Denver Spider Man of Moncrieff Place

January 09, 2017

Don't let the title fool you. Theodore Edward Coneys could not sling webs nor vault around Denver skyscrapers. His moniker came from a crime he committed while inhabiting an attic for nine months unbeknownst to the widow and her housekeeper living in the house at the time. The detective on the case, Fred Zarnow once remarked "A man would have to be a spider to stand it long up there."

Legend has it, In September of 1941 and down on his luck,  a frail 59 year old Theodore Coneys confronted Philip Peters in his home on 3335 West Moncrieff Place and ask him for a handout. Refusing to give his old acquaintance any money, Coneys desperation turned violent.

Coneys broke into the Peter's residence while they were away to help himself to food and money. Apparently Coneys felt so at home while Philip and his wife were out, he decided to stay a little while longer. Finding a hatch to the attic in one of the upstairs bedrooms, Coneys proceeded to make himself at home for another 5 weeks sneaking down at night to raid the fridge.

On the evening of October 17th that same year, Philip found Coneys standing in front of an open refrigerator. Coneys attacked Philip and bludgeoned him to death with an iron stove shaker. Philip's body was found later that day by a neighbor who was concerned he didn't join them for a scheduled dinner that afternoon.

Coneys retreated back into the attic after the attack. During this event Mrs. Peters was away at the hospital with a broken hip. Upon her return and over the course of the next 9 months she and her housekeeper continued to hear muffled noises coming from the attic during the night. Thinking the place was haunted, the housekeeper eventually resigned from her position as housekeeper. One could hardly blame her.

Denver police continued to surveil the house until one evening a patrolman heard loud noises coming from the house. At this time, Mrs. Peter's had been committed to a local hospital for care. On July 30th, 1942 a police officer entered the house and caught Coneys trying to wedge himself back into the attic through the entrance in the closet.

Tried and convicted of murder, Coneys would go on to die while incarcerated on May 17th, 1967.

What makes this event even more chilling is 3335 West Moncrieff Place is just 12 blocks from our home in the Denver Highlands. My wife and I drive by the place occasionally and relive the events of 1941 in our minds. I'm sure the story has something to do with it, but each time we feel unease as we gaze at the bedroom window where Theodore Coneys had earn his nickname, "The Spiderman of Moncrief Place."

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