Introducing: ‘It Was Simple: The Betty Broderick Murders’

It Was Simple
(Katy Kirton / For The Times)

The Los Angeles Times is launching a new podcast called “It Was Simple: The Betty Broderick Murders,” written and hosted by me, Patt Morrison, a columnist and reporter. It’s amazing, really, the events of our shared history that we forget … and those that we remember.

Even people who weren’t alive 30 years ago know and care about the case of Betty Broderick, the La Jolla woman who seemed to have everything in the world going for her, until her husband decided to leave. Even though Betty and Dan Broderick split up, they stayed locked together in a way, pushing each other’s buttons, until there were two bodies and one killer — the ex-husband, his new wife, Linda, and an angry, left-behind Betty. Beyond the seamy aspects that you’d find in any crime story, you find something else — things that fascinate us because something in these stories IS us. We may not be rich, or live in La Jolla, but we test ourselves against these stories. How would WE react if our relationship split up like this? Is there anything that would drive us to murder?


For more than 30 years, there have been Betty Broderick TV movies, and books, and now Facebook pages, where some people say that they sympathized with her up until she pulled the trigger, and some, fewer, who had terrible divorces themselves and said, “Atta girl, Betty — what took you so long?”

In my new podcast, we’ll hear from her divorce attorney, her defense attorney and the foreman of the jury that convicted her, among other voices that capture the significance of events surrounding the murders. Plus, we speak with one of Linda’s best friends, who spent time with the couple the day before they died. We explore what makes this one case still so engrossing 30 years later … and maybe learn something about ourselves along the way. “It Was Simple: The Betty Broderick Murders” is a four-part podcast that premieres May 26. Subscribe today, wherever you get your podcasts.

Key Times articles about the case of La Jolla socialite Betty Broderick, convicted of murdering her ex-husband and his new wife in 1989.


“It Was Simple: The Betty Broderick Murders” is written and reported by Patt Morrison. It’s produced by the Los Angeles Times with support from L.A. Times Studios and Spoke Media. Our producers are Paige Hymson, Jenna Hannum and Carson McCain. Our audio engineer is Will Short, and our editor is Steve Clow. We got production help from Kelly Kolff and Aleisha Force. Our original music is composed by Will Short from Spoke Media. Our theme song is by Hayley Lynn and Kyle Devine, and our additional music came from FirstCom. Podcast art was created by Katy Kirton. Special thanks to Julia Turner, Shelby Grad, Clint Schaff, Jeff Glasser, Mary Kate Metivier, Justin L. Abrotsky, Christian Orozco and Lora Victorio. And thanks to everyone who granted us access to their archives. “It Was Simple” is executive produced by Abbie Fentress Swanson for the L.A. Times, and by Keith Reynolds and Alia Tavakolian for Spoke Media.