Human history is spotted with murder. Murder has influenced and guided some significant worldly events throughout every culture.

As if simple death wasn’t enough, death brought on by a fellow human’s hand is usually spurred on by some malicious tipping point of controversy.

Brothers killing brothers, kings being killed for power, assassinations, and mass slaughters; we’re just the kind of beings that are highly motivated when our mortality is put on the line.

But all those famous, historical murders are still happening. They’re just not as well-known because, in many cases, the killers are still alive. 

Betty Broderick is one of those killers. Her crime happened back in 1991, but it became a historic moment for the nation.

It was highly publicized, led to books and movies, and we’re still talking about it now, with a recently aired mini-series entirely focused on her life, her side of the story, and in the end, her murder.

She’s still alive and has multiple children who still live with the legacy of being the spawn of a killer. Her target? Her ex-husband. And her reasoning? As classic as any historic murder – she killed him out of jealousy, of course.


10 /10 Betty Is Born

Betty was born in 1947 as Elisabeth Anne Bisceglia in her early life. She grew up in Bronxville, New York, and was the third of six children in a Catholic family.

Her family life was rigorous, and she was expected to be a housewife ever since she was a child.


9 /10 Making A Family

In 1965 when she was just 18, she met Dan Broderick. Four years later, they got married, and just shortly after, they were already pregnant with the first of their four children.

In 1970, she gave birth to Kim. Then, a year later, she had her second daughter Lee. Five years later came Daniel Jr., then three years later for Rhett. She had a fifth child who, unfortunately, died only days later without even a name.

8 /10 Mrs. Broderick's Business

Dan completed his M.D. degree shortly after Kim was born and aimed to combine it with a law degree from Harvard.

During that time, Betty was the sole provider for the household and helped Dan through his studies and student loans.

She sold Tupperware and Avon while raising children at home, pulling double-duty on keeping things together.


7 /10 In Comes Linda

In 1982, Dan hired Linda Kolkena as a legal assistant. The former flight attendant seemed to have few qualifications, which made Betty suspicious of her husband’s continued support.

At that time, Dan managed to establish himself as a successful lawyer finally. For years, Betty grew more and more suspicious that her husband was cheating on her.


6 /10 The Broderick Breakdown

In 1985, a long and terrible divorce suit began once Dan left the family home in San Diego. Betty, who felt betrayed, started sending their children one by one to their father’s literal doorstep.

Dan was a prominent local super-lawyer; his presence in the court case made it difficult for Betty to find proper legal representations.

Their case Broderick vs. Broderick became famous, and Betty was seen positively as a woman who worked hard and was rewarded with a knife in her back, but not to any legal avail.

Over four years, Betty continued to break down as Dan continued to pull his resources out of her life, even going so far as to sell their home while she lived in it. This drove her to desperate tactics.

5 /10 Bye-Bye Betty

In 1989, the divorce was final, and that same year Dan and Linda married, all but confirming Betty’s suspicions. A final nail was driven when Betty allegedly received a present from Linda of facial cream and slimming treatment ads.

While they got married, Betty bought a gun and waited several months before she made her move.

She took a key from her daughter Lee that got her into her husband’s new house and killed them both in their sleep with multiple shots.

She then turned herself in and gave a strangely conflicting story that she didn’t plan to kill them until Linda startled her even though the phone line was unplugged before making her way to their bedroom.


4 /10 Circus Trial

Betty was charged with murder, which she did not argue against. That meant it was up to the attorneys’ arguments to let the jury decide if her intent led her toward harsher sentencing.

The first trial was thrown out due to jury members wanting a lesser charge, but the second stuck, and she was charged with two accounts of second-degree murder and illegal firearm use, totaling 32 years minimum. The media heavily reported the trials.

3 /10 Family Matters

Despite the apparent upset it caused, Betty is still very much in touch with her children, and they relay her continuing story of survival to the outside world.

The children have remained respectfully split on whether or not their mother should be given a second chance, despite all of them knowing what she did.

And, despite that, they all still love her and speak fondly of her. As long as no one talks about Dan Sr, Betty is a perfectly nice woman.

Wikimedia Commons

2 /10 Growing Up Broderick

Betty’s oldest daughter Kim wrote a tell-all memoir about her early life and her life as it happened to surround the murder and her mother’s trials.

She was also made to testify during those trials, as were the rest of the Broderick children. Rhett, the youngest, was only ten at the time and went between relatives and troubled-youth homes his whole life.

Almost all of the surviving Brodericks have met and talked to Oprah at some point as well.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

1 /10 Almost Free

Betty’s original sentence was for 32 years to life. That 32-year mark is set to arrive in 2023, but that doesn’t guarantee that she will be released.

She applied for parole in 2010 and 2017 and was denied both times for failing to show remorse for her crime. Her next parole hearing isn’t until 2032, which means it’s likely she’ll spend the rest of her life in jail.

According to her, though, that’s just fine. She doesn’t have freedom, but she claims to have her dignity still.

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