Who would play Bonnie Dumanis in a TV movie?
After a parole board rejected convicted murderer Betty Broderick’s plea for freedom, San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis issued a press release reminding the public that the 1989 murder “spurred national media coverage, several documentaries, books and a made-for-television movie.”
TV movie? I must consult the International Movie Database. Ah yes, I see: Till Murder Do Us Part.
Holy crap! Is that Meredith Baxter, the mom from Family Ties, glaring on the right side of the gun in this rip-off of a James Bond/Dirty Harry poster? Yeah, I knew I knew that name and face—-she came out as gay to Matt Lauer on Today last year.
Baxter plays the “wife, mother, murderess” Betty Broderick, whose powerful attorney husband ditches her for a younger woman. According to IMDB: “Hurt by his betrayal and feeling helpless against his legal expertise, Betty begins a campaign of vandalism and verbal assault. Her rage consumes her and ultimately leads to a terrible and violent act.”
Dumanis’ press release expands on the murder itself:
On November 5, 1989, Broderick illegally entered the home of her ex-husband, Dan, and his new wife, Linda, in the early morning hours. She went up the stairs to their bedroom as they slept and unloaded her five-shot revolver into their bodies. The victims dove for cover in their bed when Broderick started firing. After being shot in the back, Dan Broderick fell off the bed and attempted to reach for the telephone to call for help. Betty Broderick calmly walked around the bed, grabbed the phone, pulled it from the wall and dumped it in the hallway out of reach. She left the scene and was captured later that day.
But why would Dumanis mention the TV movie? I can only assume she wanted to open the door for an updated adaptation of the classic story of betrayal and revenge (the film was alternately titled A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story). And if that’s the case, who would play Bonnie?
I think there’s only one answer: Meredith Baxter.
Here’s the powerful conclusion to the film: