19 October 2008

Someone Owes Betty Broderick An Apology


This didn't occur to me until recently, when I was thinking about Mary Winkler. Mary Winkler, if you'll remember, essentially got away with murdering her husband while he slept. Her husband, Matthew, had discovered a check fraud scheme instigated by his wife. He had confronted her about it, and he was about to share his findings with the bank officials in an effort to get to the bottom of the whole mess.

Before he could do this though, his wife shot him while he slept. Mary Winkler took a shotgun, and blasted Matthew in the back and/or the head. When the wounded Matthew Winkler tried to dial 911 from the bedside phone, Mary pulled it out of the wall. Matthew Winkler was left to die over the next 20 minutes or so with his wife watching.

For what amounts to cold blooded, premeditated murder, Mary Winkler served a WHOPPING 67 days in a mental hospital-67 days! After that, she was allowed to go free. At her trial, Mary Winkler predictably invoked the pussy pass; she used it in the form of the good ole 'abuse excuse'. It works every time! Just ask Lorena Bobbitt. The authorities said "Dominos grace, you can go free now!" After her trial, a sympathetic Oprah Winfrey had Mary Winkler on her show, where she regaled Oprah and her audience with her lies of abuse. Mary Winkler also received $400,000 for book or movie rights to her story. That's what I call punishment for premeditated murder-not!

Mary Winkler's cold blooded murder of her husband reminded me of another woman who'd done likewise many years before; Mary Winkler reminded me of a 'kindred spirit', if you will. I thought of another woman who'd also murdered her husband, albeit for a more traditional, time honored reason-adultery & divorce. That has been a prime (not to mention primal) motive for murder throughout history. Finally, what this woman did would land her in jail, where she still is to this day. I'm talking about Betty Broderick.

While whole books and a plethora of news articles have been written about her, I'll simply give you the "Readers' Digest Condensed Version" of Betty Broderick's story as I understand and remember it. I'd heartily encourage my readers to Google Betty Broderick, and to read her story for themselves. Also, every once in a while, Lifetime TV has a two part movie about her, and I'd encourage you to watch them too. Based on what I was able to find out about Betty Broderick, the movies cover her story well. Meredith Baxter Birney, who portrayed Broderick, did a splendid job of playing Mrs. Broderick. Here, I'll just hit the high points...

There was a young couple, Dan & Betty Broderick. She put him through med school. Before he started practicing medicine though, Dan Broderick decided to attend law school, so Betty put him through law school too. After law school, Dan Broderick became a medical malpractice attorney. With his medical background, he became very successful as a medical malpractice attorney, as one would expect. He worked for one of San Diego's most prestigious law firms, then he went on his own. It didn't take long for Dan Broderick to start bringing in a million dollars a year, allowing him and his family to live in San Diego's exclusive La Jolla section. Back in the mid-late 1980s, life was starting to look REALLY good for Dan & Betty Broderick...

Before I go any further with what I know about the story, I must say that I actually corresponded with Betty Broderick. I wrote her once, and months later, I received a reply. By the time I got it, it had been so long that it took me a few seconds to remember writing her. She had just put her surname in the return address; she left out her first name. That said, even before I opened her letter, I could literally FEEL the hatred, the evil, and the hositility emanating from it! When I finally opened and read the letter, I was proven right.

What had I written to her? I basically said that, even if she'd been totally in the right, even if Dan had been a scumbag adulterer who'd abandoned his wife and family for no good reason, I asked her why didn't she LET GO of her anger and hatred? Why didn't she try to put the whole, sordid episode behind her, and GET ON with her life? I mean, whether we like it or not, life goes on; whether it's with us or without us, life WILL go on, will it not? Since life will go on regardless, isn't it better for us to go on WITH life, rather than getting left behind? I think so. Therefore, I think it's best for us to find a way to let go of our feelings for those unjust people & circumstances in our lives, and go on with life. I firmly believe that people will be rewarded or punished for their deeds; sooner or later, the law of sowing and reeping (aka karma in the Eastern religions) will reward us or punish us as we deserve. That is basically what I said in my letter to Betty Broderick. I truly tried to be neutral, since I know that many of these so-called 'docudramas' sometimes take liberties with the truth.

Well, I got HAMMERED in the reply! She cussed me out, telling me I was an idiot for believing the movies! She said how dare I tell her to let go of her children and not love them! She blew my hair back, big time. BTW, I NEVER told her that I believed the movies, nor did I tell her that she shouldn't love her children. What I DID say was, that if movies had been true about her and her marriage, why did she not MOVE ON with her life? Even if she had been the innocent victim here (I don't believe she was), if Dan HAD truly abandoned her and traded her in for a newer, younger woman, then why didn't she just ACCEPT THAT & MOVE ON? Why did she hang on to her hatred, anger, and hurt, rather than letting them go, and getting on with life? That is what I said. How could she make the leap to her crazy conclusions?! I was perplexed to say the least.

As a result of my correspondence with Betty Broderick, it is my opinion that the woman is mentally ill, mentally unbalanced, or all the above; there is clearly something WRONG with that woman! Since I'm not a mental health professional, I won't pretend to diagnose what specifically is wrong with her, but something was and is wrong with Betty Broderick. I'll go on and say that I think that she played a role in the disintegration of her marriage. I think she drove Dan away from her. I don't think Dan Broderick, her late and former husband, acted in a vacuum; I think he had good reason to leave Betty, and I can't understand why he didn't do it SOONER. While I don't think he was totally innocent in the whole mess, I think that Dan had good reason to leave Betty, and her subsequent conduct is proof of that.

Continuing with the story, according to the movie and what I read about the Betty Broderick story, Dan and the family took a vacation. They'd worked hard, and they'd sacrificed much to get to where they were; now that Dan was finally 'arriving', he wanted share the wealth with this family, and to thank a wife who had been very supportive of his efforts. When Dan suggested that he and Betty enjoy some quality time alone (i.e. marital intimacy), Betty rebuffed his advances. The couple had a public fight. For whatever reason(s), the marriage between Dan & Betty Broderick went downhill from there, and it culminated in his murder.

As Dan established his law practice, a pretty young lady by the name of Linda Kolkena came to work for him. She started as his receptionist, and she progressed from there. In addition to having a professional relationship, a romantic relationship blossomed between the two as well. And why wouldn't it? She was, by the accounts I read, pretty, vivacious, and fun to be with. Please remember that this was during the 1980s, BEFORE Catherine Mackinnon's sexual harrassment lunacies became law and public policy throughout the land; back then, one could safely date a coworker or subordinate, and not worry about it. Linda Kolkena was the perfect balm for Dan, who by this time was undergoing a very NASTY divorce with Betty.

How nasty did the divorce get? Well, it was nasty enough that Betty drove her vehicle IN to Dan's house, caving the wall in! Betty would also leave nasty, obscene messages, calling Linda a slut, a whore, and other bad names. Betty's harassment got so bad that Dan took out a restraining order against Betty, and he GOT it! Unfortunately, this didn't deter Betty from her antics; she continued harassing Dan with increasingly hostile and provocative gestures. Her hostility would culminate in the murder of Dan and his new wife, Linda.

Betty Broderick couldn't accept the fact that her now EX husband, Dan, had moved on with his life. For whatever reason(s), she just couldn't let go. She decided to get a pistol, and she learned how to use it. One night, in a fit of jealous rage, Betty got in her car, and drove over to Dan's house. Betty broke in to the house, found the bedroom where both Dan & Linda were sleeping, and shot them both. In a jealous rage, Betty shot both her ex husband, Dan, and his new wife, the former Linda Kolkena.

Betty Broderick went to trial. She invoked the abuse excuse, and she ALMOST got away with murder. Unfortunately for her, the jury didn't acquit her; the jury was merely hung, so she could be tried again. Kerry Wells, a female prosecutor, saw through Betty Broderick's BS; Wells secured a conviction at the second murder trial. Betty Broderick was sentenced to two, consecutive prison terms of 15 years to life, and she will be eligible for parole starting in 2011.

Again, based on my personal contact with Betty Broderick (which was one of the CREEPIEST experiences of my life, BTW), I think Dan was justified in leaving her. Betty Broderick may have tried to ACT like a saint, she may have tried to play the innocent victim here, but she's full of it. I doubt that those who sympathize with Betty Broderick actually interacted with her as I did on one occassion-one occassion too many for me. Betty Broderick is sick in the head, and something is VERY wrong with her. As far as I'm concerned, pushed Dan away from her; as far as I'm concerned, Dan Broderick was JUSTIFIED in leaving her. Of course, he's dead, so he can't tell HIS side of the story, can he?

So, what's the point, MarkyMark? Why did you tell us this sordid story? As the comedian's joke goes, I told you all that to tell you THIS: Betty Broderick, who did basically the same thing as Mary Winkler would later do in March 2006, got convicted of murdering her husband. Meanwhile, Mary Winkler basically got away SCOT FREE; she GOT AWAY WITH MURDER! I don't know what anyone else would call it, but I do not call 67 days in a mental hospital just punishment; it's not even close! Therefore, someone owes Betty Broderick an apology. Then again, if Betty had only waited a few years, perhaps she could have gotten away with murder too, a la Mary Winkler...

Thanks to Mary Winkler getting away with murder, America has effectively declared OPEN SEASON on men! Let me repeat: America has declared OPEN SEASON ON MEN! You think I'm engaging in hyperbole? You think I'm being overly dramatic? Well, what would YOU call it when a woman can murder a man, invoke the abuse excuse, and GET AWAY with it? Even though Mary Winkler (like Betty Broderick before her) murdered her husband IN COLD BLOOD and got away with it, you think I'm off base, huh? What would you call it when, she not only got away with it, but also got rewarded for her deed, hmmm? I'd call it open season on men, thank you very much. Meanwhile, women weep, wail, and gnash their teeth, wondering why they can't find a good man-incredible! Thank you for reading, and good day...