Author Bella Stumbo is deceased but her works live on. Her true crime account of the deadly divorce between Dan and Betty Broderick has been featured on OPRAH and was a bestseller in the 90’s. It was recently released in digital format, even though Ms. Stumbo died in 2002. If you didn’t read “Until The 12th Of Never” in print, this is your opportunity to catch the digital version. It’s just as chilling. Just as confounding. Just as riveting as the first time.
Genre: True crime
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 ofpremeditated 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 ofNever’ 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.
There are always two sides to every story. I’ve been told that since I was a child. Bella Stumbo, a reporter with the LA Times, delved deeply into the acrimonious marriage and divorce of Dan and Betty Broderick, and subsequent murder of Dan and his new wife, to uncover the murky truth on both sides. It’s not pretty, but it’s an honest assessment of the malice and mean spirit that permeated both parties.
Being of a “certain” age, I sympathized with Betty more than perhaps a younger reader might. I matured in an era where “good” wives worked hard to support their husbands through school and onward to a promising career. I know more than one woman who gave everything to her husband/family and was then cast aside when his professional goals were achieved. This happened to Betty. She was faced with re-defining her identity. She didn’t succeed.
Instead, Betty Broderick festered into an angry, bitter woman consumed by a perceived loss to the point that her hatred drove her to murder. And yet, her ex-husband was far from an innocent party. His position as President of the San Francisco Bar Association allowed him to manipulate and humiliate Betty in a legal tug-o-war.
I don’t think there are any righteous parties in this tragic tale. Everyone loses . . . Betty, Dan, Linda (his new wife) and sadly, their children. Read this riveting story for yourself and form your own opinions. I daresay you’ll be reminded of someone you know because this relationship scenario is unfortunately, still alive and well.
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
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.