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The true story behind new drama Love & Death

Elizabeth Olsen and Jesse Plemons star in the series now showing on ITVX

Candy Montgomery (Elizabeth Olsen)
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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Love & Death first premiered in the States on HBO Max, but for those of us in the UK wanting to watch the critically acclaimed drama, we can now do so thanks to ITVX.

The broadcaster has acquired the rights to the seven-part drama meaning fans can tune into the show, which stars A-List actors Elizabeth Olsen and Jesse Plemons, by streaming it exclusively on ITVX.

WATCH: Love & Death official trailer

But did you know that the drama is based on a real murder case? Find out more about the harrowing true story that inspired the show below.

Is Love & Death based on a true story?

Love & Death tells the story of Candace 'Candy' Montgomery, who is played by Elizabeth Olsen, a housewife in a suburban town in the state of Texas who lives with her husband Pat (Jesse Plemons) and their two children.

Elizabeth Olsen in HBO's Love & Death, coming soon to ITVX© ITV
Elizabeth Olsen in HBO's Love & Death, coming soon to ITVX

Tragedy hit the town when Candace killed her lover's wife after an affair was exposed. The story begins in the late 1970s when Candy and Pat met a new couple at church named Betty and Allan Gore.

Candy expressed her attraction for Allan and soon the two began an illicit affair, despite both parties being married with children.

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Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery in Love & Death© ITV
Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery in Love & Death

On a Friday night in 1980, suspicion grew when Allan was unable to get hold of his wife, Betty. Soon, a neighbour entered their family home and rang the police department reporting that Betty had been brutally killed.

Initially, the police suspected Candy as she was the last person to see Betty alive, but she had a solid alibi and suspicion shrunk. However, that changed when Allan confessed to the affair as the authorities now had worked out a motive for Candy's potential crime.

After being arrest and charged, Candy denied the charges and attempted to fight her case in court. But, while on trial, she then admitted that Candy had confessed the affair to Betty and that Betty was the one to grab an axe and attempt to kill Candy. Candy then claimed self-defence, explaining the pair had been caught up in a struggle.

Lily Rabe and Jesse Plemons in Love & Death© ITV
Lily Rabe and Jesse Plemons in Love & Death

After an eight-day trial, the jury decided to acquit Candy of Betty's murder. She and her husband Pat eventually moved away from Texas after the verdict proved controversial. According to People, she lives in Georgia.

What is Love & Death on ITVX about?

The synopsis for the show reads: "Despite a loving family, a picture-perfect home, and an active presence at church, Candy is unable to shake her sense of suburban ennui. After an unexpectedly charged moment with fellow church member Allan Gore, Candy finds just the risk-taking thrill that's been missing from her life.

"Their ensuing, meticulously strategized affair unfolds mostly as planned – until their respective spouses, Pat and Betty, each discover their secret... and someone picks up an axe."

Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery © ITV
Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery

Who stars in Love & Death?

As mentioned, Elizabeth Olsen and Jesse Plemons play the leading roles in the drama. The cast also features Lily Rabe, who plays Betty Gore, Allan's wife. Lily has had previous parts in shows like American Horror Story and The Undoing – but she's also a prolific stage actor and received a Tony Award nomination for her part in The Merchant of Vernice on Broadway.

Patrick Fugit, meanwhile, plays Pat Montgomery, Candy's husband. Patrick has appeared in films such as First Man, Gone Girl, and Babylon.

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