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Dan & Betty Broderick. And Linda Kolkena

Updated on February 28, 2017

Betty Broderick Around the time Dan Met Linda


Linda & Dan

A Woman Scorned; The Betty Broderick Story

Betty Broderick's Story

One of the strangest stories in San Diego history is the Murder of Dan Broderick and Linda Kolkena.

Betty Broderick, Dan Broderick's ex wife, walked into his home with a gun in her hand and shot and killed Dan and his new Wife, Linda Konkena Broderick on November 5th, 1989, shocking the upscale La Jolla community. When news hit the television screens of San Diego it was hinted that the two bodies that were slain a few hours ago it was hinted that Dan's ex wife may have information about the case. Shortly after Betty Broderick turned herself in.

Betty married Dan Broderick in 1969 in a lavish Catholic ceremony. Shortly after their honeymoon Betty discovered that she was pregnant with her first child. She continued to work up until it was time to give birth to Kim Broderick. Betty was a superwoman who managed to work odd jobs while taking care of her baby. She was determined to be the ultimate mother and wife while her husband spent 100% of his time studying.

It was not long before she was pregnant again, and eventually gave birth to three other children, Lee, Daniel and Rhett. Dan was going to Medical school full time and at some point decided to make a drastic change in the course of his career by combining his years of medical training with a law degree. He apparently realized that he could make more money by suing doctors rather than practicing as one. He enrolled at Harvard Law school while Betty worked a variety of jobs and maintained the house. Life was not easy for Betty as she watched her friends relax at home and nurture their children while their husbands provided for them. The Brodericks were plodding along, renting homes, going to laundromats twice per week, but Betty believed that her ship would come in after Dan graduated and then launched his own practice. This, Betty believed, would be her time. She would then be able to relax a little and enjoy the windfall.

After Dan's graduation, the family moved to La Jolla California; wealthy and stylish beach community in the San Diego area. Dan became a successful medical malpractice attorney while working for a law firm. Money was still rather tight until Dan opened his own Law practice, it was then that Dan Broderick would be making millions almost overnight. Once Dan won his first million dollar lawsuit, the Broderick's were part of the millionaires of the La Jolla elite. All the years of raising four kids and barely making ends meet were finally over for Betty. Her hard work and sacrifice was now paying off, and it was time to reap the rewards of being a dutiful wife.

She had always felt like a single parent because Dan had always been either at school, work, or out socializing with other attorneys, but she hoped that now they would have a chance to repair their deteriorating marriage and start really living now that they had the money to breath a little.

Dan hired Linda Kolkena, a former airline stewardess, and receptionist, to become his assistant and began a long affair with her.

For Betty, all the telltale signs were there. Dan was not giving her any attention at home, and made excuses to get out of the house often. After hearing some of Dan's fellow attorneys say the name Linda, she suspected he was having an affair with her, and on Dan's birthday Betty went to his office with champagne and two glasses to celebrate, only to find that Dan was out celebrating with Linda. Betty sat in his office for hours, and when he never arrived back to the office even though it was now getting dark, she drove home burned all of Dan's Dan adamantly denied he was having an affair, and accused Betty of being crazy and imagining things. The marriage continued to deteriorate.expensive tailored suits.

When Dan began getting pressure from his mistress to leave his wife, Dan finally admitted to Betty that he had been having an affair with her for three years.

Forsaking All Others, The Story of Betty Broderick

Linda & Dan

Linda; The Day she Married Dan

The Home of Dan & Linda


Dan & Linda Broderick

Dan finally left Betty and Linda moved in with him. At this point Betty became obsessed with the affair that Dan was having with Linda. The ugly divorce was now on and Dan was paying Betty $10,000 per month in alimony, and then moved up to 16,000 per month, while he was living with Linda. Betty hoped that Dan would eventually get over his silly fling and come home. Every sign that things were truly over tormented her, such as when she called the house to inquire about the kids she would hear Linda's voice on the answering machine. This led to Betty leaving nasty out busts filled with profanity on the tapes, eventually leading the courts to look unfavorably on her in the Broderick custody battle.

By many accounts Dan manipulated the divorce with his expert knowledge of the system, and by the time the divorce ended, Betty was left with significantly less than one would assume she would have gotten from such a wealthy husband of so many years. Betty swore that she was at a major disadvantage because all the attorneys were afraid to go against the powerful Dan Broderick.

Then came the dreaded day for Betty that Dan and Linda were married. April 22, 1989, just 10 days after what should have been Dan and Betty's 20th anniversary.

Betty bought a Smith & Wesson revolver, and began taking shooting lessons.

Just seven months after Dan and Linda married, Betty shot and killed them while they slept. She entered their home by taking a key that she found in her daughter's purse, and at approximately 5:30 AM she crept into their house and shot Linda twice and Dan once. Betty said that Dan mumbled, "okay you shot me, I'm dead". Dan was 44, and Linda was 28.

Betty was convicted on two counts of second degree murder, and two consecutive terms of 15 years to life. In 2010 she was denied for parole because she showed no remorse and did not believe that she had done anything wrong.

Dan & Linda on Their Wedding Day with Dan & Betty's Children


Daniel Broderick Jr. Today


Daniel Broderick VI

The eldest son of Dan and Betty Broderick was married recently and seems to be well adjusted. The troubles and heartache of the tragedy are behind him.


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    • Reeba Bee profile image

      R Elle Bee 11 months ago from Barely West of the Rockies

      I am from San Diego, and worked in the judicial system during the crime and trial.

      We ate and slept this case.

      While Betty went too far by murdering Dan and Linda, I marveled that a woman could sleep with her boss, knowing he is married with a family. Then, to rub Betty's nose in it, and even jab at Betty's age and weight.

      And a man of Dan's education, and social standing, to flaunt his mid-life crisis with a younger version of his wife is appalling. What a total jerk-off.

      Betty should have found another way to exact her pound of flesh, but Dan and Linda are not "innocent" victims.

      Linda was a gold digging, home wrecking slut, and Dan was an abusive, narcissistic, middle aged man-slut.

    • Missy'am84 profile image

      Missy'am84 2 years ago

      I watched this story on A&E's American Justice in the early 2000s and thoughts was and even now, I felt like she should've gotten HELP before she done the murders and yes I don't think it would've LASTED.

      Between Dan and Linda anyway due to their age differences if she let them live because from what I understand most May/December relationship/marriages don't LAST very long so I'm like everyone what she did was wrong.

      And yes she should've kept in mind that KARMA is a b***h!

    • profile image

      Hilda 2 years ago

      Been in the mess and it was not easy.He left with his girlfriend. after 18 years of marriage.Lots of tears later. She rolled over in a truck and got killed she was a druggy. I didnt wish it . It just happend. You reep what you sow.

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 2 years ago from California

      fpherj48- I wish she could have held it together too. It certainly would have ended up much better for all. I think that one of the areas that really got Betty flying off the deep end was the fact that the "no fault" divorce came as rather a shock, as it does to many women even today. Feminism absolutely failed women this would have meant that Dan and Linda would go off rich, and continue to grow in wealth, while she, middle aged, would have to find a job. Very sad, and scary for her.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Yes.....back to comment again after reading some of the comments. The general consensus of opinion is a common thread. "Poor Betty." While I agree that her ex-husband was a total cad without a conscience, I'm disappointed in how Betty allowed him and his mistress (new wife) to drive her stark-raving mad.

      She had every right to be infuriated, vengeful and feel totally victimized....BUT, how I wish she could have held it together, gone on with her life and just find happiness & comfort for herself. The way this saga ended was beyond sad and devastating.....most especially for 4 children. These situations are real heart breakers.

      The BEST revenge is to go on to happiness & a better life. This is nearly impossible to remember in the thick of insanity.

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 2 years ago from California

      @ Ellen Menard. I don't think a person should go to jail for adultery, but, I do agree that Betty should have gotten a good alimony settlement, and didn't. We have the feminist movement to thank for the way Betty was treated in court. Prior to the 70's the courts did punish men who cheated on their wives, but, from the hippie movement- the feminist movement developed, and fought to make men and women equal, and viewed men paying women for wrongdoing in marriage as being overly Christian and archaic. Women have suffered unfair treatment by the court system ever since the left wing, "No-fault divorce" became standard. In the eyes of the law, which no longer has anything to do with Christianity, it is nobody's fault when a marriage ends, no matter what the spouse has done. Women of the 1950s were actually better off.

    • profile image

      Ellen Menard 2 years ago

      I feel how Betty was treated by Dan and his Mistress is appalling. I am also disgusted in the court system which allowed it. You know in some countries adultery is punishable by death. Hmmmmm I feel that adulterers should at least be put in jail. Maybe then we wouldn't have cases like this. Also, Betty should be given a hefty alimony settlement along with half of Dan's wealth seeing as she put him through college twice and raised the kids for his adulterous affair.

    • profile image

      Negar 3 years ago

      Benny Frank I agree that is absolutely morbid to hang those kids over the tombstone of his dead Dad and step mom. I highly doubt those kids were not affected by what happened and this pic is a good indication of that. There is something off with them.

    • profile image

      Benny Frank 3 years ago

      OMG a picture of Dan Junior's BABIES sitting on top of a TOMBSTONE? What kind of message is that? Dan Junior and his wife have some parenting skills to learn. Holy crap.

    • profile image

      Benny Frank 3 years ago

    • profile image

      rahul 3 years ago

      i feel in all case's murder is all a wrong choice

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 3 years ago from Tennesee

      What a tragic and sad story. I feel for any woman that would be put through such an ordeal by a man, but her response could only have made for more pain and suffering for her children. No man is worth doing that to your children.

    • profile image

      Lisa 4 years ago

      Although murder will always be wrong, sin is sin. There are no levels. No little white lies. My heart goes out to Betty often as I remember her story. I too have been belittled by my husband as he placed another women above our marriage and children. Our family has never been the same. Unfortunately, we women must pick up the pieces, put on a smile and disappear to our own selves. We lift up all that is good so our children will be strong, forgiving, successful human beings able to have joy. Who really knows what can send each one of us over the edge? Or what we sorrow in our hearts daily? What we contemplate against those who kill our spirit? Truly? Betty could not rise above.....poor baby must not have had anyone to tell her how very amazing all her womanhood is.

    • profile image

      Jenny 4 years ago


    • profile image

      Tracy 4 years ago

      I understand Betty and how much she suffered and the children they will never get over it. But then Betty allowed this situation to consume her people divorce all the time she has no remorse and I believe if she had to do it all over again......she would.

    • profile image

      Donna 5 years ago

      I have followed this case for years. I don't condone what Betty did but I understand her downward spiral. Dan & Linda were not blameless in this tragedy. I've always felt bad for their kids. It is really a shame that Betty couldn't get through her issues if not for herself then for her children.

    • profile image

      Marie 5 years ago

      There are many women that experience terrible and unfair divorces but never go anywhere even close to the actions that this woman has done to "alleviate" her so called pain. A fully grown responsible, intelligent adult just doesn't behave in that way, and for her to continue to "blame" her own actions on her dead ex husband and his wife are ludicrous! This is a woman who has never grown up out of High School-like childish games. She has no clue how to accept a mature responsibility for her own actions much less have remorse for them. Betty Broderick is the poster child (literally) for the word "Narcissist"

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Michelle.

      I know Betty suffered a lot.

      She did put him through school and was with her husband during his most unattractive times. As you pointed out, having morals and values where marriage is concerned is a very altruistic trait, and sadly it is becoming scarce.

    • profile image

      Michelle 5 years ago

      I have read about this case and viewed the movies multiple times. Dan really should have been fair when it came to a divorce settlement. It was not Betty's fault that he grew tired of her. She was with him for 15-16 years and put him through school. Secondly, Linda should have been raised with some morals. From the time i was in highschool & through college my parents instilled in me the value of marriage & you don't chase a married man. Sadly, she paid a big price for this. They both did. I am not saying i condone murder either. Linda should of met a man and worked through the ups/ downs; not just married a sugar daddy. I mean did she really think Betty was just going to walk away after years of hard work. Sadly today the Linda's of the world still exist out there. You just have to know how to handle them. Marriage should be built on a partnership & hard work. What Linda should of thought is if he gets tired of the first wife why wouldn't he get tired of the second wife. We all grow old. We all pay a price somewhere down the road as these three individuals have.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This was a very fascinating story. I found it similar to watching a TV show, very captivating! I can only imagine how poor Betty felt on finding out about the affair. Two wrongs never make a right, but I can see why she took revenge upon the two.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Skarlet...thank you for telling us that. I'm happy to hear the son has risen above and has a wonderful life. Good for him.

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      Hi Angela and fpherj48,

      Thank you so much for your comments.

      I know what you mean. Dan was nasty, but Betty really went off the deep end and and showed no compassion for her children. They really suffered.

      I live just 20 minutes away from their old home and Dan Jr. is now a very successful and well adjusted young man around La Jolla.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Skarlet....I got so wrapped up in this everything I could get my hands on about it.....saw the movie, starring Meredith Baxter Birney as Betty. She did an absolutely fabulous job.

      The thing that continues to stay with me about this intriguing but sad case, is that I kept vascillating from "poor Betty" to "Betty is positively insane."... Know what I mean? I had a severe disgust for her egotistical, manipulative and often, down-right MEAN husband......but Betty truly went way off the deep end.

      Such a sad sad tragedy for the children...

      Excellent job on this, Skarlet. Thanks for the refresher course! I appreciate it. UP++

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      I recall this case -- the first wife did indeed take a beating after educating the guy and having a house full of kids. From what I've read Dan and the second wife did nothing to make life easier for the first wife and in fact did everything they could to drive her absolutely nuts. Your account of this case is so real it's nearly like we're there -- thanks for an exceptional read. Best/Sis


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