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October 30, 1992: Marjorie Congdon LeRoy Caldwell Hagen turns herself in

On this day in 1992, Duluth native Marjorie Congdon LeRoy Caldwell Hagen turned herself in to Arizona authorities to begin a 15-year prison sentence—she had been convicted in the attempted arson of her neighbor’s home in Ajo, Arizona, the day before. Hagen is the notorious adopted daughter of Duluth’s beloved Elisabeth Congdon, the youngest daughter of Chester and Clara Congdon. She had been acquitted of conspiracy to murder her mother and Velma Pietila, who was also killed at Glensheen June 27, 1977. Before beginning her prison term, Pima County Superior Court Judge Frank Dawley granted Marjorie’s request for twenty-four hours to drive her third husband Wally home to Ajo and arrange for nursing care and turn herself in at 5 p.m., Friday, October 30. At 4:30 p.m. she called her husband’s son and told him Wally was dead; he immediately called the sheriff’s office in Pima County. An investigation found a hose had been attached to the Hagen’s gas stove, and that by the time Hagen had reported her husband’s death, rigor mortis had already set in. Deputies also recovered a note detailing a suicide pact Wally had allegedly made with Marjorie, but it was written entirely in Marjorie’s handwriting. No cause of death could be determined—if Wally Hagen was poisoned by natural gas, it had dissipated from his system before an autopsy could be conducted. Marjorie is also suspected in the death of Hagen’s first wife, Helen. She was released from prison in 2004 and is still alive and living in Tucson, Arizona, where it is thought she has since gotten away with the murder of another elderly man. Learn more about the 1977 murders in Duluth here.

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