|Linda and Dan, 1989|
|Betty and Dan, 1969|
The Betty Broderick saga continues to be the most popular posts on this site. For my previous posts go here and here. It appears that the case still strikes a chord with many people, although opinions are as divided as Betty and Dan were.
A response to my original post on the case referenced Dan's greediness and suggested that perhaps if Dan had been more generous with regard to his settlement with Betty, the murders may not have happened.
So let's talk money and the Broderick case.
For what it's worth, I don't believe money was at the root of the murders. Let's put this into context. It's true that Betty and Dan were living very well by the time he began an affair with Linda. Betty had been a stay at home mother for years, rearing the children and keeping an immaculate home. Prior to that, she had babysat and kept children to make ends meet while Dan attended medical school and then law school. Yes, Dan got the education and it was his professional smarts that were bankrolling the homes, cars, jewelry and fabulous trips but without Betty's sacrifice and teamwork, he wouldn't have accomplished that. By the time of their divorce in 1989, they had been married for nearly twenty years (although separated for the last few.) Even so, Betty deserved a piece of the pie.
Prior to their divorce being finalized, Dan had been paying Betty an amount he deemed appropriate (albeit a hefty amount.) Before you negate all sympathy for Betty, Dan also took it upon himself to financially penalize Betty for infractions such as leaving volatile messages on the answering machine and entering his home without approval. Despite the frustrations such actions must have caused - - because Betty would often damage the premises - - he should not have had the right to deduct monies from her support. Now, before you start feeling sorry for Dan, he did cheat on Betty for years while lying to her about it, all the while suggesting that not only was she crazy for thinking such a thing but she also needed to lose weight and do something about her appearance so that she would look younger. So let's say they were both acting like jerks.
Betty had difficulty finding and keeping a family law attorney that would be willing to go up against Dan. The legal community in general in a small one and no one in San Diego was willing to get on the wrong side of Dan Broderick. Having dealt with a drawn out divorce myself, I can attest to feelings of frustration so great that you begin to feel mentally and emotionally unhinged. Had I also had to deal with an ex who was an attorney himself and had connections all over the city that made my case difficult, I think I would have been on medication. So I can imagine the stress Betty must have felt to not only be hitting the wall in an attorney search but going through these things when she didn't want the divorce at all.
Dan also allegedly sold their family home behind Betty's back, depending on who you believe. I do think it's likely that Dan withheld funds and hid money from her but I also think that Betty did not want to deal with the sale of the home as it would firmly close the door on the marriage once and for all.
When a settlement was decided, with Betty of course not being happy about it, she was granted just over $16,000 per month. That's a ton of money and this was in 1988-1989. There is no reason she could not have lived very, very comfortably on that sum. My opinion? She didn't want to. No amount of money would have pacified her because it wasn't about the money. She didn't want the money.
She wanted Dan. Not because she was in love with him because I don't believe she was. She wanted him because she wanted the lifestyle. She didn't want to fail. And she didn't want Linda to have him.
Really, this is nothing new. This same soap opera is playing out many times every day, although perhaps less likely by persons in their forties, as Dan and Betty were at the time. What gets me though is why on earth Dan didn't change the locks of his house? Not just at the end but years earlier, when Betty was leaving vitriolic messages on his machine, breaking items in the house and ruining his clothing? Why didn't he tell her the truth when she confronted him way back in 1983 or 1984? Why didn't he leave her sooner? Why didn't he force the divorce sooner?
He was playing with fire. Maybe he knew it, maybe not. But it seems clear that he enjoyed tormenting Betty, if not the drama itself. Just as Betty enjoyed tormenting him and Linda enjoyed tormenting Betty. I said it in an earlier post but these adults were all acting like temperamental children. Neither Dan nor Linda deserved to be murdered but neither were being very smart about antagonizing Betty.
I veered off a bit on the topic at hand but to state it briefly, I don't think money played a part in these murders. Do I think Betty was humiliated by selling her La Jolla home? Absolutely. Do I think she hated living in a condo? Sure. Was she threatened by Dan? Of course. But I can't help wondering what may have been if she had just taken the alimony payments and kept her mouth shut. She would have collected nearly $200,000 from Dan a year - - that's nearly $400,000 in today's dollars. Not a shabby bit of coin.
|The bed, after|
Was Dan in love with her? Clearly money would not have been a motive for him but if he was in love with her, why did it take him so long to formally leave his wife, divorce her and marry Linda? Did Dan ever love Betty? (I'm guessing not.)
What do you think? Did Betty kill for money? Or partly because of money? Did anyone in this twisted saga love anyone besides themselves?
|The end result|