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Court Affirms McCullough Murder Conviction, Vacates Other Convictions

DeKalb County Jail

An Illinois appellate court has upheld the murder conviction of Jack McCullough.  Assistant Deputy Defender Paul Glaser confirms to WNIJ that the court vacated the kidnapping and abduction convictions. 


McCullough was sentenced to life in prison for the 1957 death of Sycamore's Maria Ridulph.

In the appeal, McCullough argued prosecutors relied on decades-old memories from Kathy Chapman, a friend who was playing with Ridulph the night she went missing.

The opinion states, "Chapman not only had the ability to observe defendant on December 3, 1957, she had an excellent reason to remember him for all the years afterward." 

McCullough also questioned the use of an alleged deathbed confession from his mother stating that her son was responsible for the crime.

According to a release from DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack:

"The lengthy and well-reasoned opinion indicates that the court gave thoughtful and sober consideration to the entire record, and seriously evaluated all of the arguments presented by both sides both in written and oral form.

Further comment at this time would be inappropriate in a case which remains pending, and must be reserved until defense counsel determines, in consultation with the defendant, their next step in the appellate process."

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