30 June 2020
Major James M. Hall
Troop A Commander


Cold Case Tuesday – The New York State Police in Olean continue to investigate the 1978 homicide of Stephen C. Bender and Michael R. Forness in the town of Allegany, NY. 

On February 6, 1978, 30-year-old Stephen C. Bender and 29-year-old Michael R. Forness were found murdered at the Wing Hollow Ski Corporation. Bender and Forness, both employees, were found in the early morning hours, shot multiple times with a .38 caliber revolver.  Numerous leads were examined and an extensive search of the surrounding area was conducted. 

A floor mounted safe had been removed from the Ski Lodge on the property and contained an estimated $18,000 in currency.   The safe was later recovered beneath the Vandalia Bridge in the Allegheny River. The safe was empty.

The investigation is ongoing as the State Police continue to receive tips and information pertaining to the circumstances surrounding this incident. To this day, the identity of the perpetrators of this crime are unknown.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Olean by calling (716) 373-2552.  Please refer to SJS# 3021805. 

Wing Hollow in 1978

Footprint found at scene

Wide shot of missing safe.

Area of missing safe.


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