The True Story of Betty Broderick, The Horrifying Murderer

betty broderick

The tale of separation and double murder that dominated the headlines in the latter half of the 1980s and the middle of the 1990s is the murder of Dan Broderick, and his wife, by his ex-wife, Betty Broderick. 

While Broderick maintained that she was a forgiving, really mistreated spouse during the 16 years she was married to Dan Broderick before he left her for another woman and that she eventually snapped, she never admitted to having committed the double crime.

Betty Broderick Got Married To The Love Of His Life

At a party held following a football game between the University of Southern California and the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, in 1965, Betty Broderick met Dan Broderick, the man who would become her husband in the future.

They soon began dating and got engaged in a short period of time.

Dan was a native of Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh, and Dan was enrolled at Cornell University Medical School when the pair first started dating.

On April 12, 1969, the couple exchanged vows at the Immaculate Conception Church in Eastchester during a lavish ceremony planned by Betty’s mother. 

They traveled to the Caribbean for their honeymoon before staying in St. Thomas with friends. Betty Broderick returned from the honeymoon carrying their first child, Kim, who was born in 1970. 

She gave birth to four more children: the daughter Lee, born in 1971; the boys’ Daniel and Rhett, born in 1976 and 1979, respectively; and an unnamed child who died four days after delivery.

Why Did The Happy Marriage Come To An End?

The pair enjoyed an increasing fortune and were well-known among their San Diego friends’ circles. 

The stable marriage started deteriorating because Dan stayed busy at work. Betty Broderick complained that Dan spent a lot of time working and interacting with lawyers while being a missing father and husband. 

Betty Broderick battled against feeling alone as the parent of four children

The main problem occurred when Dan appointed Linda Kolkena as his partner in the middle of the 1980s, and they soon got into a love affair that lasted for the next three years. 

Betty suspected Dan of having an affair while Dan continued to deny it, and the marriage continued to break apart.

In one instance, Betty drove home in a rage after standing by Dan’s side the entire time as he celebrated his 38th birthday at the law office, only to discover that he was out with Linda.

To Betty’s amazement, Dan eventually left the family home, acquired a place of his own, and finally agreed to take custody of the four kids. 

Shortly after, he came clean about the three-year relationship, obtained a restraining order against Betty Broderick, and started the divorce process. Betty Broderick was devasted and in shock.

It was considered one of the worst divorces in American history. It became so well-known that the Oprah Winfrey Show asked Betty to appear on a segment about nasty divorces, but betty Broderick declined all the interview requests.

Betty’s bitterness toward her spouse became her obsession after Dan left her and the family.

On January 30, 1989, the divorce was legally finalized.

Dan Broderick, a multi-millionaire businessman and the father of Betty’s four children, was eventually asked to make good on a 20-year debt of $30,000 in actual cash. 

Additionally, Dan was given custody of the kids once again. Betty was utterly devastated and felt as though her life had ended.

Dan and Linda got married on April 22, 1989, ten days after what would have been Dan and Betty’s twentieth anniversary.

The Murder Case – What Lead To The Death Of Dan & Linda?

Betty bought a Smith & Wesson rifle a month before Dan was set to marry Linda, ensuring the need for insurance as she was now living alone as a single woman. 

According to some reports, she frequently carried the weapon with her and intimidated people into shooting Dan while carrying shooting weapons.

Dan and Linda were shot and killed while they slept by Betty eight months after she bought the gun and seven months after their wedding. 

On November 5, 1989, the murder took place at about 5:30 in the morning. 

All five bullets of Betty’s gun were fired. Dan was shot in the chest while he appeared to be reaching for a phone, and Linda was shot twice in the head and chest, killing her instantly.

Another bullet was shot into the wall, and another one struck a nightstand. Linda was only 28, while Dan was 44.

Trials and Testimony

Betty surrendered to the authorities after shooting the gun, never disputing that she had unquestionably pressed the trigger many times. 

Betty, however, denied that she intended to kill the couple when she broke into the house during her preliminary interview.

At the two preliminary hearings, Betty clarified that she had never intended to harm Dan and Linda and that her conduct had never been deliberate.

Following a preliminary inquiry, the following information about how the murder happened was found, ‘She was woken by the movement I had made in her bedroom, and as I moved and somebody shouted, call the police, and I said No. I just fired a gun, which caused a great uproar, but I quickly grabbed up the phone and got out of it nevertheless, so I wasn’t present in the room. It was only a boom all around. I simply moved, they also moved, and then the guns started to fire. It happened in a moment of eye blink, so fast.’ 

She acknowledged that Linda yelled, ‘Call the cops, upset her and that everything happened very quickly. She then shot a gun without any thought or intention, although she was not aware at the time that one of the bullets struck the couple in the dark room.’

Final Verdict

Betty Broderick received the maximum penalty allowed by law; two consecutive sentences of 15 years to life in prison and two years; and for using a gun unlawfully. Betty has been in custody ever since the day she committed the murders.

The Board of Parole Hearings turned down her request for parole in January 2010 because she failed to express remorse or acknowledge her wrongdoing. 

The Murder Gain Massive Popularity- Books & Netflix Shows Were Produced Over It

A TV movie based on Broderick’s life was produced, consisting of two parts: ‘Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, The Last Chapter (1992)’ and ‘A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story,’ which was eventually broadcast on Lifetime. 

Additionally, the murder was acted out in the Deadly Women episode ‘Together forever’ from season 4. 

In the same way, the 1991 Law and Order episode ‘The Wages of Love’ was unmistakably inspired by the Broderick case.

When Betty’s preliminary results came out, her story made headlines all throughout the country. Betty interviews events for almost every TV show, reporter, and publication that contacted her.

Betty appeared on Hard Copy, 20/20, Headliners and Legends, the Oprah Winfrey Show twice, and several more shows. 

Around three books, ‘Until the Twelfth of Never: The Deadly Divorce of Dan and Betty Broderick,’ 1993, ‘Forsaking All Others: The Real Betty Broderick Story,’ 1993; and ‘Hell Hath No Fury,’ 1992, explained her story, and Betty was interviewed by Ladies Home Journal and countless other publications.

While some people may look back on the inclusion of the infraction many years ago, others may have just learned about the tragic and dubious incident thanks to Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story, season 2 of the Netflix series Dirty John.

What Does Betty Have to Say About Her Murder?

This was not the conclusion Betty had in mind for her family, she said in her book from 2015. ‘From the very first second of the day till the very last, I have loved my children unconditionally and still do. They were my first concern, and I sincerely hoped they would have a joyful childhood.’

How Did her Kids Deal With Their Mother In The Prison?

Two of her children spoke at the parole hearing and pleaded with the panel to free their mother. 

After being chastised by Betty’s other two children, the board was persuaded to keep Betty in custody.

Knowing how the children feel about it, her family still visits their mother on her birthday, Mother’s Day, and at least once in the late spring. 

In 2014, Kim published a book titled Betty Broderick, My Mom: The Kim Broderick Story that detailed how she and her family handled what had happened.

In her memoir, Kim compares seeing her mother in prison to her father’s death as the “most dreadful pain and misery I might at any moment thought of.”

According to Lee, she should have the choice to continue living her older years outside of prison, as The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Daniel Jr. said his mother shouldn’t be released since she was still hooked on legitimizing what she did at the comparable parole hearing in 2010.

Rhett offered a similar assurance to his sister Lee regarding his mother’s release from prison.

On Oprah, he stated: ‘She is a good person. If she talked to them about anything other than my father, everyone in this room would like her. She isn’t genuinely being helped by being kept behind bars. She poses no threat to society because the two people she was most likely to harm are now deceased.’