Forsaking All Others: The Real Betty Broderick Story by Loretta Schwartz-Nobel
This 1993 novel is the second of three true crime books based on the trials of Betty Broderick. This is an extremely engaging narrative that is entertaining and immersive as the author explores the turbulent divorce that destroyed Betty's self and personality. This book shows how an abusive man covered up his abuse and even after his death people erase the wreckage he caused.
Betty married Dan with hope and love and promise but he was a vile, abusive man who she inexplicably loved with all her heart and soul. Dan had an infallible expectation that he could destroy his unwanted first wife so he could marry his shameless mistress Linda. Dan and Linda were full of hate and resentment toward Betty and called her crazy and seemed set on driving her crazy.
Dan abused Betty via the legal system with impunity, he and Linda were immensely hostile to the hopelessly riven Betty. But Betty had steadfast devotion to her ex even as he taunted her relentlessly and subjected her to unending pressure without regard. Dan making Betty his emotional punching bag defined the future course of her life and his and Linda's.
Dan thought he was seeing to Betty's downfall but he also lead himself and Linda into a life of ruin. Dan's callousness led to he and his new wife of six months being murdered by his desperately unhappy ex wife in 1989. The events that triggered life changing decisions and lead to angry denunications of Betty through two trials are laid out. As of 2019, Betty has been denied parole and is still in jail.
We see how Betty went from new bride with an unassailable determination to be the best wife and mother to a desperately anxious irrelevance seething with resentment as Dan, the man to whom she had she devoted her entire life to tending to his every whim, was pitiless as he hooked up with the ill-chosen dubious charms of Linda. This lead to chaos and division as Betty couldn't cope emotionally with Dan's malignity.
This is good, it makes you throughly uncomfortable to see Dan's obdurate refusal to stop treating his ex with appalling brutality. Dan and Linda were absolute horrors and this is a damning indictment of how their emotional punching-bag lost all calm and rationality.
“The structure she had built her life on crumbled.”
“That's what love is to me. It is total commitment.”
“With expressed malice.”
“The most publicly damning and least forgiving.”