23 years ago, the United States was shocked by a violent crime in Texas with unexpected motives and conclusions. Candy Montgomery, the perfect housewife and respected in her community, killed her friend, Betty Gore, with 41 axes.
Pause associate violence because it still gets worse. Let’s get back to the facts.
Candy had been the lover of Betty’s husband, Allan Gore, but he broke off the affair when his wife became pregnant. On June 13, 1980, Candy offered to take Betty’s daughter to a swimming lesson after the girl spent the night at her house. For that, he went to the girl’s mother’s house to get her bathing suit. What happened next, no one knows for sure. Apparently, Betty confronted her about her affair with Allan. Whatever happened, the conclusion was violent.
The murder took place inside Betty’s house, while her newborn daughter was sleeping in the bedroom. After the crime, Candy went into the bathroom, showered, changed her clothes, and calmly went to pick up her children from their Bible study at church. When Betty’s body was discovered, Candy became the prime suspect as she was the last known person to have been with the victim. Suspicion only increased when Allan confessed to the police their affair. When it became impossible to deny, Candy explained her motivation: “self-defense”.
New break. 41 axes in self-defense.
As unbelievable as it is, the argument convinced the jury. You read that right: Candy axed her friend 41 times and was found not guilty. Unsurprisingly, more than 40 years later, the story is still shocking.
Maybe that’s why, curiously, the crime has won two simultaneous and recent adaptations. First last year, with Jessica Biel as Candy in the Starplus series of the same name, with The Last of Us actress Melanie Lynskey as Betty. Now, Elizabeth Olsen leads HBO’s version of Love & Death, with Lily Rabe as Betty.
Jessica’s performance was faithful to the real Candy, the visual version of Love&Death is not so “visually accurate”, but from the teaser, we see that the interpretations are spectacular. For Elizabeth Olsen, exploring the complex personality of Candy, a woman who apparently had everything but chose to bring more emotion into her daily life with an extramarital affair, which became the trigger to stress her relationship with Betty to the point of murdering her, is, in fact, a great professional challenge.
All three series (including 1990 one starring Barbara Hershey) are based on the book Evidence of Love, by reporters who also covered the crime for Texas Monthly.
There will be seven episodes, premiering on April 27. In addition to Elizabeth Olsen, the cast includes Lily Rabe as Betty and Jesse Plemons as Betty’s husband, Allan. True crime fans know it will be unmissable.