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Famous Killers, Betty Broderick, Jodi Arias, Scott Peterson & Black Dahlia

Updated on October 5, 2015

Betty Broderick with Her First Born

Linda Kolkena

Betty Broderick Commits Double Murder

One of the most intriguing murderers of recent times is most definitely the murders committed by Betty Broderick. She is certainly not the first woman to commit a double murder but Betty demands special attention because she was a pretty woman of high status and a good education. She is the total opposite of what one thinks of when they hear of a female committing murder. She had nothing to gain by killing her ex-husband, Dan Broderick, and his new wife, Linda Kolkena, and everything to lose. She was a wealthy woman due to her husbands success and she had four beautiful children. The fact that she chose to spend the rest of her life in prison rather than start a new life without Daniel Broderick is what keeps the Betty Broderick Story in the news.

Just two days before Betty Broderick's 42nd birthday she crept into the home of her ex-husband and his new wife by the back door at approximately 5:30 am on November 5th 1989. Betty walked up the staircase to find her ex-husband in bed with his new wife, Linda. Rage, jealousy and and indignation ran through Betty's mind as she fired two bullets into Linda Kolkena's head and chest. She then turned to Dan Broderick who was now awake at the sound his wife's murder.

Betty fired one bullet into Dan's chest as he reached for the telephone. Betty immediately disconnected the phone and continued her fire on her ex-husband. As she pulled the telephone cord and stood over Dan, Daniel T.Broderick III spoke his last words, "I'm already dead." Betty Broderick had officially ended the love triangle that spelled, Dan & Betty and Linda Kolkena.

Betty & Daniel Broderick


Dan Broderick Meets Linda Kolkena

Betty Broderick's dream in life was to have financial comfort so that she could raise many children. All seemed to be going well when she married Daniel Broderick, a medical student who had his sights on achieving great wealth so that he could support a stay at home mom and have a large family. The couple seemed to have a lot in common at the time of their marriage and although they struggled financially, Betty was a master at managing a shoestring budget.

The couple had four children and Betty took in other neighborhood kids to make extra money. By all accounts Betty Broderick was an admirable wife. The type of wife a man who has his sights on success yearns for. She worked her tail off so that he could put 100 percent of his focus on his studies. It was discouraging to Betty when her husband announced that he intended to go to law school after all the years he had spent in medicine. All of Betty's friends had husbands who could spend a little time with them and their children and Betty was often without a car, and walking the kids to the laundromat during the day. She was ready to lighten up and ease off on the day to day struggling, but she supported Dan while he completed his studies in law.

Dan was a master in the legal field and due to his extensive medical background he became a medical malpractice attorney. At this time in life Betty was relieved that after more than one decade of schooling her husband was now bringing in some money. In fact he was quickly bringing in some serious money.

The couple took their children on skiing trips, attended fancy dinners and Betty was able to focus on things other than the most basic ways of how to save money. In 1983, just as Betty was beginning to enjoy her life, Dan hired a beautiful blond 21 year old girl he found working as a receptionist in his building. Had Betty been more suspicious and proactive about what goes on in Dan's office she may have questioned why Linda was hired as his legal assistant when she had no experience or training. Many legal assistants, or paralegals, have college degrees, vocational schooling or at least are hired as secretaries and then move up the ranks, which would have taken at the very least two years. Linda skipped all these steps.

It is unclear as to exactly when Dan Broderick and Linda Kolkena began their affair but in the early 1980s Betty was accusing Dan of having an affair. In Bill Clinton fashion Dan denied having any sexual relations with Linda. The mid 1980s were a bad time for Betty as the saga of Dan, Betty and Linda Kolkena continued. Linda was becoming more and more smug, with her new car and enormous private office, while Betty was losing confidence in herself. Dan continued to deny the affair for years until he was ready to divorce Betty and move on with Linda.

In 1989 Betty Broderick was divorced and had lost her husband to a woman 20 years her junior. She simply came undone. After all the sacrifices she had made throughout her life with Dan she could not stand to see this tramp who was fired from Delta Airlines for flirting with a male passenger, walk away with all the rewards that she had worked for all her life. To make matters worse, she heard through her children that the newlyweds were now planning to start a family soon after marriage. Betty now saw her children being cast out in favor of the new babies Dan would make with the bimbo he had married.

At some point after her divorce was final Betty purchased a gun. On April 22, 1989 Dan and Linda were married, and the couple spent the seven months that they were married trying to get pregnant. Linda had an ovulation calendar up in their bedroom so that they could plan their intercourse. Although the heartache that Betty suffered was devastating, the permanent damage that she inflicted on her four children lives on as the young Brodericks have to face telling their children that their grandmother is in jail for murdering their grandfather and is the notorious Betty Broderick.

A Woman Scorned

Jodi Arias

Jodi Arias Falls For Travis Alexander

Jodi Arias was like many modern young women who give away sex too easily. She was forever dating either childish men with no thoughts of a future, or she was hooking up with older men who already had enough baggage on their hands. The blow to a young woman's self esteem when she is used sexually and then rejected emotionally can be devastating. In 2006 Jodi was aimless. Having been in a relationship with an older man for four years only to be coldly rejected at the prospect of marriage and children of her own. Jodi took this time to ponder her future and decided that if she could get herself into shape financially, then she might be more attractive to men, or at least she may be able to afford living as a single mom. Her thoughts were on Legal Shield as it is now called. Jodi worked as a waitress and her manager told her one day that because of his success in Legal Shield that he would be retiring in five years.

Jodi set off to Las Vegas to attend a Legal Shield seminar. It was there that she saw Travis Alexander for the first time. All of Jodi's discouragement in men turned to hope when she saw Travis delivering a motivational speech. He was rich from his success in legal shield, organized and wanted to marry and have a family. At that moment Jodi banked everything on hooking Travis. The only problem was, Travis was not very interested in her. It was difficult for Jodi to see that Travis was not head over heels in love with her the way she was with him. In the very early stages of their relationship Travis was attentive and on the pursuit, however, as many women learn the hard way, after getting sex from her he was able to cast her aside and basically lost all interest in her emotionally. Jodi tried to appeal to Travis on an emotional level by being baptized into the Mormon faith but it was no use.Many of Travis' friends saw this move on Jodi's part to be manipulative.

Travis owned a five bedroom house in Mesa Arizona, drove a BMW, and had time to do whatever he pleased. This is quite an accomplishment for a man under 30 years old who began his early 20s driving a broken down Honda Civic and barely making ends meet.

With all the grand lifestyle that surrounded Travis there were many women who were interested in him. Ironically, when Jodi attended the Legal Shield Las Vegas convention she was hoping to achieve wealth in effort to have men to choose from but instead she ended up in love with a man who had many choices in life and she was now clawing desperately to win Travis Alexander.

Jodi could not win Travis on how sweet, innocent or educated she was alone. Not when the competition in these areas was so high. She discovered that Travis had a high sex drive and believed that she could manipulate him into love by using sex as a tool. Repeatedly it did not work. Jodi would check Travis' cell phone to find numerous women texting him. Travis was honest with Jodi in that he told her he would not marry her and that he was going on a trip to Cancun with another woman.

With that, Jodi borrowed gas containers from an ex boyfriend, rented a car, dyed her blond hair dark brown and headed off to Mesa to kill Travis.

Jodi Arias & Travis Alexander

Jodi Arias Has a Plan

After being shot down emotionally by Travis repeatedly, Jodi moved from Mesa Arizona to California. She remained in contact with Travis, making phone calls in which she did all she could to get an invitation from Travis to pay him a visit. But at this point Jodi was thoroughly convinced that Travis would never fall for her and was probably going to marry this other girl who was going to Cancun with him.

When she arrived at Travis' house the two quickly ended up in bed for a few hours before Travis stepped into the shower with Jodi following him with her camera. She took a few photos of Travis before pulling out a knife and savagely slashing Travis Alexander to death. Jodi shot Travis twice, stabbed him repeatedly and then slashed his throat from ear to ear.

After killing her lover, Jodi drove home and upon hearing of Travis' death from friends she attended the memorial service.

Jodi had also hooked up with new boyfriend she had met a few months before murdering Travis. She had basically chosen a Travis clone to take the place of the man she had killed. Ryan Burns was a Legal Shield success story just as Travis was, he was also a Mormon. Jodi was playing her cards differently in her new relationship though. She was not having sex with him. Instead she was playing the part of a good girl in effort to gain the love and respect of her new man. Marriage with her new boyfriend would never happen though.

The detectives discovered that Jodi had left the camera she had been using the day of Travis' murder at the scene. The whole story was there for the police. It was not long before Jodi was caught in a string of lies. Travis had desperately wanted to shake Jodi and now one can't hardly say Jodi without saying Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander. The two names are forever linked in the minds of the public.

Jodi Arias On Trial

Scott & Laci Peterson

Scott Peterson & Amber Frey

The Scott Peterson Story

Scott Peterson married Laci after a short courtship and after finishing college the two began trying to have a baby. Laci was thrilled to discover that she was pregnant and due to give birth to her first baby boy, Conner, in February 10, 2003.

On Christmas eve Laci disappeared from sight. Soon the news media were all over the case and Laci's parents wanted to spread the word about their missing pregnant daughter as quickly as possible. They pleaded with whoever had Laci to bring her home on national television along with her grieving husband, Scott Peterson. It was not long before another woman was discovered in Scott Peterson's life. As Scott eventually admitted that he was having an affair, he said that Laci knew about the affair and was okay with it, and that he knew nothing about Laci's disappearance.

Amber Frey was Scott Peterson's girlfriend who had no idea he was married and was pressuring Scott for a serious relationship with her. It was easy enough to find suspicion in Scott's story as Amber had stated he told her that his wife disappeared before Laci even went missing and he then said that he was thinking of selling her car.

Laci's body was discovered in a lake with their unborn baby close by and Scott Peterson's story fell apart.

Elizabeth Short Modeling

Elizabeth Short Becomes The Black Dahlia

Elizabeth (Beth) Short was born in 1924. Her family was of working class and at a very young age Beth had fantasies of becoming a movie star. When Beth was only four year old her father and mother split up. This was an event that created much turmoil for Elizabeth and her five brothers and sisters, as broken families were not the norm in the 1930s. Her father eventually moved to Los Angeles California in 1943. This led Beth to take a trip to California for the purpose of paying her dad a visit and at the same time, looking for work as an extra. Unfortunately, she and her father did not get along well, and when she was arrested for underage drinking he asked her to leave. Because of her physical beauty Beth found her way around Los Angeles by befriending many men. She even became engaged briefly to a Major Matthew Gordon, but he soon died in a plane crash. In 1946 Beth was drifting and it seemed that she would never become a movie star. It wasn't as easy to break into movies as she thought. She did, however, have a modeling portfolio made that shows a beautiful girl posing in elegant 1940s dresses and closely resembling Linda Darnell.

As Beth drifted and made numerous friends it is clear that she somehow came across the wrong person.

On January 15, 1947 her body was discovered dismantled in a vacant lot. Elizabeth Short's body was savagely mutilated, severed at the waist and the sides of her mouth cut giving a gruesome, almost prop smile on her face. Her body was cleaned of all vital organs and blood. There were parts of intestines discovered directly underneath the torso, and numerous slash wounds all over the body.

Crimes such as this were unheard of in the conservative 1940s. This was the first dismembering of a body to hit the news since Jack the Ripper, and the newspapers quickly dubbed Elizabeth Short, The Black Dahlia due to her jet black hair and the fact that she often wore black. It is still considered an unsolved case.

Elizabeth Short


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    • profile image

      Stephen Jackson 

      2 years ago

      I really don't believe this photo is of Betty, despite it being universally identified as her. The nose is wrong. A trivial point? Not really; because of the cuirrent debate about whether Betty Broderick was a vicious killer or a deeply wronged woman. Above is surely the face of Tracie Andrews, a narcissistic British murderer with a characteriscially terrifying glint in her eye. Any way to sort this out?

    • Sgt Prepper profile image

      Gunny Cracker 

      4 years ago from Elkhorn, WI

      "Black Dahlia Avenger" by Steve Hodel finally solved the Elizabeth Short case. Michael Skakel of the Kennedy clan killed Martha Moxley in 1975 but the case wasn't solved and justice had not been done until after retired LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman wrote the book "Murder in Greenwich". "Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution" by Stephen Knight solved that case as well. My conclusion is that when high-profile murders are unsolved it is sometimes because law enforcement is intentionally not solving them.

    • GlendaGoodWitch profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California

      Thank you Weidemann. I am fascinated by strange stories. Black Dahlia is one of those what keeps the questions coming.

    • Lonna Weidemann profile image

      Lonna Weidemann 

      6 years ago from Helena, Montana

      I really enjoyed this Hub, specifically the last edition as vintage - history and true stories are my thing. Thank you for the interesting read.


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