It Was Simple: The Betty Broderick Murders

It Was Simple: The Betty Broderick Murders

These were murders that would turn any town on its head, but La Jolla, Calif? That rich jewel by the sea? Thirty years ago, a man and his new wife were murdered in their bed. That’s a long time for a double homicide to stay in the public eye and imagination, but these were no ordinary murders. The killer was the man’s first wife, Betty Broderick. Betty and Dan Broderick had looked like the perfect couple, right up until they weren’t. After four children and nearly 15 years of marriage, after the riches they both worked for were finally within reach, he walked out and began having an affair with his assistant. But divorce ended the Brodericks’ marriage only on paper. “Till death do you part” turned out to be the way it would ultimately end: bitter, savage and fatal. It took two criminal trials to send Betty Broderick to prison, and we’ll hear not only from her divorce attorney, but also from the criminal defense attorney who argued for her in two murder trials, plus the foreman of the jury that convicted her. So many things burned this case into memory: The principals were rich. The jealous killer was, for a change, the woman, not the man. It’s been the subject of TV movies and books. It’s resonated with two generations of Americans -- deserted wives, unhappy husbands. And it’s raised some questions about how divorce laws may contribute to what’s called the feminization of poverty. All of these issues remain critical and controversial in contemporary America today. Thirty years after five bullets, two coffins and one California prison inmate No. W42477, why can’t we look away from Betty Broderick?

Episodes

May 19, 2020 2 min

Thirty years ago, a man and his new wife were murdered in their bed. That’s a long time for a double homicide to stay in the public eye and imagination, but these were no ordinary murders. The killer was the man’s first wife, Betty Broderick. Betty and Dan Broderick had looked like the perfect couple, right up until they weren’t. After four children and nearly 15 years of marriage, after the riches they both worked for were finally...

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Episode 1: On her wedding day, April 12, 1969, the newly minted Betty Broderick looked romantically toward a future as enchanting as the lace veil around her shoulders. It was all supposed to be so perfect. But then again, aren’t all marriages, at the start? In the first episode of our podcast, we follow Dan and Betty Broderick from their wedding day through their lean student years of hot-plate dinners, the pressures and strains o...

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May 26, 2020 44 min

Episode 2: You could look at the story of the Brodericks as one beginning and ending in two marital beds. In 1969, it was Betty and Dan’s honeymoon bed. In 1989, it was Dan’s bed with Linda Kolkena, his new wife of not quite seven months. Betty — displaced, dispossessed Betty and her five-shot nickel-plated Smith & Wesson — saw to it that they would never live to share that bed again. In the second episode of our podcast, we ch...

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June 2, 2020 35 min

Episode 3: Dan Broderick and his new wife, Linda, were killed in their bed. In jail, Betty behaved like you'd imagine someone would be after an exorcism — a bit giddy, a bit manic. She wasn’t sorry, not for a moment. In the third episode of our podcast, we hear why Betty’s first murder trial ended in a hung jury, learn more about Linda Broderick from a close friend, and begin Betty’s second murder trial.

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June 9, 2020 45 min

Episode 4: One of the most sensational moments in Betty Broderick’s second murder trial was straight out of a TV courtroom drama. As Betty’s defense attorney Jack Earley was asking about her kids’ welfare, he dropped a bombshell: He had witnesses ready to testify that Dan Broderick had talked about hiring a hitman to kill Betty. In the final episode of our podcast, we hear from one man Earley wanted to call to the stand, from the f...

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Hello, “It Was Simple” listeners. Up next, you’ll hear the first of three episodes of "Dirty John Season 2: The Podcast," a paid podcast from USA Network. This 3-episode series goes behind the scenes of the USA Network's new television series "Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story," a re-telling of the riveting and complex tale of Betty Broderick.

Bonus Episode 1: To understand why the story of Betty Broderick e...

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Hello, “It Was Simple” listeners. Up next, you’ll hear the second of three episodes of "Dirty John Season 2: The Podcast," a paid podcast from USA Network. This 3-episode series goes behind the scenes of the USA Network's new television series "Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story," a re-telling of the riveting and complex tale of Betty Broderick.

Bonus Episode 2: The creators of Dirty John: The Betty Broderick...

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Hello, “It Was Simple” listeners. Up next, you’ll hear the last of three episodes of "Dirty John Season 2: The Podcast," a paid podcast from USA Network. This 3-episode series goes behind the scenes of the USA Network's new television series "Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story," a re-telling of the riveting and complex tale of Betty Broderick.

Bonus Episode 3: In this episode, the actors from Dirty John: The ...

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July 21, 2021 7 min

For ten years, a fire bug terrorized Southern California, burning down businesses in broad daylight. Four people had died. Then a manuscript for a novel leads investigators to the last person they would have ever suspected. From Truth.Media, host Kary Antholis and executive producer Marc Smerling (The Jinx, Wilderness of Error, Crimetown) comes the true-crime series Firebug. The series launches July 21st.
 

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