He also observed the bruise on her left forearm and concluded she must have put up a fight with the killer. The next morning, just before 7 a.m. Hazel Conger began making her normal rounds. The murder at the Glensheen Mansion remains one of Minnesota's most well-known mysteries. It became kind of obvious that the jurors were thinking, boy I don't think this lady would kill her mother.". Police had to work at a slow pace to make sure they did not miss the slightest clue that could lead to the killer. An expert disputed a fingerprint that linked Roger to the crime. On July 5, 1977, Roger Caldwell had become ill after eating and having a few drinks with his wife. Garvue was able to see Pietila’s face was covered in dried blood, her jaw also appeared broken. Making note of the small drops of blood on the carpet and wall, Waller figured it looked like the nurse had put up a fight. Nurse Klosowsky carried the suitcases upstairs to Elisabeth's bedroom. At first she thought Pietila had fallen down the steps, but upon a closer look she could see things were much worse. He made note of the dresser in the room having all its drawers pulled out the same length. Marjorie and her husband Roger Caldwell were at the top of the list. "She brought a birthday cake in for one of the lawyers one day. "So they said, 'Do what you gotta do.'". She also was the only one of the seven children to live in her family’s 39 room Duluth mansion, located on the shores of Lake Superior, her whole adult life. In a plea bargain, the remainder of Roger’s prison sentence was dismissed as authorities hoped his confession would implicate Marjorie—though that didn’t turn out to be the case. It was the last time she would see Elisabeth Congdon or Velma Pietila alive. Marjorie’s case began right after her husband's conviction. Glensheen Mansion, Star Tribune The diving bell was discovered during recent restoration work on the Glensheen boathouse. Justice on Fire is OConnor’s detailed account of the terrible explosion that led to the firefighters’ deaths and the terrible injustice that followed. Police Officer Chris Kucera was the first to reach the Congdon estate at 7:03 a.m. Marjorie’s case began right after her husband's conviction. The victims' families "were really hopeful that we would not have to retry the case with a chance of Roger walking free," DeSanto said. On the night of November 29, 1988, near the impoverished Marlborough neighborhood in south Kansas City, an explosion at a construction site killed six of the city’s firefighters. During the time of her autopsy, police learned the small puncture wounds on Pietila’s face, forearm and finger most likely was caused by nails. On June 27, 1977, the aged heiress to a vast mining fortune is killed along with her night nurse at Glensheen, a posh mansion perched on the Lake Superior coast. Roger, still out of it when he was told, just rolled his eyes, shook his head and went back to sleep. from Carleton College, and … 40 years later, Glensheen murders still grip Duluth, Glensheen, home museums rethink rules to lure visitors. But even today, guides don't discuss the murder during tours, although they will answer questions after, explained Glensheen Director Dan Hartman. Around 5 p.m. Elisabeth awoke from her short nap and asked her nurse to play a game of cards. Leaving Congdon’s room, Waller and the Inspector went across the hall to the nurse’s room. Around 10 p.m. Nurse Klosowsky wheeled Elisabeth onto the elevator that took her to the second floor, where her bedroom was located. You make MPR News possible. Around 5 p.m. Elisabeth awoke from her short nap and asked her nurse to play a game of cards. They found a receipt from the day of the murders from the Twin Cities Airport gift shop for a suede suit bag. Before the body of Velma Pietila was removed, next to her body police found what appeared to be hair next to her hand. Police Officer Chris Kucera was the first to reach the Congdon estate at 7:03 a.m. Roger’s trial began on May, 9, 1978. Kucera left Elisabeth’s room and went back down the stairs. ... Glensheen University of Minnesota When it opened two years after the murders, tour guides were instructed not to talk about them, because of the sensational nature of the crimes, and because it was still so raw and emotional for the families. 40 years later, Hartman said the murders are still fresh and raw for members of the Congdon family, some of whom sit on the museum's board. If you politely ask any of the Glensheen Mansion staff about the murders, however, they will tastefully speak about the matter and share details from that tragic night. Covering Elisabeth’s face was a pink blood-flecked satin pillow. Murder at Glensheen Mansion. And I whispered to the guide, 'You know she was brutally murdered, right?'". The murders and the resulting story are infamous in Minnesota. Twelve years after the murders, he committed suicide. Dresser drawers had been pulled out and empty jewelry boxes lay on the floor. Kucera entered the house. An additional note: The History Theatre musical, "Glensheen" is on stage starting July 6 and runs through July 30, 2017. Police learned of the serious money problems the couple had. Apr 29, 2020 - Photos and videos of the Glensheen mansion in the past. Grams gave Waller a quick rundown of what has been found and a description of the two bodies. There were many small pieces of evidence scattered about the stairs that included hair, blood stains and broken teeth. Gail Feichtinger first researched the Glensheen murders as a crime reporter for the Duluth News-Tribune and Duluth Herald. The 83-year-old heiress was smothered in her sleep with a pillow-case. Today, the University of Minnesota-Duluth operates the mansion, tours and events that take place inside and on the mansion's grounds. While making rounds, she was to unlock the front door so the arriving day nurse could enter and not have to ring the doorbell and disturb Elisabeth. Glensheen at the time was owned by the Congdon family. Kucera then went to the mansion’s front door where he was met by Conger and Garvue. "It was clear she was then on a path to wanting to speed up her inheritance," said DeSanto, who's a judge now and co-author of a book on the case, "Will to Murder.". To see a PDF of all of Glensheen’s tour options and pricing, CLICK HERE. A few feet away stood a bloodied brass candlestick. Making note of the small abrasion on her nose. ", "I went on one of the early tours," he said, "and one of the first things the guide said, was, 'when Ms. Congdon passed away, she willed the estate to the university.' Share. The nurse working that day was Mildred Klosowsky. Very little focus on the murders. Thinking Pietila must have forgotten, Conger continued on. Is it a real haunting, or is it just an urban legend? For authorities, the case that would become the notorious Glensheen murders began on a warm, muggy summer morning. Chester Adgate Congdon and his wife Clara has come to their fortune through mining and land investment. A movie filmed at Duluth's Glensheen Mansion earlier this year will air Sunday and again Monday night.. Illustration by Anthony Peruzzo. The historic home, completed by the Congdon family in 1908, is perched on the shore of Lake Superior and was the backdrop of a new “Hitchcockian” psychological thriller called "Girl Missing", starring Clint Eastwood's daughter, Francesca Eastwood. As usual, Elisabeth slept with her gold watch on and her favorite ring -- a platinum strawberry dome ring that had 12 diamonds and 15 round sapphires. Is it a real haunting, or is it just an urban legend? May 12, 2017. Also noted was a tattoo-like pattern of wounds to her face, forearm and finger. We learn about Marjorie's post-mother-smother life and Roger's pathetic and short existence and the lessons learned from foolishly being Marjorie's lapdog. Rather than risk an acquittal or a hung jury, officials struck a deal with Caldwell, allowing him to plead guilty to two  counts of second degree murder. Some small talk was passed between the two and Nurse Garvue then went to go upstairs to check on her patient. And a witness from the first trial changed her story to say she saw Roger elsewhere the day of the murder. Elisabeth herself was rather plain and did not flaunt her wealth. Hearing this information got Detective Waller’s attention and he began to investigate further. She encountered the cook, Prudence Rennquist, getting Elisabeth’s tray ready. The murder at the Glensheen Mansion remains one of Minnesota's most well-known mysteries. 1-16 of 18 results for "glensheen mansion book" Will to Murder: The True Story Behind the Crimes and Trials Surrounding the Glensheen Killings by Gail Feichtinger , John DeSanto , et al. Officer Kucera asked if he was the one who called for help. Detective Waller didn’t think the prints were a clear enough match, but they were introduced at trial anyway. Marjorie Caldwell served two prison terms for arson, and she's been linked to several mysterious deaths. A diving bell was lifted from water and debris inside the boathouse at Duluth's Glensheen Mansion on Thursday, July 11, 2019. When Detective Waller and Inspector Gram entered Congdon’s room, they noticed the lamp next to her bed was on. After helping move Elisabeth into the house and laying her down on a sofa, she returned to the car to unload two suitcase wicker baskets. Attached to the nurse’s room was a bathroom. Because of the notoriety of the crime, it makes sense that a few other rumors cropped up along with it. Pietila agreed since she missed Elisabeth, despite her husband’s objections to her working that night. To her horror, she saw the lifeless body of Velma Pietila laying on the bench seat beneath the landing window. Blood money: The grisly murders at Duluth's Glensheen mansion Friday, December 7, 2018 by Hannah Jones in News. Biography. It was Marjorie, who stood to inherit $8 million after her mother died. He never saw her again. Jul 7, 2016 - Explore Deanna's board "Glensheen Mansion", followed by 314 people on Pinterest. While he was in prison, Marjorie divorced him and he had no access to the money promised by his ex-wife. Pietila arrived at Glensheen shortly before 11 p.m. and parked her car near the mansion's front door. Finding her body on the bed and seeing no sign of life, there was nothing more he could do. 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