Sunday, July 16, 2017

Till Death Do Us Part

While this book does cover many true crime stories, this next TRUE story is one that rocked the San Diego area of California in the 1980s. It tells of the harrowing portrayal of a woman who REFUSED to rise above what she could NOT let go. When the marriage was over; she wasn't moving on . . .She let her emotions to override what eventually led her reactions and the deaths of her ex-husband, Dan Broderick and his new spouse, Linda Kolkena Broderick. This is the story of ex-wife & murderess, Elisabeth Ann "Betty" Broderick.

To take it back, let's start at the beginning to 1965 when Betty Bisceglia met Daniel T. Broderick III at the University Of Notre Dame. Betty was a student at N.Y.U. Dan was a pre-med student. He, upon meeting Betty, already seen himself where he wanted to be. M.D.A. (Medical Doctor - Almost). They had both dated for several years. Becoming engaged and were married in 1969. Less than a year after being married, Betty was pregnant with their first child; a daughter, Kim. 3 other children soon followed; including 2 sons and another daughter. The couple/family moved to Massachusetts while Betty tended to the children and Dan finished medical school. After medical school, he transitioned into law attending Harvard Law School.

Betty supported the family through these years with various jobs from teaching elementary school-to-babysitting-to selling housewares; plus more during lean years to make ends meet. In 1973, the young family moved to L.A. for a short time. Then to San Diego where Dan had taken a job as a junior partner with a local law firm. Overwhelmed by the crushing debts of Dan's student loans, Betty continued to work and earn her real estate license. Her salary helped keep the family afloat. After having their 4TH child, a son; Rhett, Dan had worked to create his own law firm. He was quickly becoming one of the most successful attorney's in Southern California; whereas Dan became HEAD of the San Francisco Bar Association. His success led to a 7-figure salary. When the 1980s came, so did Dan & Betty. They were able to work and play. It allowed Betty to stay at home and be a full-time mom. They were able to make ends meet and take trips; etc. They had finally made it.

Despite the appearance of their "idyllic" marriage, all was not well with Dan & Betty. While Betty thought she had the perfect life and they were partners for life; Dan's eye wondered. He often worked late into the evening, socializing in the local pubs w/ other attorney's. Dan's affinity for local pubs resulted in an explosive argument while on family vacations when he spent more time in the local bar than with his family. As hard as she tried, Betty felt she could not please Dan although he was thought to be cold & distant. Friends could see changes in Betty's demeanor at the end of the day
Dan & Linda
when Dan got home from work. Betty would transform from happy and easygoing to walking on eggshells. As Dan's law practice prospered, his marriage to Betty faltered. After 14 years of marriage in 1983, Dan's attention was diverting to another woman, Linda Kolkena, after spotting her at a party he attended with Betty.

Linda Kolkena was only 21-yrs-old, but Dan was so smitten with her he soon hired her as his personal assistant. It wasn't long after they'd met that Betty began to suspect something was wrong. Betty had caught Dan sneaking away to call Linda on the phone; including calls to Linda during family vacations. During one trip to London, England, Betty had discovered that Dan had sent Linda flowers. While away with the kids on a camping trip, Betty could not reach Dan on the phone. Upon their return home, Betty finally blurted out her concern about Linda. But, Dan denied that anything illicit was going on. Dan assured Betty repeatedly that she was paranoid and insecure.

After a surprise visit to Dan's at his office for his birthday; it was then that Dan had left early. Betty had arrived to his office afterward. She arrived unannounced bearing gifts to celebrate Dan's 39TH birthday. Dan had left early for lunch w/ Linda and never returned. Betty had walked into Linda's office and seen a portrait of Dan there. Incensed and believed that Dan was having an affair with his assistant, Betty had driven home and pulled out all of Dan's expensive, tailor-made suits from the closet. She threw them into a pile in the backyard, poured gasoline directly on them and set them on fire. After Dan had returned home, Betty confronted him about his assistant and Dan once again denied he was having an affair. It wasn't until long after that altercation with the fire that Dan had finally admitted the truth about his affair with Linda and wanted a separation from Betty.

Given Dan's stature within the legal community and knowledge of the court system, he intentionally used it as a weapon to his advantage against Betty. After announcing his intentions to seeking a divorce, Dan alone moved from the family home that had previously been under construction at Coral Reef upon completion. As a way for Dan to see what she had done, Betty would begin a move that would quickly & regrettably backfire on her.

To show "what it's like to be a parent" and not have his wife do it, Betty began dropping the kids off at Dan's residence one at a time until they were all at their dads. After she did that, Dan had legal maneuvered to use Betty's actions against her to which benefited him. Enraged, Betty would visit and vandalize the home Dan lived in. On one occasion with the kids there, Betty had taken a chocolate cream pie that Linda had baked for Dan as a gift and SMEARED it ALL OVER the bed as well as ALL OVER Dan's suits. Another occasion was when Betty had thrown a wine bottle through a window. Dan obtained a restraining order against Betty which infuriated her more.

Dan was the one manipulating their breakup and cast Betty into a rental home and made her appear to be the bad guy whilst he appeared the victim. Her psyche degenerating, Betty struck again during the Christmas season of 1985. With Dan & Linda's relationship already publicly acknowledged, they had taken the kids away for a holiday vacation. Betty, alone, once again broke into her former home and began destroying holiday Christmas gifts under the tree. She felt it was Christmas and whether the holiday was with her or not; Dan didn't get to take Christmas from her. Things worsened for Betty. Even after moving into a new home, Dan could NOT rid himself of Betty. After inciting the sell of the Coral Reef house at the price Dan agreed on without Betty's knowledge/permission/sign-off; all Betty had asked Dan for was what price he sold it for and what her portion of the sell was. She wanted her half of what was sold. When that was denied, Betty deliberately drove her car through/into Dan's front door. As a result, Betty was taken to a mental hospital and sedated. She was released 3 days later.

answering machine
Over the next 3 years, despite numerous restraining orders, Betty continued to harass Dan & Linda by leaving dozens of profanity-laced messages on the home answering machine. Dan had to institute a fine system that would deduct $100.00 from Betty's alimony payments to her for every obscene word left on his machine. Instituting $250.00 for being on his property without consent and up to $1,000 if Betty took the kids away without Dan's consent. The kids themselves became pawns in Betty's fighting with Dan. Betty's anger turned obsessive and torment by late January 1989. Friends of Betty's tried to convince her to see what she was doing. They tried to convince her to let it go. For Betty's preservation, it was time to move on. But, Betty seen it as disrespect for that they're taking Dan's side. On the day that their divorce was finalized, Betty wasn't given custody for which that went to Dan. She was only left with $30,000 in cash. 3 months later after their divorce was finalized, Dan Broderick married Linda Kolkena-Broderick.

Dan & Linda
Within a few days later, Betty went & purchased a .38 caliber revolver. She stated to have bought it as a threat to give her custody of the kids and leave her alone . . . . . This being Betty's argument for purchasing the gun. On November 5, 1989, Betty had awoken before dawn and drove to Dan's home with the purchased gun in her possession. She had used a key that she had secretly stolen from her daughter to let herself inside Dan & Linda's. Betty had walked upstairs to Dan's bedroom; where Dan & Linda were quietly asleep. Looking at them asleep, Betty fired shots at both of them. Killing them both; Dan Broderick & Linda Kolkena-Broderick and taking their lives. After shooting Dan & Linda whom were both fighting for their lives, Betty went to Dan's side of the bed and as Dan was reaching for the phone to call for help/ambulance, Betty deliberately slams the phone over Dan's hand, smashing it. Betty pulls the phone cord out of the wall. Upon her exit, Betty leaves the phone on the floor far from Dan & Linda's reach.

To avert herself into worse situations, Betty had gone to turn herself into the police station. Before turning herself in, Betty had allocated a makeshift legal will to her children. Within her time, Betty's first trial ended on a hung jury. During a second trial that commenced a short time later, in October 1991, what difference did the prosecution turn. For the second trial, Kate had testified in defense of her late father & new stepmother, Linda. The prosecution had played the audio of which Betty had spoken on. Dan's answering machine for the jury to hear. The prosecutor, Keri Wells, took in the best interest of the kids. Taking them into account. The recording heard in the courtroom was what/how Betty spoke to her youngest, Rhett, of their father & Linda. What she said to him on that call backfired on her in court.

When it came time for the verdict in the 2ND trial, Betty was convicted of 2 counts of  2ND Degree Murder. She was sentenced to 32-years-to-life in prison. Betty was eligible for parole in March 2011. Due to lack of remorse & guilt, Betty remains at the California Women's Correctional Facility in Chowchilla.

Betty on Oprah
Betty described Dan as intermittently abusive. Contrary to comments Betty made on Oprah in 1992, any impact on Dan at all; which is why she escalated the intensity of her actions. In her mind, Dan was going to listen to her NO MATTER WHAT! Betty's version of Reality was way more POWERFUL than the REAL REALITY.
there didn't seem to be evidence of physical abuse; but there were signs of emotional. Betty didn't believe that she was having any impact on Dan at all, which is why she escalated the intensity of her actions. In her mind, Dan was going to listen to Betty NO MATTER WHAT! Betty's version of REALity was way more POWERFUL than the REAL Reality.

Despite these murders being more than 20 years ago, the ONE factor that is plaguing is this . . . . all these years later, Betty CONTINUES to have NO REMORSE for these murders or for the kids losing their father and stepmother. During parole hearings, there is STILL a reason to blame Dan & Linda for Betty to have had her actions. The kids TO THIS DAY STILL hear their mom disrespect their dad & Linda with her words to which they WANTED her to let it go.

In 1992, a movie aired on Lifetime detailing Betty's story leading up to the murders called A Woman Scorned:The Betty Broderick Story starring Meredith Baxter as Betty and Stephen Collins as Dan and Michelle Johnson as Linda; which is what this TRUE book/story is based. It was so popular in its time, a sequel was made leaving where the first film left off with the murders and continuing to Betty's trial and conviction.

1 comment:

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