Dirty John killer Betty Broderick’s reason for carrying a gun: ‘This had to be over!’

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The second season of Netflix crime drama ‘Dirty John’ detailed the crimes committed by Betty Broderick in 1989. The mother-of-four was sentenced to 32-years-to-life in prison after being found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder two years later, upon the conclusion of her second trial. She revealed the details that led-up to the killing in a candid interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey and disclosed why she took a gun with her to the fatal encounter. 

Broderick admitted that “every single injustice, indignity and horror” she experienced as a “victim” of the couple went through her mind when she entered their home on the day she shot them dead. 

Through tears she explained that her “whole world fell in” due to the “abuse” she allegedly suffered from Dan and Linda. 

In opposition to her claims of mental torture from the pair, Oprah claimed she had struck fear into the couple she killed. 

She revealed that Dan’s wife asked to wear a bulletproof vest on his wedding day and to hire guards because they were concerned she might “physically attack” them.

Broderick said: “I didn’t have a life. Intervening in what life? They had – Dan and Linda – controlled every cent of the money.

“Dan’s name was on the house I was living in, on the car I was driving and he had sole custody, no visitation, of my children.”

Broderick said that she went to the house after “another set of legal threats”, which she claimed threatened to throw her in jail and take her sons away from her. 

When quizzed about the gun, she pointed out that it was in the car when she drove to her ex-husband’s house but she did “consciously bring it” inside their home.

Broderick told ‘The Oprah Show’ in 1992: “I did bring the gun as a way to make Dan and Linda listen to me.

“For the first time in this whole thing I couldn’t prevail in court no matter what, Dan was the kingpin in this town.

“Every time I went to his house to talk to him and that’s what I did every time he had me cornered… if he saw me coming, had me arrested. 

“For instance, the day he sold the house I went there to talk to him, the day that I owed him $1,300 (£1,000) I went to talk to him and he had me arrested.”

Broderick admitted that on the day of the killings her approach was different and that informed her decision to carry the gun. 

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She continued: “[I had it] to keep them from calling the police, I was going to make them listen and talk to me, this had to be over.

“This was 1989, they were already married, my children were growing up. ‘Can’t we just let this thing go’ – I didn’t even have the chance to say that.

“I opened the door, it wasn’t closed tightly, as I opened the door and entered the room Linda said ‘Call the police!’

“Dan went for the phone and I screamed ‘No!’ and just the gun went off and that’s as fast as it happened.

“They didn’t see a gun, they never saw a gun, Linda saw me, I didn’t see them at all, I just saw movement.” 

Broderick claimed that after the five shots fired “in less than half a second”, she panicked and claimed to have “no idea if I hit anyone”.

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She grabbed the phone Dan had tried to reach for and raced out of the house because she feared he would “call the police before I could even talk to him”.

Broderick fled to her daughter’s house, where she admitted to having fired the gun but not to whether the bullets had hit anyone. 

She added: “I told everyone that. I had no idea, I fired the gun, I grabbed that phone and I ran and I thought he was after me.”

Broderick is not eligible for parole until 2032 – but could be released by 2024 dependent on several factors, including good behaviour, ABC News 10 reported last November. 

The story was dramatised in ‘Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story’, which was released on Netflix in the UK last month.

Amanda Peet starred as Betty Broderick, Christian Slater played Dan Broderick and Rochelle Keller and Linda Kolkena.  

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