Dirty John season two on Netflix: The true story of Dan and Betty Broderick

It’s one of the most controversial marriages in American history


The second season of the Dirty John anthology has just landed on Netflix. The series focuses on different stories of shocking real life toxic relationships. This one explores the true story of Betty Broderick and her husband Dan, which soon became one the most controversial marriages in American history.

The true crime is a dramatised version of the real events in the relationship of divorced couple, Dan and Betty Broderick – here’s everything you need to know about the true story.

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via Netflix

The true story of Dan and Betty Broderick started when they met at university

When Betty Broderick was young, it is reported that her parents wanted her to marry a doctor and made sure she grew up knowing what it was like “to be a proper lady”. Betty met Dan Broderick at the University of Notre Dame, and they started dating in 1965. After around four years of dating they got married, in 1969. Before they had even returned from their honeymoon, Betty was pregnant with the couple’s first child.

In 1970 they welcomed a daughter and Dan completed a medicine degree. Dan then decided he wanted to complete his Juris Doctor (JD) degree to become a medical malpractice lawyer – this left Betty to provide for their family on her own. They had three more children in quick succession.

In 1983 Betty believed Dan was having an affair

It was at this point, in 1983, Betty began to suspect her husband was having an affair with his much younger assistant, Linda Kolkena. He denied it, even though at this point he was having an affair with her.

Dirty John, season two, Netflix, Betty Broderick, Dan Broderick, true story, true crime, real life, events, timeline, case, story, murder, trial, divorce, Linda

via Netflix

Around two years later, Dan bought a new house and moved Linda in with him. Betty left their children one-by-one at his doorstep until he had custody of all of them. She said she refused to raise his children whilst he was with someone else. Betty called Linda a “hooker”.

Dan and Linda dangled their new, happy and glamorous lifestyle in front of Betty – who in turn vowed to make Dan pay for making her birth his children and pay for the family whilst he went to law school, just to humiliate her. Neighbours accused Dan and Linda of laughing at how old and unfit Betty was in comparison to the much younger Linda. Linda and Dan effectively bullied Betty for months and months.

The divorce of Dan and Betty was long and difficult and the case went to court. Broderick v Broderick became one of the most controversial divorces in US history. The couple’s separation became official in 1989 and Dan married his assistant Linda in the same year. By now, Betty’s behaviour had become irrational and violent. Linda was said to be very on edge about their safety at the wedding, and requested her and Dan wear bullet proof vests in case Betty showed up. Dan thought this was crazy, and Betty didn’t go to the wedding.

Seven months after the wedding of Dan and Linda, Betty stole a key to their home from her daughter and shot them both dead in their beds.

Dirty John, season two, Netflix, Betty Broderick, Dan Broderick, true story, true crime, real life, events, timeline, case, story, murder, trial, divorce

via Netflix

Betty’s first trial ended in a mistrial

Despite never denying the killings, the first jury couldn’t decide if Betty really meant to do what she did. Her first trial ended in a mistrial.

It was in the second trial where Betty was found guilty and, aged 42, was sentenced to 32 years in prison. Twice she has been up for parole and both times she was denied. It was only in 2018 when Betty admitted she was wrong for killing the couple.

The second season of the Dirty John anthology: The Betty Broderick Story is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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