Why Is Betty Broderick Called Dirty John?

Betty Broderick is one of the most notorious convicted killers in American history. She gained nationwide fame when she shot and killed her ex-husband, Daniel, and his second wife Linda in 198

She was charged with two counts of murder and was convicted of both. Insanely, her sentence became the longest sentence of any female inmate in the history of California at the time – 33 years. This tragic story has been widely talked about and has had a lasting impact on society.

As a result, many media outlets have tried to understand why Betty Broderick has been called “Dirty John”. From court cases to shocking revelations, let’s take a closer look at why this notorious case has earned her this infamous title.


Betty Broderick is an American woman who became infamous when she was found guilty of grisly double homicide of her ex-husband and his new wife. She gained the nickname ‘Dirty John’ due to her notoriously complex and tumultuous relationship with her ex-husband which spanned over 15 years.

Betty and Dan’s Relationship

Betty and Dan Broderick (née Betty and Dan Elverson) got married back in 196

They had 4 kids, including Linda and Daniel Broderick. The couple was initially quite content and seemed to have a strong relationship.

However, over the years, things began to change. Betty was a stay-at-home- mom.

Dan had started as a humble doctor but soon became a highly successful and established lawyer. This encouraged him to take a keen interest in his booming career which led him to miss out on family events and moments. Betty, who was not to fond of Dan’s success, did not take it well.

Betty’s Increasing Jealousy

Betty started to become suspicious of Dan due to his always busy schedule. This sparked jealousy and resentment in her, which eventually started to taint their relationship. Dan politely asked Betty to stop doing narcotics, as it was ruining her health, leading to further altercation between the couple.

Betty felt further controlled by Dan and sought to have a life of her own. Eventually Dan filed for a divorce in 1986, since Betty’s behavior was becoming quite toxic.

Betty’s Measures Of Revenge

Betty got incredibly angry and bitter. She started to take a lot of revenge-related measures on her ex-husband and his new wife. She tried to take away the rights of alimony and visitation from them. In addition to this, she also vandalized her ex-husband’s property and tried to create an unpleasant environment for him and his new wife. She also made several attempts to kill Dan and his new wife. These included an unsuccessful attempt to break into their house armed with a gun and a machete. However, her most successful attempt came on November 5, 1989 when she shot and killed both Dan and and his new wife in their brink home.

The Conviction Of Betty

Betty was initially taken into custody and later on tried in court. The district attorney of the case claimed Betty suffered from a violent and toxic mental state which further justified her actions. The jury found her guilty and was sentenced to a 32 years imprisonment sentence. The case took many people by surprise and eventually developed into a pop culture phenomena. Due to her string of gruesome acts, she received the nickname ‘Dirty John’.


In conclusion, Betty Broderick is called ‘Dirty John’ due to her notorious double homicide of her ex-husband and his new wife. The case initially shocked people and soon developed into a Pop culture phenomenon where she was to become more infamously known as ‘Dirty John’. Citations: https://people. com/crime/betty-broderick-what-to-know-doubled-murder-case/ https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Betty_Broderick https://www. dazeddigital. com/film-tv/article/49667/1/betty-broderick-story-dirty-john-netflix

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