Maria Ridulph

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

A DeKalb County Judge has dismissed a request for a special prosecutor to take over disposition of the murder case against Jack McCullough.

Judge William Brady ruled Friday that a supposed bias by DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack did not amount to an actual conflict of interest, and therefore no special prosecutor was warranted. 

Schmack, whose handling of the case prompted the request, said afterwards,"I believe that the judge ruled correctly."

Jack McCullough Case: A Timeline

Aug 5, 2016

The Disappearance

December 3, 1957:  The times below reflect the evidence presented in the 2016 court-ordered investigation of the case by DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack.

6:45-7:00 p.m.: Maria Ridulph is last seen by her friend and playmate Kathy Sigman. They were playing with a young man named Johnny and Maria went inside her home five minutes beforehand to get a doll to play with. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The case of The People vs. Jack McCullough is back in a DeKalb County courtroom Friday. The story of the disappearance of Maria Ridulph spans seven decades.

Seven-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore was kidnapped and murdered in 1957. Jack McCullough was convicted in the cold case in 2012: He was freed earlier this year when his conviction was vacated.

A lot happened in between.

Danielle Guerra / Daily Chronicle

DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack is once again asking a judge to dismiss a request for a special prosecutor to take over a high-profile 1957 murder case.

Richard Schmack reviewed the evidence from the lawyer for Maria Ridulph’s family. They say a special prosecutor is necessary, because Schmack showed he was biased in favor of Jack McCullough -- who was found guilty of the decades-old murder of the 7-year-old girl in 2012.

The question of appointing a special prosecutor in the case of the decades-old murder of a Sycamore girl will continue in an additional hearing next month.

The victim's older brother, Charles Ridulph, has claimed that DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack has a "conflict of interest" in pursuing the case and has asked the court to name a special prosecutor.  

Pages