‘Love & Death’ True Story, Explained: Did Candy Really Act In Self-Defense In Real Life?


We are introduced to Betty Gore and Candy Montgomery in the very first episode of “Love & Death,” and at that point in time, nobody could have imagined by looking at them that they were capable of doing any criminal act. But it could never be ascertained what’s going on inside an individual’s mind by looking at them. Candy and Betty often met at church, but they were never really friends with each other. Candy’s life was going normally until one day she felt a strange tension between her and Allan Gore. She didn’t know what that feeling was, and she told her best friend Sherry about it. Candy was the kind of person who didn’t have qualms about what she felt or did. If she felt like doing something, irrespective of what society thought about it, she went ahead and did it. 

Major Spoilers Alert

Allan had not made any sort of move, and Candy felt strange for feeling what she did. She knew that by conventional standards, Allan was not that physically appealing, but she still found herself infatuated with him. Sherry and even Candy’s best friend, Jackie, who was also a pastor, told her not to do anything foolish and to forget whatever she had been feeling for Allan. But Candy was not somebody who paid a lot of attention to what the people said, and neither did she put any thought into what was morally right and what was not. Candy decided that she would inform Allan about what she was feeling, even after knowing that he was married and also had kids. Allan was taken aback, and he didn’t know how to respond to the sudden confession. By the looks of it, it seemed like Allan never expected that any woman could fall for him. 

The way “Love & Death” portrays it, we feel like he didn’t have any intention to indulge in an extramarital affair before Candy approached him. Candy’s confession did something to Allan, and he couldn’t help but think about what had happened. Allan was not the kind of man who could take charge of the situation and do what he wanted. He was a conformist of the highest order, and somewhere, Candy knew that. That is why she decided that she would lead the way because she knew that if it was left to Allan, nothing would ever happen between them.

Why Did Candy Feel Jealous Of Betty?

Candy always knew what she was signing up for, but as time passed, she expected Allan to give her equal importance, if not more, as compared to his wife. Candy was delusional, and deep down, she knew that no matter what happened, Allan would never prioritize her in life. Allan wanted to indulge in all sorts of immoral activities, but he constantly told himself that he was a morally upright man and that his extramarital affair was just helping him to fill the gaps in his marriage. 

Allan always found a convenient middle ground so that his actions never made him feel guilty, and if he felt that he was doing something wrong, he gave his mind reasons as to why it was necessary to do what he was doing. So basically, he had created an illusion for himself that he was not the wrongdoer and that whatever he was doing was for the betterment of his family. Allan didn’t have the courage to accept that he was attracted to Candy more than he ever was to his wife. He wanted to be an ideal husband but still wanted to keep meeting Candy. Allan felt like he wasn’t giving his family enough time, but he also didn’t want to completely cut off from Candy. In “Love & Death” Episode 3, Candy felt hurt when she realized that Betty would always be kept on a higher pedestal, no matter how frustrated Allan felt around her. It was then that Candy decided to put an end to her affair and stop meeting Allan.

Did Candy Really Kill In Self-Defense In Real Life?

According to Candy’s narrative, Betty Gore had attacked her with an ax, and she was somehow able to overpower her. Candy always maintained that she had acted in self-defense and that she had no intention of killing Betty on that fateful day. Candy’s arguments were corroborated by a polygraph test, and it came out that whatever she was saying was the truth. The jury gave the decision in her favor, and on October 30, 1980, she was found not guilty, and the court accepted the fact that it was Betty who had made the first move and attacked Candy with an ax. 

The sympathy of the general public was with Betty, as she was the one who had been killed after being betrayed by her husband and by a woman whom she trusted blindly. Also, there was one more thing that surprised everyone who was involved with the case: Candy had hit Betty 41 times, and to any rational man, it didn’t seem like an act of self-defense. We believe that apart from what Candy was saying in court, there is another probable theory: it is possible that Candy got jealous of Betty and how Allan prioritized her, and she went to her house under the pretext of collecting the swimsuit of Allan’s daughter, and finding the opportunity, killed her in cold blood. Betty didn’t have any reason to believe that her husband was cheating on her (especially given how it has been shown “Love & Death” series), and to come to that realization all of a sudden seemed a bit odd. Maybe the truth will never come out, but to date, nobody has been able to explain why Candy felt the need to hit Betty 41 times if she was just trying to protect herself. Candy’s family has always maintained that justice had been served, though the people and the media never believed her version of the events of that day.

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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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