HomeNewsThe terrifying crimes of Betty Broderick: The original bunny boiler

The terrifying crimes of Betty Broderick: The original bunny boiler

Betty Broderick is known for having killed her ex-husband after she got fed up with him. Broderick's nationally covered case was a nasty one.

The terrifying crimes of Betty Broderick: The original bunny boiler

The story of Betty Broderick, socialite and ex-wife of attorney Dan Broderick, is coming back to life on USA Today. Beneath the 80s fashions and the glamorous suburban lifestyle, Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story seeks to expose the affairs, gaslighting, and ruthless divorce that led to Betty murdering Dan Broderick and his new wife Linda. 

Betty Broderick was left without much after a nasty divorce from her husband. Enraged at what she perceived was an unfair settlement, and that her husband had affairs, she took revenge. On the morning of November 5, 1989, she entered her ex-husband Dan’s home with a gun, crept upstairs, and shot him and his new wife while they still slept. 

'Dirty John' season two is here to scare you off Tinder again with the story of Betty Broderick. Get caught up on the drama before the series returns.

An idyllic marriage

Betty Broderick was a stay-at-home mom living in the San Diego suburbs raising four children and keeping up a lavish home. Her husband, Dan Broderick, was a successful malpractice attorney. Between the wealthy lifestyle and the seemingly perfect life, it appeared like Betty had what every traditional woman dreams of. 

Betty worked hard for her family

Betty Broderick worked multiple jobs to pay for her husband’s graduate school. She went through nine pregnancies and only four survived. While it seems like these challenges would strengthen her marriage, they didn’t. Once their lives settled, Betty found out her husband was having affairs, notably with his younger secretary. 

The divorce was nasty

When Betty Broderick confronted her husband about having an affair, he blamed his actions on her while simultaneously lying. According to Betty’s testimony during her trial, he told her he cheated on her because she was “old, fat, ugly, and boring.” At the same time, he denied cheating on her and made her believe she was crazy. 

Betty’s multiple retaliations

The murder didn’t just happen. After losing her house, car, children, and lifestyle in the divorce, Betty Broderick became vengeful. She left threatening messages on Dan’s answering machine, burned his clothes in the front yard, and even rammed her truck into his front door! 

Her case went national

National and international attention turned to San Diego after the murder. Multiple books about Betty Broderick’s case were written and the case appeared on several true-crime TV series, including Snapped. 

A TV miniseries starring Meredith Baxter that was filmed during Betty Broderick’s first trial. The miniseries, A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story was aired on CBS and was based on an article in the LA Times. Baxter received an Emmy nomination for her performance as Broderick.

Not everyone was a fan of the film. Friends of Dan Broderick criticized the film for unfairly portraying Dan’s mannerisms. In a story by CBS 8, Betty Broderick’s defense attorney stated the article was sensational, and if the film stuck closely with it, the film Till Murder Do Us Part, wouldn’t be accurate.

Betty Broderick had two trials

The first murder trial ended in a mistrial, as jurors couldn’t decide whether or not to convict her. While it was clear she killed her husband, her claim of self-defense due to psychological abuse was compelling enough for jurors to consider it. In the second trial, she was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to 35 to life.

Parole hearings

Since being behind bars, Betty Broderick had two parole hearings, with the next one scheduled for 2032. At her hearings in 2010 and 2017, she did not express remorse for killing her ex-husband and his wife, so parole was denied. It’s also alleged that her four children are split on whether or not to support her release.

Her story was timely

In the 1980s and 90s, women’s place in society was a hot topic. The choice of whether to take on a traditional role as a stay-at-home mom or try to “have it all” with a career and a family was still fairly new. Betty Broderick’s story resonated with millions of women since traditional roles had changed. 

While times were changing since the 1960s, many women still embraced the traditional life plan of getting married, having children, and centering their lives around their home and family. Due to rising divorce rates, many of these women saw their dreams of a traditional life upended and saw their plight reflected in Betty Broderick’s case.

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Carmen delights in sharing her insights on everything pop culture. She comes armed with a graduate degree in literature and a boatload of experience crafting the written word. Ms. MacBeth lives in suburbia with her husband, three cats, plants, and giant book & yarn collection.

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Comments
  • I don’t think she is the “original bunny boiler ” at all. That title is reserved for the one night or one week flings who are now mad because they thought they were used and discarded (they were)
    Bunny boilers are the side piece.
    Wives that work to support the family so hubby can go to school for a JD, has a right to own that rage. Especially after using that knowledge to legally screw her after years of gaslighting. If you want to drive someone crazy, don’t be surprised when you accomplish it. They brought onto themselves.
    I think she’s a hero the world is down by one s scumbag attorney and one skinny hoe with no skills so she was willing to sleep with someone’s husband..and willing to sleep in the same marital bed even under the same blanket Betty used.
    So props Betts you took one for the team. No remorse because non is warranted

    June 24, 2020
    • Easy for you to say from the comfort of your own FREE life! All Betty did was ruin her own life… she may be happily re-married and enjoying a husband who truly appreciates and loves being with her…. she ruined HER second chance at life!

      July 5, 2020
    • Agreed, I’ve followed this story since the 80’s and I’ve always been a “Betty backer.”

      July 10, 2020
    • The world is down one more evil Psychopath who killed two people and ruined the lives of her own children.

      Her husband was not a good man . But it sets a dangerous precedent when you say that actions like his justify murder . If that was true and it was okay there would be a lot of dead men and women .

      She killed out of jealousy, anger and hatred. Regardless of what caused that . Those were her motivating emotions and that’s why she needed to go away for a long long time.

      August 25, 2020
  • I agree 💯

    June 25, 2020
    • 💯 true I agree

      June 25, 2020
    • This is a free country… one can’t MAKE anyone LOVE one! If you Betty Broderick sympathizers (she murdered 2 people on cold blood) lived in Saudi Arabia and were unhappily married, I think you would love the freedom of legal avenues we enjoy here in the USA!!!

      July 5, 2020
      • I think you’ve missed the point…

        July 10, 2020
  • I find this series so disturbing and wanted to turn it off. If he really was that bad, I would think her rage should have been pointed at her ex and not the new girl. I think that part of the series is definitely made up. Neither of them are alive to tell it. Maybe she slept w a married man, but he made the oath. If he could gaslight the mother of his children, I’m sure the new wife was oblivious as well. I also cannot appreciate taking a parent from those children no matter which side they are on. At the end of the day, if she did all of his legal dissertations and helped him study, she could have gone to get her own degree. I know it wasn’t something that was typically done but this lady was educated and had to be intelligent. She had other choices and she made a lot of bad ones by not trusting her instincts from the beginning and leaving the children w their father no matter how mad you get, you need to keep calm if only for the children

    July 28, 2020
  • I just watched the series with Amanda Peet, and was mortified and fascinated at the same time; he really DID drive her mad, and there was not much regard for her welfare at all; if she had received half a mil in that settlement, she probably would have walked away somewhat satisfied. But he totally screwed her over in every way possible. Why would you treat a mother of your children in such deplorable ways? I wonder what he would have done if she had found a man 16 HER junior, took off with him and palmed the kids off to her ex-husband? She would still be classified as mad and bad. But the ex-husband? No one seems to have considered his part in this. The young woman she killed? That is rather sad. It would have been the same as if he had shot her younger lover. There were already enough casualties in that divorce, there was no need for any more.

    August 19, 2020
  • It wasn’t the fact he stopped loving her, it’s the underhand, premeditated way in which he left her

    He should have left her the marital home not tricked her into moving out then leaving her The law should protect people not be manipulated to drive a loving wife to despair

    August 22, 2020

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