A Texas housewife who butchered her close friend with an axe in a fit of rage on Friday the 13th after having an affair with her husband is the subject of not one but two upcoming true crime series.
Candy Montgomery killed her friend Betty Gore on June 13, 1980, shocking the small town of Wylie. She left her friend-turned-foe with 41 axe wounds but was shockingly found not guilty of the crime.
Both Elizabeth Olsen and Elisabeth Moss have signed on to play the axe murderer in two different limited series. Olsen, 32, has been cast as the lead in HBO Max's 'Love and Death,' while Moss, 38, will star in the upcoming Hulu series 'Candy.'
The full story of Betty's murder and Candy's subsequent acquittal was featured in Texas Monthly as a two-part series in 1984. The reporting has served as a source for 'Love and Death.'
Shocking: Candy Montgomery (pictured) killed her friend Betty Gore with an axe on Friday, June 13, 1980, in their hometown of Wylie, Texas, after having an affair with her husband Allan
Her story: Candy claimed during her murder trial that Betty (pictured) had confronted her about the affair and had attacked her with the axe, forcing her to retaliate in self-defense
Candy was a mother and housewife and by all accounts normal and well-liked by the community. In 1977, she and her husband Pat Montgomery moved into their dream house in Wylie, a suburb of Dallas.
Pat provided Candy everything she needed thanks to his job as an electrical engineer at Texas Instruments. She was able to stay home with their son and daughter, and while she didn't mind being a housewife, she was admittedly bored with her life.
The 28-year-old was also a devout churchgoer and attended the Methodist Church of Lucas, where she struck up a friendship with Betty. Their relationship took an irreversible turn in 1978 when Candy collided with Betty's husband Allan Gore while playing a church volleyball game.
It was an innocent moment, but Candy thought Allan 'smelled sexy.' She had been vaguely talking to her friends about having an affair to shake up her 'very boring' and sexually frustrating life with her husband. After bumping into Allan on the volleyball court, she started to fanaticize about having sex with him.
Allan may not have come across as the obvious choice to embark on an affair with. He had a receding hairline and burgeoning potbelly, but they had similar outgoing personalities.
Candy also sensed that he was subtly flirting with her. She came onto him a few weeks after they collided. She slipped into the passenger side of his car after church choir practice and told him that she was attracted to him. Then she got out.
Allan thought about Candy that entire week and how she differed from his wife, who taught elementary school in Wylie and was pregnant with their second child.
Violent: Candy delivered 41 blows to Betty's body, 40 of which were done while her heart was still beating, but she insisted she didn't mean to kill her
Verdict: A psychiatrist determined Candy (pictured with her then-husband Pat Montgomery) suffered from childhood trauma that had triggered her rage. She was found not guilty
Betty didn't enjoy her job, and she hated being left alone when Allan had to travel for work. Their sex was routine and mechanical, which frustrated her husband.
A week after Candy confessed to being attracted to him, they found themselves alone together following another volleyball game. This time, Allan sat in Candy's car in the church parking lot.
She bluntly told him that she wanted to have an affair, which took him aback. He said he loved Betty too much and couldn't do that to his pregnant wife. However, about two or three weeks later, he called Candy on her 29th birthday and asked her to meet him at an auto repair shop in McKinney, Texas.
The two discussed having an affair, both of them agreeing that they loved their respective spouses and didn't want to hurt them. They spent weeks going over logistics and establishing ground rules. If either of them started showing emotional attachment, they would stop seeing each other.
Candy and Allan started their affair at the Continental Inn on December 12, 1978. He was an inexperienced lover who had never even been French kissed before their encounter, but she thought he had promise.
They continued their affair for months, meeting at the cheaper Como Motel every other week, though the sex didn't get much better. While Candy felt guilty about deceiving her husband Pat, she never felt uncomfortable around Betty. She even threw her a baby shower.
Allan and Betty welcomed their second daughter Bethany in July 1979, and while he continued his affair with Candy, their meetings were less frequent and lackluster. He also started feeling guilty leaving Betty home with their daughters Alisa and Bethany.
Made for TV: The case went on to inspire the CBS television movie 'A Killing in a Small Town,' which aired on May 22, 1990
Name change: The TV movie used different names and Barbara Hershey (pictured) played 'Candy Morrison'
Despite their agreement that there would be no emotional attachment, Candy would tell Allan that she loved him. Betty noticed her husband's lack of interest in having sex with her and tried to seduce him one night, but he turned down her advances after being with Candy earlier in the day.
His humiliated wife was convinced he didn't love her anymore and started to cry. In the following weeks, she began complaining about aches and pains and was prescribed painkillers that helped her nerves.
Betty and Allan's marital struggles led to them attending an immersive weekend-long marriage counseling at their church, which helped them understand each other better. Allan's new investment in his marriage led to him and Candy calling off their affair.
Allan was away on a business trip on Friday, June 13, 1980. Knowing that Betty hated to be alone, he became concerned that she wasn't answering any of his phone calls. He asked his neighbor to knock on the front door to see if Betty was home. When she didn't answer, he called Candy to see if she has heard from his wife.
Candy, who had their daughter Alisa over for a playdate, assured him that nothing was wrong. She claimed she last saw Betty when she was picking up Alisa's swimsuit and she was fine.
Allan made more phone calls and learned that the lights in his house were on and both cars were in the driveway, but Betty wasn't answering the door. Neighbors entered the home several hours after he first suspected something was wrong.
The search team found the Gores' infant daughter in her crib and Betty's body in the utility room. She was so bloody that they initially thought she had been shot. After hearing of his wife's death, Allan went to the Montgomerys' home to tell them the devastating news and ask them to continue to watch Alisa for him.
An investigation led the police to realize Betty had been killed by an axe. They also found a bloody footprint at the crime scene. The discovery prompted Candy to destroy her summer sandals with a pair of garden shears.
As the last person to see Betty alive, Candy became the main suspect in the murder, but her version of the day's events seemed normal to investigators. Allan eventually confessed to having an affair with Candy that he had ended a few months prior — a motive for killing Betty.
Complicated role: Elisabeth Moss, 38, has signed on to play the axe murderer in the upcoming Hulu limited true crime series 'Candy'
Another one: It was revealed this week that Elizabeth Olsen, 32, will play Candy HBO Max's true crime series 'Love and Death'
Candy was charged with murder and released on bail with the full support of her church. She hired Don Crowder, a lawyer she knew from the church, to represent her. They agreed she would meet with Dr. Fred Fason, a psychiatrist and clinical hypnotist, to help her remember what happened on the night of Betty's murder for her trial.
Dr. Fason determined after a few hypnosis sessions that Candy suffered from childhood trauma that had triggered her rage as an adult. She told the jury that Betty had confronted her about her affair with Allan and had attacked her with the axe first, claiming she turned the murder weapon on her former friend in self-defense.
Candy delivered 41 blows to Betty's body — 40 of which were done while her heart was still beating — but she insisted she didn't mean to kill her. After the jury heard the final arguments, Candy was found not guilty.
The Montgomerys stayed together after the trial and moved to Georgia, but they later divorced. It was reported Candy now goes by her maiden name of Candace Wheeler and works as a mental health therapist for teens and adults.
The case went on to inspire the CBS television movie 'A Killing in a Small Town,' which aired on May 22, 1990.
Taking on the role of a churchgoing housewife who ended up butchering her friend was a no-brainer for Moss, who has won a Golden Globe for her role in the miniseries 'Top of the Lake' and an Emmy as the lead actress in 'The Handmaid's Tale.'
'I have been wanting to play an anti-heroine for a while now, and have been trying to work with Robin [Veith] again after "Mad Men" for even longer, so when she asked me if I wanted to play a housewife from Texas who, some would say, got away with murder, I simply said, "Where do I sign?"' she told Variety last summer.
Hulu picked up Moss's 'Candy' in December 2020, while it was revealed this week that Olson will be playing Candy HBO Max's adaptation of the case.
'We cannot imagine a more perfect artist to play the leading role of Candy than Elizabeth Olsen. Her talent, charisma, and energy can bewitch audiences like no other,' Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max, said in a statement.
The release dates for 'Candy' and 'Love and Death' have yet to be announced.