In 1989, Elisabeth “Betty” Broderick (Amanda Peet) shot and killed her ex-husband Daniel Broderick (Christian Slater) and his new wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick (Rachel Keller), after “five years of battles so violent that Broderick vs. Broderick became known as the worst divorce case in San Diego County,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The divorce, the murders, and the ensuing trial are all the subject of new USA drama Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story, which premiered last Tuesday, June 2 with back-to-back episodes. If you’re wondering how many episodes the season will be as a whole, here’s what we know about it.
The Betty Broderick Story is 8 Episodes
Just like the first season of Dirty John, which is based on a podcast of the same name by Christopher Goffard, the second season will have eight episodes. Here is the schedule:
June 2: The first two episodes, “No Fault” and “The Turtle and the Alligator”
June 9: Episode three, “Marriage Encounter”
June 16: Episode four, “More to It Than Fun”
June 23: Episode five, “Scream Therapy”
June 30: Episode six, “The Twelfth of Never”
July 7: Episode seven, “The Shillelagh”
July 14: Episode eight, “Perception is Reality”
Here’s Where the Real Betty Broderick Is Now
WARNING: If you don’t want to be spoiled about the contents of the series, stop reading. Light spoilers ahead.
On the morning of November 5, 1989, Betty shot Daniel and Linda to death while they slept in their new Hillcrest-area home. Police Lt. Gary Learn told the Los Angeles Times that Linda, 28, was shot twice, once in the back of the head and once in the chest. Daniel was shot once in the back. Two other shots were fired, one hitting a bedside table and one hitting a wall.
Betty was arrested later that day. Inside her car, they found a .38-caliber revolver that was eventually proven to be the murder weapon. She later testified that she had been planning to kill herself but instead went to see Daniel. Betty also said she did not remember the shooting and was surprised to find out she fired five times, according to the New York Times.
At the trial, Betty never tried to deny that she was the perpetrator of the crime, but her defense was that it was a heat-of-the-moment killing. Both the prosecution and the defense had psychiatrists and psychologists that testified that Betty was suffering from major depression and personality disorders. The first trial ended in a hung jury, as 10 members wanted to convict Betty of murder and two wanted to convict her of manslaughter.
The second trial ended in a conviction for second-degree murder. Betty was sentenced to 32-years-to-life in prison. She was denied parole in 2010 and again in 2017. Both times, the parole board did not think Betty demonstrated remorse for her crimes.
Daughter Lee (now going by Kathy) and son Rhett thought their mother should be paroled. Rhett told Oprah Winfrey in 2005 that his mother wasn’t a danger to anyone.
“She’s a nice lady. Everyone here would like her … if they spoke with her on any topic other than my dad. Keeping her in prison isn’t really helping her. She’s not a danger to society — the only two people she was a danger to are dead,” said Rhett.
Children Kim and Daniel IV disagreed that their mother should be released.
Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on USA.