Spoilers for Hulu’s “Candy” follow.
Candace “Candy” Montgomery was a popular, outgoing mother who stays at home in Wylie, Texas. She was also a leader in the Methodist Church of her community. All of this made shocking what happened on Friday, June 13, 1980.
Jessica Biel, transformed into a tightly curled wig and big retro glasses, plays Montgomery in Hulu’s May 9 film, “Candy,” a five-part series about brutal murder. The second series, “Love and Death,” starring Elizabeth Olsen as Montgomery, will premiere on HBO later this year.
It is a story created for dramatization, with rivalry between two women in a small town, subordinate desires and pressure to fit into the roles of “perfect woman and mother”. In 1990, Montgomery was the inspiration for CBS TV’s film “A Killing in a Small Town,” in which Barbara Hershey played Montgomery.
A few years before the fateful June night, Montgomery had an affair with fellow church member Allan Gore (played in Pablo Schreiber’s “Candy”), and Gore’s long-term involvement ended in part because of his guilt over neglecting his wife Betty (played by Melanie). . Lynskey).
Gore was absent on a business trip on the night of June 13 and worried because he could not reach his wife, who would be home with their baby. He called the neighbors and asked them to check on Betty – and then turned to Montgomery, his close confidant. She said she had gone home earlier to pick up the Gores’ older daughter’s swimsuit because the girls had slept with the Montgomerys that night, but that nothing was wrong.
When neighbors finally entered Gore’s house, they found the baby crying in his crib – and Betty’s blood-covered body in the utility room. At first they thought she was shot. Police then discovered a 3-meter ax near the body.
Eventually they would find out that Betty had been hit with an ax 41 times – 40 blows had happened while her heart was still beating. Addition to the creepy crime scene: it was Friday the 13th and Betty opened the newspaper for an article about a new horror film called “Shine”.
A few weeks later, Montgomery will be arrested for the crime. How did this come about? The women were friendly and their daughters best friends. It was Montgomery who had the affair, and she and Allan did their best to keep it a secret because they didn’t want to hurt Betty.
The 1984 book on real crime, “Proof of Love,” by Texas journalists John Bloom and Jim Atkinson, covered the case and reportedly inspired both shows. An excerpt from Texas Monthly, tells the story of Montgomery’s boredom in her marriage and Allan’s marriage to Betty, which was stern and awkward to the point that she never fitted in with other women at church, overwhelmed by a new baby at home and embittered on her business trips. muse.
Montgomery carefully researched and planned the affair with Gore, and for that they brought a long list of rules. Upstairs was the one who ended the affair, but Montgomery was tired of podpar sex and wasn’t particularly upset about it.
According to Montgomery’s testimony, Betty asked her about the affair that day. When she admitted it, but insisted it was long over, Betty attacked her with an ax, she said. Montgomery retaliated, but tried to run away – until Betty whispered “shhh,” which, the defense argues, brought her into a dissociative state associated with adolescent memory of a mother who insisted Montgomery always remain a lady. According to a psychiatrist’s transcript of his Montgomery hypnosis, she discovered the connection: “My mother took me to the hospital,” she told him. “What did your mother say?” “Shhh.” “He did what?” “Shhh.” “What did she say?” “Shhh.”
Montgomery was found not guilty of murder, and the jury ruled that she acted in self-defense, despite the shocking number of times she hit Betty with an ax.
Leaving the horrific crime aside, Biel said Montgomery embodies a compelling story of femininity. “There were actually a lot of things I could identify with about Candy,” Biel said. “She was kind of pleasing people, let her be a perfectionist, you know, someone who’s been taught and told to be happy, to make her look good – everything’s fine.”