Jack McCullough

file / DeKalb County Sheriff's Department

The man serving a life sentence for the 1957 murder of a Sycamore girl maintains his innocence and says he’s working on his appeal. 

DeKalb County Cold Case Defies Odds

Dec 11, 2012

The sentencing of Jack McCullough Monday capped the successful prosecution of a high-profile cold case. While an appeal is expected, the life-in-prison term gives law enforcement officials hope about the future of this type of investigative work. That’s despite many of the hurdles in their way.

McCullough Sentenced to Life in Prison

Dec 10, 2012
Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Jack McCullough was sentenced to life  in prison Monday morning for the murder of Maria Ridulph. The 73-year-old McCullough was convicted earlier this year in a DeKalb County bench trial. He was arrested in 2011 after authorities re-opened the investigation into the 1957 kidnapping and slaying.

file / DeKalb County Sheriff's Department

Sentencing for Jack McCullough has been moved to early December. The sentencing was supposed to be today, but a lawyer representing McCullough says the defense was not given enough time to prepare.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

UPDATE: Friday, November 30, 2012 11:10 am

McCullough's sentencing has been rescheduled for Monday, December 10th, at 10:00 am.

Sentencing for convicted killer Jack McCullough has been postponed. The former Sycamore resident was to be sentenced Friday morning at 11:00 for the 1957 kidnapping and murder of seven-year-old Maria Ridulph.

McCullough Wants New Trial

Oct 17, 2012

Attorneys for Jack McCullough have filed a motion seeking a new trial or not guilty verdict.  McCullough is awaiting sentencing for the murder and kidnapping of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph back in 1957.

Convicted Killer Faces Decision About Appeal

Sep 17, 2012

Jack Daniel McCullough is back in his cell at the DeKalb County Jail, weighing his options for filing an appeal of his conviction on charges related to the disappearance of little Maria Ridulph on Dec. 3, 1957.

He has 30 days to make that decision, with a sentencing hearing scheduled at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 30.

In April, McCullough waived his right to a jury trial, opting instead for a bench trial on charges of murder, kidnapping, and abduction of an infant – defined in Illinois law at the time as a person younger than 12 years old.

Convicted By His Own Words On All Charges

Sep 14, 2012

"Maria's got her justice."

Jack McCullough heard his guilty verdict Friday in a packed courtroom on the third floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse, less than 10 blocks from where he snatched Maria Ridulph on the snowy evening of Dec. 3, 1957.

Known in those days as John Tessier, the 72-year-old convicted kidnapper and murderer sat through five days of a bench trial before Judge James Hallock and heard a parade of prosecution witnesses detail circumstantial evidence that tied him to the seven-year-old girl’s disappearance from the corner of Archie Place and Center Cross Street in Sycamore.

State Rests Its Case At McCullough Trial

Sep 13, 2012

The state has rested its case at the bench trial of Jack McCullough. The 72-year-old is accused in a DeKalb County cold case that dates back to 1957. Prosecutors say he kidnapped and murdered 7-year-old Maria Ridulph. 

Two inmates and a forensic anthropologist testified Wednesday in the murder-kidnap trial of Jack Daniel McCullough, accused in the disappearance and death of little Maria Ridulph in Sycamore nearly 55 years ago.

The inmates told slightly different – but not necessarily contradictory – stories of McCullough’s jailhouse conversations about his case, and the scientist explained how she found evidence of deep cutting wounds on the skelton of the 7-year-old victim.

An expert witness, plus a jail informant, testified today in the Jack McCullough murder trial. McCullough, 72, is accused of killing of Maria Ridulph in 1957. The trial is being heard by a DeKalb County judge.

McCullough Trial: Day Three Update

Sep 12, 2012

A DeKalb County judge is hearing another day of testimony at the Jack McCullough murder trial. The 72-year-old is accused of killing a young Sycamore girl in the late 1950's.

Playmate recalls the last time she saw Maria Ridulph

Three half sisters of accused murderer Jack Daniels McCullough testified for the prosecution Tuesday in the 55-year-old disappearance and death of little Maria Ridulph. Two contradicted their parents’ statement that the accused was home that fateful night, and one recalled their mother’s deathbed declaration about the case.

They were preceded on the stand by Kathy Sigman Chapman, Maria’s playmate on Tuesday evening, December 3, 1957. A member of the prosecution team brought her to the witness stand before the session started. Chapman – with close-cropped grey hair and wearing a dark skirted suit – tested the chair, looked around, chatted briefly with the court stenographer, then smiled and stepped away.

McCullough Trial: Day Two Update

Sep 11, 2012

Testimony resumed Tuesday morning at the bench trial of Jack McCullough, the man accused of killing a young Sycamore girl more than 50 years ago. WNIJ's Victor Yehling is covering today's proceedings.

He reports that McCullough's younger half sister, Katheran Caulfield, testified today. The woman who was playing with the victim, Maria Ridulph, the night she disappeared also took the witness stand.

Day One Ends Early

Sep 10, 2012

The first day of the bench trial for Jack McCullough ended before 3pm Monday in DeKalb County Court. McCullough is accused in the 1957 kidnapping and murder of a young Sycamore girl, Maria Ridulph. The 7-year-old disappeared while playing near her home. Ridulph's body was found several months later in JoDaviess County. The victim's brother, Charles Ridulph, was the first witness called to the stand.

Cold Case Trial Begins In DeKalb County

Sep 10, 2012

The bench trial of Jack McCullough begins Monday in DeKalb County Court. The 72-year-old is accused of killing a young Sycamore girl in the late 1950’s. Seven-year-old Maria Ridulph disappeared while playing near her home.  Her body was found several months later.

The man accused of kidnapping and murdering a Sycamore girl more than half a century ago has an alibi, which was officially filed in court Tuesday. 

Attorneys for Jack McCullough, charged in the kidnapping and death of Maria Ridulph in Sycamore more than a half century ago, must disclose his alibi for the time of the incident at a hearing Tuesday, Kane County Associate Judge James Hallock has ruled.

Court records show that the seven-year-old girl disappeared from her neighborhood sometime between late afternoon hours and 9 p.m. on Dec. 3, 1957, from Sycamore. Her remains were found nearly five months later on April 26, 1958, in Jo Daviess County.

Slain child's remains to be returned to family

Jun 21, 2012

The remains of Maria Ridulph, a 7-year-old Sycamore girl kidnapped and killed in 1957, will be returned to her family under a court order granted Wednesday.

The child was abducted from her Sycamore neighborhood Dec. 3, 1957. Her remains were found nearly five months later in rural Jo Daviess County.

Jack D. McCullough, 72, of Seattle, has been charged with murder, felony kidnapping and felony abduction of an infant in the case.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

 

The DeKalb County State's Attorney lashed out at a judge Thursday, after a Seattle man was acquitted of rape charges. 

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