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.
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.