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Mystery writers Joe Kimball and Julie Kramer to speak at The Bierstube June 16

The Congdon murders in Duluth in 1977 held a captive audience for years.

Minneapolis Star Tribune report Joe Kimball was one of the reporters on the scene that July day. For years he followed it.

Now, Hastings residents will be able to meet Kimball, who wrote the book “Secrets of the Congdon Mansion: The Unofficial Guide to Glensheen and the Congdon Murders,” and his wife, mystery writer Julie Kramer. They will be visiting The Bierstube from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, June 16. The evening is free and open to the community.

The best-selling book about the Congdon murders is a classic tale of murder, money and mansion.

Kimball reveals the inside information behind the murder of Elisabeth Congdon, who was smothered in her bed in the 39-room Glensheen Mansion. The night nurse was beaten to death with a candlestick holder on the mansion’s grand stairway while trying to protect the heiress.

Police immediately suspected Congdon’s adopted daughter, Marjorie, and her husband, Roger Caldwell. The motive: speeding up the inheritance.

The husband was convicted of the crimes, but Marjorie Caldwell Hagen was found not guilty of charges that she planned the murders.

But that is not the end of the story. She has been in the news – and in prison – in the years since the mansion murders. Burglary charges, two arson convictions, charges of another murder and the mysterious death of an elderly man she befriended in Arizona has kept her story alive.

Kramer, a journalist turned novelist, writes a mystery series set in the world of television news – a world she knows well from her career working as a freelance news producer for NBC and CBS, as well as running the WCCO-TV I-Team in Minneapolis, where she won numerous national investigative awards.

Her thrillers,“Stalking Susan,” “Missing Mark,” “Silencing Sam,” “Shunning Sarah” and “Delivering Death” take readers inside how newsrooms make decisions amid chaos.

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