Betty Broderick’s divorce from prominent medical malpractice attorney Daniel T. Broderick III was a “well-orchestrated game,” at least that’s what the convicted killer said from behind bars during an interview from the 1990s. The former SoCal socialite murdered her first husband and his new wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick, in the early morning on Sunday, November 5, 1989. She was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 32 years to life in prison.
Broderick’s divorce and double murder has led to films and TV series, including Season 2 of USA Network’s Dirty John, which is focusing on Broderick’s fatal divorce. Brockmire star Amanda Peet is portraying the killer, with Christian Slater assuming the role of the medical malpractice attorney.
Broderick Considered Herself a Victim
When asked if she felt sorry about killing Kolkena and Dan Broderick, Broderick essentially made herself out to be the victim. “In Dan’s mind, this was a legal case and he had to destroy me totally, and I don’t know why,” she said. “I never did anything to him to incur that hate and wrath.”
Some of the things Betty Broderick did was light Dan Broderick’s designer clothes on fire, smear cake on his bed, ram her car into the front of his house, throw wine bottles through his window and continually leave expletive-filled messages on his answering machine. When Kolkena married Dan Broderick in 1989, she asked him to wear a bulletproof vest. He didn’t oblige, but they did have undercover security guards at the nuptials, the Los Angeles Times wrote.
When Betty Broderick was pressed about feeling remorse, she said she’s felt bad since 1983, which is when Dan Broderick hired Kolkena as a receptionist. She was soon promoted to his legal assistant.
“I feel terrible remorse for what we’ve all been through since 1983. It’ll almost be 10 years now. Ten years,” she said. “I find it so meaningless what we’ve all been through.”
“What was the point of it? What was the point of any of this? What was the point of them conducting all this and lying? I just never saw the point in it. I didn’t know why they felt so compelled to destroy me,” Betty Broderick continued. “The story they were telling and trying to pull over on people wasn’t the truth.”
I’m sorry about everything. I’m sorry about the whole thing. Two people are dead that could have had wonderful lives and I should have 10 years down the road–ten years is a long time!–to an entirely new life. We all had so much potential and possibilities. Why was this so destructive of everyone?
Broderick Was Getting Nearly $200,000 a Year in Alimony
At the time of the double murders, Betty Broderick was getting $16,000 a month in alimony, when asked why just didn’t leave her ex and his new wife alone, she said, “I would have loved to have done that” but said things weren’t what they seemed like. The house Dan Broderick bought her was in his name and she paid for all the bills that came with the house with the alimony he sent her every month.
“When I finally got it in 1989 in my name, I didn’t have enough monthly money to stay there. So the first thing I did was put it on the market. I couldn’t stay there. And in all the years of this, he was telling people he bought me a house, it was a lie,” she said. “The house was in his name and the money he gave me every month to make those payments–because it was really in his name–was back in his pocket.”
Season 2 of Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story is airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on USA Network.
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