If you're a fan of true crime, you'll undoubtedly have heard of the 1980 murder of Betty Gore and the sinister tale of her friend, Candy Montgomery, who was accused of killing her brutally with an axe.


If you're thinking that the tale may sound familiar, you're right. The story has not only been the basis of upcoming HBO Max drama Love & Death, but also inspired Hulu/Disney Plus's Candy, which starred Jessica Biel and Melanie Lynskey.

Well, Love & Death is bringing the perplexing story to the small screen once more and this time round, Elizabeth Olsen (WandaVision) leads the cast as housewife Candy Montgomery and Lily Rabe (American Horror Story) plays Betty. The new series comes from David E Kelley, who more recently wrote The Undoing and The Lincoln Lawyer.

And it's good news for eager UK fans as the HBO Max series is set to premiere exclusively on this side of the pond on ITVX this autumn. With that, here's everything you need to know about Love & Death.

Love & Death release date

The HBO Max series is set to air on the US-based platform on Thursday 27th April 2023, with episodes being released weekly until the series finale on Thursday 25th May.

However, UK fans will have a little while longer to wait as the anticipated seven-part series won't land on ITVX until autumn 2023. An exact release date on the platform is yet to be released but we'll be sure to keep you updated.

Love & Death cast

Elizabeth Olsen in Love & Death
Love & Death. HBO Max

The cast of Love & Death is home to some very familiar faces, with Marvel favourite Elizabeth Olsen leading the cast as Candy Montgomery, while Lily Rabe stars as Betty Gore. Two-time Emmy nominee Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights, The Power of the Dog) also stars as Betty's husband Alan, who has an affair with Candy.

Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous) stars as Candy's husband Pat Montgomery, while Keir Gilchrist (Atypical) stars as Ron Adams and Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) as Sherry Cleckler.

The full cast list for Love & Death is as follows:

  • Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery
  • Patrick Fugit as Pat Montgomery
  • Lily Rabe as Betty Gore
  • Jesse Plemons as Allan Gore
  • Keir Gilchrist as Ron Adams
  • Elizabeth Marvel as Jackie Ponder
  • Tom Pelphrey as Don Crowder
  • Krysten Ritter as Sherry Cleckler
  • Beth Broderick as Bertha Pomeroy
  • Richard C Jones as Tom Cleckler
  • Aaron Jay Rome as Richard Garlington
  • Fabiola Andújar as Mary Adams
  • Brian d'Arcy James as Fred Fason
  • Olivia Applegate as Carol Crowder
  • Mackenzie Astin as Tom O'Connell
  • Adam Cropper as Robert Udashen
  • Bruce McGill as Tom Ryan
  • Drew Waters as Jerry McMahan
  • Sunday Dangerstone as Tina Grant
  • Amelie Dallimore as Jenny Montgomery

Love & Death plot

The series will explore the journey of Candy Montgomery from being a charismatic neighbour to a potential axe-wielding murderer, and the story of the affair that kickstarted it all.

As per the official synopsis: "Love & Death takes a close look at Candy Montgomery’s shift from a bright, devout Christian housewife to a merciless axe-murderer and the peculiar affair that started it all.

"Set in a close-knit, trusting Texas community full of carefree families and faithful churchgoers, it’s an idyllic picture – and the perfect cover for dangerous secrets and vicious jealousy left unchecked.

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"With executive producers David E Kelley and Nicole Kidman and stars Elizabeth Olsen and Jesse Plemons, the limited series promises sky-high pedigree, style with substance, and the complex, psychological nuance necessary for such an unbelievable true crime story."

Is Love & Death based on a true story?

It most certainly is. The limited series is inspired by the book Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs as well as a collection of articles from Texas Monthly (Love & Death in Silicon Prairie, Part I & II).

Candace 'Candy' Lynn Montgomery was 30 at the time of Betty Gore's murder in 1980 in Wylie, Texas. Candy was married to Pat Montgomery and the pair had two children together. Together, they would regularly attend their local Methodist church and there, Candy became friends with Betty, who was a middle school teacher.

Betty was married to Alan Gore, who was engaged in an affair with Candy and one day when out of town, he was concerned about the welfare of his wife and asked neighbours to enquire if she was at home. When they forced their way into the Gore household, they found Betty's body. She was later found to have been struck 41 times with an axe. Their baby daughter was awake and crying in her cot in the next room.

Candy was accused of Betty's murder and stood trial, where she stated that she acted in self-defence after an alleged confrontation about her and Alan's affair. She said she used an axe to attack Betty as Betty had used the same weapon on her. Undergoing a polygraph test before the trial, it revealed that she was telling the truth.

On 30th October 1980, Candy was found not guilty by the jury. The verdict received major criticism from the local community. The story has been adapted for the screen in 1990 movie A Killing in a Small Town, 2022's Candy and now, Love & Death.

Is there a trailer for Love & Death?

There is, and it gives a first look at the star-studded cast and the chilling true story. Watch it below.

An equally chilling teaser was also released earlier this February.

Love & Death airs on HBO Max on Thursday 27th April and will air in the UK on ITVX this autumn.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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