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Episode 159: Betty Broderick Trial

During her 17-year marriage, Betty Broderick worked and raised four children while her husband, Daniel T. Broderick III, went through medical school and law school. When Dan finally qualified, he was in high demand as an attorney in medical malpractice cases. The family moved to a lavish house in San Diego, and Betty no longer needed to work. Not long after the move, however, Dan, unhappy that Betty had aged and put on weight, began an affair with his 28-year-old secretary, Linda, who many said looked like a younger version of Betty. Eventually, he divorced Betty and married Linda. Betty, 41, angry at being cast aside, became obsessed with Dan and Linda. Finally, on November 5, 1989, she broke into their home and shot them both to death. She said she had been driven over the edge by years of physical and psychological abuse. Her first trial, in 1990, ended in a hung jury. At her second trial on December 11, 1991, she was convicted of two counts of second degree murder and later sentenced to 32-years-to-life in prison. The case received extensive media attention. Middle-aged women in particular sympathized with Betty’s ordeal. She is now 73 years old, and incarcerated at the California Institute for Women in Corona.

This episode contains the testimony of Betty’s boyfriend after her divorce, businessman Bradley T. Wright, who describes how he found the bodies and called 911; L.A.Times reporter Amy Wallace, and Betty’s friend Helen Pickard.

Listen to the episode here.