Content warning: This article contains discussion of murder that some may find upsetting. Reader discretion is advised.
In her new true crime show Love and Death, Elizabeth Olsen plays Candace "Candy" Montgomery, a Wylie, Texas woman who committed a crime of passion by striking her friend Betty Gore 41 times with an axe. The murder, which took place on Friday, June 13, 1980, likely stemmed from jealousy as Betty was married to Allan Gore, the man Candy unexpectedly fell for and had an affair with.
As you watch the true events unfold in HBO Max's new true crime series, you may be wondering: did Candy really kill Betty? Here's what we know about Candy's motives and what went down in the chilling '80s case.
Did Candy Montgomery really kill Betty Gore?
Upon meeting in 1977, two couples — Candy and Pat Montgomery and Betty and Allan Gore — bonded because of their faith and taking part in church activities like choir and volleyball. Over time, Candy became enamored with Betty's husband, Allan, and they started a secret affair.
On June 13, 1980, Candy went to the Gore household to pick up a swimsuit for their eldest daughter, who stayed over at her house the night before, per Texas Monthly. Allan was out of town on a business trip when Betty confronted Candy about the affair, and according to Insider, they got into a scuffle with an ax after Candy admitted to being with Allan.
Candy claimed that Betty brought out the ax and attacked her with it, causing an injury on her toe. Texas Monthly reports that Betty then shushed her, which led to Candy spiraling into a "blind rage" and striking Betty with the ax. Forensic experts concluded that 40 of the 41 blows were made while Betty's heart was still beating, according to Newsweek.
When Betty's body was found, police started investigating and interrogated Candy, who they traced through fingerprints in the Gores' home. Candy initially told police that she struck Betty in self-defense, and she was arrested and put on a $100,000 bond, per a report by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She was eventually put on trial four months later in October 1980.
Before the trial, Candy met with psychiatrists to take a polygraph lie detector test and undergo a hypnosis session in an attempt to prove she had no intentions of murdering Betty.
Through the hypnosis, psychiatrist Fred Fason found that Betty's shushing brought back a difficult memory from Candy's childhood when her mother would tell her to "shush," and triggered her to kill Betty in self-defense. During the trial, Candy stuck to that narrative and although the physical evidence may have proven that Candy did, in fact, kill Betty, she was acquitted of the murder.
Sam is an assistant editor at Seventeen, covering pop culture, celebrity news, health, and beauty. When she isn't draping her cheeks in blush, you can probably find her live-tweeting awards shows or making SwiftToks.