Marjorie Congdon Caldwell Hagen arrested again

2:07 PM, Mar 27, 2007   |    comments
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Marjorie Congdon Hagen, the woman acquitted three decades ago in one of Minnesota's most notorious murders remained jailed Monday after her arrest in Arizona on suspicion of criminal activity, including computer tampering, authorities said. Hagen, 74, was arrested Thursday by Tucson police at an assisted-living facility and was booked into the Pima County Jail. Police spokesman Mark Robinson said Hagen was being held on suspicion of fraud, schemes and artifices, forgery, theft and computer tampering. Police declined to provide details of what led to the arrest. The Pima County Attorney's office has not issued charges, spokesman Ken James said. A preliminary hearing has been set for next Monday, but a grand jury indictment could be handed down before then, James said. In 1977, Hagen was charged in the killings of her mother, the heiress Elisabeth Congdon, and her mother's nurse, Velma Pietila, at the Glensheen mansion in Duluth, Minn. She was later acquitted. In 1984, she was arrested for burning down her house in Mound, Minn., and was sentenced to 21 months in prison after being convicted of arson and insurance fraud. (Background: Story filed when she was released from prison.) In 1991, a year after Hagen and her husband moved to Ajo, Ariz., authorities accused her of trying to burn down a neighbor's home. She was convicted of attempted arson but was allowed to go home before reporting to prison to make arrangements for her husband, who was 84. The day after her conviction, Wally Hagen was found dead of a pill overdose. Police said they believed he was exposed to natural gas from the kitchen stove piped through a garden hose. A murder charge against Marjorie Hagen was dropped for lack of evidence. She pleaded no contest in 1992 to a criminal damage charge in connection with a 1990 fire at an Ajo storage yard believed to have been set to support a fraudulent insurance claim. Conviction stemming from the fire at her neighbor's home and the storage yard fire drew 15-year and concurrent eight-year prison terms, respectively, and Hagen served time from 1993 to 2004, when she was released, authorities said.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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