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New Interviews Shed More Light On Candy Montgomery's Ax-Slaying Of Betty Gore In 1980

“It looked like a scene from a horror film,” retired Collin County sheriff’s deputy Steve Deffibaugh said of the gruesome crime scene at Betty Gore's home in a new interview. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Candy Montgomery Spd 3015

When Texas teacher Betty Gore was found dead on her own laundry room floor with 41 ax wounds on June 13, 1980, investigators first suspected the savage killing had been inspired by the popular movie “The Shining.”

“It looked like a scene from a horror film,” retired Collin County sheriff’s deputy Steve Deffibaugh told People in a new interview for a new episode of “People Magazine Investigates.” “It was a Friday the 13th. Our thought was we had a copycat of the movie ‘The Shining.’”

Investigators were struck by the disturbing parallels between the then-new movie — which stars an isolation-crazed Jack Nicholson who torments his family by chasing them through an abandoned Colorado hotel with an ax — and the seemingly random killing of a suburban mother of two.

“It was a vicious set of blows to the body, the face, the arms, the head, the torso even into the legs,” Dr. Irv Stone, former chief of physical evidence in Dallas, told Oxygen’s “Snapped” in an episode that aired earlier this year.

Despite the timing — “The Shining” was released in May 1980 — investigators ultimately determined Betty’s killing actually hadn’t been random at all.

She had been killed by her close friend, Candy Montgomery, who had secretly been having an affair with Betty’s husband.

Candy and her husband Pat Montgomery had befriended Allan and Betty Gore after they'd moved to Wiley, Texas in 1977, at the First United Methodist Church of Lucas where both couples were active members.

“These were two normal moms,” mutual friend Dora Mendes told People recently. “They were the ones who brought homemade potato salad to the PTA picnics.”

Defense attorney Robert Udashen described Candy to “Snapped” as a “really outgoing, likable person” who taught Sunday school and sang in the choir.

But as the two families got closer, so did Allan and Candy, who started an affair in 1978 after Candy bluntly asked him “Would you be interested in having an affair?” according to Texas Monthly.

According to the women's mutual friend Mendes, the strict rules put in place to dictate the affair — including splitting the cost of hotel rooms — was “classic Candy.”

“She wasn’t one for chaos,” she told People.

A steamy affair quickly developed, but Allan later broke things off after his wife had another baby in an effort to focus on his marriage.

Authorities believe Candy killed Betty after she had discovered the betrayal and confronted her friend, who had been babysitting for the Gore’s oldest daughter and had stopped by the home to pick up a swimsuit.

After killing Betty, Candy went home and changed her bloody clothes before going to church to lead a children’s Bible class, never telling anyone about the death, according to the magazine.

Candy would later claim that she killed Betty in self-defense after Betty had attacked her with the ax during the argument, cutting her toe, before Candy wrestled the weapon away and defended herself.

As for the 41 blows that would follow, a psychologist would testify on the stand that Candy had been triggered by a traumatic childhood memory after Betty told her “Shhhh,” the magazine reported in the lengthy profile.

The sensational case divided the small Wylie, Texas community, but the jury ultimately sided with Candy, acquitting her of the murder in 1980, UPI reported that year.

“Our family felt like the justice system had let us down,” Betty’s brother Ron Pomeroy told People. “We felt like justice was not served.

After the trial, Candy divorced Pat Montgomery and moved to Georgia, where she reportedly works as a mental health counselor.

More than 40 years after the killing, Betty's family is still grieving their loss.

“She should be getting old now, a grandmother,” Pomeroy said, adding, “This shouldn’t have happened. Betty didn’t deserve it.”

The case re-emerged this year after Hulu streamed the limited series “Candy” starring Jessica Biel. It’s also the focus of the HBO Max limited series “Love & Death” starring Elizabeth Olsen, which is expected to premiere next year, according to Pop Sugar.

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