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The Story Of Candy Montgomery: A Brutal Axe Murder, An Illicit Affair & A Killer Acquitted

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

Candy Montgomery was having an affair with her best friend's husband, and when confronted about it, she brutally hacked Betty Gore 41 times with an axe, and still walked out of court a free woman.

Candy Montgomery (left) and Betty Gore who was struck 41 times with an axe
Candy Montgomery (left) and Betty Gore who was struck 41 times with an axe

From the outside, it appeared that Candy Montgomery was living the perfect life: two children, a loving husband, and a best friend who she trusted profusely. However, the 30-year-old Christian woman from Collin County, Texas, got bored of her mundane routine and began an affair with the husband of her best friend, Betty Gore - and when Betty found out about it, Candy brutally murdered her.

On Friday the 13th of June, 1980, when local police officers entered the home of the Gore family to find what looked like a scene from the darkest of horror movies. Betty Gore, the 30-year-old mother of two had been hacked to bits with 41 vicious swings of an axe, 28 of which had decapitated her face and head.

Candy Montgomery was the last person to have been seen with Betty Gore, she was quickly arrested and charged with her murder.

The trial of Candy Montgomery would go on to become one of the most controversial cases in history. Montgomery pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder on the basis of self-defense, and on the day before Halloween, she was acquitted of all charges.

Candy Montgomery was simply free to start a new life, and that's exactly what she did, working as a family counselor...

Candy Montgomery's Early Life & Torrid Affair With Allan Gore

Candace "Candy" Wheeler was born in Lucas, Texas, in 1951. Raised as a "Military Brat", she spent most of her childhood moving between different military towns.

She met Pat Montgomery, an electrical engineer, who worked at Texas Instruments, and the pair quickly got married. They bought a beautiful home in the town of Wylie, and in 1973 they had a daughter named Jenny, and in October 1974, a son named Ian.

Candy Montgomery joined the First United Methodist Church of Lucas, this is where she met Betty Gore, the two became close friends shortly after.

Betty met her husband Allan while working as a teaching assistant in college. The couple got married in 1970 and had a daughter named Alisa before they moved to Collin County. Allan was an engineer just like Pat Montgomery and worked at Rockwell International. The young daughters, Alisa and Jenny became best friends and completely inseparable.

Allan Gore and Candy Montgomery started getting close while playing volleyball in the summer of 1978. The pair spent weeks flirting with each other before starting an all-out affair, this fling began even though Betty Gore had just found out she was pregnant with her second child.

Candy and Allan would frequently meet at the Como Motel in Richardson, however, following the birth of his daughter Bethany in July 1979, Allan unexpectedly ended the illicit relationship, leaving Montgomery distraught.

The Murder Of Betty Gore

While Allan Gore was away on business in Minnesota on June 13, 1980, his daughter Alisa was at the Montgomery house to allow Betty some alone time with their youngest child, Bethany.

Candy Montgomery went round to the Gore home to collect a swimsuit for Alisa, and was confronted by Betty Gore, "Candy", she said, "are you having an affair with Allan?".

Montgomery would later claim that Gore attacked her with an axe and that she only retaliated in self-defense.

Regardless of the claims, Betty Gore was struck 41 times with the axe - mainly in her face. Her arms, legs, and torso were also completely decapitated. After the violent event had taken place, Candy Montgomery simply returned home and acted as if nothing had happened, she even left Betty Gore's newborn baby asleep upstairs in her crib.

Allan Gore began to panic when he couldn't contact his wife. He called Richard Parker, his neighbour, and asked if he would go and check on her, which he did, accompanied by Lester Gayler and Jerry McMahan. Allan also contacted Montgomery, who told him that she had seen Betty earlier and she was sure everything was alright.

Gayler recalled how they found "thick, congealed reddish-brown oceans of blood glistening on the tiles" leading to the body of Betty Gore which was discovered in the utility room.

Allan called Montgomery again at 11:30 p.m. and told her that his wife Betty was dead.

The Controversial Trial Of Candy Montgomery

When police arrived at the grisly scene, they noticed a bloody shoe print, they also saw blood on the bathroom wall and drain which gave them the impression that the killer had cleaned themselves before leaving the property. Steven Deffibaugh, a Collin County investigator, immediately believed the killer was either underage or female due to the print.

Candy Montgomery at her trial for the murder of Betty Gore
Candy Montgomery at her trial for the murder of Betty Gore

Although unbeknown to authorities yet, Candy Montgomery had used garden shears to cut up her sandals when she saw that the incident was being reported in the news.

Montgomery was believed to have been the last person to see Betty alive, so she was quickly questioned by police. She told the authorities that she had gone to the Gore house early in the morning to collect Alisa's swimsuit before leaving to go and teach Bible class.

A five-year-old friend of Alisa's who had come to play with her, recalled how she had seen Montgomery leave the house at 11 a.m.

By June 17, Allan Gore had told police about his affair with Candy Montgomery. Montgomery also refused to take a polygraph test. On June 27, she was arrested and charged with the murder of Betty Gore.

Prison officers noted that Montgomery had bruises on her head and they noticed cuts on her toe when she was changing into her prison uniform.

The trial, which started in October at the Collin County courthouse lasted eight days. Dan Crowder, Montgomery's defense attorney, argued that she had killed Betty Gore in self-defense after she had been attacked with the axe after Gore had uncovered the affair.

Dr Fred Fason, a psychiatrist from Houston, claimed that Montgomery had blacked out during the incident and that this was triggered by previous childhood trauma. He had put Candy Montgomery under hypnosis before the trial, this led her to remember her mother shushing her as a child - which is what she remembered doing to Betty Gore as she died.

While on the stand Montgomery said, "I hit her, I hit her, I hit her."

The jury of three men and nine women deliberated for three hours before acquitting Candy Montgomery of murder on October 30, 1980.

After the trial the Montgomerys moved away, divorcing later down the line. Today, it is believed that Candy Montgomery is living in Georgia and is a certified therapist and family counselor.

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