Shirley Wright (l), Brockport, New York, and

her daughter Cathy Heckert (r), Clarkson, New York

Second and third generation members of Clarkson Community Church



Photograph by Martha Deed


Cathy sang in the choir with John F. Montstream. She taught Sunday School to the younger Montstream child. Spring 1998, John agreed to coach Cathy's son in singing, but that never happened.

Cathy got out of the hospital where she was recovering from a kidney stone in order to sing "How Beautiful," a favorite of John's, at his memorial service.

Shirley's eyes still fill with tears when she talks about John and the children. Deeply saddened by Annette's crimes, she has not experienced the spiritual crisis and personal questioning that has hurt so many of her fellow church members. They trusted their ability to know whether someone is sincere, and Annette's confession of planning John's murder has left them feeling betrayed both by Annette and by their own instincts.

Shirley says, "I have always thought of myself as a weak person, but in this I have been strong."

Her view of herself wasn't damaged by Annette's double life, because she didn't expect herself to realize Annette wasn't the good Christian wife and mother she claimed to be.