Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review of Betty Broderick, My Mom: The Kim Broderick Story

I just finished Betty Broderick, My Mom: The Kim Broderick Story, a book by Nanette Elkins.  This is a book about Betty and Daniel Broderick written from the perspective of the couple's eldest daughter, Kim.  Elkins was a friend of Kim Broderick's and in the introduction, claims that they had a major book deal years ago.  The deal eventually fell through, though, and Elkins lost touch with Kim.  I got the sense that Elkins was one of those people you have to work to get rid of; she published a couple of texts from Broderick that seemed as if she wanted her to leave her alone.

I guess Elkins decided to publish the book anyway.  Oddly enough, I can't find it on Amazon now, even though I bought it less than two weeks ago.  I'm guessing the reason might be because it's not a very good book. Indeed, here is a comment supposedly left on Amazon by Kim Broderick…

This is NOT my story, April 13, 2014

By Kim Broderick

This review is from: Betty Broderick, My Mom: The Kim Broderick Story (Kindle Edition)

I absolutely did not write this book. I have not authorized it or approved of its publication. In fact, I had no idea it was coming out. I have had no contact with the author in over four and a half years. I have no interest in getting my story out there or exposing my family to any more public scrutiny or pain. Yes, years ago Nanette penned the manuscript for a book, with the idea of putting out something that could encourage others dealing with tumultuous family situations and hardship. At the end of the day, I ultimately decided against completing and publishing it. It is inaccurate, it depicts individuals and events in a distorted light, and it does not represent my feelings, beliefs, or truth. The author has invaded my privacy, defamed my character, and caused much hurt and sadness. Further, she has used the name and likeness of my children without my consent. I would strongly request that she take this book down as soon as possible and encourage you not to buy it.

Who are/were Betty and Daniel Broderick?  

In case you haven't heard of this notorious couple, Betty and Daniel Broderick were once a golden couple in San Diego, California.  Daniel Broderick was a very well known malpractice lawyer, mainly owing to his degrees in medicine and law.  Betty was his wife, who supposedly suffered long and hard to put her husband through school, give him four children, and help him achieve his brilliant career.

There was a movie made about Betty Broderick, who became the ex wife from hell when she and her husband divorced.  Dan Broderick married his former secretary, Linda Kolkena, which enraged Betty.  She engaged in outrageous tactics to harass him, from breaking into his home and vandalizing his property, to driving her car into Dan's house, to finally murdering him and his second wife, Linda, as they slept.

In 1991, Betty Broderick was convicted of second degree murder of her ex husband, Daniel Broderick, and his wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick.  She was sentenced to 32 years to life, which she is now serving in California.


My thoughts on Elkins' book

In all honesty, I wasn't very impressed with Betty Broderick, My Mom: The Kim Broderick Story.  Although Elkins managed to write it in a way that suggested it was coming from Kim Broderick, she didn't write in a way that suggested that Elkins is a very good writer.  It seems like Elkins didn't bother to have an editor look at the manuscript before she offered it for sale.  There were several incidents of redundancy within the book and I noticed that there were certain words Elkins seemed to enjoy using above all others.  The first one that comes to mind is "obnoxious".  I can't tell you exactly how many times Elkins used that word to describe Betty Broderick, but it was very often and quite noticeable.

While there were some interesting insights within the book that perhaps Elkins gleaned from earlier talks with Kim Broderick, it seemed like she fabricated some of this book through other sources.  I get the sense that she had a partial book in the works after interviews with Kim Broderick and then maybe Kim stopped cooperating, forcing Elkins to look to other books and movies made about the case.  She writes about the made for television film about Betty Broderick which starred Meredith Baxter, but it doesn't seem like she really was involved in that production or knew much more about it than the common viewer.  Moreover, in other parts of the book, including a section in which she describes Broderick having a special visit with her family, it seems like Elkins was filling in the blanks rather than reporting actual facts related to the Broderick story.

Elkins does at least seem to give Broderick an evenhanded look at her parents.  She doesn't paint either party as completely innocent or completely guilty.  But she also reveals some rather unflattering details about Kim Broderick, which, if I were Kim, would really upset me.  She even includes a tidbit about how the bar bill at Kim's wedding was apparently so high that she had to cancel honeymoon plans to go to Big Sur.  I can't imagine what that had to do with the subject matter, except to make Kim Broderick look bad.

In a news article about Elkins' book, there appears another statement from Kim Broderick…

Editor's Note: Kim Broderick provided this response following our initial story:

"I did not write or authorize the book you featured on your program. I have no interest in getting my story out there or exposing my family to any more public scrutiny or pain. Over 5 years ago Nanette penned the manuscript for a book with the idea of putting out something that could encourage others dealing with tumultuous family situations and hardship. Ultimately, I decided against completing and publishing it. The author has invaded my privacy, defamed my character, and broken our agreement that I was to have the final say on where any personal information I shared with her would end up.”


So obviously, this is an unauthorized book and the facts may be stretched a bit.  But even if it had been a book published with Broderick's permission, it's just poorly written, with a number of typos and awkward sentences, and it needs a good editing to remove some of the more rambling passages and redundancies.  I have a hard time believing any major publisher really ever considered printing this book, but if Elkins was truthful about that claim, I can see why the book deal ultimately fell through.

It looks like this book is no longer available, but if it were still out there, I would not recommend it.  

13 comments:

  1. I'm surprised she didn't kill them sooner. I believe Dan and Linda were trying to drive Betty to suicide. I hated Betty until I read a lot about her case and realized what an alcoholic psychopath her Dan was and what a total slut Linda was. Dan also abused animals but, of course, that was never talked about. Linda also was not known to be the most hygienic person around. Her nickname in the office was 'Linda Vagina' because she didn't bathe very frequently. Also, Dan never considered that he would have given Betty an STD by screwing a low life like Linda Kolkena? Nice guy, very thoughtful of him. Disgusting pair Dan and Linda were. Too bad Betty didn't let them self-destruct, which they would have. Linda could barely hold a job and didn't hold a candle to Betty's intelligence. Dan would burn himself out or someone else would have killed him eventually. I wish Betty would have risen above the abuse; she would have been a better person than Dan and Linda ever were.

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    1. Regardless of how disgusting Dan and Linda may have been, Betty still had no right to kill them. Living well is the best revenge.

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    2. She had a psychological breakdown like most people never see. She 'snapped' and did something so tragic that 2 people died. I don't agree with her DOING what she did but I understand WHY she did it. I agree with you that 'living well is the best revenge'. Danny Boy prevented Betty from ever doing that. If he would have been a man and settled fairly with her (not to mention stay out of Kolkena's life) Betty would have had a great life-probably even better than that psycho she married. JMO.

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    3. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. I don't disagree that Dan and Linda bear some of the responsibility as to how this situation ended. As for whether or not Betty "snapped", I don't know. I think there were many signs before she resorted to murder that showed that she isn't a stable person. From what I can see, there's enough blame to go around.

      I think if the situation had been reversed and Dan had killed Betty over money and a new relationship, no one would be holding him up as a poster child for someone who'd tragically "snapped" after investing too much in a relationship. He'd be vilified and called a murderer. Unfortunately, that's ultimately what Betty is, though I know some women's groups think she's a "heroine". Vigilante justice is not the answer.

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    4. I think Dan and Linda were awful people and I wish Betty would have let them self destruct. Before any of that I would have thought about my children. There were no winners. I understand her pain however. Men and women can be such pigs. Dan was a narcissist pig.

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    5. Had she simply let them "self destruct", she would be a free woman right now, enjoying her children and grandchildren. Instead, she resorted to violence, so she is correctly paying the price.

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    1. I have already read and reviewed that book.

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  3. Check out this sad photo of Dan Junior and his wife setting their babies on the Broderick gravestone.


    https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/536352_10151603827237578_1823553692_n.jpg?oh=b748fb384bd1d754a54e906c392cd917&oe=552A12A8&__gda__=1432392871_83cdbd08fecaa3ebe14a069423cca8d2

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  4. Reading these comments was like reading first Team Betty, then Team Dan. Both had valid points but Team Dan failed to mention Betty's putting her young husband through law school and wrecking her body by birthing his four kids, two of which helped keep her in prison in 2011. There is no adequate monetary compensation when a supposedly faithful husband steals your YOUTH then flaunts his betrayal to the world. The newer model wife was complicit in the tragic ending as well by her active pursuit of her married, older boss. The way Dan Broderick tried to reduce his long time dutiful wife to a broken woman was despicable. It is obvious to me that Betty suffered a terrible psychological breakdown at the hands of a judicial stalker and his new paramour. It takes LOTS of money to get justice, especially when opposing counsel is your ex. Unfortunately, we still don't see what Dan and Linda did as attempted murder because it did not involve a physical attack. Betty must swallow her outrage, smile sweetly, tell that pompous, lecturing, showboating old white guy on the parole board that she will be a nice little woman from now on. Then get out, get a suite at the Hotel Del and start setting up speaking engagements. Twenty years is enough.

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    1. I totally get that Betty put her husband through school. That does not give her the right to kill, though. Dan Broderick was no doubt a jerk, but murder is still against the law.

      As to whether or not she should be freed, I suppose I'd leave that up to those who survived and were victimized the most by what she did... her children.

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  5. I don't think Dan and Linda were awful people. But I don't feel like Dan could've handled the situation a little better. Betty wasn't the first wife to have their spouse leave them and will not be the last. I mean he made sure she was well taken care of she just acted out on several accusations. She was given the benefit of the doubt numerous if time and she abandoned them. She should've gotten life. There was no excuse on what she did and I have no remorse for her what so ever. The only people I felt sorry for was the children that had to grow up without a mother and a father.

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    1. I agree. Murder is not the answer.

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