This Isn't Fun to Read, but This Post Could Save Your Life
It’s no secret that I’m a little obsessed with true crime TV. Chilly Sunday night? You’ll probably find me at home watching Dateline, 20/20, etc. I recently found this show on the Oxygen network called Criminal Confessions which is basically like Dateline (more on that soon).
Then came Dirty John. It was an incredible podcast first, then Bravo did a mini-series on it which just aired and then Oxygen ran a 90-minute documentary on the story. Dirty John is the true story of a man named John Meehan who started dating a woman in Orange County in 2015. She was a single, wealthy, successful woman with what many of us would consider an amazing life. She went on OurTime.com which is like match.com for people over 50 and there was John. He was charming and handsome and a doctor. What she didn’t know was that his entire profile and life was a lie. He was released from prison 2 days before she met him for their date. He charmed her and within 2 months of meeting, they lived together in a waterfront home and were married in Vegas. He stole her money to buy drugs, separated her from her family and children (who called BS on this guy from the first minute they met him), ruined her life, burned her car, the list goes on… The story ends with her running for her life and him trying to murder her young daughter, Terra. Terra is 5’2” and is obsessed with zombie shows. John is a very tall strong man on drugs. This is a true story. It just happened to a woman like you, me, your mom, your aunt, your friend. More on this in a moment.
Years ago, I watched an episode of Oprah and she had a safety expert on. He said two things that really stayed with me.
1) Humans are the only animals that don’t follow their instincts. A deer hears or sees something in the forest that feels “off?” They run like hell. A woman sees a man standing in the elevator and the little hairs on her arms stand up? She gets into the elevator.
2) NEVER let them take you to the second location. Many crimes happen in two locations. You’re walking to your car at the mall and a man puts a gun to your back and tells you to get in your car and drive him to an ATM. Your car is the second location. You’re walking into your building and a man comes out of nowhere and tries to force you into the elevator. The elevator is the second location. A guy tries to grab you outside of a club and force you into his car. His car is the second location. More on that in a minute.
Back to Dirty John. Terra arrives to her apartment on a sunny afternoon. She’s going to run inside and grab her weekend bag and go to a music festival with friends. As she gets out of her car in the parking lot, John comes out of nowhere. Grabs her by the waist, puts a knife to her throat and tries to get her in his trunk. As you know by now, the trunk is the second location. They end up on the ground. She’s on her back. She fights like hell. She kicks him repeatedly, bicycle style. She bites his hand as hard as she can. He drops the knife and it lands right next to her. She doesn’t even stop to think. She grabs the knife, stabs him 13 times with the fatal stab being through his eye into his brain. That’s how you kill zombies, through their eyes. In the interviews afterwards, she said she knew there was only one choice, “kill or be killed.” Terra lived because she refused to go to the second location and she fought for her life.
Back to Criminal Confessions. I was watching it this weekend and the story was about a young, smart, gorgeous girl who went to Ohio State University. She left her job at a Mexican restaurant one night and wasn’t seen again. A body was found about an hour away - naked and shot in the head, laying in a snowy field. It was her. Here’s what happened. A man, recently released from prison and living in a halfway house, was wandering around her restaurant when she left her shift. He walked up to her and put a gun to her back. Told her to get in the car and take him to an ATM. He just needed some money. She did what he said. There’s video of her getting money out of the ATM with him next to her, gun at her side. What happened after that is only known by him but she was found naked, raped and dead. When he put his gun to her and forced her into her car, her car was the second location.
These were normal girls just living their lives. They weren’t doing anything risky and they weren’t hanging out with dangerous crowds, so don’t think you’re safe.
The lesson: NEVER let them take you to a second location. I can’t say it enough. Someone comes up to you in the parking lot and puts a gun to your back, telling you to get in your car? Fight like hell right there in the parking lot. Don’t do what they say and don’t let them physically force you into the car. Scream, bite, kick, go crazy. If you’re going to die, die with one gunshot in a public parking lot, don’t die hours later after being brutally raped and tortured in another location where the criminal has you to themselves. In a car and your passenger pulls a gun on your or pops out of the backseat where they were hiding? Crash your car into a parked car, get out and run. I’m serious. At home and someone breaks in? Go crazy. Scream, bite, grab anything you can and hit them with it. The moment you encounter them is the first location and you stay there and fight like hell. Don't worry about how you look, seem or sound.
We’ll get back to sunshine and motivation in our next post, but I just know you need to read this and share it. Be safe.