The unsolved murder of North Vancouver’s Jennie Eldon Conroy

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Look for the full story of Jennie Eldon Conroy in Cold Case Vancouver: the city’s most baffling unsolved murders

Jennie Eldon Conroy
Daien holding the mystery album. Eve Lazarus photo

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.

Jennie Conroy photo album
The photo album came via the West Vancouver Archives. Eve Lazarus photo

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.

Jennie Eldon Conroy
Inscribed in the front of the photo album

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.”

Jennie Conroy
The Conroy home on East 7th Street. Eve Lazarus photo, 2015

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.

Jennie Conroy in 1941
Jennie Conroy in 1941

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

© All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, all blog content copyright Eve Lazarus.

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7 comments

  1. According to my aunt Jean Craig ,her husband ( now deceased ) felt certain he knew who the killer was .( Incidentally they owned Burrard Feed 113 Lonsdale – you have some of their artifacts in the museum .) They lived at 454 e 9th . He & Jennie knew each other , they went to school together . He thought the killer was an older guy who delivered/sold crated fruit in the area . Apparently thepaper fruit packing( purple?) was found near her body , as was a crow bar used for opening the wooden crates . It was found by her body . Uncle Bill said that she had also bee raped .

    1. Hi Heather: Thanks so much for this – you are the second person that’s told me about the “grocer,” how interesting. Spent the afternoon at the VPL yesterday going through the old clippings, and according to the articles, Jennie was not raped. Eve

  2. So sad! This is the first I’ve heard of this story. I wonder if the Conroy family, was related to those who owned the former Conroy Motors, on the south-east corner of Marine Driver and Taylor Way in West Vancouver?

  3. Jenny Conroy was my aunt. My father John Sidney Conroy and Mom Lorraine never talked about her and I only found out because of another family member talking about her. It was a sad time in the family’s life because Jenny’s Dad had lost his wife also.
    My Dad was “protective of his daughter’s.”
    I have discussed this with my sister’s

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