‘Congdon Mansion’ author visiting area libraries

Joe Kimball will share his first-hand account of the 1977 Glensheen Mansion murders in a series of library talks Nov. 2 to Nov. 5.

Joe Kimball
Contributed / Kitchigami Regional Library System
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The Kitchigami Regional Library System (KRLS) is hosting bestelling author Joe Kimball for a tour of North Central Minnesota.

Kimball will be presenting at the public libraries in Brainerd at noon Wednesday, Nov. 2; Walker at 6 p.m. Nov. 2; Bemidji at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3; Blackduck at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4; Wadena at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5; and Pequot Lakes at 3 p.m. Nov. 5.

As a reporter, Kimball covered the famous Congdon murders from the day the bodies were discovered in 1977. He wrote “Secrets of the Congdon Mansion,” a first-hand account of Minnesota’s most infamous murder case, where one of the state’s richest women was smothered in her 39-room Duluth mansion and her night nurse was bludgeoned to death on the stairway. An adopted daughter was accused of planning the crime as a way to speed up her inheritance.

In addition to two murder trials, the shocking aftermath includes bigamy, arson and more murders. The mansion, known as Glensheen, has become a popular tour site on the shores of Lake Superior, but guides won’t tell you much about the case. Even 40 years later, Minnesotans are fascinated by the story of the mansion, money and murders.

Kimball’s account inspired the popular play “Glensheen: The Musical” at the History Theatre. In his library speeches, he talks about covering the story from start to finish as a Star Tribune reporter, giving inside details of the victims, investigators and perpetrators to bring the tale to life.


This free program is funded at least partly through the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

State park passes, career resources and mobile hotspots are among the things you can find, besides books, at the Park Rapids Area Library.

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