The Candy Montgomery case rocked America in the 1980s. On June 13, 1980, the lifeless body of Betty Gore was found by her neighbors, Lester Gaylor and Richard Parker. This teacher was found with 41 ax wounds. The murder weapon was found in the Texas home she shared with her husband and children. Her husband, initially suspected, revealed to the police to have an affair with another woman, Candy Montgomery. On June 27, 1980, she was arrested and charged with Betty’s murder. In court, this housewife pleaded guilty to the crime by invoking self-defense, assuring that Betty Gore would have tried to kill her after learning of their extramarital relationship.
“I hit her, and I hit her, and I hit her, and I hit her,” Candy testified in court. According to the Dallas Morning News, Candy’s attorney had a psychiatrist testify on the stand. In court, Dr. Fred Fason claimed Candy Montgomery had a “dissociative reaction” and didn’t realize how many times she had hit Betty with that axe. After several days of trial, a jury declared her innocent. After 3 hours of deliberation, Candy Montgomery was therefore acquitted for the murder of Betty Gore. A decision which at the time caused great indignation and crowds gathered in front of the courthouse, chanting “murderer! murderer!”.
Candy Montgomery: two series on the life of this housewife
“As far as I’m concerned, justice will be done. She will have to live with it… I wouldn’t say I’m happy with the verdict. We don’t know what happened and we will never know,” reacted the victim’s father, Bob Pomeroy. After the media trial, Candy Montgomery and her husband Pat stayed together and moved to Georgia, but divorced four years later. According to US media reports, she still lives in the southern US state under her maiden name, Wheeler, and works in mental health. This court case is the subject of two adaptations: first a series, Candy, broadcast on Hulu for which Jessica Biel has metamorphosed and soon a series called Love and Death with Elizabeth Olsen in the title role.
Candy Montgomery © ABC