Jack McCullough

A special prosecutor was appointed to investigate allegations of perjury and other wrongdoing in the Jack McCullough case. The Daily Chronicle reports Brian Towne was appointed to the position.  He's the former LaSalle County State's Attorney, and part of the special prosecution unit of the State's Attorney's Appellate Prosecutor's office.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A DeKalb County judge has set dates for hearings in two cases involving Jack McCullough, the Seattle resident who was convicted of the 1957 kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore. That conviction was vacated after a review last year showed he could not have committed the crime. 

McCullough Hearing Rescheduled To Late January

Dec 5, 2016
Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Jack McCullough’s hearing for a certificate of innocence was pushed back to next year.

It was supposed to be held Monday. Instead, newly-elected DeKalb County State’s Attorney Rick Amato signed a court document that day,  postponing the court date to the end of January.

Amato didn't immediately return calls from WNIJ regarding his rationale for the decision.

Katie Finlon

A little girl from Sycamore went missing 59 years ago Satuerday. The disappearance is still remembered by many in the community.

Seven-year-old Maria Ridulph was playing outside with a friend before she disappeared on Dec. 3, 1957. Then, a man named “Johnny” appeared and started talking to them and gave them piggy-back rides.

When her friend came back after she left to grab mittens, Ridulph was gone. Police found her body in northwest Illinois months later.

Illinois State Police say they have a new suspect in the 1957 murder of Sycamore schoolgirl Maria Ridulph.  

The case was reopened after police were asked to investigate a suspect named in an anonymous letter.  The letter was received March 24, the same day DeKalb State’s Attorney Richard Schmack disavowed the prosecution of Jack McCullough, who was convicted of the murder in September 2012.

McCullough's conviction  was vacated after new evidence showed he was in Rockford at the time of Ridulph's disappearance, and he is now seeking a certificate of innocence.  

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