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Glensheen's Daughter: The Marjorie Congdon Story

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Glensheen's Daughter is the story of Marjorie Congdon, the adopted daughter of heiress Elisabeth Congdon, and the brutal murders at Glensheen, one of America's great mansions. ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published December 31st 2004 by Cable Publishing (first published November 23rd 1998)
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Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
For many years, I lived in the Minneapolis and loved visiting Duluth. On one of our visits, when it was one hundred degrees below zero, I am not kidding, we visited Glensheen, the mansion turned museum of the millionaire Congdon family. During the tour, they would not discuss any details of the double murder of the heiress, Elizabeth Congdon or her nurse, Velma Pietela. I am not sure if it was out of courtesy because the manse was donated to the U of MN who ran the tours, or legal implications, ...more
Becky Loader
Aug 11, 2016 rated it liked it
How on earth did Marjorie Congdon get away with so much? Plotting her mother's murder, arson, lying, coercing men to commit crimes, more arson, feeding drugs to Helen Hagen at her last meal, etc. etc. I did go to see the musical based on this book, and while I was very impressed with the actress who played Marjorie, I was appalled at what a nasty person she is.

I was fascinated with the portrait of Glensheen, and I had to get a few books out of the library so I could see the architecture and the
Angela Hughes
Dec 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This story never ends. To this day, this woman is still stirring up trouble and doing what she does best...lie, cheat, steal, kill. She had everything a girl could ask for, and it just wasn't enough. Evil. Black hearted. Selfish. Manipulative. If the facts presented in this book are to be believed, this is a woman I'd have no interest in ever meeting, unless it was to tell her "shame on you!" GREAT read. ...more
Dec 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Anyone from Minnesota needs to read this one.
Laura Peña
i just remembered i read this in 2012 when i was in india. (i am reading an article about duluth and then thought of it and saw i never marked it down) i remember liking it but idk what stars to add. in 2015 or so i went to the glensheen mansion with my mom and took a tour where they conspicuously dont mention ANY of the drama but since we knew about it we basically obnoxiously made our own whisper tour being like "this is the staircase she fell down" or whatever. it's a beautiful mansion, would ...more
Kim Gasparini
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars. This is an interesting story, and it is very close to home. The nurse that was murdered lived near my grandparents. This made me really want to like this book.
However, the writing is awful. Very cliched, undisciplined, and seemingly unedited. At one point, the author goes off on a tangent to talk about a detectives sparkling eyes. Another time, she takes pains to point out that a daughter/witness was chubby and unmarried. I do not know why this was brought up mid-testimony, but it wa
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Living in Minnesota I was definitely familiar with the murders at Glensheen, but I had no idea that Marjorie was such a sociopath. She's just evil - born that way from what I could tell. I don't know why any man would ever get involved with this crazy. I also had no idea she was such an arsonist - it's amazing how many times she got away with it. A really well written book, I'm looking forward to read other books by this author. ...more
Cierra Jean
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was extremely hard to put down, non-stop drama that easily sucked you in to the very end. Story about one of the adopted children of Elisabeth Congdon, who ultimately ended up being murdered, who had a husband that was found guilty of murdering his mother-in-law for money. Was Marjorie Congdon the real culprit of the murder and arson stories throughout her life? The controversy will haunt everyone.
Moni Novak
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a must read for anyone who grew up in Minnesota. I was shocked at the story and was surprised by the legal system. Unbelievable. This would make a great movie because I don’t know how someone gets away with multiple murders and is living out their retirement In Arizona.
John Lyman
Oct 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Well written recounting of the events and disasters of Marjorie Congdon's life. After reading this book it gives one pause as to whether justice is ever served. It is amazing that this woman got away with killing so many people, 3, and starting over 40 arson fires and passing hundreds of bad checks and scamming so many people for large amounts of cash. I wonder how much her inheritance and wealth had to do with her freedom, obviously hiring the best lawyers is a big help, but there were SO MANY ...more
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a true story about an heiress who is an arsonist, and, probably, a murderer. It is interesting to me, what makes someone a serial criminal. And this woman, an heiress, even - what could motivate her? It is also interesting that she was tried for crimes committed while she lived in Duluth, MN, and Ajo, Arizona, both of which I've visited. Not especially well written, though. And the crucial scenes in the book (the murders) are fabricated. ...more
Pam Herrmann
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's been awhile since I've visited the Glensheen. The story of Marjorie Caldwell is appalling. She was given everything in life including millions of dollars and all she was capable of was lying, cheating, arson, manipulation, and murder. I can't believe that she kept getting by with killing others, insurance fraud and arson. She sounds like an awful person. I'm curious to know where she's at now and what else she has done since this book was written. ...more
May 08, 2011 rated it liked it
I first got intrigued by the mystery behind the Glensheen's mansion murder by a co-worker so I picked up Will to Murder. I read the book and then that summer we toured the mansion which the gift shop included this book about Marjorie Congedon. So far the first part appears to overlap a lot with the previous book I read. Will see how it continues....... In the end it added more detail to the original book I read. ...more
Dessa O'Dette
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pbswap, favorites
I don't even know where to begin on this. I honestly think that Roger Caldwell was framed and Marjorie very much had something to do with her mother's murder.
When the book got to the part of where Wally Hagan got together with Marjorie and how he dismissed his children completely really upset me.
Kelly Crosgrove Sullivan Bredon
W. O.W. What an amazing book! If this book was fiction I would have put it down saying "no way, this is just too crazy to read." I knew of the murder mystery surrounding Glensheen mansion but this book really puts it all together. Had no idea how crazy it really was. Anyone from Minnesota or enjoys Duluth area should read this! Wish I could have given it a TEN!!!!! ...more
Feb 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
What is so shocking about this book is that it is non-fiction. As the story develops, it is a work that would normally provoke thoughts of "this author is being unrealistic" until you see the photographs, the newsarticles, and the police reports. The author also wrote SoLiAh, the Sara Jane Olson Story, which I've heard is very good as well. Intelligent writer- ...more
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Few topics are as chilling as this one: A privileged sociopathic heiress goes to any means to collect all that she feels entitled to receive. That she did it in the state where I live, in a home I have visited makes it all more real. Extraordinarily, grippingly, suspensefully disturbing
Darlene Gelle
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book because this lady now lives in my parent's retirement community in Tucson. Figured I'd better learn about this psycho woman before I meet her at the end of the month.

Jan 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Interesting book. Can't believe how manipulative some people can be.... and how they can get away with murder. ...more
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read about the bizarre Glensheen murders. The author does a great job of joining history and literature to create a beautifully and easily read story.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
She is still alive...better watch out!! A sociopath for sure, interesting read.
Oct 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
I was at this mansion this summer so the book held some interest for me. I really did enjoy reading the different insights to the people involved.
rated it liked it
Apr 29, 2018
Paul Rosemeyer
rated it it was ok
Jan 14, 2012
rated it liked it
Sep 08, 2008
Rachel Petersen
rated it it was amazing
Aug 25, 2016
Jen Johhson
rated it liked it
Feb 27, 2018
Brenda S
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Jan 02, 2013
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Jan 08, 2020
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