Daniel Broderick III’s story is being featured on Season 2 of Dirty John, which is exploring the double-murders conducted by his ex-wife, Betty Broderick. On November 5, 1989, Betty Broderick fatally shot her ex-husband and his new wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick. Daniel Broderick, a medical malpractice attorney, was 44 years old at the time of his death. His obituary, according to Findagrave.com, describes him as a “murder victim.”
“He and his second wife, Linda, were murdered by his ex-wife, Betty, following an extremely bitter divorce in what became a high profile case,” the obituary says. “He was a college senior at Notre Dame in pre-med, when he met Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Anne Bisceglia, a freshman.”
He and Betty Broderick dated for three years before they got married in 1969. At the time, Daniel Broderick had been pressuring a medical degree at Cornell Medical College. After he graduated, he changed professionals, and enlisted as Harvard Law School.
After they got married, it was up to Betty Broderick to take care of the home and children. “He had the idea that (the wedding) changed everything,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “He let the maids go at the honeymoon house. I was supposed to . . . cook and clean” while he went to school.
Dan Broderick Became Known As a Fashionista in School
To keep them afloat, Betty Broderick worked “odd jobs” while her husband was in school. Dan became known as a fashionista. “Always a fashionable dresser, he became known on campus as ‘Dapper Dan’ while Betty always wore older, second-hand clothing,” the obituary says.
The couple moved to San Diego, where Dan Broderick became a successful attorney after landing his first job. The couple went on to have four children: Kim, Lee, Daniel Jr. and Rhett. “As Dan became more successful, earning up to $2 million a year, he stayed at work more and more, leaving Betty to raise the children alone,” his obituary on Findagrave.com says.
They turned into SoCal socialites. “They both were almost central casting for early yuppie,” said Burl Stiff, the society columnist for the San Diego Union, according to the Los Angeles Times. “He always looked straight from Polo. She always had very pretty clothes–Oscar de la Renta and the like.”
The year 1983 is when things started to change for the couple. Dan Broderick met and hired 21-year-old Linda Kolkena as first as a receptionist. He later promoted her to his legal assistant. They soon started an affair, even though Dan Broderick originally denied it to Betty.
By 1985 Dan Broderick filed for divorce, paying Betty $9,000 a month in alimony and child support. He moved her and the children into another house, but Dan Broderick took out restraining orders against Betty after she started to vandalize his house, throwing bottles at windows and ramming her car into the frame of his front door. She was arrested twice for breaking the restraining orders, including three days in a mental facility after she drove the car into his house in 1986.
Dan Broderick Was Paying Betty Thousands Each Month in Alimony
In 1989, Dan Broderick married Kolkena. She reportedly asked him to wear a bulletproof vest and the wedding and they hired undercover security guards.
On November 5, 1989, Betty entered Dan Broderick and Kolkena’s house at 5:00 a.m. with a key that she stole from her daughter. “Finding them asleep in bed, she shot Linda twice and Dan four times, killing them instantly,” the obituary says. “A first trial resulted in a hung jury, but a second trial found her guilty of second-degree murder, and she was sentenced to 32 years to life.”
At the time of the murders, Dan Broderick was paying Betty $16,000 a month in alimony, though she maintained it wasn’t enough to support her.
Betty Broderick maintained she was a victim. “I bought into a 1950s ‘Leave It to Beaver’ marriage … and he stole my whole life. This was a desperate act of self-defense,” she told the Los Angeles Times in 1990.
Since her incarceration, her children have been split about whether or not their mother should remain in prison. Kim and Daniel Jr. have said that she should remain behind bars, while Rhett and Lee would like to see her come home.
Lee was written out of her father’s will. “He had told me before that he was going to write me out, but I didn’t think he would. But he did,” she told the Los Angeles Times in 1985.