Not a Place for Family Feuds John DeSanto was the state’s criminal prosecutor in the most notorious family murders ever — and lived to talk about it. Now a Judge, he couldn’t make “Talk for Family Innocence” last year, because of a family court trial. This year Judge DeSanto cleared his calendar to talk about his experiences in the court adversary system. His book “Will to Murder” written with crime scene investigator, Gary Waller, details the Congdon family murders at the historic Gleensheen Mansion, Duluth. Michelle MacDonald met the duo after judging a Mock Trial Competition, and presenting an award to students at New Life Academy on behalf of the Professionalism committee of the Minnesota State Bar. After she introduced the Judge to Family Innocence, Gary Waller commented that family court is the most dangerous court in the courthouse. Judge DeSanto will reflect on the negative impact of family court conflict — mentally, spiritually, financially and oftentimes physically—for all family members— not to mention lawyers, and the court system. Judge DeSanto has been a speaker at numerous continuing legal education, Minnesota County Attorneys Association, and law enforcement training seminars, and he has addressed Duluth school students about the criminal justice system annually for over 30 years. Judge DeSanto has been married for 33 years to Lana, they have three children and are grandparents. He is also active in his church.
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