Driven To The Edge or Just A Cold Blooded Killer? | The Betty Broderick Story: Part Two


(Linda and Dan, Picture credit: lipstickalley.com)

Continued from part one...

It was becoming clear that there was no way back for Betty and Dan's marriage and her suspicions of Dan's suspected affair with Linda continued to grow. He managed to get custody of four of their children and filed for a divorce as well as a restraining order as Betty kept showing up at the house and leaving endless abusive messages on his answer machine. It got even more nasty quite quickly. When Betty found out that Dan had sold the family home without her consent, she drove her car through his front door, smashed up the house and spray painted the walls and furniture.

The situation even drew attention from the media and Betty was even contacted by the Oprah Winfrey show to make an appearance to discuss the divorce but she refused to appear.

Dan no longer kept his affair with Linda secret and admitted that he had been seeing her for a long time, even when he and Betty were still living together in the same house, supposedly working on their marriage. Betty's anger grew and grew, she felt betrayed and used, all those years she stood by him and took care of the kids only for him to dump her for a younger woman. Betty saw Linda as a bimbo, a gold digger with no intelligence, whereas she was a mother, a woman who could hold everything together and give Dan the air of respectability he craved. Betty mocked Dan in the phone messages, telling him he looked like a joke, a dirty old man and that he was having a mid life crisis.

As angry as she was, Betty still had the belief that Dan would grow tired of Linda and return to her and they would carry on as normal, when it was becoming clear that that was not going to happen, she became even more desperate and enraged and violated the restraining order. Dan had her committed to a psychiatric ward for 3 days which further pushed her over the edge, she felt even more angry and insulted.

To Betty, it also seemed as though Linda had stepped into her shoes and took her life. One wonders why Linda would have gotten involved with a married man especially one who had so much baggage, could it be that she just fell head over heels in love with him or was it a case that she wanted a taste of the high life for herself, I'll leave that up to your own personal opinion. Myself, personally, I would run a mile if I found out that he was married and also to Betty, she was not a woman to be messed with as both of them were to later find out.

The drama with the divorce continued, Betty was given a $16,000 allowance every month and a beautiful house but she still wasn't happy. She knew that Dan brought in a huge amount of money every month and in her mind, she was entitled to that money since she was the one who helped his career. $16,000 was an insult to Betty, she wanted more, she felt that she was entitled to it after the 16 years she sacrificed so that he could get to where he wanted to be.


The nasty phone messages from Betty continued and the children were getting upset, one of her sons actually got on the phone with her and told her to stop saying those abusive things. Dan told Betty that every time she continued to send an abusive phone message, he would take money off of her monthly allowance.

It was around this time that Betty later claimed that Linda and Dan were harassing her. She claimed that they were trying to make her look crazy and that Linda would make fun of her weight and send her weighloss guides through the post. When she found out that Linda and Dan were getting married, she stole their wedding list and contacted everyone on it and questioned them why they would betray her like that. Betty also claimed that she had a hard time getting a lawyer because of Dan's reputation, nobody wanted to go up against him.

Linda and Dan married on the 22nd of April 1989, just ten days after what would have been Dan and Betty's 20th wedding anniversary. It was plain to see for Betty that Dan was never coming back to her.

On the 5th of November 1989, things came to an ultimate head. Whilst Dan (44) and Linda (28) were asleep in bed, Betty drove over to their house, taking a gun with her. She stood in the doorway and fired the gun towards the couple. Five shots rang out and Linda was killed instantly, Dan tried to grab the phone which Betty ripped out of the wall, he apparently said to her ''Okay, you shot me, I'm dead''.

Betty's story was that she took the gun over to Dan's house in an attempt to talk to him, she says her plan was to kill herself if he refused to speak to her. She claims she had no plans to kill Dan and Linda, she said the gun just went off and she panicked.

Betty turned herself into the police and at her trial she claimed herself to be the victim of an abusive husband, she said she tried to get beauty treatments to get rid of wrinkles in her face and had her teeth done because she wanted to be perfect for Dan. She claimed he called her ''Stupid, fat and boring''.


The people who knew Dan said that this was all lies and that Dan did everything he could to make things easier for Betty but the truth is, that there was problems in their relationship from day one, even on their honeymoon, Betty reportedly wanted a divorce.


Betty's first trial ended in a hung jury. In her second trial the jury returned a verdict of two counts of second-degree murder, she was sentenced to two 15 year sentences including two added years for illegal use of a firearm.

In 2010, Betty was denied parole and then again in 2011 and 2017. She has never shown any remorse for the murders and is deemed unfit for release. There was an incident during her trial were there was some commotion involving Betty in prison, she was ranting at prison guards and smeared her own feces all over the walls. Betty won't be eligible for parole until 2032. She's 72 years old and will most likely die in prison. She has been in prison since the murders took place.

Betty and Dan's children have all grown up to be wonderful people but they remain torn over whether or not their mother should be released.

Do I think she should be released? At the age of 72, I think that she should be and monitored. Despite the prison incident during the trial, Betty has been a model prisoner who is popular with the fellow inmates and guards. There are even groups out there who believe that Betty should be released. There are women out there who can relate to a lot of Betty's story, the heartache of building a man up, supporting him, giving him the best years of your life only for him to leave you for a younger woman. A lot of women can understand that pain but Betty went insane with the anger and her children suffered.

(Prison photo of Betty Broderick. change.org)

Do I think she was pushed too far? This is my opinion, I think there was some games being played by everyone in this situation. We know that Dan had lied to Betty, called her paranoid and crazy and that he hired an unqualified younger woman to be his assistant who was 22, he was in his thirties. You have to ask yourself, why would a grown man, a lawyer who was married with children want to get involved with a younger woman who was just really starting out in life.

Linda often gets the harsh deal of this, I see comment after comment blaming her for the whole thing. Comments such as ''home wrecker'' and ''gold digger'' pop up often but is it really as black and white as that. Why should Linda get all of the blame? Yes, she should not have gotten involved with a married man but we don't know what Dan told her and yes, she could have just wanted the lavish lifestyle for herself but what about Dan? The people who were friends with him can't speak any higher of him but did they know what he was really like behind closed doors? None of us know what really goes on in a persons marriage, just because we see them at work and they are nice, doesn't mean that they are like that all of the time.

I don't think Betty was abused by Dan but I do think he was selfish. Look at the situation with his birthday, he was out of the office for hours with Linda with no consideration or respect for Betty. To be fair, Betty did everything for him for 16 years of their marriage, she deserved better.

A lot of us would have just settled for the house and the $16,000 a month and moved on. Betty was still an attractive woman, she could have had counselling and met someone else. Who knows what would have happened with Linda and Dan once the novelty had worn off, I don't mean that to sound disrespectful but here was a guy who had no problem ditching his wife of 16 years, the mother of his five children, with no remorse and then having the same disrespect for his staff when he paid Linda more money and gave her all the perks he could. Dan had enough money that it wouldn't have mattered how old he had gotten, he would have still been able to have a younger girlfriend due to his status. One wonders if years down the line, Linda would have faced a similar situation as Betty, traded in for a younger model.

I'm not coming out in 100% sympathy with Betty, all I'm saying is, that nobody is innocent (in my opinion) in this situation. Dan and Linda did not deserve to lose their lives.

There is a fantastic 90s TV movie made about this case starring Meredith Baxter which I will leave the links to below. Netflix have also covered Betty's story in season two of Dirty John. Quite a few books have been written about the case too.

If there's anything to be learned from this case, it is this....don't put your whole life into a man, grow your own dreams, live your own life, be supportive but not to the point where you just live for that person. As sad as it is, there are people in this world, male and female who turn on a dime as soon as they land on their feet and they will drop you when they feel that you no longer serve a purpose. I've heard stories of women who devoted their lives to men only to be out in the cold years later when they find someone younger. I don't know how I would cope in that situation, I would be hurt, angry and my confidence would be low but I would not go to the lengths that Betty did.

What are your thoughts on this case? Let me know below or elsewhere on social media.

RIP to Dan & Linda.


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