5 Things To Know About Ax Killer Candy Montgomery
She thought having an affair with her best friend’s husband would add excitement to her life. Instead, when found out, she killed her best friend in a brutal attack.
On June 13, 1980, Candace (Candy) Montgomery killed her best friend, Betty Gore, with an ax.
Over 40 years later, HBO Max is retelling the story of a Texas housewife who brutally murdered her friend. Elizabeth Olsen portrays Montgomery in the limited series called Love & Death.
Here are five things to know about the real-life Candy Montgomery.
Candy Montgomery and Betty Gore met at church.
The Independent describes Montgomery as a “Christian suburban housewife” who was married to a man named Pat Montgomery. The couple had two kids; a son and a daughter.
The church was “the center of [her] universe,” according to Texas Monthly, and it was where she would meet her best friend, Betty Gore, when the Montgomery family moved to Wylie, Texas, in 1977.
Candy Montgomery and Allan Gore were having an affair.
According to Texas Monthly, both Montgomery and Allan Gore were sexually unsatisfied in their marriages but neither wanted a divorce. Gore told the publication that the affair was Montgomery’s idea, that after a church volleyball game, she asked him “would you be interested in having an affair?”
It didn’t happen right away. For weeks, the two engaged in a series of lunch dates and phone calls discussing the pros, cons, and risks of having an affair. Gore was adamant about not wanting to become emotionally involved and Montgomery assured him it was strictly for companionship.
“It’s up to you, Allan. I know I can do it. I know I can act in an adult fashion and not take unnecessary risks. I’ve made up my mind, so just tell me if you want to do it,” Gore recalled Montgomery saying.
The two saw each other for a few months but after the birth of his second child, Gore told Montgomery he wanted to work on repairing his marriage with Betty.
According to Jim Atkinson, a reporter for Texas Monthly, Montgomery told him: “Allan, you seem to be leaving it up to me. So, I’ve decided, I won’t call. I won’t try to see you. I won’t bother you anymore.”
Betty Gore confronted Candy Montgomery about the affair which led to her untimely death.
In June 1980, the Gore’s oldest daughter, Alisa, had spent the night with the Montgomery kids to see the new Star Wars movie. Candy brought her to Vacation Bible school the next day but Betty Gore, who had just had a baby, wasn’t there, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Montgomery tried to call Gore to ask if Alisa could spend another night at the Montgomery house but to no avail. That’s when she decided to drop by the Gore’s home. To her surprise, Betty revealed that she knew about the affair.
At first, according to Texas Monthly, she tried to lie but Betty showed her the letters and cards that she had given Allan. Montgomery unsuccessfully tried to calm Betty down by confessing but assuring her the affair was over.
At some point, a three-foot-long ax was picked up and a struggle ensued. It's unclear who grabbed for the ax first but Montgomery eventually overpowered Gore and mutilated her. An autopsy showed that Gore had 41 wounds and many happened after she was already unconscious.
Candy Montgomery plead self-defense and was acquitted.
In October 1980, when the trial began, Candy Montgomery was 30 years old. Shockingly, she admitted to killing Betty Gore, after initially fleeing the scene, but her lawyers claimed it was self-defense.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Montgomery’s team brought in a psychologist who argued that she'd had a "dissociative reaction." Gore said something to Montgomery during their tussle that made her react violently and she was unaware that she struck her 41 times.
On October 29, 1980, a jury of three men and nine women believed Montgomery’s story of self-defense and she was acquitted on all charges.
Candy Montgomery has changed her name and lives in a new state.
After her acquittal, Candy Montgomery moved to Georgia and later divorced, according to The Daily Mail. She reportedly goes by her maiden name, Candace Wheeler, and works as a mental health therapist.
For more on this case, stream People Magazine Investigates: "Candy and Betty" on discovery+.