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February 25, 2013

UNTIL THE 12TH OF NEVER by Bella Stumbo

Until the Twelfth of Never: The Deadly Divorce of Dan and Betty Broderick

by Bella Stumbo


Betty Broderick was intelligent and quite a handsome woman. She was raised in a Catholic home to be faithful to one man and one man only and be a devoted mother. She was taught from a child to smile, regardless of how you actually felt. She supported her husband, Dan, while he went to Cornell Medical School and Harvard Law School. Later, he became a millionaire after they moved to San Diego.  He began an affair with Linda, a former airline stewardess.  He then divorced Betty and was hell bent on depriving her of the assets that both of them had worked for. The legal community stood behind him in his endeavor of what was said to be "legal abuse". In 1989, after several years of this, Betty fatally shot Dan and his wife, Linda.  Betty's first trial began with a hung jury.  Her second trial, she got 30 years to life.  The author doesn't try to portray Betty as a saint, by no means. It is the story of a woman, brain washed by what she believed to be female tradition.

Betty Broderick was a victim. A victim of her husband, society, her friends and the legal system.  She was nothing but "kicked to the curb" after spending years as a "robot" mother, wife, supporter and provider.  She tried hard to be perfect for her husband's lawyer friends.  To put on the perfect party, to have the perfect house and to live the perfect life, or at least, put on the show that everything was perfect. She was denied what was probably more than half hers. If it wasn't for her, Dan may not have been the successful lawyer he was.
She kept the family together, not only financially but physically and emotionally. She became so beaten down by what the man she had loved was doing to her, that I believe she tried even harder to keep up the show. This woman had endured nine pregnancies, producing 4 children. She worked on the side to help Dan with his degrees.  She saw that he looked the part also.
Then, the love of your life, the man you were taught from childhood to stand by no matter what, betrays you.  How do you face that reality without becoming somewhat "unreal" in your actions? Sixteen years, 4 children, hard work, striving from nothing to everything and then Dan drops the bomb. He's been involved with the young Linda for two years. When Dan moved out and in with Linda, Betty changed.  She did things that weren't "her". Betty didn't become this  "unknown" person by herself.  She had plenty of help. This "unnatural" behavior allowed Dan to win his divorce and the kids, along with the legal system that was basically on Dan's side. Dan was just plain selfish and greedy, wanting it all. He wanted all the assets, the young "sweet" thing on his arm, the children he sired.  He didn't want Betty to have anything, not even her pride. I believe she just couldn't take any more and the gun went off. You can only push and pull a person for so long and that person breaks. Dan and Linda didn't deserve to be murdered but that's the only redeeming factor I can find for them.  If Dan had given Betty her share, if Linda hadn't antagonized Betty with sending fat creams to her and notarizing the legal documents, maybe, just maybe this wouldn't have happened. If the Legal System had played fair that would have changed things a lot, also.

This book, UNTIL THE 12TH of NEVER by Bella Stumbo, wrote this true story probably as truthfully as anyone could.  This is indeed a sad story, not just for Betty, but for everyone involved.  The true victims in this story were the children.  They were pulled in both directions and not really knowing what was what. They didn't ask for everything that happened. They just had to live with it.
I rate this book 5 TUBS.

Originally published on not now...mommy's reading.


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