'Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story' Season 2 Episode 7: The tragedy of being Linda Kolkena
Linda had no sympathy, no consciousness about the fact that she was stealing a married man, while Dan was under the impression that shooting people wasn't very characteristic of Betty
Spoilers for 'Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story' Season 2 Episode 7 'The Shillelagh'
In the penultimate episode of USA Network's Season 2 of 'Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story', Betty (Amanda Peet) fires the shots that kill her ex-husband, Dan Broderick (Christian Slater), and his new wife, Linda Kolkena (Rachel Keller). Throughout the episode, Linda had expressed concern for her and Dan's life. Betty was going around telling everyone (and the couple) that she will kill them.
Dan had taken all these were empty threats coming from the mother of his children who was only ever interested in his money. But not Linda, who repeatedly urged Dan to take Betty seriously. When they discussed security for their wedding with an expert, Dan even chuckled at the thought of Betty posing a fatal threat to them. The real-life Linda had in fact also urged Dan to wear a bulletproof vest after learning that she had brought a gun.
But nothing would have prepared them for what was about to come. Shooting people wasn't very characteristic of Betty. Therefore, Dan was under the impression that she could never kill anyone. Leaving abusive voicemails was one thing but shooting them with a gun, not Betty's work. But they don't say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned for no reason. Dan has pushed Betty to her limits. She was bereft of everything that she had worked for all her life. Revenge was a long time coming.
On November 5, 1989, when Betty shot Dan and Linda, her husband was 17 days shy of his 45th birthday and Linda was 28. Two bullets hit Linda in the head and chest, killing her instantly; one bullet hit Dan in the chest as he apparently was reaching for a phone. Linda first met Dan at the age of 21 when he hired her as his assistant. As Dan's interest in her grew, she became a paralegal at his law firm. Soon afterward, Betty grew suspicious of their affair.
Dan and Linda's romance is a textbook office affair. It is reported that one of Linda's friends had said that Linda had thought Dan was "a god." While Dan continued to deny the relationship to Betty and gaslight her, everyone at his office was aware of it. A secretary at Dan’s law firm would later tell investigators that the pair often "went on long lunches and left empty wine bottles and food containers strewn across Dan’s office".
According to the book 'Until the Twelfth of Never' by Bella Stumbo, a former Los Angeles Times reporter, Linda had no sympathy, no consciousness about the fact that she was stealing a married man. "Linda may have been just a woman in love - but she was evidently also one without compassion for an older woman she had never met, whose life was going down the drain," Stumbo wrote. "All Linda knew about Betty Broderick was what Dan had told her - here was a harpy asking for all that she got - and she accepted that." Dan and Linda were very much in love, according to Linda's friends. "Linda offered a new life, a second chance," paralegal Laurel Summers said at their funeral, according to the book. "She gave him the optimism to marry again and to hope for a second family. Together, they were such a delight with their broad smiles, twinkling eyes, rich laughter, and sweet terms of endearment."
But there is no happy ending to stealing a married man, even if he gives his consent. Linda should have known better than not walking away from Dan Broderick, a man capable of dumping his wife for a younger woman.
'Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story' airs on Tuesdays at 10 pm ET on USA Network.