In 1983, Linda Kolkena resigned from her job as an air hostess and started working as a receptionist at the office where Dan’s legal practice occurred.
When Kolkena met him, Dan was married to Betty Broderick, who had been his wife for 14 years. Together, the couple had four children.
Linda Kolkena Met Daniel Broderick at work
In 1983, 21 years old Linda Kolkena served as a receptionist at the office where Dan continued his legal practice.
Betty soon started to doubt an affair after allegedly eavesdropping on a conversation at a party where Dan was calling Linda “beautiful.”
Dan refused to have an affair, and according to Betty’s statement in The L.A. Times, he denied firing Linda when she asked. “This was just a phase, a bad time—too stupid to be true,” Betty composed of her thoughts at the time.
“That girl had nothing on me. I am prettier, smarter, classier; she is a dumb, uneducated tramp with no background or education or talent. He will definitely get over it.”
But on Dan’s 39th birthday, November 22, 1983, Betty went to the office to surprise him, only to discover that he and Linda had both left for the day. “I waited till like five,” she explained the San Diego Reader, she added further that in Dan’s office, she noticed the remnants of a party
“They never came back. And that’s when I saw the refrigerator and my wedding crystal and all this imported wine. And the stereo. And his picture on [Linda’s] desk. Only it was a picture that was taken of him before we were married.”
Later, in February 1985, Dan left out of the home he shared with Betty and his children. And in June 1988, he and Linda got engaged.
Linda Kolkena and Dan Got Married In The Backyard Of Their House
On April 22, 1989, Linda Kolkena and Daniel Broderick got married at their home in the Marston Hills area of San Diego.
They held the wedding in their backyard, located in Marston Hills – a neighborhood in San Diego.
After Dan’s official and formal divorce from Betty, Dan tied the knot with Linda.
Linda, who had become more concerned that Betty was an actual threat, suggested him to use a bulletproof vest at the wedding ceremony. Although Dan denied but he hired some guards to watch the event.
She remained worried about Betty’s behavior, and in various situations, she asked a close friend. Sharon Blanchet and divorce lawyer to prepare documents to get a restrictive order against Betty.
However, Dan declined to allow his new wife Linda to file the documents.
For more than the five years Linda and Dan were with each other, Betty frequently left offensive messages on the Broderick answering machine and abused Linda Kolkena.
Dan would subtract £76 ($100) for each expletive message from her payment of £6,800 ($9,000) per month.
On November 1, 1989, Dan gave legal notice to Betty in which he warned of criminal contempt charges unless she ended up sending insulting and threatening messages on his and Linda’s house phone.
Despite the threats, and warning, the couple carried on with their wedding. Dan hired a security guard and enhanced the protection of the home rather than wearing a bulletproof vest.
Fortunately, The marriage took place in peace and harmony. The couple later visited the Caribbean for their honeymoon.
Linda Died In Bed Beside Dan
One fateful night, someone murdered the couple in their own house, ending their once happy married life.
Until one fateful night, the couple lived a blissfully happy married life in their own home.
Tragically, while they slumbered, they were both shot dead by Betty.
On the horrifying morning of November 5, 1989, Betty went to Dan and Linda’s house and used a house key that she took from her daughter.
Also carrying a newly bought pistol, she moved to the bedroom and started shooting “real fast, no hesitation at all.” Two of the five bullets she fired hit Linda–one in the neck and another in the chest–while a third hit Dan in the back. Both were shot dead.
At the time of his death, Dan was 44, and Linda was just 28 years old. Linda immediately died after a bullet entered her brain and the second in her chest.
Five days after the massacre, 600 people attended Dan and Linda’s funeral at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral in San Diego. “To us, she seems perfect,”
Linda’s sister Maggie revealed in her eulogy at the funeral, “but she wasn’t. She had a problem with punctuality.”
The couple is buried adjacent to each other at the Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego.
Betty Blamed Linda for Sending Her a Poison-Pen Letter
The legal dispute between Betty and Dan was extensively recorded and filed in court due to its intensity.
However, we face difficulty in obtaining a clear picture of the pressure between Betty and Linda.
Betty cursed Linda and called her by many offensive names in voicemail messages she sent on the couple’s answering machine.
When Betty got an unidentified letter in the mail, including a picture of Dan and Linda emblazoned with the words “Eat your heart out, bitch,” she doubted Linda was responsible.
Betty also declares Linda denied returning Betty’s wedding china, and she gave her anti-wrinkle creams.
Linda and Dan’s friends have always supported the couple, saying they could not be capable of the evil Betty allegations that took place.
USA TV Series Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story
Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story, the second season of the Dirty John anthology series, unwinds the actual issues of what Oprah called “one of America’s messiest divorces.”
Dan and Betty Broderick were a prosperous San Diego couple whose painful divorce process reached national recognition.
While Dan and Betty, played by Christian Slater and Amanda Peet, are the central characters of Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story, the series reveals how their fight affected others’ lives—including their four children and Dan’s girlfriend and then second wife, Linda Kolkena.
Her character was played by Rachel Heller.
Finally, Kolkata suffered the consequences of the divorce’s grim conclusion.
On November 5, 1989, months after the divorce was finalized, Betty entered Dan and Kolkena’s bedroom and brutally shot them both. The couple were married in April of that year. Kolkena was 28 years old.
Today, Betty Broderick serves her sentence in jail. Her story has been the topic of an Emmy-nominated movie, three books, many documentaries, and now, a Dirty John season.
Betty’s view on the circumstances leading to the night she shot and killed Dan and his second wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick, on November 5, 1989, takes center stage in Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story.
As we witness in the series, and what happened in real life according to the Los Angeles Times, Betty declared that Dan, a reputable attorney at the time, was using his “legal influence to cheat her out of her fair share of his seven-figure annual income” during their terrible divorce battle in the late ’80s.
What is more, her defense lawyers argued that Betty experienced psychological abuse at the hands of Dan.
“He took my home, my kids, my money,” Betty told The New York Times in the fall of 1991. “His was the white-collar way of beating you. If he had hit me with a baseball bat, I could have shown people what he did and made him stop.”
It was a fact that upset and divided much of the country, with some perceiving Betty as a cruel, cold-hearted murderer, others challenging, and some even understanding with her mental abuse claims.
In the end, Betty was sentenced to 32 years to life in prison on two counts of second-degree murder.
Where is Betty Broderick now in 2023?
In 2023, Betty Broderick is still in prison for the 1989 murders of her ex-husband, Dan Broderick, and his new wife, Linda Kolkena.
You may also read: Where is Betty Broderick and Her Children Now?
Betty has reportedly been refused parole twice over the years. First in January 2010 and then again seven years later.
In January 2017, a two-member board of California’s parole board decided collectively against releasing her from prison.
According to People, she will be 84 years old when she’s up for parole again in 2032.
“Betty Broderick is an unrepentant woman,” Deputy District Attorney Richard Sachs said to the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2017. “She has no remorse and zero insight into the killings … She just basically said they drove me to do this.”
After the docuseries Murder Made Me Famous episode about Betty came out in April 2017, People reports that Betty penned down a letter to the show’s producer Katie Dunn about her continued imprisonment.
“I have no one to speak for me,” Betty reportedly wrote. “This was a case of domestic abuse: a pattern of coercive control that lasted throughout our marriage until the day I killed them.”
The letter proceeded: “I have met all criteria for parole and my release date was 2010 … Now I am only a political prisoner. They have no reason to deny my parole.”
In her 2015 memoir, Betty Broderick: Telling on Myself, Betty said that she still speaks and sees her and Dan’s children — Kimberly, Kathy Lee, Dan Jr., and Rhett. When Betty was up for parole in 2010, they testified at the hearing.
At that moment, the siblings were in disagreement about whether she should be allowed to go free.
Kathy Lee told the parole board at the time that “she should be able to live her later life outside prison walls.”
However, her son, Dan Jr, said that his mother was still “hung up on justifying what she did.”
“In my heart, I know my mother is a good person,” he said. “But along the way she got lost. Releasing a lost person into society could be a dangerous mistake.”
A Friend Of Daniel Broderick Speaks About The Murder
In November 1989, Betty Broderick fatally killed her ex-husband Dan Broderick and his new wife of just six months, Linda Kolkata.
Spencer Busby, a friend of Dan Broderick, expressed his shock upon hearing of the murders. According to Busby, Dan was warned by friends to be wary of Betty’s intense dislike for his new relationship.
‘I was shocked. People always talked about how Dan needed to be careful, but I felt especially sad for Linda,’ Spencer Busby, an attorney and a close friend to Dan and Linda who participated in Oxygen’s special said to Fox News.
‘She was very young and had her whole life ahead of her. But she got in the middle of a crossfire that she couldn’t avoid. You don’t ever want to think someone could be so overwhelmed with rage,‘ he continued.
Dan married Betty in 1969, and he moved on to graduate from Cornell medical school and Harvard law school and build a thriving medical-malpractice law firm.
However, as Dan pursued his star career, Betty became resentful that he ignored her and their children.
Over the years, their marriage broke. By 1983, Betty accused Dan of having a relationship with Kolkena, his newly appointed legal assistant, who some believed seemed like the younger version of Betty.
In 1985 Dan registered for divorce, and in 1989 he married Kolkena, but the anxieties between the newlywed couple and Betty only increased.
‘Dan was ready to move on with his life,’ Busby said.
‘Him marrying Linda was a pretty clear signal that he wanted to start a new chapter in his life. And he was very torn. He was married to Betty for 16 plus years, so they had all that history. And his decision to move forward with his life was not an impulsive one. He loved his family. But he wanted to help create a better situation for his children. And things just weren’t getting better with Betty,‘ he added.
Busby, a divorcee himself, empathizes with how Betty may have felt to a certain extent.
‘But you just can’t condone that kind of behavior. You can’t enter someone’s home and expect them to talk to you with a gun,‘ he said.
On the evening of November 5, 1989, Betty, loaded with a Smith & Wesson revolver, snuck into Dan’s San Diego, California home using the key of their daughter.
After smashing into the home, she shot Kolkena, then 28, in the head and chest and shot Dan, then 44, in the chest as they were both sleeping in their bed.
Busby said Dan discovered a special love with his new wife Linda.
‘From my experience, I would describe their relationship as one of love,’ Busby said.
He said that the couple rarely brought up Betty and felt that they were ‘embarrassed‘ by the fight with her.
‘Dan was trying to figure out how to deal with the situation, of Betty not letting go,‘ he said.
‘He was trained as a lawyer to let the legal system handle it. But it was a struggle. She would leave angry messages with curse words that the children heard. I guess he was hoping that she would move on, too, for the sake of her children,‘ he added.
Betty was 41 when she engaged in the murder.
She never refused the killings but claimed she underwent years of Dan’s physical and psychological abuse, even after their divorce.
In 2017 her parole appeal was rejected, and she is not qualified for parole again until 2032 – when she will be 84.
The ones who lost the most here are the children. They lost both of their parents. That’s heartbreaking. So much else could have happened here. There are no winners here,’ Busby said.
Undoubtedly the story of Dan Broderick, Linda Kolkena, and Linda Kolkena is unfortunate and gets to the national level. But in this whole story, nobody remains happy, but who suffered most were the kids.
On May 16, 2023, the Editorial team updated this article, which was first published on February 6, 2021.