It’s a sad fact of female life that women are most likely to be killed by their male partners than by any other person. But if recent true-crime series like The Thing About Pam and Candy are to be believed, the next most likely suspect in a woman’s slaying is…her girlfriend?
Let’s unpack each of these streaming shows one by one. The Thing About Pam tells the tale of Pam Hupp, a real estate flipper who offed her friend cancer-riddled friend Betsy Faria in 2011. Hupp was initially able to elude authorities by casting blame on Faria’s husband. It was only after the suspicious death of Hupp’s mother and the shooting of a man with disabilities in Hupp’s own living room that police finally got wise to the now-serial killer’s crimes. This tangled web of deceit and tragedy was depicted in a six-part Peacock series starring Renee Zellweger.
Candy is a painstaking and nuanced portrait of Candy Montgomery, an overachieving wife, mother, and Bible thumper from Texas who murdered her friend and fellow churchgoer Betty Gore on Friday the 13th in June of 1980. By her own admission, Montgomery mutilated Gore (who was pregnant) with an ax while Gore’s infant daughter cried from her crib down the hall. Montgomery then showered and returned to her religious responsibilities and family night out (which included Gore’s eldest daughter). Montgomery didn’t confess until after Gore’s husband told police he’d had an affair with Montgomery the year prior…and even then, she claimed the incident wasn’t her fault. Jessica Biel portrays the do-gooder-turned-bad in a five-episode series on Hulu.
Both series involve middle-aged moms from small communities who commit unthinkable crimes out of the blue. But which one leaves a more powerful impression? In this Mandatory Movie Battle, we’re pitting The Thing About Pam against Candy. Be forewarned, this could get ugly.
Erica Rivera is the Editorial Development Manager at Evolve Media, where she curates content for ComingSoon, DogTime, Mandatory, and Momtastic. Her freelance writing has appeared in New York magazine, USA Today, the Star Tribune, City Pages, and many other publications and anthologies. She has interviewed hundreds of artists, authors, entrepreneurs, entertainers, and changemakers over the course of her career. She is also the author of Insatiable (Penguin Group, 2009) and Come Again (Thought Catalog Books, 2015). For more, visit: www.ericarivera.net.