‘Candy’ Ending, Explained: Is The Series Based On A True Story? What Happened To Candace Montgomery?


“Candy” is a 2022 miniseries, created by Nick Antosca and Robin Veith. The Jessica Beil and Melanie Lynskey starrer recreate the events of June 13th, 1980, when a small town in Texas was woken up from its slumber. The ghastly happenings led to a full-fledged inquiry, but it was the jury decision that became a topic for debate, and still remains an enigma, years after the incident happened, for many. So let’s unearth the events of that fateful day and try to analyze the decision given by the jury.

Plot Summary – Is Miniseries’ Candy’ Based On A True Story?

A more horrifying fact than the gory happenings of June 13th, 1980, is that all of it is based on a true story. Betty Gore was found dead in her home in Wylie, Texas, brutally hit 41 times with an ax. Though the makers have stated that certain parts of the Hulu miniseries “Candy” have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes, the essence of the case has been kept intact. Candace Montgomery, a.k.a., Candy, born on November 15th, 1949, was charged with murdering Betty Gore. It was an incident that shook the whole community and garnered a lot of media coverage. The irony was that the decision by the jury eventually became more controversial and sensationalized than the incident itself. The question remained: Was justice restored, or was it an enormous and irredeemable fallacy?

On the day of the fateful incident, Betty’s husband, Allan Gore, was going on a business trip, and Betty was not very happy about it. She had this incessant need to be around him all the time. She had experienced emotional indigency of sorts and had become an extremely insecure person. Though Betty was not always like that, her mundane life made her feel this claustrophobia, where she felt trapped in her home. Her life had changed completely after giving birth to her second child, and she was scared that she would be burdened with the responsibilities once again without any sort of support from her partner. She was undergoing a lot of emotional and behavioral changes, resembling postpartum depression, though the series, “Candy,” refrains from dwelling deep into the issue. Taking care of the newborn was something that was considered to be the duty of a woman. Patriarchy was at its epitome, and it could be evidently seen by merely witnessing the lives of the spouses living together, and the stark difference between them. Allan could go on business trips and escape from his responsibilities as he was a man, and society didn’t expect him to change diapers or cancel his plans to look after the child. Whereas a woman’s character was judged based on these activities, and maybe that is why a lot of them felt that they were devoid of their freedom as soon as they gave birth. That is why Betty also fears another pregnancy. Allan gives an easy solution to the problem, quite conveniently, undermining the issue. He asks Betty to take another contraceptive pill to avoid pregnancy and play with the dogs in case she feels bored.

Allan reached Saint Paul, where he had come from some work. He tries to contact Betty multiple times, but he isn’t able to reach her. He gets paranoid and calls Candace to check if she has visited Betty. Allan’s daughter, Christina, was staying at Candace’s home. She used to come often for night stays as Becky, Candace’s daughter, was good friends with Christina. Candace tells Allen that she had gone to meet Betty during the day, as she had to pick up Christina’s swimming costume. Candace assured Allan that Betty looked just fine, though, in reality, something terrible had happened. Allan called his neighbors Richard and Jerry and asked them to break into his house, as he had a gut feeling that Betty was in trouble, as it was unlikely that she wouldn’t respond to him for an entire day. The neighbors broke into the house and found Betty lying in one of the rooms, soaked in blood. Allan was told that Betty had been shot, and the baby was still alive. A befuddled Allan called Candace and told her that his wife had been shot. Though in reality, she hadn’t been shot, but had been severed with an ax.

Why Did Candace Indulge In An Extramarital Affair? Did Pat Know About Candace’s Affair?

Betty was working as a school teacher, but her professional life was getting severely affected as she was in a very chaotic space internally. Her happiness and mood swings were dependent upon the actions of her husband, and she rarely fended for herself. She had decided to leave her job and be a full-time homemaker. The couple had decided to adopt a child, and an eight-year-old boy named David was brought home. But soon, they realized that David was an extremely difficult child. Betty convinces Allan to give him up as she was not able to handle him, and it was hampering her mental well-being.

Candace, on the other hand, desired more thrill and excitement in her life. Her husband’s dull and stodgy attitude often put her down. Unlike Betty, Candace had a good social life, and she kept herself quite busy throughout the day. Betty was often mocked by the other woman for her obnoxious behavior. Candace was the only one who made an effort to talk to her, and that’s how even the kids became close and started staying over at each other’s places. Candace wanted attention from other guys. She tells her good friend, Jackie, who is also a pastor, that she wants to indulge in a wild extramarital affair and add spice to her otherwise uneventful life. Jackie advised her to not do something that would ruin her life, but Candace was ready to take the risk. Allan and Candace used to go to the same place to play volleyball. Their team used to take part in small-time competitions. Candace approaches Allan after a practice session and bluntly tells him that she wants an affair with him.

Betty called Allan while he was at work and told him that she was pregnant. She gets all stressed as Allan shrugged off all his responsibilities last time, and it had become too much for her to handle. After hearing the news something snaps inside Allan, and he decides to go ahead with the offer that Candace had given him. Candy and Allan start meeting in motels and fuel their sleazy affair with passion and excitement. All this while Candace kept meeting Betty and often gave her advice in matters of relationship. Betty asks Allan to join Marriage Encounter with her, a program that had helped a lot of couples she knew to improve their relationship.

Candace felt that she was making her life more complicated for no apparent reason. She was having an affair with Allan and, at the same time, was hosting a baby shower for Betty. She feels messed up inside her head and tells her friend Sherry Cleckler about it. 

Pat Montgomery had come to know about Candace’s extramarital affair with Allan. He blamed himself for her actions, as he felt that his unavailability left a void inside Candace, who just wanted a friend to talk to. Pat believed that he had taken his wife for granted and often refrained from having a conversation or sharing his life with her.

‘Candy’ Ending Explained: Did Candace really act in self-defense? Did the jury give the right verdict? 

Deputy Steve Defibaugh searched through the crime scene, collecting all the evidence left behind by the killer. Allan had a clear alibi, but he didn’t tell the Deputy that he had an affair with Candace. Later, when he realized that his lies would be caught, he gives a call to Steve Defibaugh and tells him that he did share an intimate relationship with Candace “Candy” Montgomery. He told them that he had left Candace, as she had started developing feelings for him. Candace, though, says in her testimony that she ended the relationship. There were a lot of discrepancies in their statements. Allan had quickly moved on in life and had started seeing another woman named Elaine, which raised a lot of questions about his conscience. Candy visits a legal firm named Crowder and Mattox, and hires Don Crowder as her attorney. Candace had maintained that she had not killed Betty, and that’s what she told Don Crowder. But eventually, she realizes that she could not escape indictment as the police were able to find incriminating evidence against her. She goes and tells Crowder that she did kill Betty, but it was an act of self-defense rather than a crime of passion. The trial starts, and the prosecutors think that it is a ludicrous defense that Candace was taking, one which wouldn’t hold any ground in front of the jury. Even if one believed it to be an act of self-defense, the question arose as to why did Candace have to strike Betty 41 times? But Mr. Crowder had a concrete reason behind that too. The report from the psychologists suggested that Candace suffered from a dissociative disorder. Also, somewhere the jury didn’t expect that Candace would accept that she had committed the crime. They started to find some credibility in her testimony.

Allan told the court that he didn’t think that Candace could ever commit such a crime in her sane mind and that he shared a friendly relationship with her even after their breakup. He told the court that splitting up was a mutual decision, contrary to what he had told the police.

Judge Ryan, who was presiding over the matter, was highly biased against the defendants. He had made it his personal vendetta to not let Candace get acquitted of the charges. The odds played in Candace’s favor, and the jury acquitted her of all the charges. The general perception was that Candace had not committed the crime in self-defense. People all over the country were shocked to hear the jury’s decision. But to say that the jury was wrong in making that decision would not be totally right. Though the prosecutors had proof that Candace was the one who picked up the ax and assaulted Betty, it was not enough to dismiss the points made by Mr. Crowder. As soon as Candace resorted to the right to self-defend and had a report from a medical expert to back up her theory of dissociative reaction, the prosecutors found themselves on flimsy grounds. In law, general perception can never override concrete evidence, and in this case, it was an undeniable fact that the prosecutors had a weak case. The manner in which Deputy Steve Defibaugh recreated the crime scene for the prosecutors made us realize that there were loopholes in his investigation too, and it was heavily speculative in nature. 

Don Crowder ran for Governor of Texas six years later. Pat and Candace divorced after 4 years of the trial, and Candace relocated to a new place and, to everybody’s astonishment, became a mental health counselor.

“Candy” is a 2022 Drama Crime miniseries created by Robin Veith and Nick Antosca.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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