Candy Montgomery: The Most Famous House in Wylie, 43 Years Later


Candy Montgomery: The Most Famous House in Wylie, 43 Years Later

In the quiet suburbs of Wylie, Texas, there’s a house that stands as a chilling reminder of one of America’s most notorious true crime stories. 

The address? 410 Dogwood Drive. It’s been over four decades since this unassuming home became the center of a gruesome murder that shocked the nation. 

This is the story of Candy Montgomery, the axe-wielding housewife, and the infamous house that still captivates true crime enthusiasts to this day.

The Candy Montgomery Story

Candy Montgomery wasn’t your typical murderer. She was a church-going, suburban housewife with a seemingly perfect life. But beneath the surface, a storm was brewing that would lead to one of the most shocking crimes in Texas history.

Who was Candy Montgomery?

Born Candace Wheeler in 1949, Candy was the quintessential all-American girl. She grew up in a middle-class family, excelled in school, and had dreams of a picture-perfect life. 

In her early twenties, she married Pat Montgomery, a promising electrical engineer, and they settled into a comfortable life in Wylie, Texas. They had two children and were active members of their local Methodist church. But Candy wanted more.

Friends described Candy as vivacious, outgoing, and the life of the party. She was known for organizing church events and hosting neighborhood gatherings. 

On the surface, she seemed to have it all – a loving husband, beautiful children, and a close-knit community. However, those who knew her well sensed a restlessness, a desire for excitement that her suburban life couldn’t fulfill.

The Affair that Shook a Community

In 1978, Candy’s life took a dramatic turn. After a church volleyball game, she propositioned Allan Gore, her friend Betty’s husband. What followed was a 10-month affair that would set the stage for tragedy.

“Would you be interested in having an affair?” – Candy Montgomery to Allan Gore

This bold question, asked casually after a sweaty game of volleyball, sparked a passionate and carefully orchestrated affair. Candy and Allan met regularly at the Como Motel, just north of Richardson, meticulously planning their encounters to avoid suspicion.

Their affair was more than just physical. They shared deep conversations about their marriages, their dreams, and their disappointments. For Candy, it was the excitement she had been craving. For Allan, it was an escape from the pressures of work and family life.

Despite their careful planning, the affair began to take its toll. Both Candy and Allan felt guilty about betraying their spouses. After 10 months, they mutually agreed to end the relationship, hoping to salvage their marriages and friendships. Little did they know that the consequences of their actions were far from over.

The Fateful Day: June 13, 1980

On Friday, June 13, 1980, Candy went to Betty Gore’s house on what seemed like a routine errand. She was there to pick up a swimsuit for the Gores’ daughter, who had stayed overnight with the Montgomerys. 

It was a sunny summer day, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. But within hours, this quiet suburban home would become the scene of a horrific crime.

The Shocking Murder of Betty Gore

What exactly transpired in the Gore household that day remains a subject of debate and speculation. According to Candy’s later testimony, Betty confronted her about the affair with Allan. The conversation quickly escalated into a heated argument.

Candy claimed that Betty, in a fit of rage, left the room and returned with an axe. In the struggle that followed, Candy said she managed to wrestle the axe away from Betty. But instead of fleeing, Candy turned the weapon on Betty. 

In what she described as self-defense fueled by a dissociative episode, Candy struck Betty. But she didn’t stop at one blow.

When it was over, Betty had been struck 41 times with the three-foot axe. The brutality of the attack was shocking. Betty’s body was found later that day by neighbors, lying in a pool of blood in the utility room. The discovery sent shockwaves through the community and set off a manhunt that would captivate the nation.

The House at 410 Dogwood Drive

The House at 410 Dogwood Drive

The modest, single-story home at 410 Dogwood Drive became infamous overnight. Let’s take a closer look at this notorious property and how it has changed over the years.

Description of the Property

The house at 410 Dogwood Drive is a typical example of 1970s suburban architecture:

  • Built in the mid-1970s
  • Single-story ranch-style home
  • 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
  • Approximately 1,500 square feet
  • Attached garage
  • Spacious backyard with a patio

At the time of the murder, it was a relatively new home in a developing neighborhood. The Gores had chosen it as the perfect place to raise their young family, never imagining it would become the scene of such a horrific crime.

The Scene of the Crime: The Utility Room

The utility room, where Betty’s body was found, became a focal point of the investigation. It was a small space, tucked away at the back of the house, used for laundry and storage. 

On that fateful day, it became the stage for a violent confrontation that would end in tragedy.

Today, the utility room looks nothing like it did in 1980. It has been renovated multiple times, each new owner attempting to erase the dark history embedded in its walls. But for those who know the story, it’s impossible to look at that space without imagining the horror that unfolded there.

How the House Has Changed Over 43 Years

The house at 410 Dogwood Drive has undergone several transformations since 1980:

1980Original crime scene
1980sInitial renovations to remove traces of the crime
1990sFirst major renovation, including kitchen and bathrooms
2000sSecond renovation, including utility room and flooring
2010sExterior updates, including new siding and roof
2020Listed for sale, interior staged for modern tastes
2022Sold after just 4 days on market

Each renovation has sought to distance the property from its notorious past, transforming it into a modern family home. Yet, despite these efforts, the house’s history remains an inescapable part of its identity.


Recent Sales History and Property Value

Despite its dark history, the house has had no trouble selling. In fact, it’s been a hot property in recent years:

  • March 2022: Sold after 4 days on market for above asking price
  • August 2020: Sold after 2 days on market, also above asking price

This suggests that the house’s notoriety hasn’t negatively impacted its value. If anything, it may have increased interest in the property. Real estate experts suggest that the quick sales could be due to a combination of factors:

  1. Wylie’s growing popularity as a suburb
  2. The house’s renovations and updates
  3. Morbid curiosity from true crime enthusiasts
  4. The passage of time since the murder

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that 410 Dogwood Drive continues to attract attention, both from potential buyers and curious onlookers.

Impact on Wylie, Texas

The Candy Montgomery case didn’t just affect the families involved; it sent shockwaves through the entire community of Wylie, forever changing this quiet Texas town.

Before the Murder: A Quiet Suburban Community

Wylie in 1980 was a far cry from the bustling suburb it is today. With a population of just over 3,000, it was considered “out in the country,” a place where people moved to escape the hustle and bustle of Dallas.

Life in Wylie was characterized by:

  • Close-knit neighborhoods where everyone knew each other
  • Low crime rates; many people left their doors unlocked
  • Strong community ties, often centered around local churches
  • A slower pace of life, with many residents commuting to Dallas for work

It was in this idyllic setting that the Gores and Montgomerys had chosen to build their lives and raise their families. The murder shattered this sense of safety and innocence.

Immediate Aftermath: Fear Grips the Neighborhood

In the days following Betty Gore’s murder, before Candy Montgomery was arrested, panic set in across Wylie. The brutal nature of the crime and the initial lack of a suspect led to widespread fear:

  • People started locking their doors, many for the first time
  • Parents kept their children indoors, afraid to let them play outside
  • Neighbors became suspicious of each other, wondering if the killer lived among them
  • Local gun sales reportedly increased as residents sought to protect themselves

The sense of security that had defined life in Wylie was gone, replaced by a pervasive fear and distrust.

Long-term Effects on Wylie’s Reputation

While Wylie has grown and changed significantly since 1980, the murder remains a part of its history. For many years after the crime:

  • Wylie became known as the “town with the axe murder”
  • Some residents reported feeling stigmatised when they mentioned where they lived
  • The case overshadowed other aspects of Wylie’s identity and history
  • True crime enthusiasts would visit the town, much to the discomfort of many residents

Over time, as Wylie has grown into a larger suburb with a population now over 50,000, the impact of the case has lessened. However, for long-time residents and those familiar with Texas history, the Candy Montgomery case remains an integral part of Wylie’s story.

How Locals View the Infamous House Today

Opinions about 410 Dogwood Drive are mixed among Wylie residents:

  • Some see it as a macabre tourist attraction, drawing curious visitors to their neighborhood
  • Others wish people would forget about it and let the community move on
  • Long-time residents often feel conflicted, understanding the historical significance but wishing to leave the past behind
  • Newer residents may be unaware of the house’s history until told by neighbors or through local lore

Despite these varying views, there’s no denying that the house remains a point of interest, a physical reminder of a tragedy that forever changed this Texas town.

The Trial That Shocked Texas

The Trial That Shocked Texas

Candy Montgomery’s trial was a sensation, drawing crowds and media attention from across the country. It was a case that seemed to have it all – sex, violence, and suburban scandal.

Candy’s Claim of Self-Defense

Candy’s defense team, led by Don Crowder, a flamboyant attorney who had never tried a murder case before, argued that she acted in self-defense. Their strategy was bold and controversial:

  1. Admit that Candy killed Betty
  2. Claim that Betty attacked first with the axe
  3. Argue that Candy’s response, while extreme, was justified given the threat to her life

They painted a picture of Candy as a woman who had been backed into a corner, forced to fight for her life against an enraged attacker. The prosecution, led by Tom O’Connell, argued that the brutality of the attack – 41 blows with an axe – went far beyond self-defense.

The Controversial Hypnosis Evidence

In a move that raised eyebrows both in and out of the courtroom, the defense used hypnosis to recover Candy’s memories of the event. Under hypnosis, Candy recalled childhood trauma that they argued contributed to her actions:

  • A memory of her mother shushing her as a baby, allegedly leading to repressed anger
  • Feelings of abandonment and rejection stemming from her childhood
  • A dissociative episode triggered by Betty’s attack

The prosecution argued against the admissibility of this evidence, but Judge Ryan allowed it, a decision that would prove crucial to the case’s outcome.

The Surprising Verdict

After a trial that lasted eight days and captured national attention, the jury retired to deliberate. Many expected a lengthy deliberation given the complexity of the case and the severity of the crime. However, after just three hours, the jury returned with their verdict: not guilty.

The courtroom was stunned. Candy Montgomery, who had admitted to killing Betty Gore with an axe, was acquitted of murder. The jury had accepted her claim of self-defense, influenced in part by the controversial hypnosis evidence.

Public Reaction to the Acquittal

The verdict was met with disbelief and outrage by many:

  • Betty Gore’s family and friends were devastated, feeling that justice had not been served
  • Many in the community felt that the brutality of the attack should have negated any claim of self-defense
  • The case sparked debates about the reliability of hypnosis as evidence in criminal trials
  • Some criticized the justice system, arguing that Candy’s appearance and demeanor had unfairly influenced the jury

The acquittal of Candy Montgomery remains controversial to this day, with many true crime enthusiasts and legal experts continuing to debate the verdict.

Pop Culture and Media Frenzy

The Candy Montgomery case has captured the public imagination for decades, spawning books, articles, and most recently, high-profile television adaptations.

Books and Articles About the Case

The case has been the subject of numerous books and articles over the years:

  • “Evidence of Love” by Jim Atkinson and John Bloom (1984) – This book, written by two journalists who covered the trial, provides a detailed account of the case and became the basis for later adaptations.
  • “Love and Death in Silicon Prairie” – A two-part Texas Monthly article (1984) that offered an in-depth look at the case and its impact on the community.
  • Various true crime books and anthologies have included chapters on the Candy Montgomery case, cementing its place in the annals of American true crime.

Recent TV Adaptations

The case has seen a resurgence of interest in recent years, leading to two high-profile television adaptations:

  1. “Candy” (Hulu, 2022) starring Jessica Biel as Candy Montgomery
    • This miniseries took a psychological approach to the story, delving into Candy’s mindset
    • It received praise for Biel’s performance and its atmospheric portrayal of 1980s Texas
  2. “Love and Death” (HBO Max, 2023) starring Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery
    • This series offered a more comprehensive look at the case, including the aftermath of the trial
    • It explored themes of suburban dissatisfaction and the darker side of the American Dream

Both adaptations brought the story to a new generation of true crime enthusiasts, reigniting interest in the case and the house at 410 Dogwood Drive.

Why the Story Continues to Fascinate Americans

The Candy Montgomery case touches on themes that continue to resonate with American audiences:

  • The dark underbelly of suburban life – It challenges the idea of the safe, idyllic suburb
  • Female rage and repression – Candy’s actions spark discussions about societal expectations for women
  • The complexities of self-defense laws – The case raises questions about what constitutes justified self-defense
  • The power of narrative in criminal trials – It demonstrates how storytelling can influence legal outcomes
  • The allure of the seemingly ordinary person who commits an extraordinary crime

These elements combine to create a story that continues to captivate, decades after the events took place.

Comparisons to Other Infamous Crime Houses

The house at 410 Dogwood Drive joins a list of infamous American homes associated with shocking crimes:

  • The Amityville Horror House (New York) – Site of a mass murder that inspired books and films
  • The JonBenét Ramsey House (Colorado) – Where the young beauty queen was tragically killed
  • The Black Dahlia Murder House (Los Angeles) – Linked to one of America’s most famous unsolved murders

Like these other houses, 410 Dogwood Drive serves as a physical reminder of a tragic event, a place where curiosity seekers and true crime enthusiasts come to connect with a dark chapter of history.

Where is Candy Montgomery Now?

After the trial, Candy Montgomery largely disappeared from the public eye, leaving many to wonder about her fate.

Life After the Trial

Shortly after her acquittal, Candy and her family moved to Georgia. They sought a fresh start, away from the scrutiny and notoriety that had come to define their lives in Texas. Details about her life since the trial are scarce, but here’s what is generally believed:

  • Candy is thought to have changed her name back to Candace Wheeler, her maiden name
  • She and her husband Pat eventually divorced, though the exact timing is unclear
  • She has maintained a low profile, avoiding media attention and public appearances

Rumors and Speculations

Over the years, various rumors have circulated about Candy’s post-trial life:

  • There are unconfirmed reports that she now works as a mental health counselor or therapist
  • Some speculate that she has remarried and started a new family
  • Others wonder if she has remained in Georgia or moved elsewhere for anonymity

It’s important to note that these are largely speculations, as Candy has not spoken publicly about her life since the trial.

The Ethical Debate: Should She Be Left Alone?

Candy Montgomery’s case raises complex ethical questions:

  1. Does someone acquitted of a crime owe the public any explanation?
  2. Should individuals involved in high-profile cases be allowed to live in peace after serving their time or being acquitted?
  3. What are the long-term effects of media scrutiny on individuals involved in sensational trials?

There’s ongoing debate about whether Candy should be allowed to live in peace or if she owes the public more of an explanation for her actions. 

Some argue that her acquittal means she should be left alone, while others feel that the brutality of the crime and the controversial nature of the verdict mean she should address the public.

This debate touches on larger issues of justice, redemption, and the public’s right to know versus an individual’s right to privacy. It’s a conversation that continues to evolve as our understanding of crime, punishment, and rehabilitation changes over time.

The Legacy of 410 Dogwood Drive


The house at 410 Dogwood Drive remains a subject of fascination for true crime enthusiasts and a point of contention for the local community.

How the House Has Become a True Crime Landmark

While not an official landmark, the house draws curious onlookers and true crime tourists:

  • Some people drive by slowly, trying to catch a glimpse of the infamous property
  • True crime tours sometimes include the house on their itineraries
  • Online forums and social media groups discuss the house and its history

This ongoing interest has turned 410 Dogwood Drive into an unofficial monument to a tragic event, much to the dismay of some local residents.

Ethical Considerations of Living in or Visiting Crime Scenes

The fascination with the house raises ethical questions:

  • Is it respectful to the victims and their families to treat crime scenes as tourist attractions?
  • How does living in a famous crime scene impact current residents?
  • What responsibility do property owners have in disclosing a home’s history to potential buyers?

These questions extend beyond the Candy Montgomery case, touching on broader issues in true crime tourism and real estate ethics.

Other Famous Houses in American True Crime History

410 Dogwood Drive is far from the only house to gain notoriety due to a criminal case:

  • The Lizzie Borden House (Massachusetts) – Now a bed and breakfast
  • The Sharon Tate House (California) – Site of the Manson Family murders, since demolished
  • The John Wayne Gacy House (Illinois) – Torn down and replaced with a new property

Each of these properties has grappled with how to move forward in the shadow of tragedy, much like the house in Wylie.

The Future of Wylie’s Most Notorious Address

As long as people remain fascinated by true crime, it’s likely that 410 Dogwood Drive will continue to be a point of interest. However, its future remains uncertain:

  • Will future owners embrace or try to distance themselves from its history?
  • Could it ever be turned into a museum or memorial, like some other infamous crime scenes?
  • How will changing attitudes towards true crime tourism affect interest in the property?

Only time will tell how the legacy of this house will evolve in the coming years and decades.


The story of Candy Montgomery and the house at 410 Dogwood Drive is more than just a sensational true crime tale. It’s a story that forces us to confront uncomfortable truths about suburban life, justice, and human nature. 

As we look back on this case 43 years later, it’s clear that its impact is still felt, not just in Wylie, but across America.

The house stands as a silent witness to a tragedy that unfolded on a summer day in 1980. It reminds us that sometimes, the most shocking stories can unfold in the most ordinary of places. 

As long as it stands, the house at 410 Dogwood Drive will continue to fascinate, horrify, and provoke debate, ensuring that the story of Candy Montgomery remains a part of America’s true crime lore for years to come.

FAQ’s About Candy Montgomery and the Wylie House

Is the house at 410 Dogwood Drive still standing? 

Yes, the house is still standing and has been renovated multiple times since 1980.

Can you visit the Candy Montgomery house? 

While the house is privately owned and not open for tours, it can be viewed from the street.

Did Candy Montgomery go to prison? 

No, Candy Montgomery was acquitted of murder charges in 1980.

Where is Candy Montgomery now? 

Candy Montgomery is believed to be living in Georgia under her maiden name, but she has stayed out of the public eye since the trial.

How accurate are the TV shows about Candy Montgomery? 

While based on true events, the TV adaptations take some creative liberties. It’s always best to consult multiple sources for the most accurate information about the case.

Leave a Comment