Local lawyer advised HBO’s ax-killing housewife series ‘Love and Death’

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Robert Udashen in 1980. Fort Worth Star-Telegram collection/ UTA Special Collections/UTA Library.

The Candace Montgomery story, about a local housewife who axed an acquaintance to death in the 1980s, is coming to HBO April 27, in the series Love and Death, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jesse Plemons, a release date true crime fans have been awaiting.

Candy’s tale, with its number of Dallas and Collin County ties, is so gripping that it’s received several treatments for popular consumption, including a Hulu series, Candy, starring Jessica Biel.

One of the more fascinating things about the case is the legal defense of Candy, who was eventually found (SPOILER, though it’s been 40 years so)

… not guilty, by reason of self defense. The attorney who strategized Montgomery’s defense, Robert Udashen, became something of a legend in Dallas during the Candy era.

Udashen, a Thomas Jefferson High School grad, taught at SMU Law for more than a decade, and he told the Advocatethis one case contains enough legal lessons to fill a semester’s curriculum.

“Particularly at SMU when I was teaching there, I used to give talks on the many legal issues that came up working on that case,” Udashen said. “I think it put me on a path to be a really successful criminal defense lawyer. But at the time, I was so young, it was really learning by fire.”

I interviewed Udashen, now semi retired and spending summers in Asheville, South Carolina, right after Biel brought Candy to the screen last spring.

He discussed his role, as a consultant, in both recent productions.

For the Hulu show, he spoke extensively with Elisabeth Moss (on Zoom, because it was COVID times), who was initially slotted as Candy in Hulu’s series. Despite the

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