By: Rosa F.

Content warning: This story includes content about crime and murder that could be upsetting to younger readers. Parental/guardian discretion is advised.

A woman was found dead in her home. She was struck 41 times with an ax. Who could’ve done this? What was their motive? Was it her husband? It’s always the husband. Right? But no, he was on a business trip before the crime even took place. So, who did it? Oh and yes, it was Friday the 13th. Was this a wannabe serial killer? Or, was this all an accident? Well, let’s find out as we get into the story of the ax murderer.

The Country. As the people who live there like to call it but it doesn't have an official name. It was just  8-10 small towns on the eastern side of Collin County, Texas.

It was 1977 when Candy Montgomery decided to move into The Country with her husband, Pat, and their two kids. She attended the Methodist Church of Lucas and soon became a very respected and active member of the church. This is also around the time where she met Betty Gore and her husband Allan Gore. Betty and Candy’s daughters were quick to become friends so it was no surprise that the couples knew each other well and would often see each other.

It was summer in 1978 and a few people were playing volleyball on the church volleyball court. During the game Candy and Allan bumped into each other. Although a harmless bump to everyone else for Candy it seemed to mean much more. After that one bump she started liking Allan. She began thinking about Allan and talking with her friends about having an affair with him.. Her friends attended the same church as Candy and Allan so they didn’t really agree with that idea. Especially knowing that they both were married and had kids. They found the whole situation kinda weird. 

Now, why would she have an affair you may ask? Doesn’t she have a husband? She did have a husband but apparently life with Pat was not as interesting as she wanted. She was bored. She just wanted something exciting, something adventurous, and I guess something scandalous. 

It is said that Allan wasn’t the type of man you would expect to have an affair or I wouldn’t. He had a receding hairline and was a little chubby (not that there is any problem with that) but if I were thinking about doing something that may destroy my whole marriage then I would rather do it with someone who looks  like Ryan Reynolds. 

Anywho, they knew each for about nine-months and they seem to actually have a lot in common. Allan sang in the church choir, organized the sports teams, liked hanging out with his kids and basically that was everything that Candy liked too. But can’t say the same for his wife Betty.. Except for the fact that she loved kids too, everything else just really wasn’t her thing.

Since both Candy and Allan were part of the church it was no surprise that they saw a lot of each other. It seemed as if Allan had a thing for Candy too though. He would joke around with her, would tease her, and even wink at her at times. So basically he flirted with her. As subtle as it was considering all of the things he would do it was no wonder why Candy began to think he had feelings for her too. But, he was also just a really friendly guy so at times it could have felt like he was just being friendly and nice rather than flirting. 

Mind you Candy was almost 29 years old at this time. She was bored, lonely (even though she had a husband), and just wanted to have some fun so instead of doing the more normal, less heartbreaking thing and like go on vacation or something. 

So she decided it was her chance to confront Allan about her feelings for him.

After choir practice Candy spotted Allan in the parking lot. As they stopped at his car she told him that she wanted to talk and so he said that they could talk about it at that moment. She slid into the passenger seat of his car and began talking to him. Of course, I don’t originally know what she said but in the Texas Monthly article, Love and Death in Silicon Prairie Pt.1, Jim Atkinson and John Bloom states, “I’ve been thinking about you a lot and it’s really bothering me” Allan, a little confused, said nothing. “I’m very attracted to you and I’m tired of thinking about it and so I wanted to tell you.” 

After confessing her feelings Candy bolted out of the car leaving Allan alone confused about what just happened. But, as confused and shocked as he was from Candy’s confession he was also very flattered. He was like, “Wow. Another woman besides my wife has a crush on me. Not any woman, it's Candy Montgomery, a married woman with kids!” Someone just like him…except the woman part of course. Anyway, he was still skeptical of what she meant by what she said but it was enough to keep him thinking about her nonstop. 

Of course, he felt guilty. I mean, the man’s literally thinking about another woman when he has a wife and kids at home but that wasn’t the main reason for his guilt. It’s just that Candy and Betty were sooo different; Betty was stern and always gloomy. Sounds like such a mood killer, ya know? But not Candy nooo she was bright, fun, and energetic everything Betty wasn’t. Which like fyi Betty is pregnant so nah duh she won’t be as energetic and happy as non-pregnant Candy.

On her 29th birthday Allan called Candy to tell her to meet him at an autoshop and she did. They talked for a while but they were talking about anything but the thing they came there to actually talk about. After stalling they finally got to business and talked about having the affair. Allan agreed to it but of course he didn’t want Betty to find out and neither did Candy want Pat to find out. Knowing that what they were going to do was bad and they didn't want to hurt either of their spouses, they made up some rules. Some of the rules stated from the Texas Monthly article, Love and Death in Silicon Prairie include,

“If either one of them ever wanted to end the affair, for whatever reason, it would end. No questions asked. If either one became too emotionally involved, the affair would end. They would meet only on weekdays, while their spouses were at work. Candy would be in charge of fixing lunch on the days they met, so that they could have more time.” ( Atkinson & Bloom, 1984) 

That’s only a few of the rules discussed in their meeting. Although they planned and thought everything through already it wasn’t until December 12th of 1978 when the affair really began.

It didn’t take too long for Candy to want to end it though. Now, you may think that Candy finally came to her senses and realized that she shouldn’t be doing this but that wasn’t necessarily the case. About two-months into the affair Candy felt like she was beginning to have feelings for Allan and so she tried to end it but Allan didn’t want to give up that fast. And so the affair continued.

It was mid-June and Betty was nearing her due date when Candy decided to be a good friend and host a baby shower for her. Now, you may think this may have caused Candy to break or for Candy to show at least the littlest bit of signs of guilt but no she kept her cool and acted as if everything was normal. Soon, came delivery day and baby Bethany was born. With the birth of his daughter Allan began to feel guilty. He felt bad for leaving Betty all alone taking care of Alisa and Bethany while he was out with another woman. He felt especially guilty when Betty suggested they should spend some time together. Betty began to cry, accusing him of not loving her anymore, and thinking that after having kids she wasn’t good enough for him. Seeing Betty like this hurt him and so he had to do what he had to do. He had to end the affair.

He talked to Candy about ending the relationship but now she didn’t like that idea. Everytime she wanted to end it Allan would refuse but when he was the one suggesting it suddenly she had no choice but to agree? She already had feelings for him and felt like she couldn’t just end it there and so the affair continued. 

Allan was planning to take Betty to Marriage Encounter, a weekend for couples, to see how they could fix their relationship. As much as Candy didn’t want to be the cause of breaking his marriage she didn’t want to lose her relationship with Allan either and felt that the Marriage Encounter would put an end to their relationship. Allan reassured her telling her to wait and see what happens.

Marriage Encounter was a program where a couple would spend time with each other for a few days and be together all the time. In Marriage Encounter the couple would be asked questions and they would have to write down their answers in a notebook. After writing down their answers they would show them to each other and reflect  in order to work out what they could do to better grow their relationship.

After Marriage Encounter Betty and Allan’s relationship did get better. They understood each other more and together worked on fixing their marriage. But, of course with that came the end of Candy and Allan’s affair. Candy was a bit mad but in the end she agreed and actually thought about going on a Marriage Encounter too after seeing the effect it had on Betty and Allan. Unfortunately, Candy and Pat didn’t have the exact same outcome as Betty and Allan but they did grow closer together in a way. Their relationship may have ended but their friendship didn't.

A few months had passed since the affair ended and Allan was heading out of town for a business trip to Minnesota. He usually enjoyed trips but he didn’t enjoy this one. Betty was terrified of being alone but he was hoping that this time would be easier for her. 

Plus they were planning a trip to Europe together. This trip was different because it was going to be just the two of them without the kids. Betty was especially excited for it since she needed a break from the usual hectic work she does. Even though she was happy before he left for Minnesota he was still worried about her and decided to call her. 

One ring…two rings…three rings… no answer. He hung up and called again. Still no answer. He wasn’t too worried at the time and thought that maybe she just went out for a walk with Bethany or to do some errands.

Later that evening Allan arrived in Minnesota and settled into his motel room. He decided to call Betty again but like before there was no answer. It was strange, Betty never just leaves the house in the afternoon without telling anyone. He started to get worried and so he decided to call his neighbor, Richard, to go check on her. Richard ran over to the house and banged on the door but no one answered. 

After trying a few more times he just ran back and called Allan and told him that no one answered.

Allan was getting worried and didn’t know what else to do and so he instinctively called Candy. Candy seemed very concerned that Betty wasn’t answering. She too found it weird because she just saw Betty that morning and she seemed perfectly fine. Candy told Allan that his daughter, Alisa, was with them.  Allan asked to talk with Alisa.  He tried asking Alisa if she remembered Betty say anything about going out but Alisa didn’t remember anything. Candy offered to go check the house for him but he declined and said “Goodbye.”. 

Around 10 he called Betty again knowing that that was around her bedtime so she must be home. No answer. He immediately called Richard again and told him to check the garage and so he did. Their garage door was open, one car was inside, and the lights were on. Allan thought that was strange because he knew that Betty wouldn't just leave the house without shutting the garage door. 

He started thinking of any possible scenario that could give reason as to why the garage was left like that. He came to the conclusion that there must have been an emergency but when he called all the hospitals and police stations in the area none of them had seen Betty. Worried, Allan called Richard once again. At this point Richard was getting annoyed but the fear and worry in Allan's voice made him agree to check again.

Richard went back over and better inspected the whole property when he noticed something he didn’t notice before. There were two cars in the garage, not one. He also noticed lights coming from the bottom of the utility room door but the door wouldn’t open no matter what he did. He felt like something was wrong and Allan told him to do whatever he could to enter the home. Allan was panicking at this point and called his other neighbor, Jerry, to go help check the place too. Jerry brought his friend Lester along.  Allan told the men to break down the doors, break the windows, anything just anything that could get them to Betty. When the three men met in the yard they grouped up and started checking to find a way into the house. Richard made his way back to the front door to try to open again and immediately called the other men to his side. The door was never locked. If they weren’t freaked out before this definitely changed that. 

The three men just stood there afraid to see what lay beyond the door, none trying to be the first one in.  Richard tried calling Betty’s name through the door. No answer. Mustering up some courage Lester made the first move and pushed the door open. Together they entered the home. The lights were on but all the doors down the hall were closed. They began opening and checking the rooms and so far everything seemed fine. As Jerry opened the bathroom door he realized a dark substance covering the tiles. At the instant he knew something was terribly wrong and so did the others. 

Cautiously Lester entered a bedroom and turned on the lights. At that moment loud blood curdling screams could be heard from the room. Baby Bethany was lying in her crib, her face was red from constantly crying and screaming, and she was covered in her own…feces. Richard immediately grabbed the baby and cradled her as he ran back to his house. Jerry and Lester continued investigating the rest of the house. They went through the master bedroom, dining room, living room, and kitchen. As they went around a horrible pungent smell began to increase the closer they got to the utility room. Lester opened the door to the utility room but immediately closed it back shut. “Don’t come closer!” He warned to noone in particular. He didn’t see anything but the dark crimson red blood invading the floor was enough to make him sick. Jerry cautiously made his way from the dining room to Lester. Slowly, he opened the door and got a glimpse of the body. “She’s blown her head off.”(Atkinson & Bloom, 1984).

They immediately ran to the phone but as they reached it it began to ring. It was Allan. He called anxious to know what they had found but all he got was silence as the men were fumbling around. Neither of them wanted to carry the burden of having to tell Allan what they saw but they had no choice. They told him that Betty was shot and suspected she was the one to do it to herself. Allan was shocked to hear the news to say the least. He was barely able to comprehend the fact that she was dead but that she did it to herself? That was too much for him to handle. He needed someone at that moment and so he called Candy Montgomery. Once Candy answered he gave her a breakdown of the whole situation. Candy was near tears as she tried to reassure Allan.

The neighbors thought it was a suicide and so did Allan but he was suspicous. How could she have done that to herself? They didn’t even have a gun at home. Nonetheless He had a bit of closure knowing that it wasn’t murder. 

He did think about that morning when he last saw Betty. He was on his way to work and Betty was standing outside with Bethany in her arms waving goodbye with a huge bright smile on her face. It wasn’t just any smile, it was a genuine real smile, a thing that she didn’t do quite often. They had their upcoming trip to Europe so it was no wonder why she was so happy.

Candy couldn’t stop thinking about last night. She woke up earlier than everyone else in her household. Allan mentioned to her that he told the police that she visited Betty that day. Something she didn’t really think about till now. But with that in mind she continued on doing her usual housewife chores.

“Have you heard what happened?”

 “Yeah, but only that she was shot.” 

“It’s all over the news.”

“Oh really?” Candy felt a sudden sharp pain in her body as she stared blankly in the distance. She thanked them for the info and hung up the phone but the telephone just rang again and again.

“Did you hear?” 

“Betty is dead.” 

“She died.”

“Did you see the news?” 

“Did you know she died?” 

“The police say she was murdered.” 

“They say it was an ax.”

A feeling of dread washed over her as soon as she heard those words. The phone kept ringing and she kept answering as she continued her daily chores. Apparently police found a footprint and that one footprint was the one thing everyone kept talking about. Candy was at the kitchen table cutting up a pair of sandals as she heard this news. Of course, the devastating news reached Allan at some point and when he heard of it he almost collapsed on the spot.

Dr. Irve Stone, an investigator that was called to the scene, stated that when he first entered the crime scene there were about 15 people already inside the home and that wasn’t counting the police officers. This was a violation of the crime scene resulting in contamination of some blood stains that were trailing from the inside of the home out to the front door. 

When he entered the utility room the sight was disturbing. Betty's face was disfigured, the right side of her face was completely chopped off and her lips were a bit turned up, almost into a smile. The sight was terrifying and at that moment no one could tell if that was even Betty in the first place.

Soon word spread out that Candy was the last person to see Betty the day of her death making her the main suspect. Candy told them the same story she told everyone else that day. She went to go ask Betty if Alisa could stay with them for the night since her kids wanted to bring her along to the movies, as she was there she picked up Alisa’s swimsuit and peppermints for swim class, talked to Betty a bit, went to Target to buy some Fathers Day cards, and came back to pick up the kids but because her watch was broken and the time was wrong she arrived late. 

Her story seemed to check out and investigators didn’t have any reason to suspect her either. That was until Allan came forward about the affair that they ended only a few months prior to this incident. After hearing this confession the police realized that this could be a motive for murder and so they arrested Candy. 

But, they couldn’t keep her behind bars for long. I mean, there wasn’t enough evidence for a simple charge nevertheless a murder so obviously she was realeased but on bail. No matter what the press said about Candy the church and her community stayed by her side. The Montgomerys would almost all the time receive letters of support and Candy would almost always reply to them all.

Candy had hired a friend from church, Don Crowder, to be her lawyer and represent her in court. Don Crowder took on the case without realizing how hard it was going to be to get more information out of Candy. In need of help he soon hired a psychiatrist by the name of Dr.Fred Fason to help him get more information about what happened that Friday on June 13th. 

At first though Dr. Fason was skeptical of taking on the case but after Crowder gave him an overview of who and what the case was about Dr. Fason thought maybe just maybe he would at least see Candy and diagnose her. After some time he decided to finally agree to join the case.

Dr. Fason wanted to try hypnosis on Candy to see any memories she may have that could reveal anything about what happened. In order to do this they had to fly to Houston and so Crowder assigned one of his associates, Elaine Carpenter, to accompany Candy. As they made their way to Houston Elaine noticed that Candy seemed to become more and more distant. Fason greeted them and took Candy to his office leaving Carpenter to wait in the reception area. Carpenter paced around the room, sat down, read magazines, and paced again wondering what was going on inside the room when suddenly she heard a deafening shriek. It was coming from Dr. Fasons office and it didn’t stop. The screams kept going. That was the sound of the hypnosis working.

Fason and Candy agreed to be open with each other about everything which Candy did do. She told him more about the morning of the murder more than she told anyone else. After gaining her trust Dr. Fason soon began a trance. As he asked her some questions Candy began to reveal that she felt hate, anger, and fear. She expressed that she wanted to scream and those screams were the ones that Carpenter heard. As they continued Fason soon found out that there must have been some childhood trauma or trigger that led to her anger.

The trial began in October 1980. Everyone on the eastern side of Collin County, Texas was stunned to hear that Candy was pleading self-defense. When Candy was called to the stand she looked calm and answered all the questions Crowder asked. She sounded stern and very impassive when answering. It took a while for Dr. Fason and Crowder to actually get Candy to admit the events that happened in the utility room. 

The story that is about to be told may not be the full story but it was the best they could do.

Betty wasn’t expecting Candy to be over so she kind of looked annoyed when she opened the door to find her. Candy was straightforward and right off the bat asked Betty for a favor. Candy asked if it was okay for Alisa to watch a movie with them and in return she offered to take her to her swimming lessons. Betty agreed and welcomed Candy into her home. They made their way into the living room and Betty went to the kitchen. She offered coffee to Candy but she declined the offer as she sat down on a seat with a small table in front of her. Betty returned to the living room and sat on the other side of the table across from Candy. Betty looked tense as if waiting for Candy to leave.

After some small talk though she began to loosen up a bit. They talked for a while before Candy got up stating that she had to go run some errands. But, Betty made no effort to move; she just stared into the abyss, her face completely blank.

“Are you having an affair with Allan?” ( Atkinson & Bloom, 1984)

Candy was a bit surprised by this question and immediately answered “no.” That didn’t stop Betty from questioning her a bit more and confronting Candy about her having an affair with Allan earlier. Finally Candy admitted that she indeed had an affair with Allan. She was standing as still as a statue looking everywhere else but at Betty. Betty didn’t do or say anything just stared blankly past Candy.

Betty abruptly got up from her chair and made her way to the utility room. She reappeared after a moment clutching an ax in a clumsy way. Candy stood up but didn’t move or even try to move. Betty ordered her not to see Allan ever again. A bit frightened from the whole situation Candy didn’t reply to the statement and suggested that she should just drop off Alisa back to them. Betty responded in a harsh tone saying she didn’t want to see her again and to just drop off Alisa the next day. She then placed the ax against the wall inside the living room. Walking past Candy she made her way to get a towel telling Candy to get the swimsuit from the washer which was located in the utility room.

As Candy grabbed the swimsuit Betty appeared behind her. In a softer tone Betty reminded her to get some peppermints as she handed her the towel. Wanting to leave Candy said that it wasn’t necessary because she already had some at home but Betty insisted and handed her the candies anyway. Candy stuffed the things in her bag and when she looked back up she noticed the look of pain in Betty’s face. Candy placed her hand on Betty’s arm. In a voice full of pity she said, “I’m sorry.”

Enraged Betty shoved Candy back into the utility room. Betty grabbed the ax and made her way towards Candy screaming, “You can’t have him!Y ou can’t have him!” over and over. Candy put her hands on the ax begging her to stop telling her she didn’t want Allan but she wouldn't listen. “I’ve got to kill you” (Atkinson & Bloom,1984)

Betty began violently moving the ax. The flat side of the blade scraped the side of Candy’s head. Candy backed up putting a hand to her head as she continued to beg Betty to stop. Her hand was drenched in blood when she pulled it out from where she was cut. Betty took this chance to raise the ax over Candy’s head getting ready to strike. Candy screamed and moved away in time before Betty had a chance to hit her. Although the blade completely missed her when it fell it bounced cutting Candy’s toe. Taking advantage of this moment Candy grabbed the ax. Betty tried grabbing the ax back from Candy but she wouldn’t let go. As they wrestled for the ax Candy bit Betty’s hand causing her to stumble off balance. She took her chance and slammed the ax against Betty’s body. As Betty continued to try to get up Candy slammed the ax against her again and again this time hitting the back of her head creating a loud pop sound. Candy immediately dropped the ax upon seeing the blood gushing out of Betty’s head.

Candy tried to make a run for it but just as she was going to open the door to the living room Betty came out of nowhere and slammed herself against the door. Betty looked like a crazed killer as she grabbed the ax, blood dripping from her face. Candy began crying pleading for her to stop. But, to her horror Betty said she couldn’t. They grabbed and fought for the ax once again. As they fought for power over the ax Candy slipped on the blood collected on the floor. Betty tried to raise the ax but due to the loss of blood she didn’t have the strength. Candy took this chance to tackle her down and now on the floor they continued the battle for the ax. Candy shoved Betty away and bolted to the door but it wouldn’t open. As Betty made her way towards Candy she whispered a quiet, “Shhhh.”

As if something activated inside of Candy she began grabbing at the ax. They began yet another game of tug-of-war. But, Betty fell backwards and without hesitation Candy began slamming the ax against her. She would continue doing this 41 times 40 of those times of which Betty was still alive and breathing.

The courtroom in October 1980 was dead silent as Candy continued describing the events. Crowder would try to reenact the events with Candy and she admitted everything she had done. She admitted murdering Betty. She admitted she hit her with an ax 41 times. But, she pledged that it was all for self-defense. She cried on the stand but even though she had tears she showed no emotion. Some thought she was just playing an act, some believed her. 

In the end, the judge found Candy Montgomery not guilty of the murder of Betty Gore and Candy walked out a free woman. This caused an outrage. 

As she walked out the courtroom people yelled and cussed  at her calling her a murderer. Many people couldn’t believe that she was not guilty. One of those people being Ronald Pomery, Betty’s brother. In an interview he stated that he thought she was most definitely going to be guilty and didn’t believe her story. He was skeptical about the self-defense thing. He couldn’t believe that someone could just hit someone 41 times with an ax just for self-defense. I mean, she left Betty completely unrecognizable at that point. Nonetheless, she was declared not guilty.

There are little updates on Candy but reports say that she moved to Georgia with her family, later divorced Pat, became a counselor and everything else is unknown. There are little updates about Allan too but they say he got remarried and moved away too.

If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help. 

Call or text 988 to connect with a trained crisis counselor with The Lifeline, which provides 24-hour, confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. 

Source Notes: 

Love and Death in Silicon Prairie, Part I: Candy Montgomery’s Affair – Texas Monthly

Love and Death in Silicon Prairie, Part II: The Killing of Betty Gore – Texas Monthly

Texas woman declared innocent in hacking death of friend - UPI Archives

Elizabeth Olsen to play Dallas-area ax killer Candy Montgomery in HBO Max series (

Inside the story of Friday the 13th axe murderer Candy Montgomery | Daily Mail Online tive-says/809413603 biel-elizabeth-olsen-b2057534.html

What Happened To Candy Montgomery, Betty Gore? | Crime News (

The Murder of Betty Gore at the Hands of Desperate Housewife Candy Montgomery - Soapboxie

Where Is Betty Gore's Husband Allan Today? (

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