book reviews, true crime

Repost: Review of Betty Broderick, My Mom: The Kim Broderick Story

Here’s another book review repost. This one was posted on my original blog on April 24, 2014. I do NOT recommend this book, and good luck finding it. However, it was a very popular post on my Blogspot site, so I’m sharing it again for the interested. As usual, this review is posted as/is.

I just finished Betty Broderick, My Mom: The Kim Broderick Story, a book by Nanette Elkins.  This is a book about Betty and Daniel Broderick written from the perspective of the couple’s eldest daughter, Kim.  Elkins was a friend of Kim Broderick’s and, in the introduction, claims that they had a major book deal years ago.  The deal eventually fell through, though, and Elkins lost touch with Kim.  I got the sense that Elkins was one of those people you have to work to get rid of; she published a couple of texts from Broderick that seemed as if she wanted her to leave her alone. 

I guess Elkins decided to publish the book anyway.  Oddly enough, I can’t find it on Amazon now, even though I bought it less than two weeks ago.  I’m guessing the reason might be because it’s not a very good book. Indeed, here is a comment supposedly left on Amazon by Kim Broderick…

This is NOT my story, April 13, 2014

By Kim Broderick

This review is from: Betty Broderick, My Mom: The Kim Broderick Story (Kindle Edition)

I absolutely did not write this book. I have not authorized it or approved of its publication. In fact, I had no idea it was coming out. I have had no contact with the author in over four and a half years. I have no interest in getting my story out there or exposing my family to any more public scrutiny or pain. Yes, years ago Nanette penned the manuscript for a book, with the idea of putting out something that could encourage others dealing with tumultuous family situations and hardship. At the end of the day, I ultimately decided against completing and publishing it. It is inaccurate, it depicts individuals and events in a distorted light, and it does not represent my feelings, beliefs, or truth. The author has invaded my privacy, defamed my character, and caused much hurt and sadness. Further, she has used the name and likeness of my children without my consent. I would strongly request that she take this book down as soon as possible and encourage you not to buy it.

Who are/were Betty and Daniel Broderick?  

In case you haven’t heard of this notorious couple, Betty and Daniel Broderick were once a golden couple in San Diego, California.  Daniel Broderick was a very well known malpractice lawyer, mainly owing to his degrees in medicine and law.  Betty was his wife, who supposedly suffered long and hard to put her husband through school, give him four children, and help him achieve his brilliant career.

There was a movie made about Betty Broderick, who became the ex wife from hell when she and her husband divorced.  Dan Broderick married his former secretary, Linda Kolkena, which enraged Betty.  She engaged in outrageous tactics to harass him, from breaking into his home and vandalizing his property, to driving her car into Dan’s house, to finally murdering him and his second wife, Linda, as they slept. 

In 1991, Betty Broderick was convicted of second degree murder of her ex husband, Daniel Broderick, and his wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick.  She was sentenced to 32 years to life, which she is now serving in California. 

My thoughts on Elkins’ book

In all honesty, I wasn’t very impressed with Betty Broderick, My Mom: The Kim Broderick Story.  Although Elkins managed to write it in a way that suggested it was coming from Kim Broderick, she didn’t write in a way that suggested that Elkins is a very good writer.  It seems like Elkins didn’t bother to have an editor look at the manuscript before she offered it for sale.  There were several incidents of redundancy within the book and I noticed that there were certain words Elkins seemed to enjoy using above all others.  The first one that comes to mind is “obnoxious”.  I can’t tell you exactly how many times Elkins used that word to describe Betty Broderick, but it was very often and quite noticeable.

While there were some interesting insights within the book that perhaps Elkins gleaned from earlier talks with Kim Broderick, it seemed like she fabricated some of this book through other sources.  I get the sense that she had a partial book in the works after interviews with Kim Broderick and then maybe Kim stopped cooperating, forcing Elkins to look to other books and movies made about the case.  She writes about the made for television film about Betty Broderick which starred Meredith Baxter, but it doesn’t seem like she really was involved in that production or knew much more about it than the common viewer.  Moreover, in other parts of the book, including a section in which she describes Broderick having a special visit with her family, it seems like Elkins was filling in the blanks rather than reporting actual facts related to the Broderick story. 

Elkins does at least seem to give Broderick an evenhanded look at her parents.  She doesn’t paint either party as completely innocent or completely guilty.  But she also reveals some rather unflattering details about Kim Broderick, which, if I were Kim, would really upset me.  She even includes a tidbit about how the bar bill at Kim’s wedding was apparently so high that she had to cancel honeymoon plans to go to Big Sur.  I can’t imagine what that had to do with the subject matter, except to make Kim Broderick look bad.

In a news article about Elkins’ book, there appears another statement from Kim Broderick… 

Editor’s Note: Kim Broderick provided this response following our initial story:

“I did not write or authorize the book you featured on your program. I have no interest in getting my story out there or exposing my family to any more public scrutiny or pain. Over 5 years ago Nanette penned the manuscript for a book with the idea of putting out something that could encourage others dealing with tumultuous family situations and hardship. Ultimately, I decided against completing and publishing it. The author has invaded my privacy, defamed my character, and broken our agreement that I was to have the final say on where any personal information I shared with her would end up.”

So obviously, this is an unauthorized book and the facts may be stretched a bit.  But even if it had been a book published with Broderick’s permission, it’s just poorly written, with a number of typos and awkward sentences, and it needs a good editing to remove some of the more rambling passages and redundancies.  I have a hard time believing any major publisher really ever considered printing this book, but if Elkins was truthful about that claim, I can see why the book deal ultimately fell through.

It looks like this book is no longer available, but if it were still out there, I would not recommend it.  


5 thoughts on “Repost: Review of Betty Broderick, My Mom: The Kim Broderick Story

  1. Have you read Betty’s book, “Telling on myself” [sic]? I think California has a “Son of Sam” law preventing a person from benefiting financially from crimes, but I’m not 100% sure, so I won’t buy the book. The reviews of the book at Amazon were scary to me. So many people totally believed everything she had to say. Most of them think she should be out of prison now. I’m not suggesting the ex was a good person, but Betty’s a maniac and seems plenty crazy enough to kill again. (She allowed sample chapters to be posted.)

    • Sheesh. Well, we are off on a long weekend tomorrow, so things may be light on the blog. Maybe I’ll check it out.

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