Richard Schmack

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.  

Charles Ridulph of Sycamore has added to his request for a special prosecutor in the 1957 murder case of his sister, Maria.  

The Daily Chronicle says Ridulph claims State’s Attorney Richard Schmack made a 2012 campaign promise to drop charges against Jack McCullough, constituting a conflict of interest.  

Danielle Guerra / Daily Chronicle/

Murder charges against Jack McCullough have been dismissed. McCullough served nearly four years in prison for the 1957 murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore.  Last week, DeKalb County Judge William Brady vacated McCullough’s conviction, and he was freed on bond.

Danielle Guerra / Daily Chronicle

Charles Ridulph, older brother of a Sycamore schoolgirl murdered in December 1957,  has hired an attorney in his efforts to get a special prosecutor appointed to handle the case case.  

Jack McCullough was arrested in July 2011 and convicted in September 2012 for the kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph. At the time, it was the oldest cold case to be brought to trial in the United States.  

Judge To Appoint Counsel For McCullough Petition

Mar 25, 2016
Danielle Guerra / Daily Chronicle

Updated: 3/29/16 2:50 p.m.

Jack McCullough will get a new attorney to help him pursue freedom from his conviction of murdering seven-year-old Maria Ridulph in 1957, and the victim's family will have to wait to pursue a request for a special prosecutor to oppose McCullough.

DeKalb County Circuit Judge William Brady announced those decisions Tuesday afternoon in a crowded courtroom that included a jury box full of reporters from Rockford and Chicago as well as the immediate area.