Cold case

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Two new faces join McCullough case

Aug 6, 2012
DeKalb County Jail

One of the nation’s oldest criminal cases will have two new faces when the trial begins Sept. 20 in DeKalb County Circuit Court.

Kane County Associate Judge James Hallock will preside over the bench trial and decide the fate of Jack D. McCullough, who waived a jury trial last week on charges of kidnapping and killing 7-year-old Maria Ridulph. The Sycamore girl was abducted from her neighborhood Dec. 3, 1957.

The other new figure in the case is Geneva attorney Tom McCulloch, who was named interim public defender replacing Regina Harris, who resigned in June after five years to start a private practice.

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.