Jack McCullough

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.

"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.

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