Richard Schmack

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...

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. Jack McCullough was convicted in 2012 of the murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph in 1957. State’s Attorney Richard Schmack reviewed the case and concluded that...

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...

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." McCullough's 2012 conviction for...

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. 6:55 p.m.: Kathy Sigman returns to the corner where the three were playing and sees Maria...

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