Richard Schmack

The American Bar Association will honor former DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack for his post-conviction work on the Jack McCullough case.

McCullough was convicted in 2012 for the 1957 murder of Sycamore resident Maria Ridulph. At the time, it was America's longest lasting cold case. However, Schmack re-examined the evidence and found phone records showing that McCullough was in Rockford at the time of the crime.

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.

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.  

Danielle Guerra / Daily Chronicle/shawmedia.com

The man whose cold-case conviction for a 1957 murder was overturned earlier this year wants a judge to take the next step to clear his name.

Jack McCullough case: A Timeline

Attorneys with The Exoneration Project, a legal clinic based at the University of Chicago, filed papers asking for a Certificate of Innocence for Jack McCullough. 

DeKalb County State's Attorney

DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack is requesting the Circuit Court appoint a special state's attorney to investigate possible perjury by a Seattle, Washington police officer in the 2012 trial of Jack D. McCullough for the 1957 murder of Maria Ridulph.  

McCullough was found guilty. His conviction was dismissed this year after Schmack said a court-ordered review including evidence not admitted in that trial showed McCullough could not have committed the crime. McCullough was freed after spending several years in prison. 

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