If you’ve watched Candy on Hulu, you may be wondering where Candy Montgomery is now and if she’s in jail for the murder of her close friend, Betty Gore.
Candy is based on the real-life case of Candy Montomgery, a housewife who was accused of murdering her close friend, Betty Gore, in Wylie, Texas, on June 13, 1980, after having an extramarital affair with Betty’s husband, Allan Gore. Candy—who lived by the Gores with her husband, Pat Montgomery, and their two children—was accused of assaulting Betty 41 times with a three-foot ax. In an interview with Pop Culture, Jessica Biel, who stars as Candy and also executive produces the series, revealed why she wanted to play the character. “[Candy is] such a fascinating person, and the story is just too crazy to be real almost, is what it feels like to me,” Biel said. “But I just love the pathology of a character like that. And I’m just interested in humans, and why they do the things that they do. I always think like, ‘Wow, we’re all capable of anything.’” She continued, “I like to put myself right at the edge there and look over and [ask], ‘Am I capable of this?’ Those are the questions that I’m always asking myself specifically with a project like this.”
Biel also explained to E! News about how she can relate to Candy, despite her character’s alleged crimes. “As we started to get into it and started to really understand who these characters are, just the pathology of what it was like to be a woman back then in the ’80s, I think I was really able to empathize with these women,” she said. “I could see myself struggling with some of the same issues that they’re struggling with.” She continued, “The pressure of being a woman and trying to do it all with a smile on your face, family pressures and work pressures and everything. I feel that.”
In an interview with Pop Culture, Melanie Lynskey, who plays Betty, explained how she wanted to do Betty justice with her performance in Candy. “I loved all the little moments where they just show the mundanity of the suburban life that these women were leading and how much was placed on their shoulders – how much they had to do every single day, how exhausted they both were and how [we] slowly get to know both of them,” she said. “Then, it all culminates at the end of the show in this way that’s so shocking.”
She continued, “I wanted to make sure her story was told in the fullest way possible. That you got an understanding of the fact that she was a woman who was really struggling and had absolutely no help in any respect and just the loneliness of that – of being somebody who needed help and was getting it from nowhere in the time when everyone was supposed to just be like, ‘Ooh, I got married, so that’s the rest of my life set.’”
But back to Candy. So where is Candy Montgomery now and did she go to jail for the murder of Betty Gore? Read on for what we know about the true story behind Candy and if Candy Montgomery is still alive.
What happened to Candy Montgomery?
What happened to Candy Montgomery? Candy—who was born as Candice Wheeler—was accused of murdering her close friend, Betty Gore, in Wylie, Texas, on June 13, 1980, after having an extramarital affair with Betty’s husband, Allan Gore. Candy—who lived by the Gores with her husband, Pat Montgomery, and their two children—met Betty, a middle school teacher, at a service at the United Methodist Church of Lucas in Collin County, Texas, and became close friends.
According to Texas Monthly, Candy confessed to the murder in a hypnosis session with psychiatrist Dr. Fred Fason. She claimed at her trial that she visited Betty to pick up a swimsuit for Betty’s daughter, Alisa, who was staying with Candy and her husband for the night. While at Betty’s home, Betty confronted Candy about the affair with Allan, which Candy confessed to but told Betty that it happened a “long time ago.” Candy claimed at the trial that Betty left the room and came back with an ax, which she used to threaten Candy with to never see Allan again, which Candy agreed to. As she picked up Alisa’s swimsuit, Candy apologized to Betty, which, she claimed, caused Betty to become angry at her and shove her into a utility room. Candy claimed that she and Betty had a long struggle that caused cuts on her toe and head. She also claimed that Betty told her that she wanted “to kill” her. Candy also alleged that she was managed to take the ax away from Betty, and used the blade on Betty in self defense before her friend could attack her again. In terror that she killed Betty, Candy tried to leave the room, but before she could do so, she claimed that Betty stopped her by slamming her body against the door.
A struggle ensued between Betty and Candy, as Betty refused to let Candy leave. During the fight, Betty told Candy to “shush,” which set Candy off and caused her to hit her with the ax to the “point of utter exhaustion.” During her hypnosis session, Candy also claimed that she suffered from childhood trauma that was triggered when she’s told to “shush.” On the day of Betty’s murder, Allan was out of town. When he couldn’t reach his wife by telephone, he asked the neighbors to check on her. After they forced their way into the home, they discovered Betty’s dead body, as Betty and Allan’s 1-year-old baby daughter, Bethany, who had been sleeping in her crib in another room at the time of the murder, was crying and awake. A few feet away from Betty was a three-foot-long ax, which authorities claimed that Candy used to slash Betty 41t imes, including 28 times on her head and face.
Soon after the murder, Betty turned herself into local authorities and was put on a $100,000 bond, according to Fort Worth Star-Telegram. After an eight-day trial—where the defense argued that Candy acted in self-defense and the prosecution argued that Betty was conscious when most of the stabs happened and that her death was intentional (and that she also showered in Betty’s bathroom after the murder)—Candy was acquitted of murder charges in October 1980. Psychiatrists testified at the trial and claimed that Candy had a “dissociative reaction” that led her to stab Betty repeatedly. The murder was also protected under Texas’ “Stand Your Ground” law that permits the use of deadly force if necessary to prevent a violent crime, such as Betty’s violent threats against Candy.
Where is Candy Montgomery now?
Where is Candy Montgomery now? According to Texas Monthly, Candy and her husband, Pat, left Texas soon after the trial in 1980 and moved to Georgia. They divorced four years later. According to Entertainment Weekly, Candy changed her name back to Candace Wheeler (her maiden name) and still lives in Georgia, where she works as a mental health counselor with her daughter, Jenny.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2022, Biel revealed that she tried to contact a representative for Candy to see “she was interested in having any conversation whatsoever.” “She was not interested,” Biel said. To play Candy, Biel talked Candy’s attorney, Robert Udashen, one of her two lawyers who defended her in her case, whom Biel called a “huge resource of information” for Candy.
Biel also explained why she was drawn to Candy and Betty’s case for Candy. “For 90 percent of their lives, they lived these very normal, suburban lives, and then boom, this crazy thing happens,” she said. “She had to be beloved and likable and nice and kind and someone that you can really get behind, and then after this crazy thing happens, I still want you to weirdly be behind her,” she says. Lynskey added of Betty, “I just felt like I knew her, and parts of me were parts of her.” She continued, “You’re living in this feeling and it can sometimes feel slightly repetitive, but that’s what depression also feels like.”
Biel also opened up about how she could sympathize with both Betty and Candy. “Some of the themes definitely were rage,” Biel said. “Undervalued is a great word… Loneliness, rage, and I think this societal pressure and need for perfection.” Lynskey added, “There is this expectation on women to do everything and not complain. And very much that was present at this time and in this community. It’s kind of beautiful to see a story about two women who are struggling and going about their lives as best they can, but acting out in different ways — coping, not coping — and then it all kind of comes to a head in this horrible fashion.”
Biel also revealed that there was “a lot of discussion” on whether to show Betty’s violent murder at all in Candy. “The pendulum sort of swung this way, then it swung back this way, and then it landed back in the middle,” Biel said. “Everything that we did, it was taken from the court documents, so we were really trying to be very true to her real story.” Lynskey added, “I understand the fear of showing something like that because it is so intense and upsetting, but at the same time, that’s what the story is about. This horrific thing that happened. I don’t know if you want to shy away from the brutality of it and how absolutely awful it was and the intensity with which it must have happened.”
Candy is available to stream on Hulu. Here’s how else to watch it for free.
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