The Strange Tale Of The Denver Spiderman

“Sorry I’m late. Work was murder.” —Green Goblin, in Spider-Man (2002)

In A Nutshell

In 1941, a man was found murdered in his house, with all the windows and doors locked. It looked like the case would go unsolved until a year later police heard strange noises coming from a tiny crawl space in the attic. The killer had been inside the house the whole time.

The Whole Bushel

In September 1941, Philip Peters was found bludgeoned to death at his home. What police couldn’t figure out was how it happened. All the doors and windows in Peter’s home were locked from the inside, and there were no signs of forced entry whatsoever. It looked like the mystery would go unsolved.

Eventually Philip Peter’s widow and son returned to live in the house after a hospital stay. They soon started hearing noises at night: shuffling and knocking. Even neighbors reported seeing “odd lights.” So, the family came to believe that the house was haunted. And there was still the mystery surrounding the death of Mr Peters. The police responded to these reports of ghostly sounds by searching the house, but coming up empty. The family had had enough and moved out. However, the police, not willing to let the case go, and not willing to buy into the “ghost” theory, began to carry out surveillance.

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One day, that surveillance paid off. Almost a full year after the initial murder, in July 1942, two police officers on a stakeout outside the house saw something move in an upstairs window. They rushed inside and up to the attic where they saw a man trying desperately to squeeze into a tiny gap. They pulled him out and found that he’d been living in a tiny cubby hole in the wall this whole time, occasionally making brief forays downstairs for food and water. Although the hole was too small for most men, the man was able to contort himself to fit into it. It turned out his name was Theodore Coneys, a homeless man who’d been living in the attic for quite some time. Philip Peters had startled him one day as he foraged for food resulting in the initial murder. He was dubbed the Spiderman for both the weird length of his fingers and for the length of time he’d spent living in his spider-hole in the attic.

Show Me The Proof

American Murder: Criminals, Crimes, and the Media, Mike Mayo
The Spider Man

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