PR Log - Feb 07, 2013 - It was a literary sensation, a runaway best seller and a winner of an Edgar Award for non-fiction, detailing the unraveling state of mind of Betty Broderick as she kicked and screamed against being divorced by her husband, Daniel T. Broderick, before finally shooting him and his new wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick, in their bed on the morning of November 5, 1989.
Betty Broderick’s behavior was wild – she drove through Dan’s front door, she daubed his walls, she continually broke into his house, even into his bathroom while Linda was in the tub. She incited their children to “beat up Daddy” and even to kill. She left one obscene telephone message after the other, often targeting her children. She publicly and falsely accused Dan of accumulating a stack of DUIs. She embarrassed and bored her friends with the constant retelling of her ‘story’.
The details were jaw dropping, and compellingly recounted by the legendary investigative Los Angeles Times journalist, Bella Stumbo.
But that was some time ago. The book was first published in 1993, Bella Stumbo died in 2002, and the book has been out of print for several years.
Yet the fascination with the relentlessly self-justifying Betty Broderick continues, as does her story. In 2010 she appeared before a parole board but had her application rejected because no-one could discern that she had one iota of genuine remorse for what she did - for ruining so many lives - and her attitude was as angry as ever. Was she safe? Was she sane? Would she cause yet more mayhem if she were to be freed? Two of her children supported her release, two opposed it. Other family members opposed it too.
On the twentieth anniversary of the book’s original publication, Taylor Street Publishing has bought the rights from the heir to Bella Stumbo’s literary estate and released it as an e-book on Kindle, with the paperback and hardback versions to follow. It will also shortly go into production as a major Hollywood movie.
‘Until the Twelfth of Never’ is a seminal work on the changing nature of marriage and divorce, and on the psychological no man’s land of obsession and violence that lies between sanity and insanity.
Unlike the authors of the other books written about the case, and despite her close relationship with Betty Broderick right up to her own death, Bella Stumbo never took sides. Crazy Betty is also Wronged Betty. Measured Dan is also Ruthless Dan. Victimized Linda is also Taunting Linda. Consequently, all the families involved are ambivalent about the book: it is too pro-Betty and anti-Dan; it is too pro-Dan and anti-Betty; Linda barely appears in her own death at all. Yet it is that balance and Bella Stumbo’s incomparable writing style that makes it a masterpiece, one of the greatest examples of true crime non-fiction ever written, right up there with Truman Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood’ and Jo McGuinniss’ ‘Fatal Vision’.