Spoilers ahead for Bravo’s Dirty John and the Los Angeles Times podcast on which it’s based. Terra Newell has been through a lot. She watched her mother date a man she deeply distrusted, one who eventually tore their family apart. And when John Meehan violently confronted her in a parking lot one day, things turned deadly. Despite what she has been through, Terra Newell’s Instagram feed paints a picture of someone thoroughly enjoying her life.
Newell was the one who took Meehan down for good — according to the Los Angeles Times, she dealt him fatal blows after Meehan attacked and stabbed her with a concealed knife. "He was trying to push me in the car, and he actually had the trunk wide open,” she said in an interview with Megyn Kelly. “I tried to get away from him, I was screaming. He put his hand over my mouth and bit as hard as I could. … I got thrown to the ground somehow, and I just was pedal kicking trying to block the knife.”
He wasn’t breathing when authorities arrived at the scene, and was rushed to a hospital. Meehan died four days later after Newell’s mother gave a nurse permission to pull the plug if she deemed it necessary. This event would obviously have lasting effects on Newell — she said in the same interview that she has been in therapy following that fateful day, and her Instagram bio mentions having PTSD. But thankfully, the actions of a con man haven’t stopped her from living her life to the fullest. Newell’s Instagram is full of travel, adventuring, and even promotions for the show that’s telling her story.
The dog, Cash, who was with her at the time of Meehan’s attack and tried to help Newell, can be spotted on her feed, looking as adorable as ever. He even has his own Instagram page, too. She’s also still obsessed with AMC’s The Walking Dead, as fans of the podcast will know — she's said that she employed some of their zombie-fighting methods when defending herself against Meehan. And Newell recently even visited Thailand and had some fun at an elephant sanctuary, feeding and swimming with the animals, and giving them mud baths.
Her relatively newfound fame isn’t lost on her, either. Newell is often found interacting with fans of the story in her comments section, talking to them about Dirty John and answering questions. She’s also scored some photo ops with stars of the show, Eric Bana, Connie Britton, and Juno Temple, and has attended red carpet events with her mother. She’s also asking people to watch the show with stills and promotional images from the series.
All in all, Newell seems to be doing well given the circumstances. After a tumultuous chapter of her life, in which she was estranged from her mother, worried for her and her family’s safety, and literally had to fight for her life, it would have been understandable if she would’ve retreated from public life a bit. After all, this didn’t happen decades ago, in memories that have long since faded — Meehan died in 2016.
But Newell has fought through the hardship. “I’m OK. I didn’t have any physical damage [aside from minor stab wounds],” she told Megyn Kelly in the link above. It’s almost unimaginable to come out of such a horrifying situation and try to continue on with life, but Terra Newell appears to be doing it with passion. Meehan took a lot from her and her family, but now, that’s all over for good.