Chronology of Broderick Case


Nov. 5, 1989--La Jolla socialite Elisabeth Anne (Betty) Broderick goes to the Marston Hills home of her ex-husband, prominent medical malpractice attorney Daniel T. Broderick III, and shoots to death Broderick and his new wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick, in their bedroom. Betty Broderick then surrenders to police.

Nov. 15, 1989--Broderick pleads not guilty to two counts of murder.

Oct. 22, 1990--The first trial begins, drawing widespread media and public interest. Parts of the proceedings are broadcast live on local television.

Oct. 24, 1990--Broderick’s 20-year-old daughter, Kim, testifies that her mother hated her ex-husband and wanted her four children to hate him too. Kim Broderick describes her mother’s violent behavior in previous years, including a 1986 incident in which police arrested Betty Broderick for ramming a car into the front door of Daniel’s house.


Oct. 31, 1990--Broderick testifies that she did not intend to kill her husband and his wife. She says she went to their house planning to kill herself with a .38-caliber revolver, and does not remember pulling the trigger. She says her estranged husband harassed her during a bitter divorce and left her emotionally and financially ruined.

Nov. 20, 1990--First trial ends in deadlocked jury and mistrial. Ten jurors reach a verdict of murder, but two hold out for manslaughter. Jurors say they were split by the defense’s strategy of emphasizing Daniel Broderick’s alleged mistreatment of his ex-wife and children.

April 16, 1991--Lawyers announce that Broderick offered to plead guilty under terms of a plea bargain that would have sent her to prison for 20 years, but was turned down. The lead prosecutor says the deal was rejected because it included pleas to several lesser crimes but not a plea to murder.

Sept. 1, 1991--As she awaits her second trial, Betty Broderick is involved in a jailhouse scuffle with San Diego County sheriff’s deputies, who allege that she injured three of them and smeared feces around her Las Colinas Jail cell. Her lawyers contend that a guard provoked the videotaped incident. One of the deputies later sues Broderick.

Oct. 15, 1991--Second trial begins. The prosecution argues for a finding of first-degree murder, saying Broderick carried out a cold-blooded execution. Defense says the verdict should be voluntary manslaughter because Broderick was driven to the slaying by years of psychological abuse and intimidation.

Nov. 15, 1991--Under intense cross-examination, Broderick describes being in an “altered state of consciousness” the day of the slayings and says she does not remember pulling the trigger.


Nov. 29, 1991--The prosecution plays a telephone answering machine tape of an obscenity-filled harangue in which Broderick makes threatening comments about her husband to her son and urges her son to “beat up” his father.

Dec. 5, 1991--Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Whelan instructs the jury to consider options of involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter, and second- and first- degree murder. Jurors begin deliberating.

Dec. 10, 1991--Jurors find Betty Broderick guilty of two counts of second-degree murder, plus two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.