Divorce Crimes: Was Betty Broderick Justified in Murdering her Ex Husband Dan and His Former Secretary Turned Wife Linda?

Is Betty Broderick Getting a bum rap? Should she be paroled after killing her ex husband and his secretary turned wife?

Is Betty Broderick deserving of Parole for Killing a Guy Who divorced her?

The real question is: Is murdering your ex ever justifiable?

And even if you answer “yes” to that question – and it is a big if – what about murder of your ex spouse and his or her new spouse in their new home? Is this ever something that can be excused by society? Are divorce crimes a special category of sins that women like Betty Broderick can be forgiven for after paying their dues for a certain number of years?
Betty Broderick murdered her ex husband Dan and his secretary-turned-wife Linda in 1989. She was 41 years old and her husband Dan was 44. Dan had dumped Betty for his secretary, a gorgeous hottie named Linda.

After Dan married Linda, Betty who had 4 kids with Dan at that point just became unhinged by the whole thing. She took a Smith and Wesson revolver to his home and finding him and Linda frolicking in bed, she opened fire on them both, killing them in an instant.
For her troubles? 32 years in a state penitentiary where she still sits hoping for parole. Betty is now 69 and cannot get parole because the authorities at the parole board feel she is totally unrepentant about murdering two “innocent people.”

Murder, obviously, is wrong.

But were these two people all that “innocent”? I would argue that nobody in this case was “innocent.”

The thing with this divorce crime that is so fascinating is the way it contains all the commandments:

  • Thou shalt not kill
  • Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
  • Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife
  • Thou shalt not commit adultery

Betty is not the only one who broke the commandments here. Dan and Linda lied to her. Dan lied to her as her husband. Dan committed adultery against her and then divorced her and left her with 4 children to take up with a younger, hotter wife. That was Dan’s right to do. Just dump your wife when you have had enough. But it does not make it moral or fair to Betty.
Do you deserve to die if you commit adultery? Did Dan deserve to be murdered like that? And Linda too? Not in Western legal tradition. Western legal tradition allows killing for other crimes but not for adultery. There is no death penalty because you dumped your wife and traded her in for a younger model who used to masquerade as your secretary. And may the dead rest in peace. But Dan had a wife and that was Betty and they took vows which he broke. Betts did a poor job of dealing with the ruptured contract, true. But what were her other options? Was the court going to castigate this guy on her behalf?

It is a complex issue and the legality of the issue is the least of the point here.
Murder is illegal and immoral and wrong.

But. Ok?

Now. The fact that Betty does not show enough “remorse” for taking matters into her own hands and killing Dan and Linda is a subjective judgment that arguably is being used against her unfairly by the parole board. How much remorse is enough remorse in a situation like this? No one but that woman knew the circumstances that led her into her ex husband’s house that day. No one knows what she went through in this situation. She cannot be fake and lie to herself about the amount of remorse she feels. She has to be authentic.
Objectively, what she did was clearly legally wrong.

But her morality is her own private business and keeping her locked up because she does not show enough remorse is a moral judgment that, in my view, is unfair in this case.
The woman snapped and she killed her husband because he left her with 4 kids to go off with his secretary who probably was not innocent insofar as enticing this man away from his wife. Betty’s spent 28 years in prison as a result. I think she has paid her debt and they should let this woman go.