Dirty John S2: What happened to Betty Broderick in real life and where is she now?

·3 min read

From Cosmopolitan

Dirty John is back, and this time the Netflix series focuses on 'The Betty Broderick Story', following the real-life events of suburban Californian housewife Betty who murdered her ex-husband and his new wife.

With Betty and Dan Broderick's divorce already becoming notorious due to its messiness and claims of mental abuse, it became even more infamous when Betty shot Dan and his new wife Linda Kolkena as they slept, back in November 1989. But what happened to Betty Broderick and where is she now?

What happened to Betty Broderick?

Following the double murder, Betty stood trial in 1990, with the world watching the case play out at San Diego County Courthouse. During the trial, Betty famously smiled during the cross-examination of a witness, though this was later revealed to be down to the fact that the witness had complimented her and Dan's appearance as a couple.

Betty's defence was that the murders were not premeditated. Instead, she claimed to suffer what would now be thought of as gaslighting and mental abuse, and said that she was driven over the edge to kill Dan and Linda. However, the prosecution portrayed Betty as a murderer who planned to commit the killings.

Betty was eventually convicted after two trials, over two years after the murders. She was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder in December 1991, and reports describe her as "remaining composed" upon hearing her fate.

Photo credit: Sdut/Keystone USA/Shutterstock - Shutterstock
Photo credit: Sdut/Keystone USA/Shutterstock - Shutterstock

Following the trial, Betty was sentenced to 32-years-to-life in prison, comprised of two consecutive terms of 15-year-to-life for the murders, plus two years for illegal use of a firearm.

With 32 years being the minimum length of Betty's sentence, that means that by December 2023 she will technically have served the minimum length of her time in prison.

Where is Betty Broderick now?

Betty is still alive today and remains incarcerated at the California Institute for Women in Los Angeles, now aged 72.

She has made three appeals, first requesting parole in January 2010, then in November 2011, and again in January 2017 - all of which were denied. Now, she won't be allowed to put her case before a judge again until January 2032, when she'll be 84. She's expected to spend the rest of her life in prison.

According to reports by CNN, Betty’s first request for parole was denied because she hadn't acknowledged any wrongdoing and didn't show remorse for the murders.

Photo credit: YouTube
Photo credit: YouTube

During her time in prison, Betty has given various interviews on TV shows and in magazines, including two times on Oprah. She's also currently in prison at the California Institute for Women alongside notorious Charles Manson 'family' members Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten.

Betty and Dan had four children together, called Kim, Rhett, Lee and Daniel (though in the series they're given the names Tracy, Jennifer, Ryan and Anthony). The four children reportedly still visit their mother in prison, with Kim and Daniel also appearing on Oprah in the past.

Interestingly, Rhett and Lee still vouch for their mother's release from prison, while Kim and Dan believe she should remain incarcerated.


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