Til Death Do Us Part. Words that many have spoken during their marriage vows, and words that many haven’t taken literally. But for those as devoted to their spouse and unwilling to give up what they have worked at all their life, those words may be the haunting reminder of the final act they will need to perform. Such is the case of Elizabeth Anne Broderick, aka Betty Broderick.
Betty was born in 1947 and raised in New York. The third of six kids, whose parents were strict, much was expected of them. Betty had been trained to be a housewife since she was born. She recalled; “Go to Catholic schools, be careful with dating until you find a Catholic man, support him while he works, be blessed in your later years with beautiful grandchildren.” Betty took this seriously.
Graduating from High School, she went to college and earned a degree in early childhood education and a minor in English. In 1965, she met Dan Broderick. April 12, 1969 they were married, and Betty came home from her honeymoon pregnant with their first child, a daughter, Kim. Eventually they would have four more children, daughter Lee, and son’s Daniel and Rhett. A fifth child died, four days after birth.
During the time they were growing their family, Dan completed his medical degree and also enrolled in Harvard Law School, and he planned to become a malpractice attorney. During this time, Betty supported Dan and was the main provider for the family.
After graduating from Harvard, Dan was hired by a law firm in San Diego, CA. He moved the family to La Jolla and into a more affluent lifestyle.
In 1982, Dan Broderick hired a legal assistant by the name of Linda Kolkena. She was 21 years old. Less than a year later Betty suspected Dan of having an affair with Linda, which he denied. Betty did what a lot of women do when faced with similar insecurities and doubts. She got plastic surgery, dyed her hair, went on a diet, dressed differently. All to look younger, and more attractive to her husband.
Eventually Dan moved out against Betty’s wishes. He later confessed to having an affair with Linda and a bitter, long, drawn-out divorce ensued. Betty lost custody of her kids, when she used them to torment Dan, by leaving them on his doorstep one by one. As Dan was a prominent local lawyer it made it difficult to find an attorney to help with the divorce for Betty.
During the divorce, Dan won sole custody of the kids, he sold the house they had all lived in, against Betty’s wishes and Betty claimed he didn’t provide her share of the sale or his income.
In 1989 the divorce was finalized. Betty became increasingly violent. She left hundreds of messages on the answering machine. Ignored numerous restraining orders, and vandalized his new home. She also drove her car into the front door despite the fact the children were inside.
April 1989, Dan and Linda were married. Betty claimed that Linda taunted her by mailing her face cream and slimming treatment ads.
November 5, 1989. Betty drove to Dan and Linda’s home it was 5:30am. Betty fired the gun she had purchased 8 months ago, 5 times. Hitting Linda twice, killing her instantly. Dan was hit once in the chest, and two bullets hit the wall and nightstand. Betty had removed the phone from the bedroom. Dan did not die right away, Betty claimed to have spoken to him after she shot him.
Afterwards, Betty called the police and turned herself in. She never denied she pulled the trigger. However she did claim it was not a premeditated crime and she never planned to kill Dan and Linda.
Betty was put on trial, the first trial was a hung jury, so a mistrial was declared. The second trial was successful if get a conviction. Second-degree murder. Betty was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 15 years to life.
She has been denied parole three times as she does not show remorse, nor acknowledge any wrongdoing. She is eligible again for parole in 2032.
My biggest question is: Did Betty purposely buy the gun to kill Dan and Linda or was it for a different reason? If she wasn’t planning to kill them, why take the gun at all? Do you feel Betty should be paroled if she makes it to the next parole hearing?
Be safe, make good choices, respect each other