Betty Broderick Believes She Is Now a "Political Prisoner" After Being Denied Parole

Kayla Keegan
·4 mins read
Photo credit: Youtube/Getty
Photo credit: Youtube/Getty

From Good Housekeeping

  • Betty Broderick's murder case is the focus of Dirty John season 2.

  • On November 5, 1989, Betty Broderick shot and murdered her ex-husband, Dan Broderick, and his second wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick.

  • Here's where Betty is now after being sentenced 32 years to life in prison.

Some can recall the incessant headlines about the notorious murder of Dan Broderick at the hands of his ex-wife, Betty Broderick, in the late 1980s. Others are just now learning about the chilling true-crime case after watching season 2 of Dirty John. Either way, this tragic and controversial story of divorce and double homicide continues to be of public interest 31 years later.

Betty's perspective on the events preceding the night she shot and killed Dan and his second wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick, on November 5, 1989 takes center stage in Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story. As we see in the series, and what transpired in real life according to the Los Angeles Times, Betty claimed that Dan, a well-known attorney at the time, was using his "legal influence to cheat her out of her fair share of his seven-figure annual income" during their messy divorce battle in the late '80s. What's more, her defense attorneys argued that Betty suffered psychological abuse at the hands of Dan.

Photo credit: USA Network
Photo credit: USA Network

"He took my home, my kids, my money," Betty told The New York Times in the fall of 1991. "His was the white-collar way of beating you. If he had hit me with a baseball bat, I could have shown people what he did and made him stop."

It was a case that shocked and divided much of the country, with some seeing Betty as a vicious, cold-hearted murderer, and others questioning, and some even sympathizing, with her claims of mental abuse. In the end, Betty was charged with two counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to 32 years to life in prison.

Where is Betty Broderick now in 2020?

Next February will mark 29 years since Betty's sentencing. Today, Express reports that Betty, now 72 years old, is still alive and incarcerated at the California Institution for Women in Chino, California. She is expected to spend the rest of her life behind bars.

Betty has reportedly been denied parole twice over the years. First in January 2010 and then again seven years later. In January 2017, a two-member panel of California's parole board voted unanimously against releasing her from prison. She'll be 84 years old when she's up for parole again in 2032, according to People.

Photo credit: USA Network
Photo credit: USA Network

“Betty Broderick is an unrepentant woman,” Deputy District Attorney Richard Sachs told the San Diego Union Tribune in 2017. “She has no remorse and zero insight into the killings ... She just basically said they drove me to do this.”

After the docuseries Murder Made Me Famous episode about Betty came out in April 2017, People reports that Betty wrote a letter to the show's producer Katie Dunn about her continued incarceration.

“I have no one to speak for me,” Betty reportedly wrote. “This was a case of domestic abuse: a pattern of coercive control that lasted throughout our marriage until the day I killed them.”

The letter continued: “I have met all criteria for parole and my release date was 2010 ... Now I am only a political prisoner. They have no reason to deny my parole."

In her 2015 memoir, Betty Broderick: Telling on Myself, Betty said that she still talks and sees her and Dan's children — Kimberly, Kathy Lee, Dan Jr., and Rhett. When Betty was up for parole in 2010, they testified at the hearing. At the time, the siblings were split on whether she should be allowed to walk free.

Kathy Lee told the parole board at the time that "she should be able to live her later life outside prison walls." Her son, Dan Jr., however, said that his mother was still “hung up on justifying what she did.”

"In my heart, I know my mother is a good person," he said. "But along the way she got lost. Releasing a lost person into society could be a dangerous mistake."

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