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Crime News

Who Was Betty Gore, Murder Victim At Heart Of ‘Candy’?

Betty Gore, played by Melanie Lynskey in the new Hulu crime drama series "Candy," was killed by her friend Candy Montgomery, who successfully argued self-defense in the case.

By Gina Tron
Melanie Lynskey as Betty Gore in Hulu's Candy

Betty Gore’s shocking 1980 murder is at the center of Hulu’s newest crime drama “Candy.” 

The 30-year-old mother had been struck 41 times with an ax by her friend Candy Montgomery on Friday, June 13, 1980, a killing that divided their small Texas community. Gore had confronted her one-time pal Montgomery about an affair that Candy had with Gore’s engineer husband Allan one year prior.

Montgomery, also 30, had grown bored with her housewife life and zeroed in on Allan as someone to cheat on her husband Pat with in 1979; the two couples were friends and the Gores’ daughter would often go to the Montgomery house to play with their children. 

Their doomed relationships are portrayed in “Candy,” a five-night event that stars Jessica Biel as Montgomery and Melanie Lynskey as Gore. The two women had become friends while singing in the same church choir, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. But she and Allan betrayed Betty's trust, beginning their affair as Betty was pregnant with her second daughter. After Betty gave birth in 1979, Allan ended the affair and Candy was left feeling scorned.

Betty was also suffering from postpartum depression following the birth, which put an additional strain on her marriage, according to Oxygen's “Snapped,” which ran an episode on the case.

"Candy" depicts their marriage as troubled up until the moment that Candy and Betty got into their fatal confrontation. In the series, Betty feels abandoned by her husband, who was on a business trip during her murder.

Candy had admitted to killing Betty but claimed she did so out of self-defense; she maintained that Betty grabbed an ax after a heated discussion about Candy and Allan’s affair. Betty's eldest daughter had been at the Montgomery household at the time and Candy had stopped by the Gore home to pick up a swimsuit for her.

Just months after the murder, Candy was acquitted of killing Betty on the basis of self-defense. She left Texas three months later and never looked back, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Betty is remembered for her involvement in the community and her love of children.

“She was very popular. She was involved in all kinds of school events, music, plays, student council. She wanted to be an elementary school teacher, really, from the word go,” Betty’s brother, Ronald Pomeroy, told “Snapped.”

Growing up, Betty was one of the most popular girls in her tiny hometown of  Norwich, Kansas, according to Texas Monthy. Her loved ones felt as though she had settled when she married Allan and moved to the suburbs of Dallas with him. She taught at an elementary school in Wylie, but left the job after finding it difficult to deal with unruly students.

The murder was dramatized in the 1990 CBS television movie, “A Killing in a Small Town.” There is another series in production about the case: HBO Max’s “Love and Death,” which stars Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery and Lily Rabe as Betty Gore.