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Socialite Betty Broderick murdered ex-husband and new wife Dan and Linda Broderick during divorce

Dan and Betty Broderick in happier times
Dan and Betty Broderick were married for 16 years before their relationship disintegrated. Pic credit: Oxygen

Snapped on Oxygen is taking a detailed look at a murder case that captivated the nation from San Diego, California.

Betty Broderick was a La Jolla socialite who murdered her ex-husband Dan Broderick and his new wife, Linda Broderick.

The show examines whether or not Betty had been carefully plotting the murders for some time, or if she just snapped.

On November 5, 1989, Dan and Linda Broderick were found having been gunned down in the bedroom of their San Diego home with .38-caliber revolver fired by Betty.

Linda, 28, was hit with two bullets, one in the head and one in the chest; she died instantly. Dan, 44, was hit in the chest with one bullet, and it took him some time to die. Betty later admitted talking to Dan before he died as he tried to reach for a telephone.

Years earlier, Betty and Dan had been the hottest couple in La Jolla’s high society. Dan was a hugely successful hotshot malpractice lawyer, who was something of a celebrity within legal circles. And Betty was his glamorous wife, who tended to their four children and lavish home and organized their busy social schedule.

Unfortunately, things started going wrong in 1983 when Betty started suspecting Dan of having an affair, and her world came crashing down in 1985 when after 16 years of marriage, he filed for a divorce.

Dan and Betty Broderick had a brutal divorce battle

The ensuing divorce battle was infamous for its ferocity and viciousness. Betty accused Dan of using his legal contacts to ensure he won sole custody of their children, sell their house against her wishes, and cheat her out of a share of his income.

As a result, Betty turned increasingly violent. She spray-painted the interior of their expensive hillside property and rammed her car into Dan’s front door, and left obscene messages on his answering machine.

For his part, Dan had her arrested and briefly detained in a psychiatric hospital. He also withheld maintenance payments when she exhibited behavior he deemed inappropriate. He also bombarded her with cold legal papers, which were written in indecipherable terminology.

By this stage, Betty had started threatening Dan’s life and had even told their children that she was going to kill him.

Betty claims that when yet another round of legal papers arrived at her door one day in November 1989, she snapped and committed the murders.

Her first trial ended in a mistrial, but a second trial saw Betty Broderick convicted of two counts of second-degree murder. She was sentenced to 15 years to life.

More from Snapped

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on Snapped.

Previously on Snapped, Janice Bonnell beat her husband Brett Bonnell with a baseball bat before leaving his remains at the side of the road. She hoped the police would suspect it was hit and run; unfortunately, for Bonnell, investigators quickly saw through her lies.

Teresa Lewis hatched an evil plan to have her husband, Julian Lewis, and his son, Charles Lewis, murdered so that she would be the sole beneficiary of life insurance money. She paid two men who she’d been sleeping with to perform the shootings.

Snapped airs 8/7c on Oxygen.

Jerry was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, but is now based in the UK. He specializes in true crime and entertainment news stories. When... read more
Jerry Brown

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