Decades after her name was first in the news, true crime fans have been hearing the name Betty Broderick again recently. The San Diego mom gained notoriety in 1989 for the murder of her ex-husband, Daniel Broderick, and his much younger second wife, Linda Kolkena, who had been his legal assistant.
Since Betty Broderick's two trials — the first of which ended in a hung jury while the second delivered a guilty verdict and a sentence of 32 years to life — her four children have remained divided when it comes to the matter of parole. One thing the siblings do have in common? They've all moved on with their lives.
Where are Betty Broderick's children today?
When Betty Broderick shot her 44-year-old ex and his 28-year-old mistress-turned-wife in their home on Nov. 5, 1989, it signaled the complete and utter breakdown of a woman who, for years, had been harboring extreme anger and resentment toward her husband. She had felt betrayed by their divorce, his ability to move on, and by a vicious custody battle over kids Kim Broderick, Lee Broderick, Daniel Broderick IV, and Rhett Broderick.
Today, three of Betty Broderick's children are married with kids of their own. Both Rhett Broderick and Kim Broderick (whose married name is Piggins) have two daughters, while Daniel Broderick IV has three girls.
Kim Broderick, and Rhett Broderick live in Idaho, while Daniel Broderick IV resides in California.
Kim Broderick testified against her mom during her murder trial.
Kim Broderick, the eldest of Betty Broderick and Daniel Broderick's kids, recalled her mother's violent and erratic behavior while testifying at the multiple murder trials. After her father filed for divorce in 1985, Kim Broderick claimed her mom "went to the garage and grabbed a can of gasoline and poured it all over [his clothes]."
Once the big pile of items had burned, "she went and got black paint and poured it over all the ashes," Kim Broderick alleged. The teen also stated that Betty Broderick had told her "I wish you were never born" and "I hate your guts."
In the more than 30 years since the double murder, Kim Broderick has repeatedly denied her mom's request for a letter supporting the 73-year-old's release from prison. However, she has visited Betty Broderick behind bars.
"Outside of my dad being killed, it is the worst heartache and sorrow I could ever imagine," Kim Broderick said of her mother’s incarceration in the 2014 tell-all book, Betty Broderick, My Mom.
Two of Betty Broderick's children want her to be granted parole.
During the New York native's parole hearings in 2010 and 2017, her second daughter, Lee Broderick, and her youngest son, Rhett Broderick, advocated for her release. "She should be able to live her later life outside prison walls," Lee Broderick told the board in 2010, suggesting that Betty Broderick move in with her.
Lee Broderick had a notably troubled relationship with her father at the time of his death, largely due to an alleged drug problem. Daniel Broderick amended his will shortly before the murder to exclude Lee Broderick from inheriting any money or belongings.
As for the Brodericks' first son and third child, Daniel Broderick IV, he sided with his sister, Kim Broderick. The married father of three noted that his mother is still "hung up on justifying what she did."
The parole board denied Betty Broderick's petition for release both times. "Your heart is still bitter, and you are still angry," Board of Prison Terms Commissioner Robert Doyle said during her 2010 appeal. "You show no significant progress in evolving. You are still back 20 years ago in that same mode."
Betty Broderick is currently locked up at the California Institution for Women in Corona. She will be eligible for parole again in January 2032.
Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story is available on USA or it can be streamed on Netflix.