The true story behind the church-going axe murderer



Arena Holdings PTY


The story told in Love & Death is that of Candy Montgomery, who was accused of murdering her neighbour Betty Gore with an axe in 1980 after Gore learnt that Montgomery was sleeping with her husband, Allan. The show stars Elizabeth Olsen as Candy and Jesse Plemons as Allan. Tymon Smith chats to veteran TV showrunner David E Kelley and director Lesli Linka Glatter about the show. What attracted you to this story? Kelley: A great plot and rich and compelling characters. When the project was first brought to my attention there was a presumption I’d be against it because I like to make the facts up. When I read the details, it was just too juicy, too rich, too delicious to turn away from. Glatter: I’m not a true-crime aficionado and that’s not what interested me. There is a horrible crime but I was interested in who these characters were and why this happened, rather than the how. This is about deep character exploration and there is humour, but humour based on situations. And then the tone shifts in the middle, which for a director is interesting — how do you navigate that shift? Do you think the period, place and tightknit religious community where this happened were significant? Glatter: Absolutely. This is a story of that particular time in small-town America. What intrigued me, on a character level, was the women had a certain path that was expected: you got married at 20, you had your two kids, you moved to the suburbs, your husband worked while you stayed home raising the kids. Everything on the outside seems great and bucolic, but why does the world seem so deeply unsatisfying? There’s a hole in the heart and psyche without the skill set or therapy — or whatever we do now — to try to address that. So a lot of choices were made that result in something tragic. Candy has this public persona and private persona and that’s fascinating and I think is also of the times. Love & Death is streaming on Showmax. New episodes added weekly.