When a young housewife’s body was discovered mutilated in her own home, the gruesome crime sent shockwaves through the small Dallas suburb where she lived. Residents began locking their doors. Some speculated it was a drifter.
Few could believe that a popular, church-going mother of two, Candy Montgomery, had struck her friend Betty Gore 41 times with an ax and then took a shower in the home to wash off all the blood.
Gore’s mutilated body was discovered in the utility room of her nondescript, single-level, brick home in Wylie, TX, on Friday the 13th of June 1980. Montgomery, who had an affair with Gore’s husband, Allan, claimed she killed Betty in self-defense after Betty confronted her about the affair. Montgomery was acquitted by a jury.
Forty years later, the shocking ax murder is back in the spotlight with the release of a five-part Hulu series titled “Candy.” Starring Jessica Biel, the series is slated to premiere on Monday. HBO Max is reportedly working on its own limited series called “Love and Death,” starring Elizabeth Olsen. No release date has been announced.
The home of Betty and Allan Gore and their two young children has sold at least a half-dozen times since the murder. Most recently, the newly renovated, three-bedroom, two-bathroom house was listed in March of this year for $344,900 and sold a few weeks later—for over the asking price, according to the seller’s real estate agent. A couple purchased the house.
“It looks like a normal house,” says local real estate agent Darla McMullen, of Monument Realty. She represented the sellers in the sale and had represented them when they bought it in 2020. “It’s been remodeled enough that it’s a different flow” from when the murder happened.
Famous murder homes rarely sell quickly—or for more than the list price. Often these properties linger on the market and close at a 10% to 25% discount, depending on the severity of the crime and how much publicity it received, says real estate appraiser Randall Bell, CEO of Landmark Research Group.
“When [the crime is] more graphically violent, it tends to have a more negative effect on the property values,” says Bell. He specializes in this kind of real estate where a tragedy or disaster occurred. “Some of these cases can linger on for decades or even centuries.”
The location of the home might also worsen the stigma. Murders are more common in big cities than in small towns, where it can be the biggest news for decades.
However, that might not matter much in such a hot real estate market where buyers can’t find homes for sale due to a severe housing shortage, says McMullen. Her clients bought the Gore home sight unseen in September 2020 as they were relocating from out of state. They paid $251,750, according to McMullen and property records. After a year and a half, they sold the property, as their family had expanded and they needed more space.
“They didn’t have any clue about [the history] when they fell in love with the house,” she says. And when they learned of it, they weren’t deterred. Apparently, one of them had grown up in a home whose previous owner had been a serial killer.
It was only at the end of their tenure in the home, with the news of the Hulu and HBO Max shows, that folks began driving by and taking photos of the property.
McMullen disclosed Gore’s death in the listing this March. But it didn’t turn off prospective buyers: More than 40 folks attended the recent open house. Several put in offers over the asking price, she says.
The house, which sits on a fifth of an acre, has granite countertops, vaulted ceilings in the living room, and a patio, according to Realtor.com®.
“It’s beautiful,” McMullen says of the property. “I never felt weird or anything” being inside.
This isn’t the first time that Hollywood explored the gruesome crime. Two journalists published the book “Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs” in 1984. It served as a basis for the TV movie “Killing in a Small Town.” Actress Barbara Hershey, who played a fictionalized version of Montgomery, won an Emmy and a Golden Globe award for her performance.
Betty Gore, a fifth-grade teacher, was just 29 when she was killed. Her husband reportedly moved away from Wylie and remarried, but that relationship ended in divorce, according to the Dallas Morning News. The couple’s daughters were raised by Betty’s mother.
Montgomery also divorced. She moved to Georgia and became a family counselor, according to the Daily Mail.