HomeCandy Montgomery Story: What Happened and Where is She Now?

Candy Montgomery Story: What Happened and Where is She Now?

Should we call Candy Montgomery a loving mother or an axe murderer? Hulu is set to release its miniseries ” Candy” while HBO Max is coming with “Love and Death” this year.

The two series revolve around the murder of Betty Gore. Candy Montgomery became the prime subject of brutally murdering this school teacher. Read on to know more about this harrowing murder mystery.

Who is Candy Montgomery?

Candy Montogomery aka Candace Wheeler is an American homemaker. She was accused of murdering Betty Gore, the wife of her lover. She assaulted Gore 41 times with a 3-foot-long axe. The said incident took played in Whylie, Texas on June 13, 1980.

Candy was 30 years old at the time of the incident. She was married to Pat Montgomery who was an electrical engineer. She had two children- a son and a daughter. Like any other Christian wife, she regularly attended the First United Methodist Church of Lucas.

The Murder of Betty Gore

Betty Gore, an elementary school teacher, was found dead by her two neighbours Lester Gaylor and Richard Parker. Her body was found mutilated with 41 axe wounds while the murder weapon was confiscated in the Texas home she shared with her husband and children. So what exactly happened?

Candy became close friends with Betty Gore after meeting her at a church service. She lived nearby with her two children and her husband Allan, with whom Candy embarked on an extramarital affair.

Everything turns bitter when Gore’s husband Allan was out of town. When he was unable to reach his wife, he requested the neighbours to go and contact her. They forced their way into the house but it was too late by then.

Betty’s corpse was discovered in a mutilated condition. Their daughter, Bethany who was sleeping in her crib in another room was awake and crying. The evidence of fingerprints and footprints found at the crime scene points at Candy. Candy was arrested on June 27.

Candy takes Self-Defense Plea

Candy Montgomery’s trial began in October 1980 and she confessed to the murder of Betty Gore stating that it was an act done in self-defence. The trial continued for eight days in McKinney and the jury consisted of nine women and three men.

If we go back to the day of the crime, it all started when Betty’s older daughter, Alisa, slept over at the Montgomery house and Candy offered to drive her to her swing lesson the next day. When Candy stopped at the Gore house to pick up Alisa’s swimsuit, a confrontation took place between the two wives related to Candy’s affair with Allan.

Candy’s defense attorney Robert Udashen argued in court that on the day of the confrontation, Betty took out an axe from her garage and attacked Candy. In this tussle, Candy managed to overcharge Betty and killed her.

However, it came out in the postmortem that some axe wounds were inflicted while Betty was unconscious. Betty also submitted that she was compelled to use an axe after Gore had attempted to strike her moments before with the same weapon. Montgomery underwent a polygraph test before the trial, which indicated that she was being truthful.

On the other hand, District attorney Tom O’Connell put forward strong arguments stating that she could have fled the scene. He pointed out that attacking 41 times was disproportionate, therefore, the case does not fall under the purview of self defense.

In the end, the district judge Tom Ryan found Candy Montgomery not guilty of the offense on October 30, 1980. This came as a shocking verdict to people with sane minds. Many criticised the verdict and chanted “Murderer! Murderer!” as Candy exited the courthouse following her acquittal. Betty’s father said:

“As far as I’m concerned, justice will be served. She has to live with it… I wouldn’t say I was happy with the verdict. We don’t know what happened and we never will know what happened.”

Where is Candy Montgomery Now?

Candy was asked about the reason for having an extramarital affair even after having a happy family. She said that the affair with Allan was not emotional. It was just to shake up her “very boring” marriage with Pat. She also stated that they wanted to remain married to their respective spouses.

Candy may be acquitted but she would have to live with a pang of guilt forever. She now goes by the name of Candace Wheeler and works as a therapy provider for teens and adults. After the trial, she and her husband divorced and Pat moved to Georgia. As per reliable sources, Candy still lives in Texas.

About the Upcoming Series

The case was first covered by reporters John Bloom and Jim Atkinson who published a well-researched book in 1984 about the case titled “Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs. The book has been really helpful in the making of these two series. What do you think about this case?

Hulu’s Candy provides a “sepia-toned” rendering of this horrific tale. Jessica Biel is playing the role of Candy while Melanie Lynskey is portraying Betty Gore. The series will take a new look at the incident more than four decades later.

Candy premiers on May 9, 2022. Candy’s director Michael Uppendahi, who directed Mad Men stated, “I change my approach to material based on every single thing that I do. All the material is different, whether it’s true or not. It forces you to flex different muscles or develop new muscles that you don’t have.”

On the other hand, HBO Max’s Love and Death is a limited series that stars Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery. The series was written by Kelley and is based on a collection of articles found in Texas Monthly that share the same name (“Love & Death in Silicon Prairie”) along with the book Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death.

Mallika
I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.
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54 COMMENTS

  1. I have been reading comments on other websites. I also read that there were three jury members who were friends with Candace. How could that be a fair trial? I served on jury duty and they asked us if we knew anyone on the jury or the person on trial before selection. If so I would have been excused as a juror.

    • I am somewhat confused as the mini-series “Candy” did indicate that a jury decided the case, while this article seems to imply that the Judge decided the case (a defendant can choose to have a trial without a jury, although I would find it unusual to have done that in a case where emotional appeals are made). I’ll have to look into that. In any event, the jury or the Judge, whoever decided this, no doubt heard psychiatric testimony that the overkill Candy engaged in resulted from Betty using the word shush, which triggered a traumatic childhood memory that sent her into a dissociative state. Apparently significant weight was given to the medical expert testimony.

  2. Oh wow! Susan, that’s crazy! I read the book, “Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs”, when I was 17, and thought how in the heck did this woman get acquitted! Chopping at someone with an ax 41 times is not self-defense to me, it is overkill! Having friends on the jury had to of helped with her acquittal.

    • I forgot to mention in an earlier list that the foreman on the jury had some connection to Candace!s daughter.. While under hypnosis Candace said she hated Betty and that Betty had ruined her life. I wonder if they ever checked for Betty’s fingerprints on the axe. I looked up Candace Wheeler on Facebook There is a picture. I don’t know if that’s her but looking at her profile it might be her. They said she has a pointy nose. The person in the picture has a pointy nose. She is practicing therapy for families in Georgia as far as I know. I wonder if her patients know about the murder. Her reviews show one star.

    • I forgot to mention in an earlier list that the foreman on the jury had some connection to Candace!s daughter.. While under hypnosis Candace said she hated Betty and that Betty had ruined her life. I wonder if they ever checked for Betty’s fingerprints on the axe. I looked up Candace Wheeler on Facebook There is a picture. I don’t know if that’s her but looking at her profile it might be her. They said she has a pointy nose. She is practicing therapy for families in Georgia as far as I know. I wonder if her patients know about the murder. Her reviews show one star.

  3. None of you knew this woman. I did. After her trial her family moved to Georgia and moved in next door to my family. Her daughter and I became best friends and I was in her wedding. Candy was like a second mother to me. She was a good mom. She did not go there that day to murder anyone. The affair had been over for a while. Betty suffered from terrible postpartum depression and was very depressed when she confronted Candy and came after her with the ax. They struggled and Betty actually did cut Candys toe pretty badly before Candy was able to get the ax from her. I understand the overkill argument but no one knows how they would react when someone is actively trying to kill you with an ax. Your adrenal gland is working overtime and it probably takes time to come down from such a frenzied state. Shame on everyone who judges a person based on what they read and see on tv. Good lord. She was never in trouble before and she has never been since. Leave her alone!!!!

    • Listen. The person who is like a mother to you was a cold blooded murderer. 41 ax strikes is excessive. And to blame postpartum as a reason to kill someone. Smh candy left an infant motherless!! Make all of the excuses you want but what you not candy can do is being this lady back to life!

    • This is probably really Candace Montgomery (the murder who wrote what is above). I don’t care what anyone says – hacking someone with an ax 41 TIMES IS NOT SELF DEFENSE!!!!! Even if Candace was in a “frenzied state” – still does not explain or justify using an ax 41 TIMES on one of your “SUPPOSED” best friends (whose husband she was sleeping with). You can say all of us “strangers” on the internet don’t know what we are talking about and don’t have the right to judge Candace. But, the truth is we are the American public and we have every right to judge someone if we want to or not. Candace is just another OJ Simpson PERIOD – GUILTY AS SIN!

    • Seems like a white women got away with murder to me. If this was a POC, their clean record wouldn’t matter. She’s EVIL and a monster.

    • Things get really crazy however the overkill I get she ddnt go to kill her bt she did and acted as nothing was wrong 😟😥they should have given her manslaughter as the very least definitely not an acquittal… Stay loyal to your friend but watch out for that mom….

    • I think people are so judge mental. Unless you’re in those circumstance you can’t say why or how it happened. Maybe the body goes into a flight or fight response because of past trauma that no one can explain. Stop judging this was over 30 years ago.

    • You’re right none of us know her and don’t want to know her. If she had not had the affair none of this would have happened. Same holds true for Allan Gore. There would not have been a bludgeoned woman and two children would still have their mother. Both she and Allan Gore committed adultery. Who goes up to a friend’s husband and asks if he would like to have an affair anyway? Disgusting. She also had a problem telling the truth. First she said she didn’t do it and then pled not guilty to self defense. In addition when Allan Gore was worried that he hadn’t heard from his wife and asked Candace she said she was ok when she saw her last knowing full well Betty was lying dead on the floor with one eye missing and half of her face gone . How could you live with yourself having done all of this to your best friend? She showed no remorse acting like nothing had happened. My thoughts are that when she got control of the axe or so she said , she could have taken it and left but continued to hack at poor Betty thus resulting in her death. One thing that I wonder is if Betty was pregnant? It is said she thought she might have been. In your comments you told us to leave her alone. We have freedom of speech and this website asked us for our comments I agree with most everyone responding that she should have been found guilty but it was a botched trial I feel .I forgot to mention that Candace refused to take a lie detector test. Wonder why? This case was probably one of the worst cases in history. It is right up there with Jodi Arias who stabbed her boyfriend to death and shot him in the head. However, she was found guilty. It is such a sad thing for all of this to have happened.

      • I agree that fact that she was just sneaky untrustworthy, first off she pretended to be Betty friend, the thought that her child was at her home and she killed her mother then went to the movies and swimming If it was self defense why not call the police after she knocked her out !? Then she left the baby crying 🙄 the baby could have died the only reason she got off because she had a weak lawyer and it was 1980 let that happen today she would be in jail she’s guilty in my eyes it no excuse for her actions and her husband should have divorced her the next day 👎🏽

    • Another case of white entitlement, sorry, but if it was a person of color and the jury was all people of color it would have been a different verdict

    • Don’t listen to every one Kim Smith. None of us were on the jury so there is information and testimony that none of us might hear or see. I’m a private investigator who knows there are two sides to every story. We weren’t in the house when it happened so stop judging someone based on half truth. We have no idea about Candy’s childhood and it has been proven that people can lose control from supresed memories. The media can get messed up because those stories are ran by one person who made their own decision as to what they believe happened. So, stop judging on half-truth and more by the facts – all of the facts! My only disgust with her was letting that baby cry and left alone for over 13 hours. That in it’s self was criminal as far as I’m concerned.

    • I guarantee if this case was reopened today in 2022 she’d be in PRISON where she belongs. We don’t care that you know her well. Just because you “know” her doesn’t mean you know her deepest intentions. You don’t wack someone 41 times, leave their baby for 13 hours, take a shower, put on the same clothes and reappear at church like you just didn’t commit murder. That’s CRIMINALLY INSANE. Yeah sure. Let’s reopen this case then.

    • Omg! She’s nice when she’s not butchering another human being with 41 blows to her bloodied body on the floor. And she left an infant alone for 13 hours crying? Wow. She only did this once so it’s ok because she’s nice otherwise.
      Seriously, I can’t believe she didn’t do time for this horrific act.

    • Is the woman on Facebook wearing red using the name Candance Wheeler who is a therapist her? Many of commenters think it’s her. But she’s in Washington DC.

    • Is the woman on Facebook the named Candance Wheeler who is a therapist her – she is wearing a red shirt? Everyone seems to think so but that lady works in DC.

    • You met her AFTER the murder. As such, you expressed your opinion about the Candy you met! Those who expressed doubt about Candy had every right to do the same.

  4. At the above comment, just because you knew her as a good person, does not mean she should have been acquitted for murder and then covering it up! Self defense yeah we get it but then she also did overkill, which you mentioned. And on top of that didn’t come forward right away and that is obstruction of justice. People can be kind and still do wrong LIKE murder and hide it. A poor woman is gone, her children are without a mother, she’s gone from her family’s life forever. She left that baby there the whole day after murdering her mother! If it was self defense, Betty had no right to attack her over an affair but neither does Candy with attacking back and then killing her, getting a bunch more hits in, leaving a defenseless baby in the home, hiding it and lying, and being to live a peaceful life after murdering a human being. She got away with it with a slap on the wrist. Its disgusting.

  5. If a murder is committed out of passion against another that doesn’t say that they are not kind to everyone else. They can come off as a very thoughtful loving person to someone else. There was so much evidence against candy that she did commit this murder and if nothing else why wasn’t it manslaughter? I wonder if Candy‘s defense attorney was another one of her affairs? He was a nut case if he actually behaved like he was portrayed in this film.

  6. No one said – why didn’t she go to the police right after this! Why didn’t she grab the baby and call the cops after she did this heinous crime no she went back home and acted as if everything was ok! What if the neighbors didn’t come to check on the house. What would have happened to the baby! This woman is sick and should have went to jail point blank period! To the people who are trying to justify this – what if it was your mom then How would you feel! Different I bet!

  7. She is a murder no matter howuch adrenaline was rushing through her body, Allen left her and she had resentment and wanted him still, rem she seeked Allen out for an affair. A person who does that has motive always. Candace felt rejected ,even if Betty confronted candace it gave her perfect motive to kill her and get Allen back slowly, candace husband finally woke up and left her because a leopards spots don’t change. Candace is what she is deep down inside she knows she got away with murder. She uses the term self defense tas a crutch and excuse, she is a classic manipulator and narcissist who appease to people with her charm. That’s called being a sociopath. She will suffer dearly when her day comes and then she will burn for eternity.

  8. In the actual news, not based from the movie which added theatrical scenes, cause you know, its a movie, Candy did in fact take a polygraph test which confirmed her story. I have no opinion on this, just here to deliver some facts.

  9. Being acquitted for such a heinous crime is unfathomable. The circumstances are clear and guilt has been acknowledged. At the very least Candy should have been committed to a mental institution for treatment. I am perplexed how the state of Georgia could entrust therapy care to patients and license Candy Montgomery given her background assuming she is licensed as I would think would be the law .
    Something wrong with this picture and no sympathy for a woman who cared only of her own needs with no regard for anyone. This does not describe a kind, caring woman whose current next door neighbor in Georgia describes.

  10. Self-defense my ass she killed that lady left her infant there alone all while she had her other child at her house and went about her day as if nothing happen. Total miscarriage of justice

  11. Can we also talk about the fact she left that baby alone for all that time! Was she ever going to make sure it was okay or just let her starve to death?
    She got away with murder. Sad,sad,sad.

  12. It looks like the state believed wholeheartedly that this was premeditated with the 1st degree charge and didn’t give the jury instruction option for 2nd degree or manslaughter. So I have to believe that’s the reason she was found not guilty and after that she couldn’t be retried for a lesser charge.

  13. I AM AT A COMPLETE LOSS FOR WORDS. I FEEL SO, SO, SO,SO SORRY FOR MRS. GORE AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVED HER THAT WAS LEFT BEHIND WHEN SHE LEFT THIS EARTH. COMPLETELY HEART BROKEN.

  14. I been watching the series on Hulu I’m just in disbelief how Candy was acquitted. How could this be self defense? She failed to contact any law enforcement after her alleged attack from Betty. Striking someone 41 times with an axe is overkill. Then I just feel for Betty in this situation; being unaware of her husband having affair with someone she thought was her friend then killed in a horrific death by this deceitful friend no chance to be heard or no justice. Wow this story really is mind bothering. Candy just been living her life all this time meanwhile Betty children had to go throughout life without their mother because of jealous soul less person.

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