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Woman who axed her best friend 41 times over extramarital affair



In a small town in the U.S. state of Texas, a web of forbidden passions and tragic consequences unravelled and this left a community stunned and a legacy of infamy. The story of Candy Montgomery, entangled in an extramarital affair with Allan Gore, took a sinister turn when Betty Gore, Allan’s wife, lost her life in a shocking act of violence.

Despite the gravity of the crime, Montgomery’s trial resulted in a surprising twist: she was not found guilty. This piece explores the tale of love, betrayal and murder which involved Candy Montgomery.

Candy Montgomery biography

Candy Montgomery

Candace Lynn Montgomery (formerly Wheeler), born on November 15, 1949, is an American woman who murdered Betty Gore, the wife of her lover. The tragic event occurred in Wylie, Texas, on June 13, 1980. In the violent incident, Betty Gore was brutally struck with a wood-splitting axe a total of 41 times.

Montgomery entered a plea of not guilty for the murder charges, claiming self-defence. She asserted that Gore confronted her regarding an affair she had with Gore’s husband and assaulted her with the axe. Eventually, she was found not guilty and acquitted of the charges.

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Candy Montgomery career

Candy Montgomery smiling

There is limited information about Montgomery’s career.

Candy Montgomery family

Candy Montgomery and Pat Montgomery

At the time of the incident, Montgomery, who was 30 years old, was married to Pat Montgomery, an electrical engineer. The couple had a daughter and a son, and in 1977, they relocated to Collin County, Texas. They were active members of the Methodist Church of Lucas.

After the trial in 1980, Montgomery and her husband, Pat, reportedly departed Texas and relocated to Georgia, as mentioned in Texas Monthly. They later went through a divorce four years after the trial.

Candy Montgomery crime

Candy Montgomery in court

Montgomery was allegedly accused of killing Betty Gore, the wife of Allan Gore. Montgomery and Betty Gore’s relationship began through their mutual involvement in The Methodist Church of Lucas, where they collaborated on church activities. The tight-knit community of the church played a pivotal role in bringing them together, leading to the tragic outcome of Betty’s death at Montgomery’s hands.

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The area they resided in, a group of small towns in eastern Collin County, drew individuals seeking refuge from urban issues, aiming to find security and break free from the routine of city life. Montgomery’s attraction to Allan Gore, Betty Gore’s husband, developed when they coincidentally crossed paths on the church’s volleyball court. Montgomery openly confessed her feelings to Gore. What might have appeared accidental to others was a moment of epiphany for Montgomery, sparking an intense desire to be with him.

Over several weeks, Montgomery confided in her friends about her yearning for an affair. She sought something to shake up her otherwise “very boring” life with her husband, Pat. She explicitly expressed her desire for an affair that would trigger emotional connection and excitement.

Despite Gore’s unremarkable appearance, he intrigued Montgomery. She questioned the possibility of having an affair with him. Although they had known each other for just nine months, their interactions grew more frequent. Montgomery sensed that Gore’s friendly demeanour and sense of humour might make him open to her advances.

After a church gathering, Montgomery took the chance to speak with Gore, slipping into his car, confessing her feelings and quickly departed. Gore mulled over her proposition for days, secretly flattered by the attention. He contrasted his wife, Betty, who remained reserved, with Montgomery, who radiated vitality, confidence, and warmth.

They met again shortly in Montgomery’s car, where she broached the idea of an affair. Gore, however, was surprised and shared his pain from his wife’s past affair and his hesitation to hurt her. Montgomery was taken aback by Gore’s considerate response and confessed her unwillingness to damage their marriages. In a fleeting moment, though, Gore kissed Montgomery before leaving the car.

In 1980, Gore’s wife, Betty Gore, tragically lost her life in a murder committed by her acquaintance, Candace “Candy” Montgomery. Reports indicated that Betty Gore was brutally attacked with an axe, suffering 41 blows. During the incident, Gore was away on a business trip while Montgomery visited the Gore family home to retrieve a swimsuit. Alarmed by his wife’s silence, Gore contacted neighbours to check on the house.

Upon entering the house, the neighbours discovered Betty Gore’s lifeless body. Gore’s admission of the affair with Montgomery became a pivotal aspect of the investigation. It raised suspicions about possible motives and established a potential link between Montgomery and the victim, adding complexity to the case.

The affair strained relationships, causing distress within their families and the community. While Gore’s involvement was not directly tied to Betty Gore’s murder, his confession significantly contributed to the initial suspicion surrounding Montgomery.

The Montgomery murder trial commenced in January 1981 and attracted national attention due to its sensational nature. Montgomery was represented by civil law attorney Don Crowder and defence attorney Robert Udashen during her trial. The proceedings, overseen by District Judge Tom Ryan, took place in McKinney, Texas, and concluded in just eight days. Montgomery’s defence was based on self-defence. She claimed that she had acted in self-defence after being assaulted by Gore, who confronted her about her affair with Allan, Betty’s husband. Montgomery asserted that she used an axe to defend herself after Gore attempted to attack her with the same weapon.

Before the trial, Montgomery underwent a polygraph test to prove her side of the story was plausible. The prosecutor, District Attorney Tom O’Connell, contended that Montgomery could have fled instead of resorting to an attack. He also argued that the extent of the attack, involving 41 strikes, was disproportionate.

Montgomery’s defence team put forth the argument that she acted under temporary insanity. This defence aimed to demonstrate that her mental state during the crime was impaired, leading to a loss of control and rationality.

After weeks of compelling testimonies and passionate arguments, Montgomery’s fate was left in the hands of the jury. Deliberating for several days, the jury carefully assessed the evidence and the defence’s claim of temporary insanity. Ultimately, on October 30, 1980, the jury delivered a surprising verdict: Montgomery was found not guilty of the murder charges. The defence’s presentation of temporary insanity had influenced the jury, leading them to believe that Montgomery’s actions were a result of her disturbed mental state at the time of the murder.

The community in Texas, however, strongly criticised the verdict. Upon Montgomery’s acquittal, crowds outside the courthouse chanted, “Murderer! Murderer!” Her exit was met with this reaction.

The victim’s father, Bob Pomeroy, expressed his perspective, saying: “I believe justice will be served. She has to live with it… I wouldn’t say I was content with the verdict. We can’t be certain about what occurred, and we will never truly understand what took place.”

Candy Montgomery age

Candy Montgomery now

Montgomery was born on November 15, 1949. She is 74 years old as of 2023.

Candy Montgomery now

As per information from Entertainment Weekly, Candy stopped using her husband’s surname – Montgomery – and reverted to her maiden name – Wheeler.

She continues to reside in Georgia. She reportedly works as a mental health counsellor and collaborates with her daughter, Jenny.

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