Is incredible. And I want to just commend you for that. That's all I know. It's hard. And if somebody, I understand it, like I get it, you know, thank
Terra Newell: you.
Like I get that. And I'm like, I can see like your emotions coming through, you know, and that you just kind of want to make sure, like, when you ask me questions and stuff that it's like very. Not like disturbing my trauma and stuff. And I just like how you talk. I like can see that you're so in that gets it, you know, where there's like people that.
You know, and I love these people because there's all these different people, but they ask like, oh, didn't you stab that guy? And you're like, well, that's not really appropriate say, but let's talk about it.
Collier Landry: Oh yeah. And it's, and it's interesting, you know, and I think that, [00:30:00] so how really fast, how old were you when this happened?
Terra Newell: twenty-five years old. Well, I was 24 when he, um, my mom met him, but I was 25. When the accident, the trauma happened.
Collier Landry: Yeah. So you are, you know, and just as someone, you know what me, when I was listening to your story and thinking about it before this interview, one of the things. You know, I understand that he was a large guy and I, and I understand he had kind of deteriorated in size, but he was like, I think I, at one point he was 6, 2, 2 30 or something like that.
That's a big dude. I mean, I'm 6, 2, 200 pounds and I'm a big guy and I work out and, you know, um, but I re I remember thinking, and I, and I'm assuming you're much smaller. And I remember thinking, wow, I wonder, even though we were 12 years difference at the time, 13 years difference. What. That would have been the same thing with me taking on my father.[00:31:00]
Right. Because I heard the thuds in the middle of the night. I heard the footsteps down the hall and I could see my father's footsteps feet in the doorway. Cause I slept with my door open and it was laying like this. And I was terrified. I was looking at this Batman clock on the wall. But I was out of my peripheral vision, but I didn't just go like this.
Cause I wonder if I had gone like this, would I have gotten up what I've gotten to confrontation with him? Would he have killed me? You know, because you're, you're, you're in that mode where you're going to, because the, the murder was premeditated. He had bought the house. He'd asked about lowering the basement floor.
He dug a grave for her there. You know, he rented a jackhammer previously to do it. It wasn't a crime of passion in it. I mean, it was like, oh, I just decided to kill my wife one night. He was, it was planned for months and months and months. Um, yeah, he bought the indoor outdoor carpeting that was sitting on our porch and our other house in our, in our house in Mansfield, Ohio months before all this happened, which is what he used to cover her body up underneath the concrete.
I mean, it's insane, but. I lost my [00:32:00] train of thought for a second. I'm so sorry, but I guess, I guess, um, w what I was thinking is is your, when I thought about your struggle, it took me to that, like, you know, 11 year old boy, almost 12 years old, and what I would have to do if I can front of my father. And I just, um, you know, I think there was, there was this illusion of like, how did she do, how did this happen?
Um, you know, she was so much smaller and it's just, and I listened to it and I go. When you're in that situation and then you have the force, God, whoever's protecting you is like this isn't going to happen. Not, not today, but he got on my watch on my watch and it's, and it's the same thing with me. When I, you know, I went to the investigator, I said, my mother is dead.
And my father, because my father said, you know, I woke up the next morning. I went into the bedroom, looking for her body, looking for blood. I came downstairs and I said to my father, I said, where is my mother? And he said, mommy took a little vacation. And then he, we went into this like whole thing of, oh, we're not going to call the police.
We got into [00:33:00] this fight. We're not calling the police. We're not calling the FBI, the FBI. He said the FBI. And I'm thinking to myself at the time, even as a 11 year old child, why would we call the F what does the FBI have anything to do with this? You know, but I'm, you know, I had that moment and people ask me, well, how did you find the resolve to, to testify against your father and, and to, you know, cause I testified again, My mother's friends.
I said, you need to call the police. I was the one that promoted the, you know, made sure that he got arrested, made sure that he went to prison and people are like, well, how did you do that? And I think that you draw upon that same thing, this isn't happening on my watch. And you, you almost use this power that you harness from and not to be who we do about it, but you have all of this come in and that's what gives you the strength and the fortitude to act?
Terra Newell: Oh yeah. Well, in that moment I felt like. It was just like, it was that moment that everything needed to happen. You know, that's how everything was going to end. It. Wasn't going to end with [00:34:00] him just magically going away. He, it was going to be a death of someone. And in that moment it was. The knife, leave it exactly how I needed it to be.
And so I picked it up and didn't give it a second thought then. And it was like, everything worked together and I'm scared to death of blood. So I only got stabbed twice. And for being in a altercation with someone of that size, that is a miracle for me to come out of it with just like two stab wounds that were not.
Collier Landry: Yeah, it was amazing. It's amazing. And people don't understand, you know, when you think of, you know, my father smashed the back of my mother's Scotland and then suffocate over the plastic bag, I think that, you know, look, all crimes are heinous. All murders are heinous. All these, these things are bad. Right.
But something. If you shoot someone with a gun you're far away, you [00:35:00] shoot them. It's not personal to take a knife and to stab some or to come after someone with a knife. Like you, there has to be so much, there's so much behind all of that. Cause it's gruesome. It's just like suffocating my father, you know, and for him to come at you like that is just shows the, the.
Mentality and the psychopathy behind all of that. And I, and again, when I'm listening to, to it, I just draw these immediate parallels to my father. 100% just that, you know, everything. And because my father not only had us as a family, my father had multiple fails fairs and multiple girlfriends, multiple stories over his life.
Of different things like to one woman, he was like a decorated Navy, Vietnam pilot, you know, to other people.
Terra Newell: He was a perpetrator in a sense
Collier Landry: while staying married to my mother and I, and being a doctor. I mean, when I think about it as an adult, I'm like, I have time to be a doctor. He had so many [00:36:00] different lives and girlfriends and stories.
And you think about these things and it's the same with, with this Jami and character, you think about these things and you're like, how does all this, like, how do these people keep all this straight?
Terra Newell: I don't know, because if I tell a lie, I'm like, oh my God. I got to like, get this right? Because I can't keep up with this.
This is terrible. How, how in the world? Um, but that's how you separate empathetic people from, you know, non-empathetic people. And that really defines like the cluster BS. A lot of like the narcissist sociopath, psychopaths, not really talking about bipolar and that region of it, but there's so many. They lack empathy.
So that's how they're able to get away with things online, really do that because they don't have that conscience that it's not right where you [00:37:00] know, you and I were like, we're telling a lie and we're like, oh my gosh, I can't keep up with this because this is, this is a lie, you know, know the difference between right and wrong.
Collier Landry: Well, that pretty much sums it up. Um,
you know, when I listened to Terra's story and of course I have seen the show dirty John, and when I was watching it and I didn't listen to the podcast initially, but when I I've listened to it since obviously, but, um, You know, I drew so many parallels. Like I was telling her with my father, like the alternative lifestyle and, or I'm sorry, the alternative lifestyle, the alternative life that these people, the sociopath's these nurses.
They create their own Walter Mitty world and they live in it and they exist and then they [00:38:00] suck you into it and then may suck the life out of you. And thank God that he actually didn't take this brave young woman's life and that she didn't do that. He didn't do more damage than he already did to her and her family and her mother and her sisters.
You know, the impacts of violence and the consequences of violence. Like I've said many times, like I've said in my film, a murder and Mansfield, it's like a ripple effect that just goes through communities and people. And this happened in orange county, California, which is a suburb of Los Angeles, but is also a very tight knit, close community.
And everyone knows each other. I've spent a lot of time in orange county. It's a very beautiful place, but it also like it's like a small, it has a small time, a small town feel to it. Um, So it was a big deal. Uh, in the community. So I salute Terra. I salute her mother for having the strength to really carry on with their lives, because I know how that feels.
And I know what it feels like to put a brave face on and they're in the public [00:39:00] eye and they. A ton of scrutiny. You had a television show made about you with movie stars, playing your characters and films, you know, television stars. Um, it's, it's a, it's a thing it's a real thing. And that she deals with every day.
So, uh, thank you to Tara for being on the program. It was so amazing to talk to you and I just, I think she's so great. So, um, yeah, and I think. Look, what we see people that go through these circumstances like Terra, like Deborah, like myself, the lesson I think to really take away is. You got to work on yourself and you've got to really just, you get gotta, you know, not to sound cliche, but you got to move past it and you find that way, whatever that you weigh is unique to you and to what you're doing, you know, for me, it was to be an artist and create and tell my mother's story for Terra.
It's working with animals and empowering other young women to learn self-defense and self-care, and self-love. [00:40:00] All else and not relying on, oh, I've got to find a man to make me feel better. No, I have to feel better about myself. And these are really empowering important messages for anyone, whether you're male, female, transgender, whatever your, your thing is, whatever you identify as, we are all human beings at the end of the day.
And it's all about finding, finding what is important to you and realizing that you have. Are enough, like you're enough. You don't need people to validate you for who you are. You are enough. As long as you are a good person, you try to be kind to everyone, including yourself. Look, I'm not here to pontificate on what to do with your life.
But I am saying if you, in my personal experience, when you lead with integrity and honesty and just bravery into the world, whatever scenario you're facing, you're going to be ok. So on that note, I'm Collier Landry and this is moving past murder. [00:41:00] Thanks y'all.
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