Dirty John: Damning reason Betty Broderick was denied access to children before murders

Dirty John: Damning reason Betty Broderick was denied access to children before murders

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‘Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story’, which starred Amanda Peet and Christian Slater, has proven popular since its release on Netflix in the UK, in recent months. The TV show is based upon the murders of Dan Broderick and Linda Kolkena, by his ex-wife who trespassed onto their property and shot them dead. She was sentenced to more than three decades in prison in 1991 and cannot apply for parole until 2032 after failed previous attempts. The case split the US when it was initially tried before the courts, as Broderick claimed to have been the victim of mental abuse. One issue that she claimed led-up to her furious outburst on November 5, 1989, was being denied access to her children. However, interviews with her offspring reveal a different story. 

The mother-of-four, now 72, previously alleged that her ex-husband used his power as an attorney to deny her child custody and that being separated from them left her hysterical.

But daughter Kim told a 1992 episode of ‘The Oprah Show’ that it was her parent’s irrational behaviour that led the courts to conclude they would not be safe around her.

She recalled being kicked-out of Broderick’s house, when she forced her to pack her bags and then abandoned her outside her father’s empty home. 

Kim said: “It was Easter and we had gotten into an argument… I asked her to drive my friend home and she said all I ever do is take, take, take.

“So she told me to pack up and she helped me, and dressed the kids and took me to dad’s house and he wasn’t even home. 

“And it was a house that was under construction, so we didn’t have any furniture or anything… I was there for a little bit myself and then Danny came after a couple of days.”

Kim claimed that her mother dropped the other children off one-by-one over a number of days to live at their father’s house – under the belief that they wouldn’t be able to cope without her.

For the majority of their lives, Broderick had served as a single parent while her then-husband Dan studied medicine and then law at university – in addition to taking on two jobs to support the family.

Kim stated that her father “didn’t steal” the children, as her mother had claimed, and that he “didn’t even want” them but “arranged his life around” them. 

She added: “I think mom thought it was going to be a total disaster and we would all see that we needed her and we can’t do this without her – so basically she just used us as pawns.”

The daughter also revealed how Dan was able to gain full custody of the children, an account which differed from Broderick’s claim that his high-ranking friends helped him.

Kim said: “It wasn’t because of dad’s powers, because mom was doing crazy things, it was because of her behaviour that he got sole custody – they thought she wasn’t fit to be around us.” 

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Broderick was granted visitation rights, which she felt her father didn’t have a problem with until she started to damage his property.

Kim added: “It was after she came over and spray painted the house and began breaking things… then he changed his mind about it.”

When Dan Jr reflected on the situation, he claimed to not mind being in the middle of two warring parents because he “knew what was going on” with them both.

He said: “Even though, a lot of the time, [Betty Broderick] used me to get back at the other one or to tell the other one something. 

“My mom sort of used the kids, I don’t think she did it intentionally to hurt us… I think she unintentionally did it.”

Kim clarified: “I think it was intentional to hurt dad and it happened that we were in the middle.”

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