The True Story of Candy Montgomery From ‘Love & Death’ Is Just as Wild as You’d Expect

love and death candy montgomery
Here’s What Happened to the Real Candy MontgomeryHBO

The true crime girlies are already having a great spring because we’ve just been blessed with the first few episodes of Love & Death, HBO’s latest miniseries that’s based on the true and terrifying story of axe murderer Candy Montgomery. Whether you’ve watched the first few episodes and you’re looking for more info before the next drop or you just want a deep dive into the IRL story before starting the show, this is everything you need to know about Candy Montgomery, her crimes, her trial, and where she is today.

For starters, if there’s one thing to know about Candy, it’s that in 1980, she was accused of killing her friend Betty Gore by striking her with a wood-splitting axe 41 (!!) times. Jumping back in time to 1977: Candy (played on Love & Death by the fantastically talented Elizabeth Olsen), her husband Paul, and their two children moved to Collin County, Texas, where Candy met and befriended Betty at church. They both sang in the choir and their daughters became close friends.

Now that all seems swell and wholesome, but things started going downhill fast when Candy and Betty’s husband, Allan, started up an affair in 1978. It went on for a while, but the following year, Allan and Betty decided to work on their relationship and he ended things with Candy.

This brings us to the fateful day of June 13, 1980, now several months after Candy and Allan stopped their affair. Allan was away for work and was having trouble getting in touch with Betty. He eventually called Candy, who assured him Betty was fine, but a few hours later when he had a neighbor go into the house to check, they found Betty’s body in a pool of blood in the utility closet. The police later reported that Betty had been murdered with an axe.

love and death candy montgomery

It comes as a surprise to no one that Candy was immediately a suspect because she was the last person to see Betty alive, and once police learned about the affair, they believed they had a motive. Candy was arrested for the killing, which she firmly denied, and was released on bail. She then hired a lawyer who brought in a hypnotist to recover her memories from the night of the murder, and as it turns out, the hypnotist said she did do it but it was self-defense.

According to Candy, Betty had confronted her about the affair, and when Candy fessed up, Betty came at her with the axe. Candy said she managed to get the axe from Betty and, in a state of rage, she hit Betty with it 41 times. According to the Dallas Morning News, a psychiatrist that Candy’s lawyer brought in said that “an offhand remark by Gore during the fight—an incongruous ‘Shhhh!’—had triggered a repressed memory from when Candy was 4 years old and fueled the rage behind the frenzied series of blows that obliterated Gore’s face.” At trial in October of that year, after just three hours of deliberation, the jury found Candy not guilty, meaning she never served any time for the murder.

Where is Candy now? Well, since the trial, Candy has mostly stayed away from the public eye, refusing to speak with journalists. According to the Dallas Morning News, she moved to Georgia and began working as a certified family counselor. In 2022, Hulu released a miniseries also inspired by Candy’s story, and actor Jessica Biel told Entertainment Weekly that she reached out to Candy but Candy wasn’t interested in speaking. She is now 73 years old.

The house where Betty was murdered in Wylie, Texas, is still standing, and according to the Dallas Morning News, the town still gets people driving by to see it. Kind of a morbid road trip destination, but that’s where things stand.

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