The true story behind Hulu’s Candy starring Jessica Biel

Spoilers follow for Hulu’s Candy.

Candace “Candy” Montgomery was a popular, outgoing housewife in the town of Wylie, Texas. She was also a leader in her community’s Methodist Church. All of this made what happened on Friday June 13, 1980 so shocking.

Jessica Biel, dressed in a tightly curled wig and big retro glasses, stars as Montgomery in Hulu’s Candy, out May 9, a five-part series about a brutal murder. A second series, “Love and Death,” starring Elizabeth Olsen as Montgomery, will premiere on HBO later this year.

It’s a story made for dramatization, with a rivalry between two small-town women, subsumed desires, and the pressure to fit into the roles of the “perfect wife and mother.” In 1990, Montgomery was the inspiration for the CBS TV movie A Killing in a Small Town, in which Barbara Hershey played Montgomery.

Jessica Biel, dressed in a tightly curled wig and big retro glasses, stars as Candace "candy" Montgomery in Hulu "candy.
Jessica Biel, dressed in a tightly curled wig and big retro glasses, stars as Candace “Candy” Montgomery in Hulu’s new five-part series Candy.
Candy Montgomery
Candy Montgomery was a popular, outgoing housewife in the town of Wylie, Texas.
Oxygen/ Captured

A few years before that fateful June night, Montgomery had an affair with fellow church member Allan Gore (played in Pablo Schreiber’s Candy), a long-term relationship that Gore ended in part because of his guilt for neglecting his wife, Betty (played by Melanie). have Lynsky).

Gore was away on business on the night of June 13 and became concerned when he could not reach his wife, who would have been home with their baby. He called neighbors and asked them to check on Betty – and then reached out to Montgomery, his close confidante. She said she went to the house earlier to get the Gores’ older daughter’s bathing suit because the girls were staying at the Montgomerys’ that night, but that nothing was wrong.

When neighbors finally got into Gore’s home, they found the crying baby in her crib – and Betty’s bloodied body in the utility room. At first they thought she had been shot. Then police discovered a 3-foot ax near the body.

Eventually, they would learn that Betty had been hit with an ax 41 times – 40 of the blows while her heart was still beating. Adding to the macabre crime scene: It was Friday the 13th and Betty had opened the paper to an article about a new horror movie called The Shining.

Betty (Melanie Lynskey) and Allan (Pablo Schreiber), pictured.
Melanie Lynskey plays Betty Gore, pictured above with her husband Allan (Pablo Schreiber) on Hulu’s Candy.
Betty Gore
Betty Gore (center) and Candy Montgomery were friendly and their daughters were best friends.

A few weeks later, Montgomery would be arrested for the crime. How come? The women had been friendly and their daughters were best friends. Montgomery had been the one to have had the affair, which she and Allan had worked so hard to keep secret because they didn’t want to hurt Betty.

The 1984 true crime book Evidence of Love by Texas journalists John Bloom and Jim Atkinson covered the case and reportedly inspired both shows. Excerpted from Texas Monthly, it tells the story of Montgomery’s boredom in her marriage and of Allan’s marriage to Betty, who was so strict and awkward that she never fitted in with the other women at church, overwhelmed by a new baby at home and resentful about her husband’s business trips.

Montgomery meticulously researched and planned an affair with Gore, and they made a long list of rules for it. It was Gore who ended the affair, but Montgomery had grown weary of the below-average sex and wasn’t particularly upset about it.

Candy (Jessica Biel), Pat (Timothy Simons), Becky (Aven Lotz) and Jason (Dash McCloud) are shown.
Candy Montgomery was a leader in her community’s Methodist Church. Above, Candy (Jessica Biel), Pat (Timothy Simons), Becky (Aven Lotz), and Jason (Dash McCloud) attend church on the Hulu series Candy.
Betty (Melanie Lynskey)
On the day she died, Betty Gore reportedly confronted Candy Montgomery about her affair with Gore’s husband Allan. Above: Melanie Lynskey as Betty Gore in Hulu’s Candy.

According to Montgomery, Betty had asked her about the affair that day. When she admitted it but insisted it was long over, Betty attacked her with the axe, she said. Montgomery had put up a fight but was trying to escape — until Betty whispered “shhh,” which the defense claimed put her in a dissociative state linked to an adolescent memory of a mother who insisted Montgomery be ladylike at all times stayed. According to a psychiatrist’s transcription of his hypnosis from Montgomery, she had uncovered this connection: “My mother took me to the hospital,” she told him. “What did your mother say?” “Shhh.” “Did what?” “Shhh.” “What did she say?” “Shhh.”

Montgomery was found not guilty of murder, and the jury ruled that she had acted in self-defense, despite hitting Betty with the ax a shocking number of times.

Aside from gruesome crimes, Biel said Montgomery embodied a compelling narrative of womanhood. “There were actually a lot of things I could relate to about Candy,” Biel said. “She’s kind of a philanthropist, kind of a perfectionist, you know, someone who’s been taught and told to make it happy, make it look good — everything’s fine.”

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