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Is Betty Broderick Still in Prison?

Betty Broderick was convicted in 1991 for the murders of her ex-husband Dan Broderick and his new wife Linda Kolkena. The case attracted national attention due to the sensational details of the bitter divorce and custody battle that preceded the murders.

On November 5, 1989, Betty broke into Dan and Linda’s home in the early morning and shot them both dead in their bed. Dan was 44 years old and Linda was 28. Betty and Dan had been married for 16 years and had four children together before divorcing in 1989 after a lengthy and contentious legal separation.

Betty claimed Dan emotionally and psychologically abused her during their marriage and divorce proceedings. She felt betrayed when Dan had an affair with Linda, his young legal assistant whom he later married. Driven by anger and jealousy over the divorce and Dan’s new relationship, Betty committed the brutal murders and made no attempt to flee afterwards.

Betty Broderick’s Prison Sentence

In December 1990, after a lengthy and highly publicized criminal trial, Betty Broderick was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder. She was sentenced to 32 years to life in prison.

Broderick is currently incarcerated at the California Institute for Women in Corona, California. Now in her 70s, she has been in prison for over 30 years since her sentencing in 1991.

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Given her sentence of 32 years to life, Broderick will be eligible for parole in January 2032 when she is 84 years old. At that time, the parole board will determine if Broderick is suitable for release from prison.

Notable Events During Betty Broderick’s Incarceration

Here are some notable events that have occurred during Betty Broderick’s time in prison:

  • 1992: Broderick’s first request for a new trial was denied.
  • 1998: She was denied parole for the first time.
  • 2003: Her second request for a new trial was denied.
  • 2010: She was again denied parole.
  • 2017: She was denied parole for the third time.
  • 2022: Her request for compassionate release due to medical issues was rejected.

Over the years, Broderick has filed multiple appeals and requests for retrials and parole hearings. All attempts have resulted in denials, and she remains incarcerated.

Will Betty Broderick Ever Be Released?

As mentioned, Betty Broderick will be eligible for parole in January 2032. However, it remains highly unlikely she will ever be deemed suitable for release.

Here are some factors that suggest Broderick will stay in prison indefinitely:

  • She has shown no remorse for the murders. At parole hearings, she has continued to justify her actions. This lack of accountability works against parole.
  • The premeditated, brutal nature of the crimes – shooting her ex-husband and his new wife in their bed – makes the murders especially egregious in the eyes of the law.
  • Broderick’s history of contempt for authority figures and defiance while incarcerated may work against her parole chances.
  • The notoriety of the case and her lack of remorse likely means the parole board will be under great public pressure not to release her.
  • Dan’s family and Linda’s family have strongly opposed any chance of parole for Broderick. Their objections will hold weight.
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Unless Broderick, now in her 70s, has a major psychological or emotional breakthrough where she accepts full responsibility for the murders, the chances of her ever leaving prison appear very low.

Timeline of Key Events in Betty Broderick’s Case

1969 Betty and Dan Broderick get married
1983 Dan hires Linda Kolkena as his legal assistant
1985 Dan and Betty separate
1986 Dan and Betty divorce
1989 Dan and Linda get married
November 5, 1989 Betty murders Dan and Linda in their home
December 1990 Betty convicted of 2 counts of second-degree murder
January 1991 Sentenced to 32 years to life in prison
1992-Present Multiple denied appeals and parole hearings
January 2032 Eligible for parole at age 84

FAQs About Betty Broderick’sCase

What was Betty’s relationship like with Dan?

Betty and Dan Broderick were married for 16 years before divorcing in 1989. Based on Betty’s account, Dan was controlling and emotionally abusive during their marriage. However, friends of Dan disputed this characterization. The relationship was clearly turbulent and bitter by the time of their divorce.

Why did Betty murder Dan and his new wife Linda?

Betty Broderick claimed she was driven by years of emotional abuse, betrayal, and the injustice of how Dan left her for Linda during their contentious divorce. However, prosecutors argued Betty was motivated by anger and jealousy, not self-defense. Her act appeared to be premeditated, not a crime of passion.

How did Betty get into Dan and Linda’s house before the murder?

On the night of the murders, Betty used a key she had previously stolen from her daughter Lee to enter Dan and Linda’s house quietly and sneak upstairs to their bedroom as they slept.

Did Betty show any remorse for the murders?

In the 30+ years since the murders, Betty has never shown any remorse or taken accountability for her actions. She continues to justify the murders by blaming Dan’s “abuse” during their marriage. Her lack of contrition is a major factor in parole repeatedly being denied.

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How much media attention did the Broderick case receive?

The Broderick case received extensive national media attention in the U.S. in the late 1980s and 1990s due to the sensational details – a contentious divorce, a love triangle, bitter custody battle, and culminated in a double murder. The trial was covered widely on TV and in print. Several TV movies were later made about the case.

Where is Betty Broderick incarcerated?

Betty Broderick is currently incarcerated at the California Institute for Women in Corona, California. She has been imprisoned there since being sentenced in 1991. Now in her 70s, she will remain there unless granted parole when eligible in 2032.


The Betty Broderick case remains one of the most infamous and sensational domestic homicides in modern American history. While over 30 years have passed, Broderick remains in prison serving 32 years to life for the brutal 1989 shotgun murders of her ex-husband Dan Broderick and his new wife Linda Kolkena.

Given the premeditated nature of her crimes and her continued lack of remorse, it appears very unlikely Broderick will ever be deemed suitable for parole. Barring new legal developments, extraordinary circumstances, or a major change of heart, Betty Broderick is destined to stay behind bars for the rest of her natural life for the chilling murders that shocked America.

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Welcome to ‘Prison Inside,’ a blog dedicated to shedding light on the often hidden and misunderstood world within correctional facilities. Through firsthand accounts, personal narratives, and insightful reflections, we delve into the lives of those who find themselves behind bars, offering a unique perspective on the challenges, triumphs, and transformations that unfold within the confines of these walls.

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