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History - United States Nonfiction - Crime

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Secrets of the Congdon Mansion

ISBN: 9780961377823
Binding: Paperback
Author: Joe Kimball
Trim: 6 x 9 inches
Published: 5/1/1985

An inside look at Minnesota's most infamous murders. Elisabeth Congdon, an 83-year-old heiress, and her nurse Velma Pietila were brutally murdered in the 39-room Congdon mansion on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth.

Accused were Congdon's adopted daughter and new son-in-law. The motive: greed speeding up an $8 million inheritance. The son-in-law was convicted but a jury found the daughter not guilty of planning the crime. In the mind-boggling aftermath the killer was freed, the daughter accused of bigamy and convicted of arson in two states. And she's been investigated in other deaths. Guides on the popular tours at Glensheen won't say much about the murders, so the book helps visitors understand the crime as they go through the mansion.

Joe Kimball is the newspaper reporter who covered the Congdon murder case from the initial investigation and two sensational murder trials to the continuing mayhem caused by Marjorie Congdon LeRoy Caldwell Hagen even after her murder acquittal. Kimball has written hundreds of articles about the case for the Star Tribune newspaper magazines and online.

When the Congdon Mansion opened for tours and the guides refused to talk about the murder case (preferring instead to focus on the architecture and family legacy) he wrote his book to give perspective to the case and help those taking the tours understand the gruesome events of June 27, 1977 and the on-going tale of felonies and misdemeanors that's followed. He updates the book regularly to keep up with the continuing developments.