The critically acclaimed limited series Dirty John has found its new subject in the case of Betty Broderick. The second season promises to explore the real-life story of the murderer, who confessed to killing her husband and his second wife in 1989.
Elizabeth “Betty” Broderick is a convicted murderer, as she was accused of killing her ex-husband, Daniel T. Broderick III and his second wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick, in 1989. Betty had previously accused Daniel of having an affair with Linda, who was his legal assistant, during their marriage.
The overall divorce process took five years, and their divorce was finalized in 1989. Linda and Daniel married in 1989, and reports at the time claimed Betty’s behavior was becoming increasingly problematic, citing that she was ignoring restraining orders and vandalizing Daniel’s home.
Betty Suspected an Affair For Years
The Broderick’s marriage began to break down after Daniel graduated from Harvard Law School and the family moved to San Diego. Originally, Betty urged him to go into practice for himself in order to get more money, and he did, which allowed them to become millionaires.
Betty began to complain that Daniel was spending too much time at work and he was an absent father and husband. To compensate, he hired his assistant. Betty suspected an affair between them for some time before she had any evidence of the fact.
Shortly after, Daniel moved out of the family home, bought his own house and took custody of their four children. Then, he admitted to having an affair for three years and got a restraining order filed against his wife.
The Divorce Proceedings Took Five Years
From the time they decided to get divorced to the time the actual divorce went through, there were five years of conflicts and divorce proceedings. Daniel’s divorce lawyer managed to persuade a judge to ban the press and public from observing the divorce trial.
Over the three years leading up to the finalization, Betty spent several days in county jail and had been fined thousands of dollars for ignoring court orders. She acted as her own lawyer during the proceedings.
The proceedings took so long due to a number of factors including Betty’s behavior. She refused to sell the couple’s house at the last minute after previously agreeing to the sale, and then she rammed her car through the front door of Daniel’s home.
Betty Sought More than $250,000 in Annual Alimony and Child Support
During the divorce trial, Betty sought more than $250,000 in annual alimony and child support payments from Daniel, who she claimed earned upwards of $1 million per year. She said she needed the money for her home, “clothes and accessories,” as well as “travel and education.”
Before the proceedings, Daniel’s lawyer urged the judge to order payments of $9,000 monthly for a year followed by $5,000 monthly for five years as fair.
When all was settled, Betty was awarded $16,000 a month in alimony in addition to the salary she received from working at an art gallery. She did not receive a separate child support payment.
Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story airs at 9 p.m. on USA Network.