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Excerpts of Broderick Diaries Read at Trial

TIMES STAFF WRITER

In the first excerpt made public Wednesday from a secret diary, former La Jolla socialite Elisabeth Anne (Betty) Broderick said there is “no better reason to kill” than to protect home and family, and said her ex-husband had “attacked and destroyed” her and their four children.

She also said her ex-husband, Daniel T. Broderick III, was the “sickest person alive” and added, “No one will mourn you.”

However, in her second day of testimony during Betty Broderick’s double murder trial, her daughter, Kim Broderick, said she grieved terribly for her father.

Kim Broderick said her mother “just hated him, and she wanted us to hate him.” Kim also said her mother told her that she hated her, too.

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So, Kim said, she opted to testify against her mother so that she could “expose another side” to the story.

Kim Broderick, 20, a college student, brushed back tears frequently as she testified that her father never threatened her mother but that Betty--among other acts--threw a stereo, a bowl and a ketchup bottle at him, burned his clothes and drove her car into the front door of his house.

Betty Broderick, 42, who cried Tuesday when her daughter cried, remained composed Wednesday. She is charged with two counts of murder in the shooting deaths Nov. 5 of her ex-husband and his new wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick.

Daniel Broderick was a prominent medical malpractice lawyer and a former president of the county bar.

During and after a bitter divorce, Betty Broderick accused her husband of using his legal influence to cheat her out of her fair share of his $1-million-a-year income.

Betty Broderick, who has pleaded innocent, has been held without bail in the Las Colinas Jail in Santee since last November. If convicted, she could be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In the excerpt from the diaries, read to jurors by Deputy Dist. Atty. Kerry Wells, Broderick said of her husband, “You have attacked and destroyed me, my home, my possessions and my family. You continue to repeatedly attack and destroy. You are the sickest person alive.”

The entry went on: “A law degree does not give you license to kill and destroy nor does it give you immunity from punishment. No one will mourn you.”

Broderick kept the diaries from February, 1985, when she and Daniel separated, through mid-1988, filling 10 volumes, according to defense lawyer Jack Earley.

In a pretrial ruling issued this summer, San Diego Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Whelan ordered Earley to share the diaries with prosecutors.

Kim Broderick contradicted the claim in the diary that Daniel Broderick attacked his first wife, saying that her father never was violent toward her mother.

If, though, he was “out late with his friends,” she would “be mad at him” and throw things, Kim Broderick said, like the stereo, the bowl and the ketchup bottle. Also, she “would scratch him and things,” Kim Broderick said.

When Betty Broderick piled her father’s custom-made clothes in a heap in the back yard and set it on fire while the children watched, Daniel did not react violently, Kim Broderick said. Even when her mother poured black paint on the ashes of the clothes, that did not set him off, she said.

When Daniel, who had been at a party for his 39th birthday, came home and found the ashes in the yard, he “picked up the few pieces that weren’t burned or ruined and then they went to bed, like everything was normal,” Kim Broderick said.

Earley contends Betty Broderick burned the clothes after she paid a surprise visit to his office, found the remnants of a party and was told Daniel Broderick and Linda Kolkena had been gone for most of the day.

Similarly, Earley contends, when Betty Broderick drove the car into the front door of Daniel’s house, in February, 1986, she had been provoked, that time by the court-ordered sale earlier that day of her house, a procedure Daniel Broderick carried off without notifying her.

Kim Broderick said she, her sister, Lee, and her father were at home when her mother crashed the car into the front door, making a noise that “sounded like a chain saw.” Terrified, Kim Broderick ran out the back door of the house, returning 20 minutes later after her mother was in police custody, she said.

When her mother saw her, Kim Broderick said, “she stuck her tongue out.”

“Mom and I didn’t get along,” she said. “I don’t think she thought very much of me.”

Once, Kim Broderick said, her mother was supposed to visit her apartment but never showed. When she called to find out why, her mother told her she was driving to the apartment when, “ ‘all of a sudden, I remembered I hate your guts,’ ” Kim Broderick said.

According to Kim Broderick, her mother told her, “You are a traitor. You make me sick. The sight of you makes me want to throw up. I wish you were never born.”

Testimony in the case is due to resume today. Whelan has estimated that the trial, which began Monday, will take four weeks.


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