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Candy Montgomery seemed like the perfect housewife. Then she killed her best friend with an axe.

On a summer day in 1978, on a church volleyball court in the countryside, Candy Montgomery bumped into Allan Gore. 

The friends and neighbours had been diving for the same ball and their bodies collided. 

It was a seemingly innocuous moment for those watching on from the sidelines, but for Candy, it was a revelation. 

Allan smelt good. She decided in that moment to initiate an affair with him. 

Two years later, Betty Gore, Allan's wife and Candy's friend, was dead and Candy was charged with her murder.  

This stranger than fiction tale of how a preppy 1980s housewife came to murder her friend with an axe has been brought to life in Disney+'s new mini-series, Candy

The true crime series stars The Sinner's Jessica Biel as Candy and Yellowjacket's Melanie Lynskey as Betty. Pablo Schreiber, Timothy Simons and Justin Timberlake also star in the five-part series. 

Watch the trailer for Disney Plus's Candy. Post continues below. 

But back to that volleyball court. 

The Montgomerys and the Gores lived in the American 'countryside', a collection of little towns in eastern Collin County, near Dallas, Texas. Candy, her husband Pat, and their two children, had moved to the area a year earlier and Candy had quickly settled into the local church community. 

It's there that Candy and Pat met Betty and Allan. 

The two couples moved in the same circles, with Betty and Allan's daughter often having sleepovers at Candy and Pat's house. 

For several weeks before the volleyball match, Candy had been talking to her friends about having an affair. She wanted easy, transactional sex. She wanted 'fireworks'. When she smelt Allan on the court, she realised she may have just found exactly what she was looking for. 

Over the next few weeks, Candy began to suspect that Allan was interested in her too. He would wink at her sometimes, like they shared a private joke. And they'd often linger back, long after everyone else had left the church, to chat. 

One night after choir practice, Candy approached Allan as he was getting into his car. 

According to Texas Monthly, she leaned into Allan's car and said: "I want to talk to you sometime, about something that has been bothering me."

Allan suggested they talk in that moment, so Candy slid into the passenger seat and told Allan she was attracted to him. Then she jumped out of the car and hurried across the car park. 

After that conversation, Allan couldn't get Candy off his mind. She was so different to Betty. Confident and outgoing, where Betty was shy and anxious. 

Image: Disney Plus. 

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A week later, after another volleyball match, the pair would meet in the carpark again. This time, Allan told Candy he couldn't have an affair with her. He loved Betty, and they'd just found out she was pregnant again. 

On her 29th birthday, a few weeks later, Allan called Candy out of the blue. He told her he was travelling to McKinney the next day and wondered whether she would like to go with him so they could discuss her 'idea' further. 

They met up the next day and talked about the possibility of having an affair again. Allan was hesitant. Candy was persistent. 

Within a week, Allan called Candy again. 

According to Texas Monthly, she told him: "You know, if you don’t go to bed with me pretty soon, Allan, then you’ll never be able to live up to the expectation I have of you in bed." 

Over the next month, the pair met for "strategy sessions" where they nutted out the pros and cons of having the affair and how it would work, logistically. 

Finally on December 12, 1978, the pair met at the Continental Inn. 

They ate a lunch Candy had prepared earlier - marinated chicken, lettuce salad with cherry tomatoes and bacon bits, Thousand Island dressing, white wine, and cheesecake for dessert - and then they had sex. It was brief.

Afterwards, Candy insisted they both take showers so they wouldn't smell like each other. 

Over the next few months, Candy and Allan would meet regularly at the Como Motel, a smaller, 'sleazier' motel across the road from the Continental Inn. 

After Betty gave birth, their encounters became less and less frequent. Allan started a new job and was travelling a lot. Then Allan and Betty attended a marriage retreat called Marriage Encounter. When they returned home, Allan and Candy met for a picnic. He told her he needed to funnel all his "resources" into his family. 

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The affair was over. 

Image: Disney Plus. 

Candy was devastated. By this stage she had developed genuine feelings and had come to depend on Allan's attention. 

The couples went on with their separate lives. Ferrying their kids back and forth to school and after-school activities, occasionally running into each other at the church or the local supermarket. 

On June 13, 1980, Allan left for a work trip. Later that night, he called the house seven or eight times, and no one picked up. 

He then called his neighbour Richard Parker and asked him to check on Betty. Parker and two other neighbours eventually entered the house and found Betty's battered and bloodied body in the utility room. 

Detectives soon had their prime suspect - Candy Montgomery - local church goer and Betty's good friend. Candy had visited Betty on the day of the murder and her fingerprint was found at the crime scene. And once Allan admitted to having an affair with Candy, they had their motive. 

Candy would later claim that she killed Betty in self defence. 

On the day of the murder, Betty's daughter was sleeping over at the Montgomerys for the second night in a row. Candy dropped the kids off at the church and then drove over to Betty's house to pick up her daughter's swimming costume for the lesson she was going to attend later that day. 

When Candy arrived at the Gore's, Betty confronted her about the affair with Allan. She apologised and told her friend it was long over. 

It seemed as though the two friends were going to leave things there. But then the mood changed. 

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According to Candy's testimony, Betty walked into the Gore's utility room and came back out with an axe. Betty allegedly said, "You can't have him, you can't have him. I've got to kill you" and then struck Candy with the axe, causing a gash on her forehead. 

The real Candy Montgomery. Image: YouTube. 

Candy then grabbed the axe and struck her friend 41 times. 

"I hit her, and I hit her, and I hit her, and I hit her," she later testified in court.

Afterwards, she went upstairs, into the Gore's bathroom, and showered, washing the blood off her body. Then she left the house, leaving the Gore's baby daughter crying in her crib, and returned to the church to pick up the kids. Later she went out to lunch with her friends. 

When Allan called her later that night, worried that he couldn't reach Betty, Candy assured him that everything would be fine. 

Candy later stood trial for Betty's murder. According to the Dallas Morning News, her lawyer brought in a Houston psychiatrist, Dr. Fred Fason, who testified that Montgomery had a "dissociative reaction" and wasn't aware of how many times she struck Betty. The jury accepted her self-defence story, and she served no jail time. After the trial, Candy and Pat stayed together and moved to another state. She now works as a mental health worker. 

Only two people know for sure what happened in the Gore's utility room that day. And one of them is dead. 

Candy is streaming on Disney Plus. 

Keryn Donnelly is Mamamia's Pop Culture Editor. For her weekly TV, film and book recommendations and to see photos of her dog, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Feature Image: Disney Plus.

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