Bettina is Sarah O'Connor's caretaker and friend. Her brash personality and Ruth's reserved nature compliment each other and they become close friends but Bettina eggs her on into shoplifting. However, she is able to see people through drug detoxes even though she has done a few drugs herself and encourages Ruth to take some Vicodin.
She has been married three times - her first and third husbands left her a widow and her second husband cheated on her. She also has a daughter who ended up in the militia movement in Montana.