Look for the full story of Jennie Eldon Conroy in Cold Case Vancouver: the city’s most baffling unsolved murders
A couple of weeks ago, Daien Ide, reference historian at the North Vancouver Museum and Archives came into the possession of a photo album. At first she thought it was just a nice family photo album once owned by a Miss J. Conroy of North Vancouver. The photos, which stopped in 1942, were carefully placed in the album, and the owner had identified people by their first names—there’s “dad and me,” for instance, and various others such as Milly, Carl, Ruth, Mabel, Percy and Eva.
Daien wanted to know more.
She found that the owner of the album—Jennie Eldon Conroy died in 1944 at just 24 years old. Digging a little deeper she discovered that Jennie was murdered in West Vancouver, and to her knowledge, no one was ever charged.
Inside the album was the Conroy’s address—539 East 7th Street in North Vancouver. Her father John Cecil Conroy (1882-1964), was a Seaman in the Canadian Navy. He married Minnie Eldon in 1910, and later became a Watchman for North Vancouver Ferries. Jennie was named after John’s mother who also had the unusual spelling. She was a grain loader at Midland and Pacific Elevator in North Vancouver.
In 1943 the family moved to 876 Churchill, behind the Indigo on Marine Drive. By 1944 the family disappears from the directory altogether.
Daien did some more sleuthing and found a story in the Vancouver Sun. In 2012, reporter John Mackie came across an old file marked “confidential for Sun Staff use only” with documents dating back to 1925. There was a file holding tips for unsolved murders. One was for Jennie Conroy “found slain in bush beside the road on Third Street, not far from Capilano View Cemetery on December 28, 1944.”
There was little information available on the online database, but one article from January 3, 1945 said, “Police began a check of all green coupes in greater Vancouver in an attempt to break the Jenny (sic) Conroy murder case. The green coupe remained the leading lead in the six-day-old mystery. Miss Conroy’s body was found last Thursday just off a dead-end street in an isolated section of suburban West Vancouver. Police said they believe blunt and sharp weapons caused the fatal head wounds.”
And, then Jennie disappears.
Since this story came out on my blog, I have connected with Jennie’s niece Debbie, and her daughter Mary. Jennie’s story is amazing and it’s now Chapter One of Cold Case Vancouver.
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