Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Hulu’s Candy: Twu Wuv and Axe Murder

Here’s a nightmare: Your best friend is screwing your husband. And then she kills you with an axe. Not only does she get away with it, she’s later sympathetically portrayed in a TV series.

What-the what?!

Hey, the chump was frumpy! If someone has to die by decapitation, let it be the drudge with the bowl haircut. Not Candy, a blithe spirit who suffers unjustly from the “pressures of conformity.”

Says the Hulu promo:

Candy Montgomery is a 1980 housewife and mother who did everything right—good husband, two kids, nice house, even the careful planning and execution of transgressions—but when the pressure of conformity builds within her, her actions scream for just a bit of freedom. Until someone tells her to shush. With deadly results.

Cheating on your spouses? “Bit of freedom.”

Someone… the chump doesn’t even get a name. The victim was Betty Gore. And she didn’t ask Candy Montgomery to shush, she asked Candy to quit fucking her husband.

Kudos to Stephanie McNeal at BuzzFeed News for questioning the point of this series and bringing kinder details of Betty Gores’s life to light. McNeal does not sugar-coat the Schmoopies quest for aliveness.

McNeal writes:

On Friday, June 13, 1980, a 30-year-old mother of two named Betty Gore was discovered murdered in her home in Wylie, Texas. Betty, a former fifth-grade teacher, had been struck more than 25 times with a 3-foot ax in a brutal attack that an official at the time said left her nearly dismembered, with deep wounds across her face. Her 1-year-old daughter sat in her crib, abandoned and screaming for hours.

The residents of the small North Texas town were flabbergasted by the brutality of the crime, newspapers reported. The second shock to the community came when authorities arrested Candice “Candy” Montgomery, also a 30-year-old wife and mother, for the slaying. Candy and Betty had been friends, and both were active members of the same church. Candy had even thrown Betty a baby shower the previous year. Their 5-year-old daughters were friends as well, and Betty’s older daughter had been sleeping over at Candy’s house when her mother was killed.

But it was Candy’s defense, laid out in an October 1980 trial that drew hundreds of spectators, that truly shook the town. On the stand, Candy told jurors she had killed Betty in self-defense after her friend flew into a rage and threatened to kill her. The reason? Candy had been sleeping with Betty’s husband, Allan, the previous year, and Betty found out. Candy said that when she dropped by Betty’s house to pick up a swimsuit for Betty’s daughter, Betty charged at her with the ax, she disassociated, and when she came to, Betty was dead on the ground; then she took a shower in the Gores’ bathroom and went to pick up her children from Bible school as if nothing had happened.

Oh, and the cheater at the center of that deadly pick-me dance axe-slaying? He sided with Candy on the stand.

Screen rant reports:

Allan largely stood by Candy during the trial, adamantly claiming that the end of their affair had been mutual which worked to discredit the idea that Candy’s murder of Betty Gore was an act of passion and further her plea of self-defense. Less than three months after the trial, Allan married Elaine Clift and the couple relocated to Sachse, Texas. It was also around this time that Allan lost custody of his and Betty’s daughters, Alisa and Bethany. Four years after the trial, in 1988, the girls were then adopted and raised by Betty’s parents, Bertha and Bob Pomeroy.

The story then goes on to detail the abuse Betty’s children suffered at the hands of Allan and his replacement before the grandparents got full custody.

So you would THINK that maybe… just perhaps…. Allan is a villain in this Candy series?

No. He’s a hen-pecked martyr of a man. Who reasonably has to travel a lot for work, but his pathetic, clingy wife doesn’t understand.

I watched 15 minutes of the first episode. I got as far as Betty whining to Allan “But I don’t like it when you go!” In a petulant whittle gwurl voice. Him, tall and virile in a pressed shirt. Betty, schlubby, domestic, in the ugliest nightgown God gave Sears. Clearly he’s made some horrible mistake marrying this succubus.

You too would want to smother Betty with a pillow.

McNeal reports the actual Betty was much-loved, and her husband was shady.

One of the most notable differences is that in Candy, Betty seems, well, awful. Fresh off her turn as bored, sexually frustrated, and possibly murderous housewife Shauna Sadecki in the Showtime hit Yellowjackets, Melanie Lynskey plays Betty as a bored, frustrated, and possibly murderous wife and mother, this time with a bland wardrobe, bad haircut, and a horrifically ugly 1970s-style house.

The real Betty Gore was more nuanced than her onscreen counterpart. In her hometown of Norwich, Kansas, her family member told me, Betty is still thought highly of by people who knew her. “She was a popular student, involved in tons of activities, and had a lot of friends,” the family member said.

After marrying Allan and moving to Texas, though, Betty struggled. Betty had difficulty adapting to her teaching career, had bouts of depression, and was afraid of being alone, Texas Monthly reported. When Allan would travel for work, she would complain incessantly about him leaving her, and she was frequently moody. According to Texas Monthly, Allan thought of Betty as “dour” and felt stressed about trying to keep her happy. The day she died, she had worried she was pregnant again and was concerned about the possibility, her husband said. At Candy’s trial, Allan testified that when he had been unable to reach his wife after her murder, he feared she had died by suicide. In the Texas Monthly retelling, Betty’s unhappiness, as well as their lackluster sex life, is what drove Allan to eventually have an affair with the outgoing, popular Candy after she propositioned him in 1978 when Betty was pregnant with her second child.

Lackluster sex life? The woman had two small children and was pregnant with a third. But apparently Allan’s dick didn’t get enough attention. He was driven to having an affair.

Funny how “dour” has the same depression and anxiety symptoms as domestic abuse.

Lynskey’s Betty, though, has no positive attributes. She is mopey and vengeful, and never displays any warmth toward anyone. Quietly simmering with an all-consuming rage, Lynskey scowls her way through scene after scene, shooting daggers at her husband, at her baby, and eventually at Biel’s Candy. In one episode, she does what every fictional housewife who has had enough does: ignores her screaming baby by vacuuming loudly in the other room. She annoys Allan by calling him constantly at work and is shunned by the other more popular mothers at church. The show intersperses scenes of Candy smiling and laughing with her children with Betty frowning at her baby in her dark house.

Character assassination… it’s what’s streaming.

We couldn’t possibly have sympathy for a woman being betrayed by her husband and her purported friend.

I’m not a true crime junkie, but it seems to me that if you were acting in self defense (Candy claims Betty confronted her with an axe, which she wrestled ahold of, and fought back in self-defense, but remembers none of it…) you’d chop once and get away. You would not stand there and continually hack away. That, IMO, seems pre-meditated.

That’s the kind of anger that comes from losing the pick-me-dance. (Allan had dumped her, was in counseling with Betty, who was pregnant again…)

And I always find it curious how the character assassination never quite fits. How can Betty be such a sad sack, so utterly passive and needy, but also defends her marriage like an avenging Valkyrie? The character can’t even coordinate an outfit.

The three channels is the sociopath tell for me.

Poor Candy. She’s frustrated. Trapped in conventionality. Self-pity.

How dare you confront her?! Rage.

The press covered Candy favorably before she eventually faded from public view. In a wire story written after her acquittal, Candy told the reporter, as she had champagne and cake at a “small victory party” at her home, that she had received constant support from friends and family during and after the trial. (She also quipped to the reporter that she “wasn’t dangerous” after opening the door with a knife in her hand.)

Charm.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Well, this post is a drag. I used to think if we positioned infidelity as abuse, similar to domestic violence, cheaters would be banished. I guess we could boycott this shit.

    • I keep thinking of that study reporting that those who harbor “rape myth acceptance” also likely harbor “infidelity tolerance.” To the extent the views are interchangeable in many people, I assume these kinds of media treatments to justify adultery are just an oblique, sneaky way to backlash against #MeToo. Creepy writers and producers can’t exactly depict dv perpetrators, harassers and rapists in a benevolent light though they would if they could so this is what we get instead. They hope that if you accept adultery, you’ll accept rape too! Then Harvey will be released from prison, Epstein’s name will be rehabilitated in the eyes of the world, Hollywood will be renamed Weinsteinwood and the glorious age of snog and shag, roofy, grab and grope will begin anew!

      Isn’t Biel reportedly a chump in her own right? https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/10409561/justin-timberlake-holds-hands-alisha-wainwright-strokes-knee-boozy/

      I would think it’s spitting in the wind– or inviting side-bangs to axe-murder you– to participate in tripe like this.

      • I watched the show. It’s obvious even in it that Candy killed her. But your comment is spot on. Jessica Biel was publicly getting cheated on, and then she even had her husband play a role in this series. Interesting choice on Jessica’s part.

  • I watched this and wanted to puke. If Allen and his Ho weren’t happy, they deserved to be happy. Of course everyone should want them to be happy. Both Allen and Candy were the epitome of manipulative narcissist. Neither had any regard for their children, let alone their spouses.

  • the media always protrays the ow as exciting and fun, normally there addicts with numerous kids and cant wait to palm off their kids on somebody else. i unfortunately n some ow and they act like the man is wonderful, when in fact they are far from that. u dont hit someone 25 times with a axe in self defence. candy thought she was losing him. shame eh.

  • I was scrolling around last night, looking for something to watch and I came across Candy. Just the little burb about the series made me go “hmmmmm….” and pass it by. Now that I’ve read your review, CL, I won’t waste my time. I’m all about true crime drama when the criminal gets their comeuppance, but victim shaming? No thank you.

    • Reports said she hit Betty around 40 times with the axe. NOT self defense. Things trigger me too, but I don’t become murderous (she said she was shushed as a child and when Betty did that she lost it). What’s ridiculous also is that Candy and Allen got to just pick up and move away when it was too difficult in their little town. No consequences. Sheds a good light on cheating.

  • Well, I am a true crime buff and I agree. The old “I blacked out and can’t remember the killing” is a staple excuse with killers who actually planned the crime. It’s a dead giveaway to guilt. Nobody actually blacks out like that unless there’s an underlying mental illness or they’re extremely drunk/high. How does she explain how she miraculously avoided axe blows herself, then wrestled it away from her “attacker?” I mean, if somebody comes at you with an axe, there isn’t much possibility of avoiding injury.

    What’s even worse then portraying cheaters in a positive light is that this woman seems guilty of first degree murder and it capitalizing on it. The show is a disgrace. I’m so glad I don’t have Hulu.

    • Not to mention there’s no such thing as “doing something in a black-out.” Black outs are something that happen afterward, like hitting an erase button on your memories, not during the process. You were still conscious and self-aware while performing the action even if you forget about it later.

      • Right. There is, however, such thing as a fugue state where one is so dissociated as to be not fully aware of what one is doing, but that only happens with mental illness.

        • Criminologist Donald Dutton, who studied batterers like bugs in prison settings for decades, recognized a kind of “fugue” state in batterers but didn’t believe it correlated to mental illness per se and didn’t believe it should spare them from prison.

          Severe Wife Assault and Deindividuated Violence

          Ganley (1980) has confirmed the tendency of women victims to have comprehensive recall of the battering incident (since their lives depended on being able to defend themselves) and of the male batterers to blank it out

          When I started to collect questionnaire data on abusive men, I found the same issue with fuzzy memories. (p. 91, Dutton, The Domestic Assault of Women: psychological and criminal justice perspectives 2001)

          • Sounds convenient, just like our FWs conveniently “blanked out” details of their transgressions. Why the fuck would a criminologist believe anything a wife beater says. If their jaws are flapping, they’re lying, just like cheaters.

            • Interesting question, I’m not sure Dutton believes anything batterers say outright about themselves but the context of this excerpt makes it clear he was countering the popular arguments that victims have poor memory (false memory theory) for events– arguments that are often used by the defense to negate victim testimony. He’s saying that, of the two, victims seem to have crystal clear memories and, if anyone’s an unreliable witness, it’s abusers. Whether they lie or have selective amnesia, abusers don’t give reliable accounts of the progression of assaultive behavior while victims tend to.

              Dutton advocates for long prison terms and there’s nothing in his research to indicate he sees abusers as sad sausages requiring therapy and a hug. He seems to view battering as stemming from a criminal disorder, not mental illness. One memorable quote from one of his books is “Not all criminals are batterers but all batterers are criminals.” He also makes the case than many abusers lie to cover up not only their own crimes but cover up for whatever authority figure abused them as children. So he establishes that abusers lie a lot. Another example of this is what Dutton calls “masked dependency” where abusers try to deny their infantile dependence on their own victims by copping a swaggering or uncaring posture. The abuse itself is meant to “prove” to themselves and others that they “ain’t no pussy” and that the victim “ain’t the boss of them.” My take on the latter is that cheating (which virtually all batterers do) is intended to dilute their own dependence on their victims by spreading the dependence out among more than one partner. It’s all another manner of lying or self deception. The question is how deep does that self deception go?

              I’d have to reread his research but I think the takeaway is that, along with engaging in learned thinking patterns like “neutralization” (aka, “reduction of self punishment,” a kind of elaborate system of rationalization also seen in serial killers), abusers quite willfully fuzz over what they do wrong. I think it’s posed as a cognitive defense strategy if anything. Like neutralization, “disremembering” events enables abusers to appear calm and normal and “safe” around bystanders so that they don’t set off other people’s alarms and can continue perpetrating.

              Other researchers propose that this was how Bundy kept sailing under the radar even among criminologists. He had nearly thoroughly convinced himself he was the innocent party.

    • You would think stories of how Allan Graves and his fast-tracked second wife physically abused and lost custody of Betty’s daughters might influence depictions of the case. The upcoming HBO version of the story was co-written by David E. Kelley, who handled adultery in quite a different way in The Undoing, and Leslie Linka Glatter, who advocates for women directors and produced Pieces of Her. Maybe we can hope for a different take now that the victim-blamey one has been aired? Would Lily Rabe even agree to play an artificially demonized Betty? Time will tell.

      • p.s.– Rabe is the daughter of the late actress Jill Clayburgh who was famed for playing feminist roles and playwright/filmmaker David Rape who took massive flak and a career setback for his grim depiction of military rape and coverup in Casualties of War.

        • His name is actually David Rape and he didn’t change it? That’s gutsy of him, but I could not date a guy named Rape. “Well mom and dad, this is my new boyfriend, Dave Rape.” ????

          • It’s actually Rabe. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rabe I met him once years ago when I briefly worked with his daughter (on a project headed by some old creep who would end up all over the headlines for multiple allegations of rape 13 years later!). Rabe talked about how he got the shit kicked out of him for Casualties of War. I told him how my father, an injured combat vet, said the film was very realistic and how a friend broke up with a high school boyfriend after they saw the film because the boyfriend defended the rapists and the buddy code of silence. Rabe got kind of emotional about that– as if he hadn’t heard that much positive feedback about the project. I found it shocking. It was ahead of its time.

            So interesting to realize we were having this conversation in the lobby of a media outfit run by a rapist.

            • Phew! Good to know.
              I loved Casualties of War, though it was excruciating to watch. I had to avert my eyes at the most harrowing scenes.

              • I think it’s a stunning film. Amazing to think it didn’t do well at the box office and got boos. Did we actually live through those dark ages?

  • You forgot the best part, Candy went on to become a therapist. Be careful choosing your therapists everybody because they let murderous, psychopathic pieces of shit like her counsel people.

    • I have a friend who is a therapist and said the counseling world is rife with them.

      I remember years ago a wife was convicted of murdering her husband, a therapist. He began “treating” her when she was 15. He groomed, seduced and married her after he left his first wife. One son supported her and one did not. I thought it was a miscarriage of justice. If lawyers, and especially judges, don’t have some under grad courses in personality disorders, pedophilia, then people will still be at the mercy of those who want to win even if there are mitigating circumstances that led to the crime. This woman was never a danger to others but her husband had turned her into a vat of long held resentment.

  • This entire story is horrifying: Allen cheating, Candy cheating, Betty pregnant and being cheated on, Candy brutally murdering Betty, Allen’s abuse of the children, the trial outcome, Allen’s victim or OW second wife, the Hulu series portrayal, Jessica Biel’s participation in this violation of Betty’s memory (isn’t she also a Chump). . . The list goes on.
    I’m NOT going to be watching this. Nope nope nope. ????????????

  • Dear God. I really, really, *hate* shit like this. It’s so fucking *enraging* to see a murdering whore portrayed as some kind of ‘heroine’, not to mention the pos cheating bastard she was fucking portrayed as a long suffering *victim*.

    Just what the hell does it say about our society that this kind of evil shit becomes the subject of a benignly portrayed film?

    That poor, poor woman.

    I don’t think this crap is available in the UK, but if it was, I wouldn’t watch it. What kind of people are OK with making something like this?!?! ????????????

    Another reason I can’t believe in a god – where the fuck is he?

    “The wicked flourish like the green Bay tree”. Shit.

    No doubt, sooner or later, the same sort of morally crapulous shitbag will make something similar about the evil Chris Watts and *his* whore.

    I’ll be depressed, sickened, and enraged for the rest of the day now. ????????

  • I watched the entire series and I didn’t think it made Candy look good. It made her look like a piece of shit. I really got into the show because I didn’t know how it was going to end, then when it ended my boyfriend and I were sitting on the couch going no, no, that can’t be real.

    Betty starts out depressed in the series. She has a shitty husband who’s always gone and doesn’t care when he is home. She improves during the series, she gets them into a save your marriage group that actually seems reasonably healthy, makes more friends, etc. But she’s still depressed because she knows something is wrong. Her husband is lousy to her and her great friend Candy starts treating her like dogshit. Ain’t nobody with a brain gonna buy the whole poor Allan, no sex bullshit because they kept having pregnancy scares. I identified with Betty a lot. A LOT! And that made watching the series worth it for me.

    Candy came off as vapid, stupid, selfish, fake, etc. Their affair scenes were honestly very cringy and pathetic. I felt like they were making fun of her a lot throughout the series. Her husband seemed awesome. A bit of a wimp but I enjoyed his scenes with his kids and Betty’s daughter. Her best friend even asked her, “isn’t that a lateral move” because why are you cheating on your husband with some other ladies equally nerdy and less likable husband? He stands by her, I think because of the kids, but after the verdict she’s shocked her best friend isn’t there and he’s like “maybe she’s afraid you’ll fuck her husband!” They end up divorced in real life. He gets the hell out, thankfully.

    I didn’t know about Allan and his new wife losing custody but in the show they show that evil bitch of a woman taking food from the oldest daughter and making comments about her weight and how she eats from the first fucking meal she has with them. Right after the little girl’s mother has been brutally murdered by her best friend’s mother. I wanted to reach through the tv and smack her.

    When it finished, I just thought this could have been me. My ex spent so much time labeling me difficult to other people. Somebody could have cut me up with an axe and gotten away with it. That was unsettling but also made me very grateful I got away. There’s a scene at the end where Betty’s ghost is in the courtroom yelling for justice. Trying to remind people that the murderous bitch also knowingly left an infant with her mother’s corpse for 15 hours. I don’t think decent people will watch this and think cheating is ok, I think they’ll be completely horrified. We sat on the couch in shock thinking this cannot be real and had to look it up.

    It’s a hard watch at times. If you can’t watch it, I totally get it. But I’m glad I did.

  • I used to be a true crime buff when I was a young mother.
    I think I know why the subject fascinated me; I wasn’t feeling safe and learning about the many ways humans hurt other humans sorta felt empowering. I felt like the more I knew, the better I could protect myself and my family.
    Looking back, I realize that the reason I didn’t feel safe was x.
    I should have been reading about disordered cheaters, but it never crossed my mind that x would deliberately tear apart the family for “fun”.
    When I first read about this crime years ago, I thought Candy was guilty and believed that the jury verdict was wrong.
    Now I know that they got it wrong after dealing with two scorned OW. Both of them were crappy people and, in my opinion, dangerous.
    One was an attendant at a nursing home and had access to medication. During their affair many years ago, I had various mysterious medical emergencies that the doctors never got to the bottom of. After they broke up, I never had those issues again.????
    The second OW threatened me, both directly and through a friend of hers. She let me know she had a gun. Her friend was an ex-con who told me that he had “done this many times before” without specifying what “this” was. Luckily the police put an end to them reaching out to me and she’s now dead (massive heart attack which happened several years later).
    I won’t be watching this, and finding out that the show is sympathetic to this monster is infuriating.

    • Yikes, I imagine the former OW in my situation avidly watching this series with an industrial sized bag of Cheetos (the favored snack of cheaters har) and a swill bucket of bourbon. She had wished me dead after D-Day when FW dumped her by text as part of his “remorseful” performance art routine to buy time because I’d already retained a lawyer. To be more specific, she wished he would kill me and make it look like an accident.

        • Corny, cheesy, deep fried, mostly air, soaked in toxins, leaves a sticky residue, contributes to heart disease. Hmm, aptly named!

          • Actually Cheetos aren’t deep fried; they’re baked. They’re not quite as bad for you as fried chips although that’s not saying much.

  • This is an example of why we need more education and awareness of what cheating entails.
    I don’t understand how so many people shrug off cheating as if it’s not a big deal.. The same people who say kids are resilient in divorce or oh, well, they weren’t getting along.
    These same people gravitate towards the Cheater thinking he/she is more exciting and fun.
    No empathy or compassion for the not so happy chump who just had their life implode struggling to keep it together.

    I believe this is generally what comes to mind when they hear about a cheating husband.
    They picture the Chump as a woman who couldn’t hold on to her man, she’s frumpy, whiney and pathetic sits in the dark glaring at her family. AP as fun loving, attractive, popular and active. Cheater as the hard working husband, a good guy, who had needs that weren’t being met at home.
    Sad

    • It’s true and the general common default perpetuates back to the Not getting enough attention Bullshit or lack of sex bullshit or a fade in feelings and love in the marriage. It’s all horseshit used to give the narcissist cheater a cover and it’s disgusting that it’s widely excepted ! It is a disgusting part of mentality in the courtroom if a divorce ensues , it lessons responsibility and culpability in a divorce outcome because, a lack of divorce law that protect those harmed by a cheater betraying liar narcissist! I will NOT be watching this series. However, I did watch a series titled “The Affair” And applaud the scrip writer and actors for giving real to the screen . The raw emotions of betrayal and how it effects a family, it was a very well done series!

    • Cheaters, like batterers and pedos, are major image managers and often preemptively charm the shit out of the wider social context. They also tirelessly spin PR to sway the public into viewing them as misunderstood victims. I think the playwright/screenwriter David Mamet is a perfect example. Nearly everything he wrote centered around a “justifiable” reason for a man to punch a woman in the face.

      Perhaps because of this tireless grassroots perp PR and image management– and because perpetrators are more dangerous to cross than victims– it took a major movement to upend the public’s sympathetic view of batterers as justifiably punishing their whorish or nagging victims. Now that it’s become questionable to positively depict batterers, I wonder if defending adulterers is the sneaky default way to do just that. I’m seeing a lot of romanticized depictions of she-cheaters but I just assume this is a crafty way of framing adultery as somehow “feminist” which further obfuscates the underlying thrust.

        • I know and he lends considerable talent to promoting his weird rage and sprays it all down with “eau de social justice” just to make it confusing. The Verdict. Oleanna. Even Speed the Plow has a moment where the “scheming strumpet” almost “gets it.” I’ve seen two productions of the latter where the actor “feints” at the actress like he’s going to hit her, the actress flinches and stumbles and the audience cheers.

    • Agreed Brit, that is how Hollywood depicts these situations!
      The “frumpy” wife who is sooo mean to her long-suffering husband and deprives him of sex. While the other woman is depicted as smoking hot, fit, attentive to meeting all his needs.
      In reality, this is usually not true.

      Candy is as homely and frumpy as they come. But she had no morals…catnip to any man that is willing to cheat on his wife.
      This is why when people say not to blame the other woman, I refer them to this case. Most OW won’t kill the wife, but some will. She was one of them.

      She actively destroyed the lives of so many people, and walked away free.

  • The OW’s and prostitutes are always portrayed as victims. The OW is simply comforting and listening to the woes of an unhappy married man and the prostitutes are victims simply trying to make a dollar.
    The truth of course is that the OW’s are dirty, selfish, self-serving, home-wrecking narcissistic women and the prostitutes are psychopathic shoplifting extorting sex addicted pigs. But…Chumps will always be blamed for infidelity and a husbands-whoring because we didn’t provide “enough” – sex, happiness, etc etc etc – you can fill in the blank with a myriad of our “insufficiencies “ that drove the FWits dick into an OW or whore. Please Chump Lady – make a movie – write that screenplay and get the movie of Meh on the big screen giving all of us a voice and a spotlight. Please.

    • That’s a great idea! I offer my limited writer’s talent to this project, Chumplady. If I can be of any help – I would consider it an honor. I mull over hundreds of ideas for screenplays and write bits and parts of them. But, I think the overall perspective you hold because of your years of work with Chump Nation would lead to a better storyline/better angle. If it were to catch hold and be produced, it needs to be a powerful and bulletproof message.

      • Perhaps a series where each week there is a different Chump story highlighting one of the topics in the post. Tracy can narrate and put her witty summary at the end. I am hoping for a podcast eventually. This blog is entertaining as well as it is therapeutic. Tracy and all of you who contribute make this place great. There are some many talented people on here. I thank you all

  • She was acquitted?! How does that even happen? I will never understand it.
    How can you bludgeon someone 25 times with an ax while her one year old screams in the background in the crib and then go take a shower in your victim’s house and then just la-de-da over to pick up the kids at Bible school, not a care in the world. She probably stopped at McDonald’s for a quick something to eat on the way. My brain can’t even process this kind of stuff.
    I remember being out to dinner with a good friend during OJ’s trial and he said to me “ you know he will he acquitted”. NO WAY!!! is what I said, very annoyed he would even speculate on that ridiculous level of absurdity and we all know how that went down.
    Candy and Allen are hard core psychopaths. I read a stat figure that said 1 in 25 ppl are sociopaths and 1 in 100 are psychopaths, I do think that must be true.
    I’m upset that those two babies were left to get abused by Allen and his current Ho for 4 years before any change up. So sad! They will be damaged for life from that, that’s not okay.
    I will def not watch that show that makes you feel sorry for soulless psychopaths instead of a dead mother. I think we encourage the evolvement of more sickos by just making that entertainment for the masses. I think I’ll go get a bowl of ice cream quick and get real comfy in my recliner, I sure don’t want to miss that horrific graphic ax murder of an innocent mom!
    We have have not fully developed as a species, it’s so deeply shameful and disturbing.

    • The first movie about this case aired on TV in about 1990, I believe…so like 10 years after the murder.
      It stayed in my mind for a long time.

      My theory on why Candy was acquitted? People didn’t want to believe that a mom, a wife, a woman was capable of such evil.
      They can’t fathom that women can be brutal…sometimes worse than men.
      She also had this “fake” image that is popular in Southern states. The Baptist PTA mom who does the carpool and bakes brownies, smiles at everyone, and leads Bible study could never hurt a fly (sarcasm).

      She also didn’t look the part of a vixen or a homewrecker. She wasn’t pretty, didn’t have a hot body, wasn’t flirty in front of other people in town.
      She looked like any other woman of that time with a bad poodle cut, huge glasses and unflattering clothes. So I think the jurors were somewhat influenced by her fake demeanor and plain looks, plus the fact that she had never been in trouble before.

      Maybe if she had a “reputation” prior to killing Betty, or if she looked a certain way (lots of cleavage for example), she would have been sentenced. She also had a good defense team.

  • Oh, my. I got myself confused just reading about it.

    Having gotten to the other side, I have no tolerance for such sociopathy. I don’t do crazy, period.

  • The most horrifyingly part for me was the end. Candy went off to become a counselor. I gasped and cried. Our marriage counselor of five years is the one who tried to have an affair with my husband. She was successful with another family and blew them apart. Complaints were filed, the state has done nothing. I am terrified at the system of therapists now. She still practices to this day and I feel for all future victims. I can’t imagine unwittingly sitting across from someone who axed someone to death.

    • Your story reminds me of the cheating therapist in First Wives Club… “Grow from love!” Ugh. I hope that film was a bit cathartic for you.

      • I have not watched it, but I will. I tell you our story would be quite a movie. I never thought someone could be so gross. Our ex therapist is a sociopath no doubt. She prays on everyone who walks thru her door!

        • Please make it a macabre black comedy. These people need to be mocked to smithereens. I actually knew and had the misfortune of working with the real-life creep on whom Joan Cusack based her depiction of Debbie Jellinsky from Addams Family Values. It’s easy to guess what the RL Debbie had done to or in front of Joan to earn that level of ire. Humor was the best touché.

  • The story was extremely disturbing on many levels, which is probably why it was made into a series. But it was well-filmed and well-acted, IMHO.

    • There’s nothing particularly original in any of it but the relatively slick presentation makes the series worse in terms of ethics. There’s a thing called “reverse culture jamming” where, say, establishment defenders of something corrupt and awful (say, PR teams for industrial dumpers), “revoice” or “ventriloquize” their message into a faux groovy, social-justice-y type of presentation to confuse the public. This series borrows a bit from the styles of blockbuster films and series like Promising Young Woman (the violins) and The Undoing which carried the reverse message.

  • OW kills the chump.

    See, that’s why I lay low, back off, and keep the FW’s and OW’s names out of my mouth. She can have my exFW; I will not fight it; I will not stand in their way; I will not badmouth either of them publicly or even, if I can help it, privately. What I do is to erect some pretty high walls and firm boundaries with FW as to how we go about interacting (we have kids) which is as NC as possible and professionally as possible (short, polite, never personal). I never interact with, talk about, or contact the OW which has been my kids’ stepmom for years now. To me, she’s a non-entity.

    I do this because I’m naturally non-confrontational and a bit of a house mouse (see also: coward?) but also because I’m scared of FWs and OWs. The FW and OWs in my life have never given me direct cause to fear them; I’m just scared of FWs and OWs in general. These are people who are comfortable with deception, manipulation, think they are unendingly clever, and have big holes where the empathy chip should have been installed. The slope that leads to “the chump is an obstacle to my happiness and needs to be removed” is not only slippery–it’s short.

    I haven’t heard of Betty’s story before this and it is disturbing and distressing. That poor woman.

    FWs and their affair partners can be very scary people. They already have no problem with the devastation they’ve caused. I stay far away from my exFW and his Wifetress. I never want them to think of me as an obstacle; I just don’t want them to think of me at all.

    Early on in the divorce proceedings (second OW who became the Wifetress), I stopped meeting FW in private spaces to discuss things. I still loved him at the time (so, absolute agony… lots of lost hair and lost weight), buuuut my gut was telling me something. It was telling me that, even though I loved him, I didn’t feel… safe with him. It was very conflicting, but I went with my gut and not my heart. So FW and I hashed out separation and divorce stuffs in coffee shops and food courts. It was humiliating but I didn’t want to be in an enclosed space with him again; it didn’t feel safe. And I never dealt with the OW.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you, Betty.

    • Sorry for you Fourleaf. I hear where are coming from on this. In my eyes cheater are capable of any nefarious behavior. They are all for themselves. Before FW moved out I went looking to see if she had a gun and I would lock the bedroom door every night. Didn’t trust her

    • You’re spot about the slippery slope thinking of both FWs and OW/OM.

      After my experience (with a FW and OW who shared fantasies about raping and beating me; the OW also shared with her fuck buddies a list of women that she wanted to torture and murder) I always advise people being cheated on to focus on getting out ASAP. Abuse triangles – because genuine love has nothing to do with it – are dangerous for your emotional and physical well being.

      FWs and their OW/OM have a deficit of empathy at their core, and someone who relishes inflicting emotional abuse upon innocent parties, including children, is not safe for anyone to be around. Some of them, like Candace Montgomery, Chris Watts and others of their ilk, are pathological enough to use homicide to get what they want.

  • I had to look this sick AP up… after her acquittal she became a family therapist.

    I shit you not.

    I am only surprised she didn’t become a life coach.

    • That’s revolting! What a horrible person! Does she family counsel people how to get away with murder?!

    • Lookie here…

      “Candace Wheeler is a counselor in Dawsonville, GA and may see patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Domestic Violence, Life Coaching, and more.”

  • CN should boycott shows that sensationalize infidelity and violence against chumps-well violence In general. Let our chump voices be heard. This is disgusting tripe that serves no socially redeemable purpose.

    • I respect your views on this, Thrive. My take is a bit different…I don’t see it as promoting violence against chumps, but more like a cautionary tale.

      Betty Gore was a victim of her husband’s infidelity with an evil, demented woman.
      Her story (just like with Laci Peterson and the wife/children of Chris Watts) needs to be told. I think if stories like this come to light more often, chumps (and maybe even some cheaters) can spot the crazy before it escalates this far.

      What I mean by that is, most AP’s are scum…but they don’t kill.
      Candy turned out to be scum of the lowest level. I think the show exposes her for who she is, really.
      The ugliness brewing under that “fake-nice” exterior. I think what we can learn from it is how damaging affairs are in every conceivable way, and that we can also learn from Betty’s mistake.
      Betty seems to have been a kind-hearted lady who trusted the wrong people (not blaming her) and everyone took her for granted.

      How many Chumps can relate? She needed a true friend (not a “frenemy” like Candy) who could tell her to ditch the loser husband, pick her self-esteem up off the floor, and never look back.

  • Ok, I did watch the series. And Betty was a bit of a downer, but it seemed like they made a real effort to show she was not violent. [They have a foster child that acts out and she sends him to his room- and guiltily tells her husband she thought about hitting him].
    Candy, in contrast, seems really crazy throughout the entire thing. Plus she walks all over Betty’s requests [Come to the house at 12, Candy came at 10 because it was ‘better for her”; Betty asked her to ‘not pick up the dogs, Candy picks them right up…]. Candy also loses her best friend because Candy is sleeping with Sherry’s husband too.
    Allan seemed like the same wuss he was throughout- and didn’t say anything at the trial because he knew Candy was crazy.
    The hardest part for me is not understanding why she wasn’t convicted. Although I’m thinking that the repressed memories thing was really gaining momentum about that time and wasn’t discredited until the 90s.

    • “I’m thinking that the repressed memories thing was really gaining momentum about that time and wasn’t discredited until the 90s.”

      Bingo! Plus I suspect a big whiff of misogyny and disbelief that the “pretty one” could possibly be at fault. She had to be a victim, somehow.

    • There’s another wrinkle to the repressed memory thing. The coiner of the acronym DARVO (“deny/attack/reverse victim-offender) is a preeminent psychologist and academic named Jennifer Freyd.

      Jennifer Freyd came forward to describe repressed memories of being molested by her father. In response, her psychologist parents founded the controversial False Memory Syndrome Foundation for the sole purpose of stacking authority behind their claims that their daughter was delusional or fabricating. The foundation’s main target was repressed memory and, for a few decades, all the spin you ever read attacking the legitimacy of repressed memory came from this group. The main goal was to shorten statutes of limitations for reporting rape and molestation using their own in-house “science” to this end.

      Freyd’s parents brought a host of credibly accused child molesters onto the foundation’s board, including James “The Amazing” Randy who had never denied that it was his own voice on pornographic sex tapes with under aged boys that had been circulated since the 1970s. Then there was the infamous Ralph Underwager and several characters exposed in Congressional hearings as former participants in unethical MKULTRA human research, a few of which had been accused of molesting children. The foundation turned into a kind of cottage industry and hub of “expert witnesses” who would testify for the defense in various rape and domestic violence murder trials. Their star expert was Elizabeth Loftus who once said in an interview that victims go public with claims just to get a “love bath” and attention. Loftus professionally defended OJ Simpson, the Hillside Stranglers and consulted in the defense of the Butcher of Treblinka. Loftus’s academic kudos were dented when a judge for the Hague rejected Loftus’s defense of a war criminal accused of raping female prisoners and then was “ginsued” by the DOJ when Loftus testified in defense of Scooter Libby during Plamegate.

      Just as the foundation was branching out to defend industrial perpetrators (toxic industries responsible for mass disasters, etc.), the foundation crashed but not until they had done serious damage to the campaign to extend statutes of limitation for reporting rape. https://news.isst-d.org/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-false-memory-syndrome-foundation/

      Jennifer Freyd continues to build an extraordinary body of work analyzing and exposing perpetrator tactics and supporting victims.

      • And I forgot to mention that misuse of “repressed memory” by perpetrators is of course a hazard of the concept. But perps always play victim and borrow from victim narratives and there’s a lot of evidence that some trauma survivors do in fact repress memories, particularly victims of childhood sexual assault and torture.

    • I read somewhere that Betty suffered from depression (maybe postpartum?) That might explain why she seemed like a downer. I also think she might have felt hurt and lonely because her husband was never at home. Plus, the other women in the community seemed catty…they weren’t very nice to her. She had a lot to deal with.

      As to Candy walking all over Betty…she did that because she could.
      Betty (from accounts I’ve read) was a shy, timid person. A narcissistic type like Candy is drawn to gentle people because there is an imbalance of power.
      Candy had friends, Betty didn’t. Candy was extroverted, a leader in the church.
      Betty wanted acceptance and she also wanted her husband to spend more time with her.

      I think Candy saw this and viewed Betty as weak, somebody she could pretend to be friends with…but she was hurting her the whole time, up until the day she murdered her.
      Women like this are predators. I had a “friend” years ago who was just like Candy, except she never killed anyone. But she had that evil side to her. She had no problems with hurting other women emotionally.

  • This is just shameful. This show is not only morally wrong, but it portrays real people. This whole true crime titillation craze ignores the victims’ pain. What of the two daughters who have to see their mother’s name dragged in the mud? Wasn’t it enough that she got axe murdered by they abusive father’s AP, they never get to grow up with their mother, and they never got justice for it?! Just shameful. I hope they sue Hulu.

  • True story – my ex FW just asked me for my Hulu login info because she said she heard a lot of good things about Candy and wanted to watch it. I shit you not!

    • Gad, do cheaters and side dishes have phone trees and excitedly call one another whenever media spins cheaters and side pieces in a positive light?

      That’s hilarious and unsettling at the same time. Spin! Image management! A criminologist said of the batterers he studied in prison settings that the tend to channel far more psychic energy into image management than normal people and also cling to “palliative comparisons” presented in culture and media (i.e., John Wayne beats his wife in X movie and he’s an American idol!”). The fact that cheaters do the same– and are also prone to reversing victim/offender (just like batterers do as it happens)– rather exposes them as a species of abuser, doesn’t it?

  • I think true crime stories, handled well, can be illuminating. Dave Cullen’s “Columbine” is a good example. This story could be told from the perspective of how a psychopath got away with murder in another time, with sympathy for the victims (because the kiddos were victims here, too). But that takes a writer with integrity, talent and vision. So for me, I look to see who’s behind the production. I don’t like exploitation TV or movies. The creator is Nick Antosca, whose resume is full of horror shows (the Chucky TV show, etc). So what you got was a show told from the POV of the horror villain.

    I don’t know this case, but my first thought was maybe Betty was suffering from postpartum depression; it might explain her worry about another pregnancy.

  • I’ll skip the show so I don’t lose my lunch. Poor Betty being marginalized because (I assume) Candy is sexier & better looking & therefore, deserving of innocence. Misogyny at work right there. So many people want to believe in the faux glittery show & don’t want to question anything deeper. The Schmoopie does continuous boast posts (sometimes 2 or 3 of the very same posts in a day!) & I just shake my head at how many “likes” she gets, even my own kids are in on it!

    • But in real life Candy looked like a dull mushroom of a woman and Betty was rather cute and approachable. I thought Betty looked like Martine McCutcheon from “Love, Actually.” But obviously casting someone like McCutcheon would make Betty sympathetic which was not the aim of the production team so they cast an actress who specializes in playing whiny, whispery weirdos.

    • That’s FW. ” she is too sweet to cheat. Her ex must have made those stories up. Have you seen her selfies she is so pretty”.
      When I hear that it makes me want to become the false persona they have labeled me with.

  • I haven’t read the comments, so I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned the movie A Killing in a Small Town. It is from the 90’s, and shows a different perspective of this crime. The victim is not blamed or vilified. It’s on YouTube if you want to check it out. The trial is especially interesting (I’m a fan of Brian Denehey). Fun fact: the judge is Jerry Haynes from Mr. Peppermint (a kid’s show in 1960’s Texas).

  • Texas is also the state that tried Robert Durst ( All Good Things (movie) and subject of the documentary “The Jinx”. Durst murdered his neighbor in Galveston TX , dismembered him and threw the victim in Galveston Bay. It doesn’ t surprise me .

  • Another show to avoid is Conversations With Friends on Hulu from a book with the same title I watched three episodes knowing nothing about it and kept thinking something would change. The entire thing is about cheating. It’s cheating 101. Messy show. It wasn’t triggering but crazy how seemingly innocent and entitled the characters are portrayed. I’m guessing this one does not end with a murder because it’s played as soft and normal.

  • I’m really glad that after DD1, when I forgave the dick and he dropped his skank, that she only sent me an email detailing everything they did. So, so glad that she didn’t come after me with an axe! Wow!

  • Jennifer Biel had this to say about Candy “I believe through the whole thing that this is not an evil person. This is not a deeply violent human being. This is someone who is just like all of us.” It’s one thing to not portray someone like this as an overt monster as she obviously won a jury over in the end with her BS story and another to assert that she’s “just like all of us.” I accept that there are deeply disordered people that are capable of putting on a good face. Domestic abusers are not randomly violent, which belies their claim that this some sort of impulse control issue. I refuse to accept that the majority of us could murder someone else, especially in the manner that Candy did.

    Also wholly agree that the OPs are usually not some crazy attractive, enigmatic people. The ho-worker in my situation has zero friends and is less fashionable than my grandma.

    • Probably more than any other source, Holocaust survivor and historian Primo Levi’s “The Drowned and the Saved” tackles the issues you bring up. He wrote, ‘to confuse [the murderers] with their victims is a moral disease or an aesthetic affectation or a sinister sign of complicity; above all, it is a precious service rendered (intentionally or not) to the negators of truth’

  • Also I’m curious what will happen with the “Eye of Sauron” on these people’s lives again from this and the other upcoming show. The internet is a crazy place.

  • “Ugliest nightgown God gave Sears.” I’m still laughing at that one. CL’s wit and humor knows no bounds.

  • “Candace Wheeler is a counselor in Dawsonville, GA and may see patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Domestic Violence, Life Coaching, and more.”

    Life coach. Domestic violence. Remind me to smack myself if I ever contemplate a life coach/therapist again. JFC.

  • Allen has all of the characteristics of a sociopathic covert narc abuser… including triangling 2 women to fight over him and ultimately Candy to get rid of his wife for him. He walks away with clean hands. Moves on unfazed !

  • Allan is demeaning Betty socially by the way he treats her. She is unloved uncherished ignored becomes insecure angry and bitter. Why is Allan out playing volleyball and ignoring his family? Does he give Betty the same freedom he gives himself . Obviously not . Misogynistic

  • I did watch the show. Candy and Allan’s affair was portrayed as the most boring, passionless sex, something no one would commit an axe murder for, even if Candy did develop ‘feelings’ for Allan. I was pretty stunned that she was acquitted. I mean, hitting someone with an axe over 25 times could never be self-defense. It’s ludicrous. No clue what the F those jurors were thinking. She was guilty AF. The show’s portrayal of Betty was exactly as CL described it, one dimensional, meant to excuse Allan and Candy’s behavior. At the end, there was a last shot, I think, meant to call into question Candy’s guilt. It wasn’t near enough to make up for the rest of the show.

    • I have a different view of it, Kintsugi. I actually don’t see the show as glorifying her at all.
      To me, it shows that under her image, she is demonic. It shows that people sometimes are not what they seem.

      And sadly, people like Candy can fool others (like Ted Bundy).
      I also think it’s a way to expose Candy after all these years. People like that need to be reminded of what they did. And since she works in the mental health field, her clients should be aware that she brutally murdered somebody.

      I understand that others here find the show in poor taste, and I respect their feelings.
      I just think that if you look more deeply into it, Candy isn’t being shown in a positive way.
      Her hypocrisy, her cruelty, all of that is behind the mask she wears.
      The show does a great job of showing who she really is.

      But I’m sad for Betty too. She seems like a decent person who was victimized first by her husband, then the other woman.
      May she rest in peace.

  • Thank you for covering this. The woman my husband cheated on me with has violent tendencies and my family was very worried. I don’t know how he could me and our newborn in such danger. It makes it hard for me to breathe when I think about it.

  • “No. He’s a hen-pecked martyr of a man. Who reasonably has to travel a lot for work, but his pathetic, clingy wife doesn’t understand.”

    He had time for extramarital affairs, though…
    This is SOOOO my fuckwit, I get so angry just to think about how many times he made me feel bad for wanting his presence (for me and the kids) only to be gaslighted into believing I was the problem and he was the poor guy working hard to make a living. Later I found out most trips weren’t really
    “necessary”.

    Not sure if it was Sam Vaknin or HG Tudor, but one of these Narc experts, when analyzing Chris Watts and covert malignant narcissists (the “nice church-going husbands that one fine day leaves their family behind for OW, as if they were nothing), he said that they ALL kill their families- Chris Watts just did it physically, but they all murder their families in their minds first- the difference is if you are missing something in your brain and you carry it. Either rage/impulse/ enormous amount of grandiosity- he thinks Watts was so grandiose that he truly thought he would not get caught. His mistress also couldn’t care less about his kids or wife.
    These people are just the “perfect storm” in anyone’s life and a nightmare. We become what’s between their shared fantasy of twu wuv and must be anihalated.

  • >