Jack McCullough

DeKalb County Jail

A judge is giving a 75-year-old man more time to make a case he deserves a new trial after being convicted of murdering a northern Illinois girl in 1957.

Jack D. McCullough was convicted in 2012 of killing 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore. An appellate court upheld his conviction in February.
A DeKalb County judge who denied McCullough's handwritten request for post-conviction relief last month has given him until Nov. 30 to build a
stronger case.

DeKalb County Jail

Two prosecution witnesses lied and the prosecution withheld evidence in the cold-case trial of Jack McCullough. That’s according to a new motion filed in DeKalb County Circuit Court by Public Defender Tom McCulloch.

McCullough was convicted in September 2012 of murdering 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore in 1957. He has maintained his innocence since his arrest in the Seattle, Wash., area.

The motion, filed last week, asks reconsideration of a motion that McCullough filed in June, seeking relief based on actual innocence.

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.

Defense attorneys say there was not enough evidence to send Jack McCullough to prison. McCullough was sentenced in 2012 to life behind bars for the 1957 kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore. It was believed to be the nation's oldest cold case.  

An Illinois appeals court panel heard oral arguments Wednesday.

State Appellate Defender Paul Glaser says many of the questions involved evidence surrounding the case. He admits it is an extremely rare situation.

Lifetime Movie Network

A northern Illinois cold case is the subject of a new documentary on Lifetime Movie Network.

“Footsteps in the Snow” premieres Wednesday. It chronicles the time from Maria Ridulph’s kidnapping and murder in 1957 through the conviction of Jack D. McCullough 55 years later.

Ridulph disappeared from the street corner near her home. That incident triggered a search by numerous police agencies, and reports said that President Dwight Eisenhower asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for daily updates.

Brief Filed In McCullough Appeal Claims Unfair Trial

Apr 22, 2014
Credit file / DeKalb County Sheriff's Department

Jack McCullough is serving a life sentence for the kidnapping and murder of Maria Ridulph in 1957. It was one the nation's oldest cold cases. A recently filed appellate brief calls into question evidence presented at McCullough's 2012 trial in DeKalb County.

Assistant Deputy Defender Paul Glaser submitted that prosecutors used unreliable evidence, which included personal memories from decades ago, inmate witnesses, and a statement from McCullough's mother just before her death while on painkillers.

The brief says "the law demands more than nostalgia."

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.