Throughout the series, we watch as Betty, played by Brockmire’s Amanda Peet, is divorced by her husband Dan (Christian Slater), who leaves her for his younger secretary and proceeds to make her life incredibly difficult by taking full custody of their children and committing her to a psychiatric hospital for 72 hours.
After driving her car through Dan’s front door, leaving abusive messages on his answering machine and abandoning their children on his doorstep throughout the series, we see Betty let herself into Dan’s home to shoot both him and his new wife Linda in their bed.
The second season of Dirty John takes us up to Betty’s trial and imprisonment, but what happened to actual Betty Broderick after the events depicted in the series? And do her children still speak to her?
Here’s everything you need to know about where Betty Broderick is now.
Is Betty Broderick free?
Betty Broderick is still serving time at the California Institution for Women on two counts of second-degree-murder. She was sentenced to 32-years-to-life in prison in 1991.
She has requested for parole three times – January 2010, November 2011 and January 2017 – however, each time she has been denied.
When will Betty Broderick be released?
As Broderick is serving a life sentence, there is no fixed date when she will be released from prison, however she will have to spend a minimum of 32 years in prison.
Due to her sentence, the earliest Broderick could be released is 2023, however after her last parole hearing, the court denied parole for the longest term possible, which is 15 years. This means, she won’t be eligible for parole until 2032, unless she fulfils certain conditions.
What happened to Betty Broderick’s children?
Betty and Dan Broderick had four children together – Kimberly Broderick, Lee Broderick, Daniel Broderick IV and Rhett Broderick.
After their mother was arrested, Rhett (13) and Daniel (15) went to live with their uncle Larry Broderick’s ex-wife in Colorado, and spent the next couple of years moving between relatives and attending camps for troubled teens. Speaking on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Rhett said: “I constantly felt like I was under the microscope, like everything I did they were trying to blame on my parents’ situation.”
Kim, Dan and Rhett went on to marry partners and now have children themselves. The siblings also remain close, with Kim living near Lee and Rhett in Idaho, while Daniel Jr lives in La Jolla.
In 2014, Kim Broderick told her story to author Nanette Elkins, who wrote the book: “Betty Broderick, My Mom: The Kim Broderick Story”.
Happy Belated Siblings’ Day! Nothing but 🌈and 🐶 with my all-time favs. Couldn’t do life without you ❤️ #growingupbroderickPosted by Kim Broderick on Saturday, April 11, 2020
Do Betty’s children speak to her now?
According to Betty Broderick’s 2015 memoir, she is still in touch with her children, regularly seeing both them and their grandchildren.
The children would visit Broderick in prison on her birthday and Mother’s Day, but not during Christmas or the school holidays as she didn’t want all their memories of those times to be of visiting her in prison, she told the San Diego Reader in 1998.
When it comes to whether the Broderick children think their mother should be released on parole, the four of them appear to be split.
Testifying at her parole hearing in 2010, daughter Lee said that she wanted her mother to live with her, saying: “She should be able to live her later life outside prison walls.”
This sentiment was echoed by Rhett years earlier, during his interview with Oprah Winfrey. “She’s a nice lady. Everyone here would like her…if they spoke with her on any topic other than my dad. Keeping her in prison isn’t really helping her. She’s not a danger to society—the only two people she was a danger to are dead.”
However Kim and Daniel Jr believe their mother should stay in prison, with Daniel telling CBS during the parole hearing that releasing her into society “could be a dangerous mistake”, while Kim declined to write letters which would help get Betty a parole release and testified against her release.
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Why did Betty Broderick shoot her husband?
Betty Broderick shot both her ex-husband Daniel and his new wife Linda on 4th November 1989 at 5.30am. She turned herself into the police after the bodies were found.
During the trial, Broderick claimed that she didn’t intend to kill either Daniel or Linda, but shot them after being startled by Linda waking up and telling Daniel to call the police.
Broderick’s defence lawyers argued that her ex-husband had pushed her over the edge after years of psychological, physical and mental abuse.