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A cartel murder, cowboy kingpin and ax killer: Hollywood can't get enough of DFW true crime

Four series are currently in the works, or airing now, that center around crime sagas that happened here in North Texas.

DALLAS — North Texas hasn't lacked for its share of true crime over the years.

And Hollywood is apparently picking up on that.

Four series are currently in the works, or airing now, that center around crime sagas that happened here in North Texas.

The most prominent of the bunch, at the moment, is the Hulu series on Candy Montgomery, the Wylie woman who killed her lover's wife with an ax in 1980.

Montgomery, played in the show by Jessica Biel, was acquitted, arguing for self-defense. The Hulu series, "Candy," isn't the only show focusing on Montgomery. HBO is also releasing a series of its own on the ax killing later this year, starring Elizabeth Olsen.

But Montgomery isn't the only crime history getting attention.

Here's an overview of each one:

Candy Montgomery ax killing 

Show(s): "Candy" on Hulu, and "Love and Death" on HBO.

Candy was created by Nick Antosca and Robin Veith with Jessica Biel as Candy, Melanie Lynskey as Betty Gore, Pablo Schreiber as Allan Gore and Timothy Simons as Pat Montgomery. 

The upcoming HBO Max series stars Elizabeth Olsen as Candy, Jesse Plemons as Allan Gore, Patrick Fugit as Pat Montgomery and Lily Rabe as Betty Gore.

The show centers around the brutal ax killing of Betty Gore in Wylie in 1980. 

Candy Montgomery killed Betty Gore by slicing her with an ax 41 times, following a confrontation about Montgomery's months-long affair with Gore's husband, according to Texas Monthly's reporting of Montgomery's trial.

Betty Gore confronted Candy Montgomery about the affair, which led to a struggle with an ax. Candy Montgomery prevailed in the struggle, then reportedly assaulted Betty Gore 41 times, killing her. 

Candy Montgomery was eventually arrested and charged with the murder of Betty Gore. In court, Candy Montgomery pleaded that she killed Gore out of self-defense arguing that “after being struck twice with the ax by [Betty] and then gaining control of the weapon, the heavier and larger [Betty] refused to let [Candy] go.” 

Southlake cartel murder 

Show: "Mi Vecino, El Cartel (The Cartel Among Us)" on Univision streaming

Selena Gomez is partnering with Univision to create a true crime documentary about a cartel-related murder in Southlake in 2013.

Univision announced the partnership this week.

The Spanish-language documentary, titled Mi Vecino, El Cartel (The Cartel Among Us), is set to launch on Univision's streaming platform in 2022.

Gomez is producing the series through her July Moon Productions studio, along with the production company Blackfin.

Gomez, a Grand Prairie native, said she was intrigued by the story both as a fan of true crime content and as someone who grew up near to where the murder happened.

"Not only did it take place close to my hometown in Texas, but it was also a story unlike anything I’ve ever heard,” Gomez said in a news release. “I am excited to partner with Univision and really pull back the layers of his double life.”

Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa, a lawyer with ties to the Gulf cartel in Mexico, was gunned down at Southlake Town Square in July 2013. 

Two men, Jesus Gerardo Ledezma-Cepeda and Jose Luis Cepeda-Cortes, were convicted in 2016 of stalking Guerrero Chapa. But they were not the ones who attacked Chapa; according to officials, the shooters remain at large.

A March 23, 2016 photo shows the home of Southlake attorney Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa, who was killed by a masked gunman in May 2013 in the parking area across from the Banana Republic in Southlake, Texas. (Tom Fox / AP)

Denton's "Cowboy Mafia" 

Show: "King Rex" on HBO

HBO last week announced the network is developing "King Rex," a miniseries chronicling how, in the late 1970s, Denton millionaire cowboy Rex Cauble's "North Texas kingdom got itself smashed to pieces by a judge's gavel, the IRS and the FBI."

The series doesn't have an air date yet, but it does have a star. Henry Winkler will play the role of Cauble, with Winkler's son, Max, set to direct the pilot.

The series could have easily held another catchy title: "Cowboy Mafia," the name given to Cauble's operation by Texas media.

In 1980, as Cauble's case worked through the courts, Texas Monthly's Lawrence Wright dove into the saga, penning a true crime article called "Rex Cauble and Cowboy Mafia."

And it was nothing short of a thriller.

The piece detailed Cauble's rise as a young oil wildcatter and eventual multi-millionaire; his ventures into high-priced quarter horses, including his famed Cutter Bill, a world champion cutting horse; and, ultimately, his friendship with Charles "Muscles" Foster, the alleged ringleader of the smuggling operation.

Cauble was ultimately found guilty of racketeering and sentenced to five years in federal prison.

Credit: Dalco Photography via UNT Special Collections
Rex Cauble in the 1960s.

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