John Meehan pinned his stepdaughter, Terra Newell, to the bottom in her sister’s driveway, however he dropped his knife, which she grabbed after which used to stab him 13 occasions.
“I heard him gasp and fall on me after I began to make contact,” Newell advised Fox Information Digital in an unique video interview. “I held his head like a zombie so he would not chunk me, after which the final two stab wounds I really gave thought to.
“I stabbed him in his brow, and the final (stab) was by way of his eye, which is the softest level of entry to the mind which was the one which made him brain-damaged … I pushed him off of me. I tossed the knife away from his physique, so he could not seize it, after which studied a solution to get away from him.”
A number of neighbors within the sunny southern California metropolis of Irvine rushed to Newell’s assist, however none of them knew that day — Aug. 20, 2016 — was the top of a manipulative conman’s multi-state reign of terror.
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Meehan, nicknamed “Soiled John,” was the main target of Los Angeles Instances reporter Christopher Goffard’s true-crime podcast after his intensive protection of the case, which was later depicted in documentaries and a Netflix sequence.
After the assault, Terra mentioned, “I simply keep in mind saying, ‘My identify is Terra. That was a stepdad. He tried to kill me. My identify is Terra. That was my stepdad. He tried to kill me.’ And I stored repeating it time and again.”
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Meehan was a former anesthesiologist nurse who preyed on girls that he felt have been straightforward targets, which included Newell’s mom, Debra Newell, who he met on a 50s-and-over courting web site in October 2014.
That was shortly after a stint in jail for violating a restraining order in opposition to one other girl.
When he met Debra, Meehan advised her he was an anesthesiologist who labored in Iraq with Docs With out Borders, amongst different lies, to comb her off her ft.
The connection did not really feel proper to Terra and her sister, and Terra had a heated confrontation earlier than Thanksgiving 2014, when she came upon Meehan and her mother have been residing collectively.
Regardless of her daughters’ objections, Debra and Meehan had a Las Vegas marriage ceremony in December 2014 with none visitors and had three months of wedded bliss earlier than a member of the family alerted Debra to Meehan’s previous felony historical past.
She left him in March 2015, bought again collectively in June 2015 till she lastly left Meehan for good in March 2016 and filed for an annulment in April 2016.
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That is when Meehan unraveled, and the state of affairs turned violent, Terra mentioned.
“At any time when a narcissist, a sociopath or a psychopath loses their management over somebody, that is whenever you’re most liable to being attacked or killed,” Terra mentioned. “Folks like John don’t love shedding management. That implies that they misplaced like a way of their self. And so, for him, he actually misplaced his management.
“My mother left him for the second time. He wasn’t getting any more cash from her. She was beginning to expose this particular person. And whenever you expose these kind of individuals, that is what actually pisses them off.”
The night time earlier than he attacked Terra, Meehan confirmed up at her mother’s home however was chased down by her sister, Jacquelyn, and her pal. Meehan jumped again into his automobile and sped away.
Terra mentioned Meehan additionally despatched messages threatening to kill her mother, bury her physique within the yard after which he “was going so as to add me and my sister.”
The following day, he tried to kill Terra.
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“He grabbed me by the waist. He regarded me within the eyes and mentioned, ‘Do you keep in mind me?’ And I regarded up at him and did not say something as a result of I instantly tried to run away from him,” Terra mentioned.
However she could not get away. She suffered a number of blows to her ribs she initially thought have been punches.
“So I introduced my purse as much as defend my coronary heart proper earlier than he bought me, and I simply was getting punched, so I assumed. He coated my mouth. I hit him as onerous as I may. I bit him. I screamed, I used to be yelling and I simply tried to run away and battle again,” Terra mentioned.
She had a service canine that was barking and biting at Meehan throughout the driveway brawl.
“I fell again, and I fell on my proper shoulder. After which he was on prime of me. That is after I realized I used to be really being stabbed by him as a result of he hid the knife in a Del Taco bag,” she mentioned.
The blade grazed her cheek, and she or he later found gashes on her arm and defensive wounds.
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The knife fell by her aspect throughout the battle. She remembers grabbing it and stabbing Meehan. She dealt the thirteenth and last blow by way of his eye and bought away.
Terra, now 31, has discovered to deal with the trauma and extreme panic assaults whereas placing herself again collectively, bodily and mentally.
In a 2019 interview with Fox Information, Terra mentioned she has “healed a lot.”
“Folks have to know that dangerous issues can occur, and it is best to by no means let these issues maintain you again or get you down. An important factor I’ve discovered is to maintain going and keep constructive,” Terra mentioned.
“I’m so pleased I’m alive to share this message, to replicate on all of the superb alternatives which have come about from such a traumatic occasion and to rejoice one other 12 months of residing life to the fullest.”
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Almost 4 years after that interview, she mentioned, there are nonetheless occasions when a sequence of occasions may set off a spiral, like canine barking, hateful feedback on social media or a TV scene through which a survivor fends off an assault.
“All these little triggers add up, after which I am in a foul place,” she mentioned.
However she’s in a greater place now and dealing with different survivors and survivors’ households.