Dirty John season two: Where is the real Betty Broderick now?
She is 73-years-old and has worked in the mental health unit in her jail
Right now, the story of Betty and Dan Broderick has come back into the public conversation – as the case is the focus of season two of Dirty John on Netflix.
So, many people might be wondering what Betty Broderick has been doing since the story that put her in the public eye. Here’s everything she has been up to since her trial and where Betty Broderick is now.
What happened to Betty Broderick?
Betty met Dan Broderick in 1965 at the University of Notre Dame. After around four years of dating they got married, in 1969. They had four children together in quick succession. In 1983, Betty began to suspect her husband was having an affair with his much younger assistant, Linda Kolkena.
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.
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. Dan had been gaslighting Betty for years and dangling his new life in front of her. By now, Betty’s behaviour had become irrational and violent.
Betty killed both Dan and Linda on Sunday November 5th 1989 whilst they were in their beds. In 1991, when Betty was 44, she was found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder for killing her ex-husband, Dan, and his wife, Linda Kolkena.
Despite never denying the killings, at first the 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.
Betty Broderick is now 73 and serving up to life in prison
Betty Broderick was sentenced to 32 years to life in jail, and is now serving her time at the California Institution for Women.
She has applied for parole two times, and was denied for the most recent time in 2017. In 2017, the parole office said that Betty “to this day believes in her heart and in her mind that they deserved to die” – about Dan and Linda. She has been denied both times because of her lack of remorse for what she did. She has another parole hearing set for 2032.
In 1998, a journalist from The San Diego Reader wrote to Betty in prison, who said at the time she was “considered the most dangerous person in this prison by the people in charge”. In a visit to Betty, the journalist explained that Betty said she had become so good at cutting her own hair in jail that other prisoners had her doing theirs too and she had started working in the prison’s mental health unit. It was her job to schedule appointments and do the paperwork – she was earning $17 a month. She had previously worked as a prison janitor and engaged in lots of voluntary roles including tutoring fellow inmates.
In Betty’s 2015 memoir, called “Telling on Myself”, she said: “I am basically happy here. I’m safe and there’s a kind of freedom in that” adding she is “well treated by the staff and inmates alike.” In the memoir she shares her story, completely from her perspective.
Her children still visit her in jail
Despite being divided over their mother’s sentence, all her children have visited her in prison throughout the years. Two of Betty’s children, Kim and Daniel, think she should be in jail, whereas the other two, Rhett and Kathy “Lee”, to this day still vouch for their mother’s release.
Betty told them to stay away during Christmas and school holidays as she says she “didn’t want all their memories of those times to be of visiting Mom in prison.” Instead they visit for occasions such as Betty’s birthday and Mother’s Day.
Because Betty has done lots of work during her sentence, she was said to have earned the right to have family visits in the prison’s family living units – which are small cottages within the prison grounds. This meant visits could be longer, more comfortable and private. Betty said her children would often bring her hundreds of pounds worth of groceries to the visits. However, these units have since been discontinued for lifers (those serving up to life), with Betty saying the ban was because people used the cottages as a place to have sex. Her children still visit her, just in more “normal” prison visitations now.
Betty Broderick is now a grandma too
Three of Betty’s four children now have children of their own. Her eldest Kim is married and lives with her daughters in Idaho, her eldest son Daniel Broderick is now married and has three children of his own and her youngest son Rhett is also married with children and living in Idaho.
All of Betty Broderick’s grandchildren are girls, who she has never seen outside of prison visits.
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.