Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why Republish Until the Twelfth of Never a Guest Blog by Publisher Tim Hewston

Why is the story of Betty Broderick so fascinating twenty years after she shot dead her ex-husband, Daniel T. Broderick, and his new wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick in their home on the morning of November 5, 1989?

And make no mistake, it is Betty Broderick who is the fascinating one; not Dan, not Linda.

Betty Broderick’s outrage burns off the pages of ‘Until the Twelfth of Never’. She cusses as few people have cussed in print before. She demands a divorce at every opportunity during their marriage. She threatens to kill her husband, Dan, many times before they are even divorced.

And yet she demands to remain married to Dan and goes into a manic tailspin of fury, greed and violence when he leaves her.

In her eyes, she was the perfect wife and mother, an image she kept up in society but rarely at home. Then she became the wronged jilted wife, left for a younger, prettier woman as she got older, fatter and crazier. And as for being a perfect mother, she continually tormented her children who loved her and wanted to live with her nevertheless.

Was she sane and vengeful or simply insane? Nobody could tell. She was – and probably still is – somewhere between the two. According to the prosecutor for her two trials, she lied constantly but was she really lying or was she merely deaf and/or deluded? She claimed that Dan was an alcoholic with a string of DUIs, but he never had a DUI and his friends did not consider he drank to excess. She claimed Linda was a nineteen year old whore without qualifications when she was a twenty-six year old college graduate and a paralegal. She claimed that the entire legal system of San Diego was against her, yet she dismissed one divorce lawyer after the next and remarkably twice escaped a conviction on Murder One.

Betty Broderick, on one side intelligent and cunning, and on the other side riotously anti-social, defies all conventional classification, which is why she is so exciting; yes, exciting.

And she had a case. When she was growing up in the 1950s, marriages were forever and women were kept by their husbands, come what may, without any expectation of having to work. By the 1980s, everything had changed – sexual equality had struck. Women were meant to work too and a failed marriage was peremptorily ended by a bifurcated divorce – see you!

But what work could Betty do, having spent fifteen years looking after their house and their children? And how could a divorced woman get by with only a multi-million dollar house to live in and today’s equivalent of some $25,000 a month?

On this question, America still remains divided. If Dan wasn’t an alcoholic, he was certainly a workaholic. He was cold and disciplined at home. Betty was the greatest of fun with children, warm and chaotic, a supreme shopaholic and a woman who celebrated the honesty and intensity of her emotions.

Having left hours and hours of abusive phone messages, she was a woman who could innocently demand who there was to teach her children phone etiquette if she wasn’t around.

Taken in the round, she was a stand-up comedian who didn’t quite get the irony of her own observations and a double-killer who claimed that she shot two people dead in a Keystone cops farce.

And the twists and turns of Betty’s mind are assiduously mapped by the late Bella Stumbo who herself became almost fixated by Betty’s character right up until her own dying breath.

‘Until the Twelfth of Never’ is literally stunning – Betty is stunning - and we are delighted that it appears on Kindle for the first time ever.


Nor was she ever at a loss for the perfect, colorful anecdote to drive her point home: "I would've been treated better if l'd been a good horse or a dog that served my master well for twenty years. At least you give that animal respect and thanks … I was a faithful dog for all those years, and he couldn't even afford me the respect of saying, 'Okay, she's too old and I want to get rid of her.' Oh no. He had to throw me out and say, 'She was a piece of shit for twenty years and always a problem, and I couldn't wait to get rid of her and she deserves nothing.' He was the coldest, meanest asshole on earth." There was never a whit of self-pity in her tone—only brutal, naked rage born of screaming indignation and disbelief.

And for those interested there is a movie about Betty Broderick on Netflix  it will also be airing on the Lifetime Movie Network Sat Mar 23 at 8 PM and Sun Mar 24 at 12 AM

and here's a real life photo album of  Betty 

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The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

Until the Twelfth of Never
Bella Stumbo

Taylor Street

They were two of the most notorious and controversial murder trials of the last twenty-five years, splitting American public opinion in half.

Before dawn on November 5, 1989, Betty Broderick got into her car and drove over to the house in San Diego of her lawyer ex-husband, Daniel T. Broderick III, and his new wife, Linda. Arriving at 5:30 a.m., she used a key that she had obtained from one of her children to enter the house by a back door and climbed the stairs to Dan and Linda’s bedroom. Five shots rang out in the dark, three hitting their targets. Linda died instantly. Dan lingered on for several minutes. As he tried to call for help, Betty stamped on his hand and tore the phone from the wall.

The prosecution claimed it was as about as clear a case of premeditated murder as anyone could imagine. Betty claimed she had gone over to the house to talk to Dan - or maybe to commit suicide in front of him - but when someone shouted, ‘Call the police’, she got flustered and started firing.

Betty Broderick was acquitted of first degree murder in her second trial but found guilty of second degree murder.

To some, Betty Broderick is virtually the patron saint of the sanctity of marriage, executing her abusive, cheating husband and his ‘nineteen year old college dropout of a Polack whore’ (actually Linda was twenty-eight, a college graduate and a professional paralegal). To others, Dan Broderick suffered his wife’s abuse of him for fourteen years of marriage, left her well provided for and then married the love of his life, only to be continually stalked for seven years, to have Betty repeatedly incite his children to kill him and Linda, to find her driving her car through the front door of his new house, and then to be murdered in the coldest of blood.

Bella Stumbo’s account of the Dan, Linda and Betty Broderick affair is encyclopedic and definitive, and ‘Until the Twelfth of Never’ was a runaway international bestseller when it was first published twenty years ago. Bello Stumbo herself died in 2002, so was not alive to cover Betty Broderick’s parole hearing in November 2011, a short account of which is included in this book.

Dan Broderick, Linda Broderick and Betty Broderick – saints or sinners? Betty Broderick - sane or insane? 

Read ‘Until the Twelfth of Never’ and you will certainly have an opinion.

About Bella Stumbo

Bella Stumbo was a gifted writer whose dogged reporting, grace with words and ability to make the most obstinate subjects reveal themselves led to some of the most memorable profiles and features published in The LA Times.

Around The LA Times, her habits were legendary. She gently coaxed reluctant subjects into an interview, often after submitting a previous story for examination, or after a mutual friend vouched for her character. Then she trailed her subjects for as long as they tolerated her - sometimes months on end.

When it came time to write, she would hole up at her house, not to emerge for days, during which she did not eat or sleep but chain-smoked a storm. When she was done, she would look haggard, like someone who had spent six nights on a Greyhound bus.

(From her LA Times obituary, December 7, 2002)