Chilling true story behind ITV's new psychological drama about woman who killed lover's wife
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Tragedy struck in a small town in Texas in 1980 when a housewife killed her lover’s wife in a struggle she put down to self-defence.
Candace “Candy” Montgomery, a 30-year-old housewife, lived in Collin County, Texas, with her husband Pat Montgomery, an electrical engineer, at the time of the killing. The couple had two children - a daughter and a son and they attended the Methodist Church of Lucas regularly.
The mum-of-two, who was considered a regular suburban homemaker, moved to Wylie with her family in 1977. Although Candy and Pat appeared to have an idyllic marriage, things took a turn for the worse.
Candy eventually met Betty Gore, another wife and mother, during a church service.
School teacher Betty had married Allan Gore, who worked at a manufacturing conglomerate called Rockwell International, in January 1970 and the family moved to the suburbs of Dallas, Texas.
Candy and Allan eventually met during a church volleyball game in the summer of 1978. One night after choir practice, Candy and Allan had a chat, during which Candy confessed her attraction and suggested they should act on it.
Allan initially rejected the offer, because Betty had just became pregnant with their second child, however he soon agreed to having illicit trysts in December 1978 which continued for several months, even after Betty gave birth in July 1979.
Allan ended the affair at some point after the summer of 1979 and in the summer of 1980, the affair led to death.
On Friday, 13 June 1980, in Wylie, Texas, when Allan was away on a business trip, he became worried when he was unable to get in touch with Betty.
A neighbour entered the Gores’ home and found their infant daughter in her crib and blood leading to the utility room door where Betty was found dead. Police at the Collin County Sheriff’s Department reported that Betty had been killed with an axe.
Candy became the main suspect because she was the last person to see Betty alive. She was questioned several times and even though her alibi seemed to check out, that changed when Allan admitted to the affair, giving the police motive for the killing.
Candy was arrested and charged with murder, which she denied. She hired a lawyer from her church, Don Crowder, to represent her. The housewife later recounted what happened on the night of 13 June, 1980 during her trial.
In her testimony, Candy said she confessed to Betty about the affair and claimed Betty went to her utility room and grabbed an axe, which she used to attack her. Candy claimed she eventually gained control of the weapon and hit Betty as the pair engaged in a struggle.
Experts found that Gore was struck 41 times.
Candy pleaded not guilty to charges of murder on the basis of self-defense. She was found not guilty of murder and served no jail time.
The mind-blowing case has been adapted into a psychological drama series starring Elizabeth Olsen as Candy called Love & Death. The cast also includes Jesse Plemons as Allan Gore, Patrick Fugit as Pat and Lily Rabe as Betty.
The HBO Max drama will stream in the UK on ITVX from 7 September.