You listened to the podcast.
You saw the Netflix series.
But you still haven't heard the whole story.
When You See It
How I Outsmarted and Outlasted Dirty John
and Dr. Amy Jauman
Tonia Bales, a highly regarded nurse anesthetist, met and married a man she would eventually learn was a sociopath and drug addict. Nearly 10 years into their marriage, and after they had two children, she would discover that he, working as a nurse anesthetist as well, had been diverting drugs for himself and others. Tonia struggled to understand how the man she knew could be capable of such deception – but little did she know that uncovering his drug abuse was just the beginning.
As Tonia asked more questions that her husband couldn’t answer, he grew more distant, and then angry, and then he asked for a divorce. Fearing for the safety of her children, she engaged him in a custody battle that led to her discovery of more dark secrets – a drug conviction he had managed to have expunged, multiple accusations of extortion, suspicion within his family that he had killed his father and contributed to the death of his brother.
She won her case – she secured full custody of her children. She even found love and remarried a wonderful man who raised her daughters as his own. But she never stopped looking over her shoulder. The terror of her two-year court battle taught her that she never really knew the man she had married.
Then, in 2016, she received a message that her ex-husband had been killed. He had been stabbed to death by a young woman police believed he was attempting to abduct. She sensed what was coming – the media sensation that would follow such a gruesome end. But she wasn’t expecting the international notoriety that her ex-husband would achieve.
In 1991, the man the young, unsuspecting Tonia met and married was John Meehan – the sociopath who who would become known to the world as “Dirty John”. The sensational story of how he met and conned his second wife became a top-rated podcast in 2017 and international hit documentary on Netflix in 2019. But Tonia never told her story.
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