January 25, 1985: Marjorie Congdon-LeRoy-Caldwell-Hagen begins her first prison sentence

Marjorie Congdon LeRoy Caldwell Hagen—aka “Maggie Wallis”— photographed during her 12-year stay at the Arizona’s State prison Complex in Goodyear, Arizona. (Image: Arizona Department of Corrections)

On this day in 1985, Marjorie Hagen began her sentence at the State Women’s Prison in Shakopee, Minnesota. The adoptd daughter of Duluth’s Elisabeth Condgdon, Hagen had been found guilty of arson for intentionally setting the “Cranberry House” in Mound, Minnesota, on September 15, 1982. She had owned the house with her third husband, Wally Hagen (it is widely believed she killed Hagen’s wife, Helen). The Hagen’s had recently arranged for the sale of the house to Gerane and Clayton Kulseth, who had agreed to a special condition imposed by Marjorie: They had insured the house for its full value from the date of the closing to two weeks after possession, with the Hagens listed as the insured party in case of loss.. The Kulseths planned to move into the house on Wednesday, September 15, 1982, the day of the fire. On February 9, 1984, Marjorie was sentenced to twenty-one months at the State Women’s Prison in Shakopee, Minnesota, but she remained free pending appeal. On January 21, 1985, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld Marjorie’s arson conviction and sentence, and she began her sentence the next day. During Marjorie’s imprisonment, Wally lived in the couple’s Airstream in a trailer park near Shakopee. This allowed him to visit Marjorie regularly; he was one of the few family members to do so. Marjorie was released from prison on October 19, 1986. She and Wally Hagen eventually move to Ajo, Arizona, where she was once again arrested for and found guilty of arson. This time she served 12 years of a 15-year sentence at the Arizona’s State prison Complex in Goodyear, Arizona. You can read the complete history of Marjorie and her criminal activities in Zenith City Press’s Will to Murder, which you can preview here.

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