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Socialite Betty Broderick seeks release from prison

After spending almost two decades in prison, a La Jolla socialite who killed her ex-husband and his new wife in their bed will ask a parole board to be released.

Betty Broderick, 62, was convicted of the killings in 1991 and sentenced to 32 years to life in prison. She unsuccessfully argued that the crime was the result of years of emotional abuse by her husband.

Broderick didn't deny being responsible for the Nov. 5, 1989, killings of her ex-husband, Daniel T. Broderick III, and his wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick.

She admitted firing the fatal shots but claimed that she was the victim of a husband who had been emotionally abusive and manipulative. She testified that she intended to talk to her husband and to kill herself but fired at the couple when Linda Broderick yelled, "Call the police!" and Daniel Broderick lunged for the phone.

A first trial, in 1990, ended with the jury deadlocked, 10 favoring a conviction of murder charges and two holding out for manslaughter. The second trial ended with two convictions on charges of second-degree murder.

Daniel and Betty Broderick divorced in 1985 after 16 years of marriage. During their divorce, which was not final until 1989, Betty Broderick accused her husband of using his legal influence to cheat her out of her fair share of his seven-figure annual income.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Betty Broderick is led from courtroom after being sentenced in murders of her ex-husband and his wife. Credit: Associated Press


Comments () | Archives (92)

I'm appalled by the harsh comments towards Betty Broderick (primarily from men). This woman has been an outstanding inmate and posses no threat to anyone. She snapped under the pressure of an abusive marriage and unfair divorce settlement. I support her release. It's amazing how unforgiving the public is to women who are abused but quick to defend the horrendous behavior of men. Her husband had undo influence because of his wealth and connections.

To the people posting hateful comments against Ms. Broderick I beseech you to remember the Son of Man died on the cross for ALL our sins. None of us is at all perfect. Ms. Broderick's sin is committing murder, but God offers mercy and forgiveness... not condemnation. It is not the sinner yu should reject, but the sin. In Jesus' name, Amen.

LPW. Open your house as a half way house for her Then tell us how safe she is.

all these comments about how she snapped and only did it cuz she was abused are just ridiculous. She's exactly where she deserves to be and she needs to stay there.

I grew up in San Diego and remember this trial well. If a jilted man did this to his ex-wife, it wouldn't even make the news. He'd be locked up for good, the way any revenge murderer should be, man or woman. 5+ years passed between the divorce and the murder. Plus, she received $16k per month, kept the house, and each child kept telling her to stop being angry at Daddy. Can you say, Move on! She should've received 1st degree.

Keep her right where she is. She is a crazy nut job. She had $16K per month and a lovely home in LaJolla, but that was not enough. She was abusive to her children and believed that b/c her husband found another woman she, Betty, could kill them both. She was then and will always be mentally unballanced. Please let her remain confined.

It is amazing to me that this kook gets any support/sympathy at all. She is clearly deranged (then and now) and those of you who support her are fooling yourselves. Make no mistake, this was not an isolated incident. Betty is, was, and will be, a killer. I can see t now...Betty gets released and meets a swell guy and they go on a few dates, but Betty's a little strange and the guy stops calling. NOT AGAIN! WHY DO MEN ALWAYS DO THIS TO POOR, POOR BETTY?!?!?! Betty grabs a knife/gun/axe/chain saw (you pick) and, in a fit of rage, drives to the abuser's house...well, you know the rest.

Women in abusive relationships will not be taken seriously until they stand up and walk away. For some reason we have come to believe people like Betty have only two choices: 1) Continue to be abused or 2) kill the abuser. How about walk away?

To Betty: You killed two people. Unlike you they are not currently eligible for parole and won't be re-entering society any time soon. Although life in prison must be miserable, this is the life you've chosen. You cared only about yourself and how badly you were treated. I hope you never leave prison and I hope someday you can come to grips with what you did. What YOU did.

Murder is wrong but I wonder how I would feel if I worked to put my husband through school and when he became successful he got a younger prettier woman and dumped me like trash and then sold my house out from under me without telling me? Then my kids got taken from me and I was left alone. You mean to say all you folks would simply accept it and move on or would you be in a rage? No I do not think she should be released btw. Anyone that would blow two people away at point blank range needs to stay locked up forever.

Her husband and his mistress did abuse her mentally, if you check out the facts of this case. Sinners all of them tho! She should have let a higher authority punish them. They all broke God's laws. She should stay where she is, she chose to take their pitiful lives and she should suffer the consequences of her actions. It could have been a situation of heat of passion insanity, but the jury didn't think so.

I agree, Betty is a cold blooded murderer. It was premeditated, buying the gun, stealing the keys, driving their early in the morning, while Dan and Linda were sleeping. Shooting them in their sleep, then yanking the telephone cord so Dan could not call for help. Her act as the victim is ridiculous. She continually stalked and harassed Dan and Linda. Betty had a boyfriend and a nice alimony from Dan, but she wanted revenge...it has always been about herself. I hope she serves life. Two innocent people are dead and their families will never recover from the permanent pain that Betty has caused them!!!

How do any of us know what sort of prisoner she has been over the past 20 years? For all any of us know she could be a model prisoner - but then maybe she's been causing trouble - we don't know.

It is never right to take the life of another person. I believe Betty had some sort of psychotic break when Dan left her for Linda. I believe she was pushed over the edge by her ex-husband. I believe she did not have the coping skills required when her marriage dissolved. I am not excusing her behavior - I'm just trying to understand what drove her to kill two people.

Betty's sentence is 32 years to life. Chances are that she will not be granted parole at her first parole hearing. She's probably going to have to do at least another 10 years - just guessing.

I have a question... If she really intended to "talk" to her husband and kill herself like she claims, why were there two bullets in the gun?

Anyone who says this woman did not receive a fair trial is correct...she should have been convicted of 1st degree murder and sentenced to death. Being mentally abused is no excuse for murder and good behavior is no reason to let someone out of prison. This woman planned her ex-husbands execution, stood at the foot of his bed in the middle of the night and pumped bullets into him and his new wife. Should Charles Manson be freed too? He has been a model prisoner and if memory serves did not actually "pull the trigger". Her own children testified against her at her trial and probably fear her release.

She did the crime and she served the time. I felt for her then and I feel for her now. She was cheated and taken advantage of. She put her life aside to help him become the big Attorney he wanted to be, all in while he was predicating his new life with his new wife and cheat Betty out of what she righteously deserved. And what's worst is she never had any support from her friends and family and they all treated her as if she was crazy for feeling how she should have been feeling, USED and ABUSED!

I believe this woman was mentally abused by her selfish controlling husband. She gained weight was getting old, and he found a thin younger woman to stroke his ego. The same old story that will never change. Unfortunately she was weak and dependant on him and he broke her heart & broke her spirit. She was at her breaking point and easy for us to say she should have gone on with her life and let him be, but women that have supported their husband believe he owed it to her to stay with her and the family. She got caught up in the games he played and unfortunately for him he lost. She's done her time, set her free!

Linda Brodrick knew what she was getting into when she had an affair with a married man. She should have been put on trial for being stupid and taking a father away from his family. May be she got what she deserved. Good Luck Betty!!!

I think it is too early to release her. I feel sorry for everyone involved. But being replaced with a younger version of yourself....ouch! By the way - she sure as heck did not go calmly to jail! Watch some Meredith Baxter( Birney) movies!

Don't you mean, "Betty Broderick, double murderer and ex-socialite”? You make it seem as though the fact she murdered two people in cold blood is incidental when it’s the only reason anyone knows who she is.

On one has a right to kill someone just because her husband left her they were already divorced and she just couldn't move on with her life. She was getting $16,000.00 a month and a home in La jolla she was crazy mad. People get dumped all the time in relationships so what about her marriage was any different? She just didn't accept it, wasn't going to except she made her self nuts - she needs to show some remorse these people also had families that loved them.

Hey Mike--

You're saying that NO ONE can make another person crazy?! Are you kidding?! You must come from a small town or a cave. Ever heard of psychological warfare?

I read a recent interview with her (in Vanity Fair, I think, a few months back). She struck me as seriously mentally ill, and as angry and vindictive as the day she was sentenced. I feel sorry for her, and her kids, but she struck me as someone who could definitely be dangerous.


Wow Anne, you're saying the new wife deserved to be shot to death because her "moral compass" was screwed up?? Note to self: don't run into Anne in a dark alley.

For all the people who think they know anything about Dan and Betty Broderick the only people who know the reality are Dan and Betty and their four children. The truth will all be brought to light with the release of Kim Brodericks Book in September of 2010. Until then all information is being brought to you by sources outside of the immediate family and outside of those that actuallyexperienced day to day life with Dan and Betty Broderick. Opinions and perspectives will continue to vary on this topic but the only good that has come from this tragedy is the success and triumph of the four children who are living happily and normally amidst the stigma of being raised in such tragic circumstances.

Let her live out her life in prison until she dies peacefully. This is far more mercy than she showed her ex husband and his wife. If she is let out, please publish her address.

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