From the outside, suburban housewife Candy Montgomery (pictured, above left) was living a charmed life. Married to a successful engineer working for Texas Instruments, Candy was very active in the church. That’s where she met Allan Gore.
Though Allan was married to the mother of his two children, Betty (pictured, above right), he and Candy started an extramarital affair—which ended in murder on Friday, June 13, 1980 … and a controversial trial that made national headlines.
The toe on Candy’s left foot was bleeding profusely. She stared at it and fished in her purse for the keys to the station wagon.
Now you’re in the car. You’re normal. The car is still here. Everything looks the same.
Her mind went blank, and in the few lost moments, she was vaguely aware of the car beginning to move.
Father’s Day cards. Puppet show. One step at a time, just do one thing at a time and it will be all right. Don’t think about the house … Father’s Day cards.
She stared down the main street of Wylie and imagined her car was not moving at all. Then the main street was gone. She stared at a stop sign. It scared her; she needed movement. She needed something to do.
You can’t lose control now. Nothing is changed.
The car turned left, onto a lonely farm road that leads due west, toward the Dallas suburb of Plano. The road jogged across a railroad track and opened into an expanse of empty farmland. Weeds grew right up to the shoulder.
Think of something.
She glanced down at her lap and felt a sudden chill in her legs. Her blue jeans were soaked through with water. Her nostrils flooded with the antiseptic smell of fabric softener, and for a moment she thought she would be sick.
Why am I wet? That smell. Can’t panic. Normal. Left, right … Father’s Day, left, Target … Why won’t the car go faster?
Candy’s toe began to throb.
Oh God it hurts … Cut it on the storm door, that’s what happened … How can I be wet?
The car coasted past an abandoned railroad coach and a row of trailer homes and slowed to a crawl for a flashing yellow light. Then it turned abruptly right, onto a little-used blacktop that cuts through the community of Murphy, and then northwest, away from Plano, away from Lucas Church, away from Wylie, into the emptiness of the open prairie.
You’re so dirty … Where is the church?… You love the church … oh God it hurts … No one will know … You couldn’t do it … No one will know.
Two miles north of Murphy, on the right side of the asphalt road, was a long winding drive leading to a white pillared mansion. The mansion was set in the midst of an immaculate pasture encircled by horse fence. Situated along the driveway and parked at odd angles beside the main road were a dozen cars and buses. Most of their occupants were milling around with cameras, shooting pictures of a high arched gate that read “Southfork Ranch.” They had come, that day as every day, to see the exterior set where a television series is filmed, a show populated with a family of exaggerated Texas stereotypes for whom the ranch has become a symbol of failed dreams. None of the tourists noticed the old white station wagon that sped by that day. Its driver had her eyes fixed firmly on the white line of the road.
Tina was only five, but she liked to play with the bigger girls down the street whenever they would let her. Especially Alisa Gore, who was seven and lived in the brick house with the white trim and had a little baby sister. Grandma was at Tina’s house today. She let Tina go outside for a while but told her not to go very far. Tina decided to go to Alisa’s. She knew Alisa was home because of that woman. She saw her. She had blonde curly hair and blue jeans and Tina saw her come out of Alisa’s and get in her station wagon. She was in a hurry, because she drove right by Tina and she never even looked. She just drove down to the end of the block and turned and went away.
That’s what made Tina think of Alisa. She looked both ways before crossing the street, and then she went up to the front door and rang the bell on Alisa’s door. She could hear Alisa’s little baby sister crying in the house. It was real loud crying. So Tina waited a while for Alisa to come. But the baby kept crying, real loud, and nobody came to the door and Tina rang the bell again and again.
After a while Tina quit ringing the bell, and then she knocked on the door, and then she went around to the back where Alisa’s mother and father parked the cars and saw that they were still there, and then Tina went home to tell her grandmother that Alisa’s little sister was crying but Alisa wasn’t home.
Tina never noticed the red droplets on Alisa Gore’s front porch.
No one must know.
The white station wagon wound through the Collin County back country. It pulled up to an intersection one-half mile from Lucas Church. To the right was the church. The car continued forward.
Dry and clean, you need to be dry and clean … calm now … no one must know.
The car angled up an empty, little-used road midway between the county’s two main highways. After a while it pulled back onto Farm-to-Market 1378, but far north of Lucas Church. It continued north past an old church and a red schoolhouse, across a narrow stone bridge, and up a hill. At the crest, it turned right onto a pitted gravel road that disappeared into a forest of oaks and hackberries.
On the left, across a ravine, was a large two-story Tudor home; that would be Mayor Haas’. He had a gas lamp with a wooden rabbit on it. Now the landscape was familiar again. Down a slight incline, left onto the gravel, and up the steeply inclined driveway. Only now could the house be seen from the car, sitting on a little knoll, shrouded by two or three red oaks, a contemporary cathedral-like structure in wood and glass, with the kind of stylishly unfinished look common in Colorado ski lodges. Around the expansive yard was a corral of white horse fence. The station wagon nosed into the double garage and stopped.
Nothing is changed. Out of these clothes and calm. Dry and clean. Normal.
God, the toe.
She unlocked the door leading from the garage into the house and quickly ran upstairs, stripping off her blouse and blue jeans as she entered the master bedroom. She fumbled through shelves in the bathroom but couldn’t find what she was looking for. So she went back downstairs and into the hall bathroom and grabbed a box of Band-Aids. She put her left foot up on the commode and lowered her head down close to the third toe. She wiped the blood away and wrapped the Band-Aid as tightly as she could. She flinched as she felt how deep it was.
I did it on the storm door. We never have fixed the storm door.
She retrieved her blouse and took it into the kitchen and placed it in the sink. She poured the detergent and turned on the water.
Oh no, the smell again.
She started to wretch but regained her composure quickly.
She left the blouse soaking in the sink and went upstairs to find a pair of blue jeans; she matched the shade against the ones she had just taken off and carried them into the bathroom. She took a quick shower and washed her hair. As she did, she noticed an open cut at the hairline on the right side of her forehead. She dried her hair with a towel and then went to get another Band-Aid. But the bandage wouldn’t stick. No matter how she positioned it, the springy hair around the wound kept it from adhering to the skin. Finally she gave up, wrung out her blouse, put on the new blue jeans, threw the old ones in the washer, and waited while the dryer dried her blouse.
Thank goodness it was burgundy-colored.
The last thing she did was find a pair of blue tennis shoes in the upstairs closet. She traded those for the rubber sandals and laced them up tightly to keep pressure on the toe bandage. She picked up her purse. She was ready to go to church.
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