Meet The Real Life Victim Of The ‘Dirty John’ Con Artist


– Six years ago, my next guest was sure she
had met the man of her dreams. Instead, their relationship
became the ultimate nightmare with a horrific whole,
just horrific outcome. Her story has attracted
public fascination. It was documented on
Dateline and LA Times. And there’s even a podcast
about it called Dirty John. Seriously, this story’s crazy. I can’t believe they’re both
sitting here with me right now. Please welcome Debra
and her daughter, Terra. (applause) Debra take us back on how
the relationship began. – Well, I felt like I had it all. I had my career, I’d raise my kids and all of a sudden I was on my own. I decided to join a dating website. I think they were like
82 84 different guys. And I went through the whole list. – You were a hit. She’s like, they were like 100 people
– Well, wait a minute. Well, you should have seen some of them. – Okay. So there were five good ones, okay – Maybe five. Anyway, so I went on five dates. None of them appeal to me whatsoever. I was ready to go off the site and all of a sudden John pops up and he looked like the perfect guy. He had kids, he went to my church, was in the medical
profession and nice looking. So from there, – That all sounds great. I would have been like, nice.
– [Deborah] I know. – Yeah. – So it moved way too quickly for me, cause he was love bombing me
if you guys know that term, – [Kelly] I don’t – Oh, it’s where they study you, to where they know what
to say, what to do. – [Lamorne] Yeah – That’s creepy.
– Yeah – Okay, wait that yeah sounded like maybe you’ve done it. Like, what is that? – Yeah, I’m familiar, I’m
familiar with the term. I’m very smart, I’m very smart. – [Kelly] I love you Lamorne. (laughter) – As you were. – So were there any warning signs like? – Of course, yes. But when this person – The warning signs were in
hindsight, though, right? – They were in hindsight,
and I didn’t know red flags. You’re not seeing it
because they’re con artists. Every morning he’d get up and his day he said he was going off to work. Well, what he would be doing
is he’d be figuring out what’s gonna win me over,
what to say, what to do. I became his – Obsession? – Yeah, his obsession. But he would put cameras in the house, cameras at my work. – Wait, you didn’t know
about them, obviously? – Well, he set me up. What happened was he
wasn’t living there yet. And there was this woman we
call her the Ovaltine lady. She broke into the house,
was sitting in a chair looking at the ocean, and we walk in, and it scared me. So he wanted the cameras
in the house at that point, – Oh, for your safety? – [Debra] For my safety. – He is clever. – He’s good. So he put the cameras in. Then he said at work, he felt like people could
be stealing from me. He put them in my work. And then he wanted to make sure cause I was driving all
over the place for my job. He put it on my phone
so he could track me. – What was your breaking
point in the relationship? – What I had to do was hide money, so that I could go into hiding, I had to get all my passwords changed. And what had happened was, I had withdrawn $30,000. And he caught me. And so he confronted me
and he said, “What’s this?” And I said, “I want a divorce. “I’m leaving you, get out of my way.” I pushed him aside, he
went right in my face. And he started doing this to me, he goes, “hit me, because if you would hit me, “you’ll never get up again.” And I said, “Just get out of my way”, and I ran as fast as I could. And I found out he’d been in jail. That he was not a doctor. I mean, I can name so many
things, there were nine – Everything was a lie. – Everything was a lie,
including the ages of his kids. – What? Oh my gosh? So, Selena, I know that, I
heard you followed this story. Right? – Yeah and very closely.
– Yeah – I’m so sorry that I know
so much about your life. – It’s okay, a lot of people do. – Yeah, I was just wondering like, how did it feel when everyone in the world started to see this experience, which was so hard for you guys like at first was that difficult? – Before I even spoke with a reporter, something that was really important to me was if I’ve gone through it, and I had a few girlfriends
that went through it, there’s other women out there, right? And so for me, it was helping women. – That’s awesome. – It was getting the word out there of what the warning signs are,
or doing a background check or things that I didn’t even think of. And so for me, that was almost in my new
passion which was helping women. – That’s incredible. – Isn’t that sad that we live in a society you need to get a background
check when you’re on a date? – [Debra] It is, yeah. – Yeah, that’s crazy. I’ll just be single if
things don’t work out for me. So, like what I’m so
glad that I’m married. So what was it like the night that you were confronted by John? – Okay, so that night I was just trying to go to Jason Aldean concert. – [Kelly] Nicely done. – So, yes
– First of all (laughter) yeah – So, I was preoccupied by that and I saw him, and I think he’s just like a homeless guy like, whatever you know. So I got out of my car, I grabbed my dog and then he grabbed me by my waist as I was like, headed out to my apartment. And he looked me in the eyes and said, “Do you remember me?” And then from there I
was, I tried to flee. I tried to get away from him, I was unable to detach from him. And I ended up on the floor, I’m pedal kicking him and at this time, I realized that I’m
actually in a knife attack. And so I kicked the knife out of his hand as my dog’s like biting his ankle and then I get the knife and I start just welling back on him. He like started to fall on top of me. I stabbed him 13 times, behind, like in his shoulder, and then as he was coming down on me, I watch a lot of walking dead. (laughter) So, I held his head
like a zombie (laughter) and then the last two
were to his head (giggles) – Oh my gosh – [Lamorne] The giggle though
– Yeah and then I threw the knife, scooted away and then start yelling for help. – Good on you, I mean did
you have any defense class or any like you just kicked a
knife out of some dude’s hand like that’s an amazing thing you did – Thank you – It’s amazing that you didn’t die. – Well, I’m like TV helps, I guess – I know, I’m just saying like it’s
amazing that you’re very lucky – [Terra] Thank you. – That that ended happening that way like because it could
have gone the other way. – 100% yeah, I’m so blessed to be here today. – Yeah, I’m sorry you
had to go through that. I’m sorry both of you
had to go through that, but I’m sorry that you had to
literally end someone’s life because they were trying to end yours. – Well, thank you – That’s horrible. – You know, you have to
do what you have to do and I think I have a lot
of peace about it now. And if you would have said that to me right after it happened,
I maybe would have cried and just been like I killed someone. – [Kelly] Yeah, – But I had to defend myself. I had to do what I
– Absolutely – Did. So it was like it was either him or me. So, – [Kelly] Yeah. – Go with you every time And I you know, he died in the hospital. We had to pull the plug on him, but I think there would have
been a lot of other women including myself and her sisters, – All the women were
saved from him being gone. – Oh, there would have been many that I think would have been killed – It’s a crazy story. I’m just so sorry that
you had to go through, I’m sorry people are just
mean and evil and unkind. And there are really
good ones out there too. – There is, yeah, there is. – [Lamorne] I’m here – Oh my gosh. (laughter) You’re one of my favorite.
– I can’t. (laughter)

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Comments

  1. She kicked a knife out of his hand, and took it and stabbed back?!? Wow! Good on her!!! Great survival story!!

  2. I am so glad they made it out of it! I listened to the podcast and watched the netflix show … I can’t believe they had to go through something like that

  3. You were both really lucky to get out of that situation & you are survivers not victims always remember that ❤️. I was attacked & sexually assaulted when I was 16 but I thankfully managed to get away before he could do anything further. I didn't know any self defence either but you literally get the strength to save yourself when you are in danger, sadly sometimes it doesn't always work & a lot of innocent people have lost their lives to vile, deprived people who need to be locked up for the rest of their lives. My attacker didn't even go to court as the Police said there wasn't enough evidence 🙄 the way I was treated was horrific & it's not surprising why a lot of people don't report it, the system needs to change & take people seriously as they will not stop until someone stops them! Thankfully no other woman will ever suffer at his hands, you saved yourself hunnie so be proud of that ❤️

  4. I can’t believe this, this is like a movie. What’s that girl did was amazing wow applause for her for killing that bastard.

  5. This is an epidemic. I was "catfished" (which is essentially what this is) by someone saying he was a doctor and whatnot. He wasn't even the person he posted pics of. The person is aware of his photos and info being used and is very vocal about it on his instagram. So scary!

  6. Wait, I'm lost. When did she marry this man? Also how do you marry someone and not meet the kids, family, stop by their place of employment. So lost

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