Texas Church Lady Admits To Killing Friend With An Axe — And Still Gets Away With It | Oxygen Official Site (2022)

Candy Montgomery was thought of as a pillar of her community. That perception changed, however, after she had an affair with a married man and killed his wife with an axe.

Born Candace Wheeler, Candy grew up an Army brat, moving from base to base throughout her childhood. She eventually married a man named Pat Montgomery, who worked as an electrical engineer at Texas Instruments.In 1977, the Montgomerys moved to Collin County, Texas and had two children, a son and a daughter.Candy was a full-time mom and the family’s social life revolved around the First United Methodist Church of Lucas.

“Candy was a really outgoing, likable person. She was very involved in her community, her church, she was in the choir, she taught Sunday school,” Robert Udashen, a defense attorney, told “Snapped,” airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen.

It was through church that Pat and Candy befriended Allan and Betty Gore. Like Pat, Allan worked as an electrical engineer with a Dallas-based tech company. Candy and Betty hit it off as well.

Texas Church Lady Admits To Killing Friend With An Axe — And Still Gets Away With It | Oxygen Official Site (1)
(Video) One Of Last Living Links To Infamous North Texas Axe Murder Shares What's Haunted Him For 4 Decades

Candy Montgomery

Born in 1950, Betty Pomeroy grew up in a small town in Kansas. She was one of three children and had two younger brothers.

“She was very popular. She was involved in all kinds of school events, music, plays, student council. She wanted to be an elementary school teacher, really, from the word go,” Betty’s brother, Ronald Pomeroy, told “Snapped.”

While in college, Betty met Allan Gore, a teaching assistant in one of her classes. After the class ended, they began dating and married in 1970. Following the birth of their daughter Alisa, the family moved to Collin County, where Betty became a teacher in the local school system.

In 1979, Betty gave birth to her second child, Bethany. Afterward, she suffered from postpartum depression, putting a strain on her marriage.

Around 11 p.m. on Friday, June 13, 1980, Allan called his neighbor, Richard Parker, and asked him to check on Betty. Allan was in Minnesota on business and couldn’t get in touch with her.

Parker and another neighbor, Lester Gayler, went to the Gore home to investigate. “I went in first,” Gayler told The Dallas Morning News. “We went down the hall to the bathroom, turning on lights. A little old baby raised its head up out of the crib, out of the baby bed. It began to cry. It’d been there all, nearly all day, hadn’t been fed or nothing.”

The men followed a trail of blood to the house’s utility room. On the floor lay the bloody remains of Betty Gore. Her head and body were so badly mutilated that the men thought she had suffered a shotgun blast. A few feet away from her body was a three-foot long wood-handled axe.

(Video) Candy Montgomery: An axe murder takes place in 1980 Wylie, Texas

An autopsy would determine Betty had been struck 41 times with the axe, according to Texas Monthly magazine. 28 of the blows were to her head and face. Investigators believed the brutal nature of the murder indicated her killer knew her.

“It was a vicious set of blows to the body, the face, the arms, the head, the torso, even into the legs,” former chief of physical evidence in Dallas Dr. Irv Stone told “Snapped.”

The killer had tried to clean up the crime scene but gave up when they realized there was too much blood. A bloody thumbprint was found on a freezer, as well as a bloody shoe print in the laundry room. Blood on the bathroom wall and drain revealed the killer had washed off in the shower.

A pot of burnt coffee indicated the murder happened in the morning. Investigators wondered if Allan had murdered his wife before flying to Minnesota — however, the bloody footprint didn’t match his foot size.

“We were looking for someone small in stature, whether it was a child or a woman,” former Collin County investigator Steven Deffibaugh told “Snapped.”

A 5-year-old who was friends with with Alisa Gore said she went to their house on the morning of the murder. When she knocked on the door no one answered. Around 11 a.m., she saw Candy Montgomery leave the house.

Montgomery was brought in for questioning. She explained that Alisa Gore had slept over at her house the previous night and that she stopped by to get a swimsuit from Betty. Afterward, she went to church where she was teaching a Bible class to children out on summer vacation.

Investigators interviewed Allan Gore on June 16, just hours after Betty was laid to rest. He said his marriage had been good but admitted he and Betty got into a fight before he left for Minnesota. Betty was afraid she was pregnant again.

The next morning, Allan called detectives to get something off his chest. He told them that for the better part of the past year he had been having an affair with Candy Montgomery.

Allan said it had been Candy’s idea. “Would you be interested in having an affair?” she asked him matter of factly after a church volleyball game, according to Texas Monthly.

Both were sexually unsatisfied in their marriages but neither wanted a divorce. The affair was meticulously planned, with Allan and Candy splitting motel rentals and meeting every other week for sex before or after a picnic lunch.

Allan and Candy agreed to end the affair if they got too close. Allan broke things off with Candy after he and Betty attended a church-sponsored couples retreat meant to mend troubled marriages.

Detectives brought her back for questioning later that day. “Her position at that point was she didn’t have anything to do with the killing,” said Udashen. She was asked to take a polygraph test but refused.

(Video) 22

The fingerprints and footprints found at the crime scene were enough to secure an arrest warrant.Candy Montgomery was arrested on June 27, 1980 and charged with Betty Gore’s murder.

“She’s arrested and I’m the one to actually read her rights. Some female jailers strip searched her and take off all her clothes and that’s when they notice all these bruises and also a cut on her toe,” said Deffibaugh.

At her murder trial in October 1980, Candy's lawyers unveiled their defense strategy. “Candy Montgomery did kill Betty Gore and she did so in self-defense,” said Udashen.

Candy took the stand in her own defense and claimed that when she arrived at the Gore house, Betty confronted her about the affair. She said Betty came at her with an axe, swinging it down to the floor and cutting Candy’s toe.

According to Candy, the two women then wrestled for control of the weapon. After grabbing the axe, Candy says she knocked Betty to the floor. Betty kept coming at her, so she claimed she had no choice but to strike her with the axe.

Prosecutors contend that the 41 strikes Candy rained down on Betty went far beyond a simple act of self-defense. Candy’s defense, however, called upon a psychologist who testified a traumatic childhood memory of Candy's had been triggered when Betty told her “Shhhh,” according to Texas Monthly.

“I hit her. I hit her. I hit her,” Candy said on the stand, according to The Dallas Morning News.

After deliberating for under four hours, the jury acquitted Candy Montgomery of the murder of Betty Gore. “Murderer! Murderer!” people screamed at her as she left the courthouse, according to the United Press International news service.

The Betty Gore murder was dramatized in the 1990 CBS television movie, “A Killing in a Small Town.” There are currently two new series in production about the case, including HBO Max’s “Love and Death,” which stars Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery and Lily Rabe as Betty Gore, and a Hulu series which stars Jessica Biel as Candy Montgomery.

(Video) Betty Gore's Axe Death Horrifies Small Texas Town | Snapped Highlights | Oxygen

After Candy’s acquittal, the Montgomerys moved to Georgia and later divorced. Candy now goes by her maiden name and works as a mental health therapist, according to the UK’s Daily Mail.

For more on this case and others like it, watch “Snapped,” airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen or stream episodes here.

Crime News is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up forOxygen Insiderfor all the best true crime content.

FAQs

How many kids did Betty Gore have? ›

Allan met Betty at a Kansas college, and the pair married in 1970. They later moved to Wylie, Texas, and he worked at an electronics company in Richardson. The couple had two daughters, Alisa and Bethany.

Who Killed Betty Gore? ›

Candace "Candy" Lynn Montgomery (née Wheeler; born November 15, 1949) is an American homemaker. She was accused of murdering Betty Gore, the wife of her lover. The killing took place in Wylie, Texas, on June 13, 1980. During the assault, Gore was struck 41 times with a wood splitting axe.

Is Candy Montgomery still married? ›

At the end of the trial, a jury comprised of three men and nine women ruled she was not guilty of murder. Candy and her husband, Pat, reportedly left Wylie and moved to Georgia. The two eventually divorced, according to outlets.

Is Candy Montgomery a true story? ›

Hulu's drama series "Candy" is based on the real-life story of Candy Montgomery, a Texas housewife. Montgomery was accused of murdering her friend Betty Gore with an ax in 1980, but later acquitted.

Who Raised Candy montgomerys kids? ›

Both Alisa and Bethany were adopted by their maternal grandparents, Bob and Bertha Pomeroy, in 1988. Allan Gore, meanwhile, moved to California with a new wife and kids.

Where are the Gore children now? ›

The Gore children moved to Kansas, where Alisa (who now goes by Lisa) still lives with her husband, Jonn Harder, and their two sons, Sam and Jacob.

Did Candy go to jail for killing Betty? ›

The accused killer-housewife from Hulu's 'Candy' really was acquitted after striking her lover's wife with an ax 41 times.

Is Candy still alive? ›

What Happened to Candy Montgomery After Her Trial? After these events, Candy later relocated to Georgia and became certified in family counseling, per The Dallas Morning News. According to Newsweek, Candy is still alive, divorced from her husband Pat, and now goes by the name Candace Wheeler.

How old was Candy when Betty died? ›

Candace “Candy” Montgomery, a 30-year-old family friend, fellow church member and ex-lover of Gore's husband, was soon arrested for the crime. During her trial, Montgomery admitted to hitting Gore multiple times with the axe, leaving the crime scene and covering up evidence.

Did Pat and Candy divorce? ›

The family moved to Georgia, and Candy got certified as a family counselor. Little is known about the family's whereabouts today. Some reports suggest that Pat and Candy Montgomery divorced a few years later. [MORE: What happened to Betty Gore and husband Allan's home in Wylie, Texas?]

What happened to Candy Montgomery children? ›

However, The Cinemaholic has reported Montgomery's kids' real names are Jennifer and Ian. The Montgomery family left Texas after Candy Montgomery was cleared of murder, and relocated to Georgia where they reportedly still reside.

What crime is Candy based on? ›

The miniseries covers the lesser-known 1980 ax-murder of housewife Betty Gore in the small, conservative community of Wylie, Texas. While the case has been explored in the past via a pair of articles from TexasMonthly magazine and a television film, this is the most attention the case has gotten outside of North Texas.

What happened to Candy and Pat Montgomery? ›

According to Texas Monthly, Candy and her husband, Pat, left Texas soon after the trial in 1980 and moved to Georgia. They divorced four years later.

Where did Betty Gore live? ›

Betty's Home

Betty and Allan Gore lived at 410 Dogwood Drive in the quiet town of Wylie. Built in 1974, the modest home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, 1,697 square feet, and a big backyard. It was recently listed and sold in March 2022 by Darla McMullen with Monument Realty for $344,900.

Did Betty Gore have a foster child? ›

While there are no specific details about a real-life Davey, Betty and Allan did foster several children during their marriage.

How did Candy Montgomery get caught? ›

She was asked to take a polygraph test but refused. The fingerprints and footprints found at the crime scene were enough to secure an arrest warrant. Candy Montgomery was arrested on June 27, 1980 and charged with Betty Gore's murder. “She's arrested and I'm the one to actually read her rights.

Did Candy Montgomery get custody of her kids? ›

In a decision that is still deemed controversial today, Buzzfeed states that jurors bought Montgomery's self-defense story. She was ultimately acquitted of Gore's murder in October 1980. Bustle reports that after the trial came to an end, Allan remarried and lost custody of Alisa and Bethany to Gore's parents.

Where was Betty Gore born? ›

Betty Gore, born in 1950, grew up with two brothers, Ron and Richard, in Norwich, Kansas. She was a fifth grade teacher at R.C. Dodd Middle School. She married her college math teacher, Allan Gore, in 1970.

What did Betty Gore suffer from? ›

In real life, Betty was a woman suffering from depression. She hated when her husband, Allan (Candy's eventual lover) had to travel for work, and she and Candy became friends after meeting at church.

Where is the real life Candy today? ›

Following the trial, Candy Montogomery, her husband Pat and their children left Texas in 1980 and moved to Georgia. The couple divorced four years later and Candy adopted her maiden name, Candace Wheeler. She, ironically, went on to become a mental health counselor, per Newsweek (opens in new tab).

What is the story Candy about? ›

Yes, it is. Candy is based on the true story of Candy Montgomery, a housewife in Texas who in 1980 was accused of murdering her neighbour, Betty Gore. The series stars Jessica Biel as Montgomery and Melanie Lynskey as Gore.

How much of Candy is true? ›

Candy is, in fact, based on a real case from 1980 which saw Candy Montgomery, a wife from Wylie, Texas, kill her friend Betty Gore (Melanie Lynskey) with an ax on Friday, June 13. Montgomery struck Gore 41 times with the weapon, with 40 of the blows taking place while the victim's heart was still beating.

What happened to Don Crowder? ›

On Nov. 10, 1998, Crowder died by suicide.

Why was Candy found not guilty? ›

Candy was found not guilty after her defense team successfully argued that she did not mean to kill her neighbor in a grisly crime that inspired Hulu's Candy, which is set to air on May 9, 2022.

Who was the second man Candy slept with? ›

And I don't want to do any damage to his family." Yes, family—meaning that, like Allan Gore, the second man that she committed adultery with also has a spouse and children.

Who found Betty Gore's body? ›

Lester Gayler and Richard Parker, two of Gore's neighbors, discovered her body along with the bloody crime scene at her house. The two reportedly went over to the Gores residence after receiving calls from Allan Gore, Betty's husband, who grew concerned about her whereabouts when she failed to return his calls.

Why was Betty Gore killed? ›

Candy Montgomery was eventually arrested and charged with the murder of Betty Gore. In court, Candy Montgomery pleaded that she killed Gore out of self-defense arguing that “after being struck twice with the ax by [Betty] and then gaining control of the weapon, the heavier and larger [Betty] refused to let [Candy] go.”

Who found Betty's baby? ›

Neighbor Richard Parker returned to the Gore home with two other men. This time they tried the front door and found it unlocked. Richard was immediately drawn to the whimpers of baby Bethany, where they found her in her room dehydrated and weighted down with a soiled diaper.

Did Betty Gore have foster children? ›

While there are no specific details about a real-life Davey, Betty and Allan did foster several children during their marriage.

Where are Candy montgomerys children? ›

However, The Cinemaholic has reported Montgomery's kids' real names are Jennifer and Ian. The Montgomery family left Texas after Candy Montgomery was cleared of murder, and relocated to Georgia where they reportedly still reside.

Is Candy still alive? ›

What Happened to Candy Montgomery After Her Trial? After these events, Candy later relocated to Georgia and became certified in family counseling, per The Dallas Morning News. According to Newsweek, Candy is still alive, divorced from her husband Pat, and now goes by the name Candace Wheeler.

Where was Betty Gore born? ›

Betty Gore, born in 1950, grew up with two brothers, Ron and Richard, in Norwich, Kansas. She was a fifth grade teacher at R.C. Dodd Middle School. She married her college math teacher, Allan Gore, in 1970.

What did Betty Gore suffer from? ›

In real life, Betty was a woman suffering from depression. She hated when her husband, Allan (Candy's eventual lover) had to travel for work, and she and Candy became friends after meeting at church.

Where did Betty Gore live? ›

Betty's Home

Betty and Allan Gore lived at 410 Dogwood Drive in the quiet town of Wylie. Built in 1974, the modest home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, 1,697 square feet, and a big backyard. It was recently listed and sold in March 2022 by Darla McMullen with Monument Realty for $344,900.

Did Candy Montgomery lose her kids? ›

She was ultimately acquitted of Gore's murder in October 1980. Bustle reports that after the trial came to an end, Allan remarried and lost custody of Alisa and Bethany to Gore's parents. Alisa now lives in Kansas with her own family and works as a business controller.

How did Candy Montgomery get caught? ›

She was asked to take a polygraph test but refused. The fingerprints and footprints found at the crime scene were enough to secure an arrest warrant. Candy Montgomery was arrested on June 27, 1980 and charged with Betty Gore's murder. “She's arrested and I'm the one to actually read her rights.

Does Candy go to jail for killing Betty? ›

On Oct. 30, 1980, a jury of nine women and three men found Candy Montgomery not guilty of Betty Gore's murder. She was acquitted of the murder charge.

Why did Candy and Pat get divorced? ›

“His insensitivity infuriated her and led to harsh words. To Pat they were arguments over nothing, but to her they represented everything wrong with their marriage,” Jim Atkinson and John Bloom wrote in the Texas Monthly story. That's what led Candy to have a 10-month affair with Allan Gore.

How much of Candy is true? ›

Candy is, in fact, based on a real case from 1980 which saw Candy Montgomery, a wife from Wylie, Texas, kill her friend Betty Gore (Melanie Lynskey) with an ax on Friday, June 13. Montgomery struck Gore 41 times with the weapon, with 40 of the blows taking place while the victim's heart was still beating.

How old was Betty Gore? ›

It was a hot summer Friday in Texas when 30-year-old Betty Gore was violently killed in her home with an axe. Candace “Candy” Montgomery, a 30-year-old family friend, fellow church member and ex-lover of Gore's husband, was soon arrested for the crime.

What is the story behind Candy? ›

Hulu's latest true-crime miniseries Candy owns the screen and can now be seen on Hulu. The show is a dramatization of a 1980s murder in which Candy Montgomery was accused of murdering her friend Betty Gore with an axe. (The real Candy has always denied this.)

Who was Candy Montgomery lawyer? ›

Don Crowder, played by Raúl Esparza (above) in "Candy," knew Candy Mongomery and Betty Gore from church and was hired by Montgomery to defend her. Per Texas Monthly, Crowder was a partner at a small firm and primarily focused on personal injury cases.

Videos

1. Candy Montgomery - The Axe Murderer Part I
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2. Candy Montgomery Analysis | The Murder Part #28
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3. The True Story Behind The Murder Of Betty Gore
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4. CANDY (Hulu) Episode 3 Thoughts & Review | HOME WRECKER?
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5. A Killing In A Small Town (1990)
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6. Real CANDY Montgomery Locations 🪓 1980 True Crime Story | Dallas, TX
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