Family members speak out 25 years after Schuyler County social services shooting


A chill in the air much deeper than the temperature at the Schuyler County Courthouse.

Watkins Glen residents gathered to pay tribute to the four women killed in a shooting 25 years ago, that forever shook the town.

Connie Margreno’s was one of the four killed by a gunman in 1992.

“It’s wonderful they’re taking the time to honor my mother, and the other three women- Denise, Nancy, Florence, and Phyllis,” Margreno said.

John T. Miller, 50, had a history of arrests in Schuyler County for not paying child support.

Deputies say he claimed these payments ruined his life. This was the motive when he walked into the social services department and shot the four women, whose jobs were to track down and collect support money.

Retired Sheriff of Schuyler County Michael Maloney recalls it like it was yesterday.

“It was probably the worst day I spent in my career of 38-years as Sheriff, Maloney said.

At the time Miller was living in Ohio as a truck driver and booked a one way ticket to his hometown in Watkins Glen, but more than just four lives were taken that day.

Tom Van Amburg lost his wife, and his children, then 3 and 6, lost their mother.

“She’d bring things home that the kids would make for mother’s day,” Van Amburg said. “The only thing with her, she would bring them home and just have to bring them to the cemetery.”

A time when something like this was almost unheard of, but today sharing a moment of peace and remembrance, in a world where it’s become way too common.

“My heart goes out to the people of Las Vegas. I think they’re actually experiencing what we went through 25 years ago,” Margreno said.

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