Betty Broderick: Wikis


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Elisabeth Anne "Betty" Broderick
Born November 7, 1947 (1947-11-07) (age 62)
Eastchester, New York, USA
Charge(s) second-degree murder x2
Penalty 32-years-to-life in prison
Status prison

Elisabeth Anne "Betty" Broderick née Bisceglia (born on November 7, 1947 in Eastchester, New York) is a former San Diego socialite convicted of the November 5, 1989 murder of her former husband Dan Broderick and his second wife, Linda Kolkena. After a second trial, she was convicted on December 11, 1991 of two counts of second-degree murder, and later sentenced to 32-years-to-life in prison, with her first possible parole date in March of 2010.



Betty was the third of six children born to devout Roman Catholic parents, Marita and Frank Bisceglia, an Irish-American mother and an Italian father who had founded a plastering firm with his brothers. She was raised in an "aspirational" family, one not born to affluence but trying hard to achieve upper-middle-class status via business success, education, and assiduous attention to proper manners and behavior.

Betty attended and later graduated from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, a small Catholic women's college in Riverdale, New York. Betty met her future husband, Dan Broderick, eldest son in another large Catholic family, at a football game between the University of Southern California and the University of Notre Dame, where Dan was an undergraduate. They dated for some time and became engaged later. Dan's family was initially charmed by Betty's beauty, graciousness, and sophistication.

When the couple became engaged, Dan was attending the Cornell University Medical School (located in New York City rather than Ithaca, New York). The couple were married on April 12, 1969, at the Immaculate Conception Church in Eastchester in a lavish ceremony planned by Betty's mother. They honeymooned on a Caribbean cruise and later stayed with friends in St. Thomas. Both Betty and Dan experienced doubts about the marriage during the honeymoon, Betty later complaining about their first sexual experiences, among other problems. She returned from her honeymoon pregnant with her first child, daughter Kim, and continued to work until the day before she gave birth. Afterwards, she quit her job and devoted herself to home and motherhood, which, she stated, had always been her only ambitions. She later gave birth to four more children: a daughter called Lee, two sons named Daniel and Rhett, and an unnamed boy who died four days after birth.

After Kim's birth, and after completing his medical degree, Dan announced that he didn't want to proceed with his medical training and that he intended to combine it with a law degree. He enrolled at Harvard Law School while Betty held down a variety of jobs to support his studies. Later, the family moved to San Diego, and to its La Jolla area, where Dan became a success as a medical malpractice attorney. The couple was well known within San Diego social circles, and enjoyed a life of increasing affluence. At the same time, the already-problematic marriage was further deteriorating. Eventually, after Dan hired Linda Kolkena, a former airline attendant who had become a receptionist, as his assistant, he began an affair with her.

Betty long suspected the affair, although Dan denied it for some time. After he finally moved out of the family home (eventually taking custody of the children when Betty demanded that he do so, to Betty's own surprise), and following a lengthy and complex divorce settlement in which Betty felt that she was unfairly treated owing to Dan's extensive legal connections and influence, she became obsessed with her anger towards her ex-husband. Among other behaviors that later worked against her in court, she repeatedly left obscene messages on his answering machine and frequently abused him and his new wife in recorded telephone conversations with her children. One particularly notorious instance was her driving her vehicle through the front of Dan and Linda's house. Following her receipt of legal threats from Dan's lawyer, Betty purchased a revolver and gained entry to her ex-husband's home in Marston Hills with a key that she had stolen from the purse of her elder daughter, Kim Broderick. She murdered Dan and Linda while they slept. Allegedly, Dan's last words were, "Okay, you shot me. I'm dead."

Linda and Dan Broderick are buried together at Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego, California.

At the subsequent trials, Betty denied having any intent of murdering the couple when she broke into the house. When asked why she brought a handgun into the home that night, she simply replied "because I wanted him to listen to me." She then claimed that she shot her ex-husband in the heat of passion while they argued.

Betty's first trial ended in a hung jury when two of the jurors held out for manslaughter rather than a murder verdict, citing lack of intent. Prosecutor Kerry Wells was more successful in the second trial, when the jury returned a verdict of two counts of second-degree murder. Betty Broderick was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 15 years to life plus two years for illegal use of a firearm. Broderick is currently serving out her sentence at the California Institute for Women (CIW), Corona, California. She will have to serve a minimum of 21 years before being eligible for parole in 2011.

Broderick's story was turned into a television film (later re-aired on Lifetime; its original broadcast was on network television), called (Part 1) "A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story," and (Part 2) "Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, The Last Chapter (1992)". Meredith Baxter received an Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Broderick.

Court Cases

Betty Broderick was involved in numerous court cases, including the homicides of Dan Broderick and his wife. These are shown below:


  • Ludwig, Robi; Matt Kirkbeck, Nancy Grace, Larry King (2007). Till Death Do Us Part: Love, Marriage, and the Mind of the Killer Spouse. Atria. pp. 23–35. ISBN 0743275098.  
  • Taubman, Bryna (2004). Hell Hath No Fury: A True Story of Wealth and Passion, Love and Envy, and a Woman Driven to the Ultimate Revenge. St. Martin's True Crime. ISBN 0312929382.  


External links

External Reference

Bella Stumbo, Until the Twelfth of Never: The Deadly Divorce of Dan and Betty Broderick. (New York: Atria), 1993.

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