January 25, 1985: Marjorie Caldwell enters prison in Shakopee

On this day in 1985, one-time Duluthian Marjorie Congdon Caldwell Hagen entered Minnesota’s Shakopee Women’s Prison to serve a 22-month sentence for arson. She had been convicted of torching the so-called “Cranberry House” in Mound, Minnesota, which she and her third husband Wally Hagen had owned. They were in the process of selling to another couple when it was destroyed by fire. Marjorie had previously been suspected of setting fires in Marine-On-St. Croix along the Minnesota/Wisconsin border and had been acquitted in the Duluth murders of her mother, Elisabeth Congdon, and nurse Velma Pietela. Her second husband, Roger Caldwell, was at first convicted of the murders and later released after confessing to the crimes. Marjorie was also suspected of poisoning Hagen’s first wife, Helen; the Hagens had befriended Marjorie following her murder trial. After she was released from Shakopee, the Hagens moved to Arizona where she was convicted for setting a series of arson fires and suspected of murdering Wally the day before she entered prison for those crimes, but the cause of his death was inconclusive.

Marjorie Congdon’s mug shot from her 1991 arrest for arson in Ajo, Arizona. (Image: Pima County Sheriff’s Office)