When did Candy Montgomery get caught? Here's what true crime fans need to know

Here's how the Texas mom became the prime suspect in Betty Gore's murder

Jessica Biel driving a car as candy montgomery in hulu's "candy"
(Image credit: Tina Rowden/Hulu)

All eyes are on Candy Montgomery's grisly murder, but how did she get caught? 

No one suspected Betty Gore's best friend and fellow parishioner to be the one to brutally take her life. In a shocking twist, Candy—who now goes by her maiden name, Candace Wheeler—began an affair with Betty's husband, Allan Gore. When Betty learned about the infidelity, she approached Candy to discuss what transpired. Their talk turned physical and ultimately, Betty was left for dead in her utility room with 41 ax wounds, all while her husband was out of town for a business trip. 

During the Candy Montgomery trial in 1980, the defendant claimed she was acting in self-defense. After eight days, she left the courtroom a free woman. Today, she is the subject of quite a few shows—many have asked, "Is Love & Death the same as Candy?"—and is a popular figure amongst true crime buffs. But how were authorities tipped off about her involvement in the crime? 

When did Candy Montgomery get caught? 

Eerily enough, Candy killed Betty on Friday, June 13, 1980, and it didn't take long for the police to hone in on their potential suspect. On June 16, shortly after Betty's funeral, Allan went into the police department for questioning, according to Oxygen True Crime, by the way of The Dallas Morning News. While there he admitted that he and Betty were experiencing marital difficulties and actually had a fight right before he left for his business trip. 

One day later, the guilt got to him: he called the detectives back to admit that he had been having an affair with Candy, who was subsequently brought in for questioning following his confession. According to the sources, she did not take any responsibility for Betty's murder and she had refused to take a polygraph test. That ended up being unnecessary, as the footprints and evidence at the crime scene was enough for an arrest warrant. Roughly 10 days later, Candy was arrested on June 27, 1980 and charged with Betty's murder. 

Collin County investigator Steven Deffibaugh said in Snapped, a true crime documentary series, that Candy's arrival to prison is what further confirmed suspicions that she had been responsible for the murder. 

"She’s arrested and I’m the one to actually read her rights. Some female jailers strip searched her and take off all her clothes and that’s when they notice all these bruises and also a cut on her toe," he said. 

Additionally, a young friend of Betty's daughter, who was 5-years-old at the time, knocked on the Gore's door on Friday the 13th but did not get an answer. Shortly after she had stopped by the home around 11am, she noticed that Candy was leaving the residence. 

Did Candy Montgomery act in self-defense?

The Candy Montgomery trial truly shocked everyone when she walked away a free woman. After an eight-day ordeal, the jury agreed with the defendant that she had acted in self-defense and Betty was the one who initiated the physical altercation; the prosecution said that Candy's act was intentional, as Betty had been conscious for most of the stabs. 

Candy Montgomery's attorney, Don Crowder, was the one who encouraged his client to enlist the help of a psychiatrist, Dr. Fason, who hypnotized her to help her recall the details of the murder. He concluded she had recalled past traumatic incidents when Betty asked her to "shush," which is how this all transpired.

Now, Elizabeth Olsen is the latest actor to take on the role of Candy for Love & Death, HBO Max's take on the scandal. 

"When we don't have answers to things and when things don't add up, we have a continual intrigue because it's about human behavior," Olsen told Entertainment Weekly. "It doesn't really matter if this happened 200 years ago, 40 years ago — when there's something that puzzles us about human behavior that we can't quite understand [and] don't have all the answers to, we find it interesting." 

Love & Death's first three episodes premiered on Thursday, April 27 on HBO Max. Each subsequent episode will be released on Thursdays through May 25. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.