Cold Case Tuesday – State Police Spotlight 1958 Madison County Slaying
New York State Police shine a light on old, unsolved cases each week and this week they're seeking answers on the 62-year-old murder of a gas station attendant in Madison County.
Ernest Chaney, 63, was working at the Gulf Service station on US-20 in the Town of Eaton on in late September of 1958. Back then, full service stations actually pumped your gas for you. At about 1:30 a.m., when someone pulled up to a pump and no one came out to fill the tank, the motorist entered the store to find Chaney moaning in pain an oil storage room after having been bludgeoned in the head.
After spending more than a week at Syracuse Memorial Hospital, Chaney died of his injuries. Police say he never regained consciousness and could never tell authorities what happened.
The storage room where Chaney was discovered, bloodied and suffering from multiple blows to the back of his head.
The investigation found that Chaney was last seen attending to a customer's vehcile at approximately 1:00 a.m. Chaney was in the process of adding oil to a car engine, parked on the north side of the gas pumps, when we was struck in the back of the head with a blunt object. Police believe was hit a total of nine times. Chaney's wallet, containing $80 was gone, and police say there were no indications any items or money was stolen from inside the gas station.
Police say many leads were followed up on during that time period and the case has remained open. Several interviews of potential witnesses have been completed throughout the years, however, this homicide has never been solved. The Gulf gas station is no longer in business, but remnants of the buildings still remain on the south side of Route 20, approximately 9/10ths of a mile west of the intersection with ST-46.
Photo of the Gulf Service Station on US-20 in the Town of Eaton.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the New York State Police in Oneida at 315-366-6000. All calls can be kept confidential.
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