Former prosecutor in notorious Glensheen Mansion murder retiring

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The man who prosecuted the murder case of Elisabeth Congdon – the elderly heiress who was killed in Duluth's iconic Glensheen Mansion in 1977 – is retiring, bringing an end to his 42-year legal career.

John DeSanto, who has served as a state judge since 2009, will hang up his robes this month when he reaches the age of 69, MinnPost reports. The website says he will continue serving as a "part-time senior judge."

The mandatory retirement age of judges in Minnesota is 70.

MinnPost says he was only a few years out of law school when he was handed the Glensheen murder case in 1977, after Elisabeth Congdon – the youngest daughter of Chester Adgate Congdon, Duluth business titan and politician – was found smothered in her 39-room mansion. Her nurse was also murdered in the attack.

Congdon's adopted daughter, Marjorie Caldwell, and her husband, Roger Caldwell, were charged with killing the two women in an effort to collect Marjorie Caldwell's inheritance, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

He told the paper, which describes him as a "Northland legal legend," that the landmark case was such a career-defining moment he jokingly thinks of his life as split into two eras: "BC" and "AC" ("Before Caldwell" and "After Caldwell").

He steps down Sept. 16.

Next Up

Jorge Polanco

Shoemaker, Twins lineup rebounds against Tigers

Jorge Polanco homered in a 7-3 victory over Detroit.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Watch: Kaprizov's OT winner lifts Wild into 2nd place in West

Kaprizov's goal gave the Wild a 3-2 victory over the Ducks.

Byron Buxton

Buxton placed on IL, Trevor Larnach called up

Buxton could be out "for weeks" with a hip strain.

A bald eagle perched on branches.

USFWS confirms 2 bald eagles were shot dead

The agency is offering a reward for information in the case.

A newborn baby, wrapped in a blanket with its mother.

Most popular baby names includes one not in top 10 for 100 years

But Olivia and Liam once again led the way for girls and boys.

Minnesota Lottery

Names of big Minnesota Lottery winners to be kept private thanks to new law

The Minnesota Legislature passed the bill unanimously and Gov. Tim Walz signed it into law this week.

FLickr - COVID-19 vaccination - Commander, U.S. Naval Forces

All 8 state COVID-19 vaccine sites now accept walk-ins

Adults can get a no-cost vaccine without making an appointment.

Wilf

Report: Vikings owners nearing purchase of Orlando City MLS franchise

The Wilfs reportedly attempted to buy the Minnesota United expansion franchise years ago.

bemidji paul bunyan

Video shows the moment someone broke the Paul Bunyan statue's arm

Police are asking for the public's help to identify those involved.

bridgeman's food truck duluth

Last remaining Bridgeman's Restaurant is launching a food truck

The Duluth restaurant is the only remaining full-service Bridgeman's in business.

FLickr - electric drive vehicle charging - Open Grid Scheduler

Minnesota can move ahead with Clean Cars program, judge says

She recommended the proposed rules be adopted.

Related

The lead investigator of the Glensheen mansion murders has died

Gary Waller had a long career in law enforcement.

Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 9.58.42 AM

The murder at Glensheen that you've never heard of

Decades before the famous mansion was built, blood was spilled on its grounds.