Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder By the Book: Candy and Betty

Seeking Betty

Aware of his wife's anxieties, Allan phoned frequently that June day. He reached her in the morning from the airport just before his flight departed.

Betty with the Children
Betty with the Children

Betty was caring for Bethany, their infant. But the Gores had left their older daughter, Alisa, in the care of Candy Montgomery, who had two children of her own, Ian, 4, and Jenny, 6. Jenny and Alisa were fast friends.

Candy taught Vacation Bible School at Lucas United Methodist Church, and she drove the three children there that morning. Later in the day, she planned a pool party for the kids, followed by an evening trip to the movies. It seemed like a perfectly ordinary day.

But Allan Gore grew concerned when Betty failed to answer his frequent phone calls that afternoon. He eventually began phoning friends and neighbors, asking whether they had seen or heard from Betty. Neighbor Richard Parker went next door and did a cursory inspection outside the house. He told Allan he found nothing amiss.

Gore called the Montgomery home to check on Alisa. Candy said she had visited Betty at 10 a.m., during a quick break from Bible School, to pick up Alisa's swimming suit for the pool party. Betty was fine, Candy insisted.

Dramatization: Allan Gore phones from hotel room.
Dramatization: Allan Gore phones from hotel room.

But as evening descended, Gore grew more and more convinced that something was not right. From his hotel room in St. Paul, he called several neighbors and pressed them to go inside the house and check on the well-being of his wife and infant daughter.

The Gore's Home
The Gore's Home

Richard Parker returned to the darkened house with two other men. The front door was unlocked. They went inside, and Parker was drawn to whimpers. He found little Bethany in a bedroom, her diaper badly soiled. She clearly had been alone for most of the day.

The other men moved cautiously though the wood-paneled living room, where a basket of unfolded laundry sat on the shag carpet between matching plaid easy chairs. Through a doorway, they noticed crimson smears on an upright freezer in a utility room adjacent to the garage. They peeked around the corner, and there on the vinyl floor lay the body of Betty Gore.

Her yellow top and pink shorts were soaked red, and blood had pooled and congealed beneath her body. The men's attention was drawn to the right side of the poor woman's face, which had been left disfigured by what appeared to be a gunshot exit wound. Her left eye stared blankly into the distance.

The men were startled by the ring of the telephone. One of them picked it up. It was Allan Gore. Richard Parker gave him the bad news."The baby is fine," he said. "But Betty's dead. She's been shot. It looks a like a suicide."

He was right that Betty Gore was dead. But he was way off about the method.

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