Haunted Colorado: Denver Spiderman Murder Will Haunt Your Dreams
From the outside, 3335 West Moncrieff Place in Denver looks like an old time slice of the American dream. The backstory of the home, however, will give you nightmares.
On October 17, 1941, 73-year-old Philip Peters was discovered bludgeoned to death in his home, where he lived alone while his wife recovered from a broken hip in the hospital. Through investigation, police found all the windows and doors had been locked from the inside - making for one bizarre twist.
Time went on, police were stumped, and Peters' wife moved back home with a housekeeper. During this time, weird noises were heard throughout the home. Thinking the home was haunted, Mrs. Peters moved to western Colorado to live with her son.
About 9 months into the investigation, police conducted a stakeout and noticed something moving around through an upstairs window of the home. Upon entry, they found a man trying to squeeze into a tiny closet in the wall.
The man, a 59-year-old homeless man named Theodore Edward Coneys, was captured and confessed to killing Philip Peters, who he'd befriended 30 years earlier.
Coneys had been living in the home in a hidden closet the size of a small coffin since about 5 weeks prior to the murder. In September 1941, he'd showed up at the Peters residence unexpected and unannounced to ask for money. When he realized no one was home during his visit, he decided to help himself to some food. One thing led to another, and he found a trap door to a closet that he made into his home.
The day of the murder - still living in Peters' home unbeknownst to anyone - Coneys went up to the Peters' ice box for some food...while Peters was home. Long story short, Coneys decided that murder was easier than attempting to survive another cold Colorado winter outdoors.
So why is this dubbed the "Denver Spiderman" murder? A police detective on the case claimed that "a man would have to be a spider" to survive living in a tight spot that Coneys made his home.
Coneys was issued a life prison sentence at the Colorado State Penitentiary, where he died on May 16, 1967. He's also referenced in Erle Stanley Gardner's 1956 Cool and Lam novel, Beware the Curves, as well as episodes of CSI and The Simpsons.