Born April 29, 1960
Murdered June 23, 1998
Photograph by Martha Deed
John F. Montstream's ashes were placed in a memorial wall at his boyhood church, Trinity Episcopal Church, Greece, New York. The church is less than two miles from Greece Ridge Mall where Annette Montstream plotted her husband's murder.
John F. Montstream, 38, began the last day of his life at The Village Pantry on Rt 19 on the north side of Brockport, an old Erie Canal town and home to a branch of the State University of New York approximately fifteen miles west of Rochester. He met his best friend and pastor, "Gary Jones" *, for an early breakfast before driving 15 miles East to his job as a "computer guy" at Kofile, a spinoff from Kodak. John worked at the Elmgrove Plant just outside Rochester in Greece. Elmgrove was directly south of the neighborhood where he and his brother, Jim, had grown up and gone through school. His parents still lived there, and John would often stop by for a visit on his way home.
Monroe County Sheriff's Investigator Bob Connors frequently would see the two men eating breakfast at The Village Pantry.
John Montstream was covered by two employer-paid life insurance policies that day, since he was in transition from Kodak to Kofile. The two policies -- intended to protect John and his family by preventing any gap in coverage during the transition period -- overlapped for only a few weeks.
One policy contained a double indemnity clause. The other provided for optional benefits of $200,000 to be paid for by the insured: John. John purchased the optional benefit, June 6, 1998. If John were to die in an accident -- or be murdered -- while both plans were in effect, his beneficiaries would receive more than $800,000.
The insurance proceeds would be sufficient to provide a comfortable life for Annette Montstream.
The money might even be enough for Annette to purchase a Gloria Jean's Gourmet Coffees franchise.
A few months earlier, John, Annette and their daughters had taken a vacation to visit John's relatives in Florida. Before the trip, Annette had told friends and associates that she soon would be able to buy the franchise she wanted.
John's family had not come through with the money Annette expected from them. It was the first time she hadn't gotten what she wanted from them in a series of increasingly expensive demands. Annette was also embarrassed, because she had said she would have the money, and now she didn't have it.
Ever since this disappointment, Annette had been very, very angry.
*Name changed by request.