Memorable Manitobans: John D. “Hollywood Jack” Montgomery (1927-2004)
Born at Salisbury, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) on 20 November 1927, son of missionary parents Stanley Randall Percival Montgomery (1898-?) and Janet Marguerite Hislop (1898-?), he moved with his family to Toronto in 1928. He was educated in Toronto and attended law school at Osgoode Hall (University of Toronto) and the University of Manitoba. He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1960 and articled with the Winnipeg law firm of Fillmore Riley. After joining the Manitoba Department of Justice in 1962, he became one of the leading prosecutors in the province, involved in the litigation of many of the most serious criminal cases. He served as chief prosecutor for the City of Winnipeg and developed a special bond with police officers that lasted long after his retirement. He subsequently became director of criminal prosecutions and General Counsel in the Department of Justice.
Known for his unique personal style in the courtroom, which included a mischievous sense of humour and a skilled command of the English language, he earned the affectionate title of “Hollywood Jack.” He was also known for his strong sense of justice, empathy for crime victims, high ethical standards, and dignified treatment of all people. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1972.
In 1972, he married Jennifer Marchuk (1935-2010). They had no children. In retirement, he wrote three books, each covering a major criminal case that he had prosecuted: She Was Only 3: The Trials of John Thomas James Jr. (1998), Trials and Errors: The People vs Brian Gordon Jack (2001), and Beyond Redemption: The People vs Lucas and Bender (2004), all published by Watson & Dwyer. At the time of his death, he was working on a fourth book.
He died at Winnipeg on 7 December 2004.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 December 2004.
“They will live on in memory” by Kevin Rollason, Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2004, page B4.
Obituary [Jennifer Marchuk], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 August 2010.
John D. Montgomery, Stretton Family Tree, Ancestry.
This page was prepared by Lois Braun.
Page revised: 12 July 2021