Forsaking All Others: The Real Betty Broderick Story

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Shortly before dawn on November 5, 1989, forty-two-year-old San Diego matron Betty Broderick entered her ex-husband's home and shot the powerful lawyer and his young bride as they lay in bed. Broderick's subsequent murder trial, which ended in a hung jury, was nothing if not controversial - inspiring national headlines and a top-five-rated television movie. Although a 1991 retrial resulted in a conviction on two counts of second-degree murder, the jury again violently disagreed over whether Betty Broderick had ...
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Overview

Shortly before dawn on November 5, 1989, forty-two-year-old San Diego matron Betty Broderick entered her ex-husband's home and shot the powerful lawyer and his young bride as they lay in bed. Broderick's subsequent murder trial, which ended in a hung jury, was nothing if not controversial - inspiring national headlines and a top-five-rated television movie. Although a 1991 retrial resulted in a conviction on two counts of second-degree murder, the jury again violently disagreed over whether Betty Broderick had committed a crime of passion or an act of cold-blooded murder. Even now, despite years of media frenzy, few people know the real facts behind her harrowing ordeal. Loretta Schwartz-Nobel, award-winning journalist and author of The Baby Swap Conspiracy, gives us the untold story in a provocative, in-depth re-examination of the case - including startling evidence barred from the retrial. Hers is a three-dimensional portrait of a beautiful young woman who became a middle-aged throwaway wife - betrayed, then abandoned by her husband, systematically deprived of financial security, home, and custody of her four children, thrown into prisons and mental institutions and victimized by the unprecedented legal tactics of a husband who at the time was president of the San Diego Bar Association.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Betty Broderick gained national notoriety in 1986 when she fatally shot her ex-husband and his young wife. To some, her action made the spurned wife a folk heroine: she had financially supported her husband through school, raised their children and helped him to achieve wealth and distinction as a San Diego, Calif., attorney, only to be cast aside when she lost her youthful good looks. Dan Broderick gained custody of the children and flouted community property laws, suggests the author, without interference from the local legal community. When her defense attorneys argued that ex-husband Dan had harassed Broderick psychologically, the jury was hung. A retrial resulted in conviction on charges of second-degree murder and in a maximum sentence, 32 years to life imprisonment. Schwartz-Nobel (coauthor, with Mary Beth Whitehead, of A Mother's Story ) offers less of a true-crime study than, in her words, ``a voyage into the soul of a woman.'' Her sympathetic portrayal presents Broderick as a victim of her upbringing in a society that had taught her to entrust her future to marriage with Prince Charming. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Elizabeth Broderick followed all the rules. She married young, then supported her husband while he got his medical degree and his law degree. She raised their four children and became a Super Mom, living the American Dream. Then, when her husband, Dan, turned 40, he decided he no longer needed her. He began a subtle psychological warfare against his wife of 20 years, convincing her that she was old, fat, and dumb. She believed him. What she couldn't believe was that he was going to give up their life together and marry a 20-year-old. Dan Broderick used his power as an attorney and doctor to strip Elizabeth of her future, her home, and eventually her children. She used the only power she had left: On November 5, 1989, she walked into Dan's bedroom and killed him and his new wife. Schwartz-Nobel ( The Baby-Swap Conspiracy , LJ 2/1/93) presents an in-depth look at the Broderick case, including exclusive interviews with Elizabeth from her prison cell. She examines the issues of psychological abuse and justice before the law. Recommended for general collections.-- Belinda Pugh, Kings Bay Base Lib., Ga.
Sue
The Betty Broderick case is sensational. In 1989, Broderick walked into the home of her ex-husband, Dan, and killed him and his new wife while they slept. How was it possible for this intelligent, witty, loving, devoted former wife of a wealthy California attorney to become a cold-blooded killer? Actually, except for the tragic ending and the wealth, the Broderick story sounds familiar. A young, impressionable woman marries an ambitious man, bears four children, and struggles to make ends meet while he finishes both medical and law schools and becomes firmly established in his field. Eventually, he begins earning more than a million dollars a year and becomes involved with his young, beautiful secretary. Recent television interviews with the convicted murderer as well as a top-rated made-for-TV movie painted Betty as a crazy, out-of-control, tough-talking woman. That she was a tragic, abused victim who "just couldn't let go" is effectively revealed in this riveting book that credibly explores her explosive case.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679416012
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/16/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 237

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