54 year old Illinois child abduction and murder case solved, Maria Ridulph, 7, abducted in 1957 by Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, being held in Seattle on $3 million bail.

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Normal 54 year old Illinois child abduction and murder case solved, Maria Ridulph, 7, abducted in 1957 by Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, being held in Seattle on $3 million bail.

Post by TerryRose on Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:37 pm

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Maria disappeared Dec. 3, 1957, while doing what kids in Sycamore did then — playing. Kathy Chapman recalled that she and Maria were under a corner streetlight when a young man she knew as "Johnny" offered them a piggyback ride. Chapman, now a grandmother who lives outside of Chicago, told the Chicago Tribune for a story Saturday that she ran home and never saw her best friend again.

The search for Maria grew to involve more than 1,000 law enforcement officers and numerous other community members, ultimately catching the eye of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who requested daily updates.

Christmas came and went, with a pogo stick wrapped as a gift for Maria remaining unopened, her brother remembered. Then in April 1958, two people foraging for mushrooms found her remains
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Normal Re: 54 year old Illinois child abduction and murder case solved, Maria Ridulph, 7, abducted in 1957 by Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, being held in Seattle on $3 million bail.

Post by Nama on Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:47 pm



The 71-year-old Seattle man arrested last week in connection with the 1957 murder of a 7-year-old Illinois girl has a history of sexually abusing young girls, according to documents filed in King County District Court.

Jack Daniels McCullough, a former policeman in two Western Washington cities, was arrested Wednesday at his home. He did not attend a court hearing Saturday at the King County Jail because he is in the hospital, said Judge Eileen Kato. A bail hearing was rescheduled for Monday.

A woman who said she is McCullough's niece attended the hearing along with three other family members. She said she loves her uncle and his arrest was "a tragedy all the way around."

"My uncle is a wonderful and kind and loving person, and that's all I know," she said.

The affidavit of probable cause, however, paints a picture of a man who, when he was growing up, allegedly molested a female relative as well as girls who lived in his neighborhood in the town of Sycamore, Ill., about 70 miles west of Chicago.

After he moved to Washington state as an adult, the papers also say he was fired from the Milton Police Department after he was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage runaway and pleaded guilty to unlawful communication with a minor.

A former wife told authorities that McCullough took nude photos of women for a photography business that didn't seem to make any money, and that she found nude photos of a young female relative taped to the bottom of a drawer, the papers said.

The affidavit was supposed to be sealed, a King County District Court clerk said Friday. However, the document was available online Saturday.

McCullough also worked at the Lacey Police Department, according to the affidavit. Most recently he has been working as a night watchman at a retirement home in North Seattle where he lives with his wife.

McCullough was a suspect in 1957 when Maria Ridulph, 7, disappeared from a Sycamore street about a block from where McCullough lived with his family. He was 18 at the time and fit the description of the young man who approached Ridulph and an 8-year-old friend as they played outside near their homes.

The man, who called himself "Johnny," offered to give them piggyback rides. Maria agreed, the papers said. Her friend left to get mittens, and when she returned, the man and Maria were gone.

The case shocked the community and the nation. Then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and President Eisenhower both took an active interest in the case, according to reports.

Maria's body was found five months later about 120 miles away, by two people foraging for mushrooms.

McCullough, then known as John Tessier, told authorities that on the day Maria disappeared he was in Chicago getting a physical and then in Rockford, Ill., trying to turn in a medical report to a military recruiting station there. He said his father picked him up in Rockford that evening, and he didn't get back to Sycamore until 9:20 p.m.

He joined the Air Force shortly after, court papers said.

That alibi stood for more than 50 years. It started to unravel last year when detectives contacted a former girlfriend and asked whether she had old photographs of the two of them. When she pulled one out of a frame, court papers said, she discovered an unused train ticket from the day of the crime, according to the affidavit.

McCullough is currently being held in lieu of $3 million bail in King County Jail on murder charges out of DeKalb County, Ill.

Outside the jail on Saturday, a man who said he was dating one of McCullough's relatives said McCullough had triple-bypass surgery a few years ago.

In court, Judge Kato said McCullough was in Harborview Medical Center, but a nursing supervisor said Saturday that she had no patient by that name or his former name. Kato did not say why McCullough was in the hospital.

The DeKalb County state's attorney, in a statement, said he plans to extradite McCullough to Illinois.

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Normal Re: 54 year old Illinois child abduction and murder case solved, Maria Ridulph, 7, abducted in 1957 by Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, being held in Seattle on $3 million bail.

Post by Nama on Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:50 pm



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Normal Train ticket helps crack 1957 Ill. killing

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:46 pm

By BARBARA RODRIGUEZ Associated Press
Saturday, July 2, 2011 4:48 PM EDT

SYCAMORE, Ill. (AP) — Charles "Chuck" Ridulph always assumed the person who stole his little sister from the neighborhood corner where she played and dumped her body in a wooded stretch some 100 miles away was a trucker or passing stranger — surely not anyone from the hometown he remembers as one big, friendly playground.

And, after more than a half century passed since her death, he assumed the culprit also had died or was in prison for some other crime.

On Saturday, he said he was stunned by the news that a one-time neighbor had been charged in the kidnapping and killing that captured national attention, including that of the president and FBI chief. Prosecutors in bucolic Sycamore, a city of 15,000 that's home to a yearly pumpkin festival, charged a former police officer Friday in the 1957 abduction of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph after an ex-girlfriend's discovery of an unused train ticket blew a hole in his alibi.

Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, has been held in Seattle on $3 million bail. A judge overseeing a Saturday court appearance for him said he had been taken to a regional trauma center but did not elaborate. She rescheduled his bail hearing for 12:30 p.m. Monday.

"I just can't believe that after all these years they'd be able to find this guy," Chuck Ridulph told The Associated Press at his duplex in Sycamore, about 50 miles west of Chicago.

A 65-year-old minister who mainly serves his area's senior citizens, Ridulph once shared a bedroom with his sister and already has his headstone placed on a burial plot next to her grave. With McCullough's arrest, he worries about a drawn-out legal process that will dredge up bad memories but also perhaps answer some nagging, stomach-churning questions about what happened to the little girl who loved to play dress up.

"It's in my every thought, even in my dreams," he said of his sister's death. "It was just like it was yesterday. It comes up all the time in conversation."

Sycamore Police Chief Donald Thomas was reluctant to discuss the case when found at home Saturday. But he said, "we believe we know who did it. We believe we have a strong case."

His department's breakthrough was a long time coming.

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Normal Hospitalization delays court for Seattle man accused in 1957 Sycamore slaying

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:48 pm

By Ted Gregory, Matt Walberg and Christy Gutowski
Tribune newspapers
10:24 p.m. CDT, July 2, 2011

Jack Daniel McCullough, the Seattle man recently arrested on charges that he kidnapped and murdered a 7-year-old Sycamore, Ill. girl in 1957, was hospitalized Saturday for undisclosed reasons.

McCullough, 71, was scheduled to appear Saturday in a King County, Wash. district court on charges that he was the one who killed Maria Ridulph, whose skeletal remains were found near a railroad overpass about 100 miles west of Sycamore five months after she had been kidnapped.

The 54-year-old murder case that devastated the northern Illinois town and drew attention from even President Dwight Eisenhower was revived last week when police acting on new information arrested McCullough at hisSeattle home.

The kidnapping happened on Dec. 3, 1957. That evening, Maria and her 8-year-old friend, Kathy Sigman, were playing in their Sycamore neighborhood when a young man who said his name was Johnny approached and offered a piggyback ride.

Kathy, whose married name is now Chapman, went to fetch her mittens. When she returned, Johnny and Maria were gone.

What followed was a massive search, drawing as many as 2,000 people, with crews pumping a nearby man-made lake empty and 20 scuba divers looking for Maria’s body inside a water-filled gravel pit.

McCullough — who had been known as John Tessier before he later changed his name — was an early suspect before the case went cold.

Chapman and an ex-girlfriend of Tessier’s who provided detectives with a key piece of evidence that undermined his alibi 54 years ago recently led detectives back to the ex-police officer who was now working as a night watchman at a NorthSeattle nursing home.

Awaiting extradition to Illinois, McCullough is being held in King County, where a judge there rescheduled his bail hearing for Monday.

Chapman, now living in St. Charles, said she was “elated” by the arrest.

“He didn’t get away with it,” she said, “and nobody gave up on it. That’s the good thing about it.”

“I always thought about why Maria was chosen and I wasn’t,” Chapman said. “He took away my best friend.”

Interviews with law enforcement officials and a probable cause affidavit in the case posted on the Seattle Times website show how close authorities were to arresting John Tessier, and how deftly he avoided being caught.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s police got an anonymous tip three days after she went missing that led them to Tessier, who lived nearby, according to the affidavit.

He told investigators that he knew Maria, but that he had nothing to do with her disappearance, the affidavit states.

Tessier told police he participated in what was a frantic serch for Maria on the night of her disappearance and the next day, according to the affidavit.

But another man who Tessier said he was with in those searches called him a liar, saying he did not see Tessier on either of those days.

Tessier also told police that on the day of Maria’s disappearance, he went to Rockford to try to enlist in the Army, taking a train to Chicago for a physical exam and returning to Sycamore after 9 p.m. that night.

That alibi allowed Tessier to leave Sycamore when he was accepted into the Air Force and, later, changed his name, according to the affidavit.

After the Air Force, McCullough worked as a police officer in a Washington town until the mid 1980s, when he was arrested and later convicted for having sex with a 13-year-old girl, Sycamore Police Chief Donald Thomas said.

McCullough’s train alibi fell apart in 2010, when a woman he dated in 1957 was approached by police who were again looking into the slaying. While digging up an old photo of Tessier for investigators, the ex-girlfriend stumbled on an unused train ticket from Rockford to Chicago on the date of the crime, authorities said.

That eventually led authorities to McCullough’s door, Thomas said.

Through follow up interviews, including with McCullough, “we were able to determine he was the person who had killed Maria Ridulph,” said Thomas, whose department cooperated with Illinois State Police and the Seattle Police Department in the renewed effort.

Thomas declined to say whether McCullough confessed. He also said DNA played no role in the case.

Chapman said authorities approached her last year with a photo lineup that included a picture of McCullough when he was about 18 years old. She said she pointed to him as the young man who approached Maria and her that winter day.

The arrest has stirred up chilling old memories among current and former Sycamore residents.

James Cliffe was 12 years old when Maria disappeared. On Saturday, he recalled how Tessier would ask neighborhood kids to pose for photographs for him as they walked by his house.

“He said he was an artist or something,” Cliffe said, calling Tessier “a weird duck.”

As the days went by with no sign of Maria, tension mounted in Sycamore, Cliffe recalled.

“I remember driving around town with my dad, and there were people going door to door like vigilantes, demanding to be let in to search neighbors’ houses,” he said.

In Seattle on Saturday, four family members of McCullough’s attended a court hearing that, in his absence, authorized the murder and fugitive charges levied against him. None of them spoke in court, but oustide the courthouse a man who identified himself as a friend of the family said McCullough had triple bypass surgery a few years ago.

After learning of his arrest, McCullough’s stepdaughter Janey O’Connor said she grieved for Maria’s family, but added that McCullough had been “an outstanding father and amazing grandfather for the 23 years I’ve known him.”

‘He’s just your average guy … just an optimistic life-works-out kind of person,” said O’Connor, who lives in the Seattle area.

McCullough’s niece, Jenn Howton, stammered in shock after learning of that her favorite uncle had been arrested.

She acknowledged that “other people have said crazy things about his past, but I never saw it.”

“I was alone with him umpteen-million times,” Howton said. “Never was he inappropriate in any way.”

In Sycamore, Charles Ridulph, Maria’s older brother, said he and his family were worried about having to relive the crime that took away they young sibling, he said. Maria’s parents, Michael and Frances Ridulph, are both deceased.

“They don't have to live through this,” Charles Ridulph said. ‘We struggled with this so long, but now it is happening all over again.”

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Normal Re: 54 year old Illinois child abduction and murder case solved, Maria Ridulph, 7, abducted in 1957 by Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, being held in Seattle on $3 million bail.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:53 pm

If she was 7 in 1957 that means she would be 60 now. He is 71..so he was 11 when he abducted her???????

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Normal Man charged in 1957 Sycamore slaying had history of abuse

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:58 pm

BY TINA SFONDELES AND MONIFA THOMAS Staff Reporters July 2, 2011 6:44PM

Victim’s family knew man charged in 1957 murder of Sycamore girl
Updated: July 2, 2011 11:40PM

A man accused of killing a 7-year-old Sycamore girl in a case that made national news in 1957 has a long, troubled history of sexually abusing his relatives and others, court documents related to the murder of Maria Ridulph allege.

A sister of Jack Daniel McCullough, who was charged with Maria’s murder in Seattle on Friday, told investigators that McCullough sexually abused her on numerous occasions when they lived in Sycamore, which is near DeKalb, and that he was “doing that to other neighborhood girls as well, because he would bring her along to act as a lookout while he did so,” according to a statement of probable cause prepared by the Seattle Police Department and filed in court by prosecutors.

Later, as a police officer in Milton, Wash., in the early 1980s, McCullough sexually assaulted a “13-14 year-old runaway,” the statement claims. He pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful communication charge and was fired from the police department, according to court documents dated Thursday. He had previously worked for police department in the Lacey, Wash.

McCullough, 71, missed his initial court hearing Saturday afternoon at King County Jail because he was hospitalized in Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center for an undisclosed reason. McCullough, who was being held on $3 million bond, will have a bail hearing Monday.

A woman who attended the hearing and identified herself as McCullough’s niece, Jen Howton, told reporters he was a kind and loving man. She said her family is praying for Maria’s relatives.

McCullough was married and was living at a retirement community in Seattle when he was arrested Friday.

The statement of probable cause, which was first obtained by the Seattle Times, also includes allegations from his sister claiming McCullough at times took his 2-year-old brother and two of his sisters into the attic of their home and made them strip and touch each other sexually.

In addition to detailing alleged abuse of family members, the statement of probable cause describes McCullough’s troubled marriage with a former wife. The woman told investigators that McCullough was emotionally abusive to her and made sexually suggestive comments to his daughter from a previous marriage, who was about 11 at the time. The ex-wife said she found nude photos of the daughter taped to the bottom of a desk drawer.

The court documents also give more details of the decades-old investigation and how the arrest unfolded.

Maria Ridulph was playing with a friend, 8-year-old Mary Katherine Chapman, outside her Sycamore home on December 3, 1957, when a young man approached, introduced himself as “Johnny” and offered the girls a piggyback ride, the documents state.

The man gave Maria a piggyback ride and then asked her if she had a doll. When she went inside her house to get one, McCullough allegedly made physical advances toward Kathy. “Cathy [sic] reported that Johnny touched Cathy’s arm and thigh, telling Cathy something along the lines of her being pretty,” the statement of probable cause said. “Cathy was leery of Johnny, and it went no further.”

A short time later, Kathy went home to get mittens because she was cold. When she returned, Maria and the man were gone, she told police at the time.

Three days after Maria disappeared, a woman made an anonymous call to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s office, saying that a “boy named Treschner” in his early 20s who lived in the neighborhood matched the man’s description, court documents said. Sheriff’s deputies later determined that the person the woman was referring to was John Tessier — McCullough’s name before he changed it, the statement says.

McCullough’s parents joined the search for Maria the night she disappeared, his sister told investigators.

In an interview with FBI agents on Dec. 8, 1957, McCullough said he had taken a train from Rockford to Chicago to try to enlist in the Army on the day Maria disappeared, the statement says. But the office was closed when he got there, so he made a collect call asking his stepfather to pick him up, he said. He said he then made a call to his girlfriend at the time and asked to meet her, the documents state.

But the ex-girlfriend later said she didn’t recall seeing him that night, and investigators later determined his stepfather gave someone else a ride that night and would not have been able to pick him up. The documents also state that a friend saw McCullough’s car driving in Sycamore the night of the abduction.

Shortly after Maria disappeared, McCullough joined the Air Force and legally changed his name.

Investigators re-interviewed the ex-girlfriend in 2010, and she showed investigators a photo of her and McCullough from the time. When she took it out of its frame, she found McCullough’s train ticket from Rockford to Chicago, court documents state. Authorities have said the ticket was never used.

In 2010, Illinois State Police detectives used an old high school yearbook to copy five pictures of men who matched McCullough’s description. They took a photo from him during the time of the disappearance and created a photo montage and showed it to Chapman, the statement said.

Chapman immediately pointed to McCullough’s photo and said, “ ‘That’s him,’ ” the statement said. “She placed her hands over her head, let out a big breath and said, “To the best of my memory and recollection of that night, that’s him,’ ” police said.

On June 28, Seattle Police detectives obtained a search warrant for McCullough’s apartment. After he was arrested, authorities conducted a lengthy interview in which McCullough made several statements “inconsistent with past statements he had made about this incident, and indeed inconsistent with statements he made within this interview itself,” court documents state.

Sycamore Police Chief Don Thomas said Saturday that multiple factors led to the charges, statements McCullough made during that interview as well as additional evidence.

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Normal Re: 54 year old Illinois child abduction and murder case solved, Maria Ridulph, 7, abducted in 1957 by Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, being held in Seattle on $3 million bail.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:01 am

My goodness, this is fantastic that they finally got this depraved person.

Maybe it's late but as I stated upthread. This happened in 1957. This man is 71. He would have been 11 years old. How could he try to enlist in the service? Something doesn't make sense here.

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Normal Re: 54 year old Illinois child abduction and murder case solved, Maria Ridulph, 7, abducted in 1957 by Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, being held in Seattle on $3 million bail.

Post by TerryRose on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:13 am

I figure he was 17, but one of the reports say 18 years old at the time he committed the crime. Am I right?---2011 minus 1957=54 years ago. He is 71 now, 71 minus 54= 17 to 18?
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Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:17 am

IDK, TR....I am 60. In 1957 I was 7 as was this poor little girl. He is 71 so he is 11 years older than she was.

Maybe they are reporting it incorrectly and he is really 81?? That would make sense. :scratch:

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Post by lisette on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:35 am

Wrap, if she was 7 and he was 11 years older than her, he would have been 17-18 in 1957. That was 54 years ago, so 54+17=71. I think the age is right...Or am I doing something wrong?
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Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:40 am

She would be 60 now had she lived. He is 71. That's all I know. crazy3 thinking

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Post by Nama on Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:17 am

1+1=2
2+2=4
4+4=8

Ok....you guys get the drift now? Hope I've been of help.

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Post by TerryRose on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:22 am

When it comes to math, maybe others are like me, I can make the same mistake over and over again and not spot the error until maybe a day later, then I hit myself in the head and say "dah"! I do this frequently when reconciling my checkbook.
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Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:25 am

LOL, Raine!!!!!...I mean BJ..see what I mean????

I figured it out when I couldn't sleep. He was 18.


Last edited by Wrapitup on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:29 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:25 am

TerryRose wrote:When it comes to math, maybe others are like me, I can make the same mistake over and over again and not spot the error until maybe a day later, then I hit myself in the head and say "dah"! I do this frequently when reconciling my checkbook.
Amen, TR!! Especially if you're brain dead!

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Post by laga on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:23 pm

BJ wrote:1+1=2
2+2=4
4+4=8

Ok....you guys get the drift now? Hope I've been of help.

Are you SURE about that BJ????? Sure 1+1=2 and not 1+1=1??
Can I prove 1+1=1???

Let a = 1 and b = 1.
Therefore a = b, by substitution.
If two numbers are equal, then their squares are equal, too:
a^2 = b^2.
Now subtract b^2 from both sides (if an equation is true, then if
you subtract the same thing from both sides, the result is also
a true equation) so
a^2 - b^2 = 0.
Now the lefthand side of the equation is a form known as "the
difference of two squares" and can be factored into (a-b)*(a+b).
If you don't believe me, then try multiplying it out carefully,
and you will see that it's correct. So:
(a-b)*(a+b) = 0.
Now if you have an equation, you can divide both sides by the same
thing, right? Let's divide by (a-b), so we get:
(a-b)*(a+b) / (a-b) = 0/(a-b).
On the lefthand side, the (a-b)/(a-b) simplifies to 1, right?
and the righthand side simplifies to 0, right? So we get:
1*(a+b) = 0,
and since 1* anything = that same anything, then we have:
(a+b) = 0.
But a = 1 and b = 1, so:
1 + 1 = 0, or 2 = 0.
Now let's divide both sides by 2, and we get:
1 = 0.
Then we add 1 to both sides, and we get
1 + 1 = 1.


crazy3 crazy3
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Normal Re: 54 year old Illinois child abduction and murder case solved, Maria Ridulph, 7, abducted in 1957 by Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, being held in Seattle on $3 million bail.

Post by lisette on Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:41 pm

Former cop convicted in 1957 murder of 7-year-old Illinois girl
Published September 14, 2012

SYCAMORE, Ill. – A 72-year-old man was convicted Friday in the 1957 murder of a 7-year-old girl, with spectators letting out a deafening cheer as the verdict was announced in one of the oldest unsolved crimes to eventually get to court in the U.S.
The sound of sobbing overtook the room as the cheers and applause faded after Judge James Hallock pronounced Jack McCullough guilty of murder, kidnapping and abduction in Maria Ridulph's death. Family and friends of the girl fell into each other's arms; others walked up to hug and kiss prosecutors.
McCullough was around 17 years old on the snowy night in December 1957 when the second-grader went missing in Sycamore, about 60 miles west of Chicago. He later enlisted in the military, and ultimately settled in Seattle where he worked as a Washington state police officer.
Maria's playmate the night she disappeared, Kathy Chapman, was a star witness in the case. She testified that McCullough was the young man who approached the girls as they played, asking if they liked dolls and if they wanted piggyback rides.
"A weight has been lifted off my shoulders," said Chapman, who is now 63, said outside on the courthouse steps. "Maria finally has the justice he deserves."
Others in court included Jeanne Taylor, 57, who said children in the close-knit town lived in terror after Maria's disappearance.
It all happened in an era when grease-backed hair and automobile tail fins were still in, and when child abductions, if not unheard of, rarely made headlines.
This one did.
President Dwight Eisenhower and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover asked to be kept apprised of the search for the girl, which lasted five months and ended when her decomposed body was found in a forest 120 miles from her hometown.
Testimony, which lasted four days, was often dramatic and, for friends and family, emotional.
The victim's brother, Charles Ridulph, took to the stand to describe his sister as a sweet, smart, pretty and outgoing child beloved by the family.
McCullough's half-sister told the court that their mother, Eileen Tessier, said on her death bed in 1994 that McCullough -- whose name was then John Tessier -- had killed Maria.
"She grabbed my wrist and said, `Those two little girls, the one that disappeared, John did it,"' Janet Tessier said.
After the verdict, Janet Tessier's eyes were red with tears.
"He is as evil as prosecutors painted -- and some," she said.
Chapman said she was playing with Maria on Dec. 3, 1957, on the corner of Archie Place and Center Cross Street when a young man calling himself "Johnny" approached and talked to them. Maria ran home to get a doll; Chapman went to get mittens. When Chapman returned, her friend and the man were gone.
She never saw Maria alive again.
A prosecutor laid out black-and-white photographs of similar looking men, and Chapman pointed to one of McCullough, saying she was sure he was the man who called himself "Johnny."
A Seattle investigator who interviewed McCullough last year, Irene Lau, said McCullough remembered Maria, calling her "stunningly beautiful." But he maintained he had nothing to do with her disappearance or death.
McCullough was on an early list of suspects in 1957. But he had an alibi, saying that on the day, he had traveled to Chicago to get a medical exam before enlisting in the Air Force.
The case was reopened after his old girlfriend contacted police with evidence calling his alibi into question -- she had found his unused train ticket from Rockford to Chicago on the day Maria disappeared. He was arrested on July 1, 2011, in Washington state at a retirement home where he worked as a security guard.
The trial has been complicated by faded memories and, in McCullough's case, an absence of physical evidence.
McCullough waived his right for a jury trial and opted for a bench trial instead.
Among the other state witnesses were inmates jailed with McCullough as he awaited trial.
One said he overheard McCullough say he strangled Maria with a wire. Another said McCullough told him he killed her accidentally -- that she fell as he gave her a piggyback ride, then smothered her as he tried to stop her from screaming.
Prosecutors say McCullough stabbed the girl in the throat and chest.
In his opening statement, DeKalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell described the night Maria went out to play on a street corner with her friend.
"This ordinary night would end in horror," he said. "It would end with this defendant dumping her body in the cold, dark woods like a piece of garbage."

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A long time coming but finally justice for Maria!! :cheering:



Last edited by lisette on Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Normal Re: 54 year old Illinois child abduction and murder case solved, Maria Ridulph, 7, abducted in 1957 by Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, being held in Seattle on $3 million bail.

Post by lisette on Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:08 pm

Jack Daniel McCullough: Man Who Killed Seven-Year-Old Girl Found Guilty 55 Years Later



..The former Washington state police officer’s half-sister, Janet Tessier, expressed her satisfaction that he was found guilty. Tessier, who testified during the trial that McCullough’s own mother admitted on her deathbed that her son was involved, stated, “He’s an evil son of a bitch, and he’s right where he’s supposed to be.”

Prosecutors alleged that McCullough kidnapped seven-year-old Maria while she was playing with a friend, Kathy Chapman, near their houses in Sycamore, Illinois. The 1957 case unsettled parents across America and even then-President Dwight Eisenhower asked that investigators kept him up to date...

...Jack Daniel McCullough will be sentenced later this year in the kidnap and murder of Maria Ridulph.

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Post by lisette on Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:14 pm

...A sentencing hearing was set for Nov. 30. DeKalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell said after the verdict that he wouldn't speculate on sentencing at this point, but said McCullough can choose whether to be sentenced under 1957 or current-day statutes....

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Post by TerryRose on Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:17 pm

Glad that the child got justice after all these years. It is remarkable that he stayed clean after that and didn't get caught committing more crimes during all these years.
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Post by lisette on Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:28 am

A deathbed accusation by McCullough's mother in 1994 – passed on to police by his half-sister in 2008 – led to a chain of events that brought about his conviction.

His mother, Eileen Tessier, had lied to police canvassing the neighborhood in 1957 about her son's whereabouts, buttressing his alibi, prosecutor Julie Trevartchen said Friday.

"She knew what she did and she didn't want to die with that on her conscience," she said.

McCullough's girlfriend in the 1950s also contacted police with evidence that called his alibi into question. She had found his unused train ticket from Rockford to Chicago for the day Maria disappeared.

The case seemed a long shot – at least at the beginning.

DeKalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell was taken aback when investigators told him they had a suspect in a 1957 murder. "When they said 1957, I said, you mean 1977? 1997?" he said Friday.

McCullough was arrested on July 1, 2011, in Washington state at a retirement home where he worked as a security guard.

One reason authorities felt confident they had the right suspect was that Maria's friend, Chapman, picked out McCullough as the teen who identified himself as "Johnny" while the girls were playing.

For decades, that day was never far from Chapman's mind, she said. She would scan faces everywhere to see if any of them looked like that man.

"I never stopped looking for Johnny's face," Chapman said Friday.

During closing arguments, public defender Tom McCulloch said no physical evidence tied his client to the crime, and he raised doubts about Chapman's memory.

But Trevartchen said it wasn't surprising she recalled that night with such clarity.

"Little kids remember the really good things that happen and the really bad things," she told the court. "And they remember the face of the man who took their little friend."

Maria vanished at a time when grease-backed hair and automobile tail fins were in. Child abductions, if not unheard of, rarely made headlines.

This one did.

President Dwight Eisenhower even asked to be kept apprised of the search for the girl, which ended when her decomposed body was found 120 miles from her hometown.

The otherwise sleepy town of Sycamore, 60 west of Chicago, would never be the same.

"I had nightmares – all Sycamore kids did," said Jeanne Taylor, 57, who grew up near the Ridulphs and attended each day of the trial. "From then on, I never trusted strangers."

To conceal the body, prosecutors said, McCullough dragged it through a window at his home, then later loaded it into a car and drove to a wooded area.

"He left her there for animals to feed on her body," prosecutor Victor Escarcida said in his closing.

Maria's brother, Charles Ridulph, took the stand to describe his sister as a sweet, smart, outgoing girl beloved by the entire family. He was relieved by the verdict, though he said the trial had been stressful.

"I feel totally spent, exhausted," he said. "I am not pleased with the new thoughts that I will have (about Maria's death). Some things I wish I did not know."

The half dozen relatives of McCullough at the trial all said they wanted a guilty verdict.

Members of both families hugged each other after the lanky McCullough was led away in handcuffs. When sentenced later this year, he faces the possibility of life behind bars.

One of his half-sisters, Janet Tessier, who told police about her mother's deathbed comments, spoke with her eyes still red from tears.

"He is as evil as prosecutors painted – and some," she said minutes after the verdict.

At a news conference later where Maria's brother and sister spoke, Tessier asked if she could step up and say something to them – to apologize her brother wasn't caught decades earlier.

"I'm so sorry," she said, her voice cracking as she looked at the Ridulphs. "I'm so sorry it took so long."


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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:13 am


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Post by lisette on Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:43 pm

TR wrote:
It is remarkable that he stayed clean after that and didn't get caught committing more crimes during all these years.

TR, he was accused of sexually molesting a 14-year-old while a police officer in the 1980s:

After his discharge in the early 1960s, he briefly returned to town before departing again, eventually settling in Washington state. He changed his name to Jack McCullough and worked as a police officer, though his law enforcement career ended in the 1980s when he was accused of sexually abusing a teenage runaway whom McCullough and his girlfriend had taken in. He eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in the case.

Also:
As part of the re-opened investigation, police interviewed one of McCullough's sisters, who reported that McCullough and two other men sexually assaulted her in 1962 in Sycamore when she was 14. He was charged with that crime, too, in 2011, but was acquitted in April by Judge Robbin Stuckert.

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And:
In the court documents revealing this information, it also talked about a history of sexual abuse. A relative of McCullough told police he sexually abused her and other neighborhood girls. In addition, an ex-wife says she found nude photos of a young relative of his taped to a drawer in his desk.
After his military service, McCullough worked for the Lacey and Milton Police Departments. While working in Milton, a scandal broke. A 14-year-old accused McCullough of sexually assaulting her. He plead guilty to a lesser charge and left the department.

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So he really didn't stay all that clean during all those years...Just got by with it.
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Post by TerryRose on Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:40 pm

Wish it weren't so, knowing that this criminal got away with so much for so very long is just sickening.
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Post by lisette on Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:22 pm

Mystery behind 2005 disappearance of the daughter of the man convicted in 1957 abduction and murder of Maria Ridulph

By JOHN BRESLIN
PUBLISHED: 23:41 EST, 18 September 2012 |

Convicted child murderer Jack McCullough hid a dark family secret while awaiting trial for the abduction and killing of seven year old Maria Ridulph.
Ex-cop McCullough, 72, was convicted last week of murdering the child in 1957, as prosecutors successfully wrapped up one of the oldest child abduction cases in US history.
But the Mail Online can exclusively reveal McCullough's own daughter is missing -- and it's not known if she's dead or alive.
In a bizarre twist that sheds more light on the convicted killer's complicated family history, his daughter Christine Marie Tessier is missing without trace since 2005.


Christine Marie Tessier

McCullough changed his name to John Tessier, taking his mother's maiden name some time after he broke up with his first wife, Sonia. He also has a son he has not seen in many years.
Maria's brother claims he has been told McCullough is suspected of having some involvement in his daughter's disappearance.
Police in Illinois who investigated Maria's murder referred questions to Texas, where the then 34-year-old Christine Tessier disappeared. Detectives in San Antonio were unable last night to confirm whether McCullough was ever looked at or questioned in connection with the disappearance.
But Charles Ridulph, 11 at the time of his little sister's abduction, said he was told by the local DeKalb State's Attorney's office that McCullough's daughter had disappeared.
'I think it's a sad, sad situation that he was not arrested and confined long before this because I am certain there are other victims over these many years,' Mr Ridulph said.
'I have no doubt whatsoever. As a matter of fact his own daughter is missing and he's suspected of having something to do with that.


Young Jack McCullough

'I think that's the real tragedy here and even in his older years I believe it is important for him to not be allowed to have any contact with the public. I believe he needs to remain in custody for the rest of his life.'
Christine Tessier was last seen at a motel in San Antonio in June 2005. She was last seen with a boyfriend. She is listed as endangered missing, meaning police fear she may be dead.
Jack McCullough's wife Sue, who is adamant her husband had nothing to do with the murder of Maria, said he had no physical contact with his daughter for many years.

'She was into drugs. She left her kids with her mother and took off and that's the last anyone heard of her. Her boyfriends were of very bad quality.'

He spoke on the phone with her and at one point she planned to come to Seattle, Washington, where they lived but it never happened.
And in connection with the murder of Maria, Sue McCullough declared: 'Jack did not do this.'
Mrs McCullough, unable to see her husband since he was first arrested in July 2011 and taken to Illinois for trial, believes McCullough did not stand a chance of being acquitted.
'He's got proof he was in Chicago. He was getting a military exam. A colonel and two sergeants gave affidavits that they had seen Jack this time, this time and the other time.
'Jack never had a chance. They would not let any of the evidence that said where he was.'
Five affidavits taken by the FBI at the time, which placed McCullough far from the murder scene, were ruled inadmissible by Judge James Hallock.
In her very first ever interview, Mrs McCullough said: 'I know a person does not change. They don't kill somebody and say oh that was fun but I will never do it again. He does not even kill bugs, he takes them outside.
'He has already been gone for 14 months. He's an old guy and he does not have many years to screw around with this. My only thing is trying to get Jack home.'
But Charles Ridulph said: 'Regarding his conviction when I was given the details of the state's case early on I never had any doubt that this was in fact the person who had kidnapped and murdered and murdered my sister.
'However because of the age of this case we were cautioned from the very beginning by the State's Attorney and many others that it would certainly be a hard case to prove but as time went on and the pieces began to fall into place I did not have any doubt that he would be convicted.'
Key to the prosecution case was a death bed statement by McCullough's mother, Eileen Tessier. His half sister testified that her mother identified McCullough as Maria's killer.
Also helping to convict McCullough was Maria's best friend at the time, who picked the pensioner out of a photo line up as the same young man named Johnny who was last seen with the young girl ahead of her disappearance.
And the judge also took into account the evidence of three inmates who claimed McCullough confessed to them while awaiting trial.
Sue McCullough said another half sister, in the room when the confession was made, did not hear anything. She also questioned how the friend was able to identify her husband after 55 years as the same person as a teenager and dismissed altogether the testimony of the jailhouse snitches.
But McCullough opted for a bench trial, before a judge alone, without a jury.
His wife said: 'We thought, wrongly of course, that because the judge had seen all five affidavits that he could not in good conscience convict someone who did not do anything.'


Suspicious: Maria's brother, Charles Ridulph, says authorities suspect McCullough of being involved in his daughter' disappearance

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:26 pm

This is unbelievable. What a Monster!!

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Post by lisette on Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:03 pm

Doug Moe: Tragedy leads to answers for family

Mark Lemberger was in Madison in 2008 visiting his mother when a woman who helped care for her took him aside and told him an incredible story.

Incredible stories were not new to Mark. He moved to Madison from South Carolina in the late 1980s to investigate the 1911 murder of Annie Lemberger, a 7-year-old Madison girl who would have been Mark's aunt.

The case had never been officially solved, though at various times a neighbor, James "Dogskin" Johnson, and Annie's own father, Martin Lemberger, were accused of the crime, which made headlines across the country. Mark first heard about it in the 1980s when he read a newspaper account published on an anniversary.

"The story picked me up by the lapels and wouldn't let me down," Lemberger recalled this week.

He is back living in South Carolina. But Mark spent several years in Madison researching the case, and in 1993, his book, "Crime of Magnitude," was published. In the book, Lemberger concluded the neighbor, Johnson, murdered Annie.

Among the readers of the book, more than a decade later, was Janet Tessier. Mark knew her as Jan. She was a friend of the Lemberger family and helped take care of Ami Lemberger, Mark's mom, who lives in the Madison area. It was Ami who gave Tessier a copy of "Crime of Magnitude."

On Mark's visit in 2008, Tessier told him she read his book. And then she said there was a story from her own family's past involving the unsolved murder of a young girl.

The story dated to 1957, but it took a turn with a private deathbed confession in 1994. Fourteen years later, Tessier told Lemberger in 2008, she was still haunted by it, and uncertain of what to do.

On Dec. 3, 1957, in Sycamore, Ill., 60 miles west of Chicago, 7-year-old Maria Ridulph was playing on a street corner with a friend when the two girls were approached by a young man calling himself Johnny. He asked if they liked dolls and mentioned giving them a piggyback ride.

Maria's friend went home to get some mittens. When she returned, Maria and the man were gone. It was almost five months later when Maria's decomposed body was discovered in a wooded area east of Galena.

The Ridulph and Tessier families lived in the same neighborhood. Janet Tessier's half-brother, John Tessier, who would have been around 17 years old in 1957, was an early suspect in the crime, according to news accounts.

But he never was charged. A Chicago Tribune story last week said his (and Janet's) mother, Eileen Tessier, told investigators John was home the night Maria disappeared. In another account, he was reported to have taken a train earlier that day to Chicago.

Nearly four decades later, as Eileen lay dying in a hospital in 1994, she took Janet's wrist and whispered, "Those two little girls, the one that disappeared, John did it."

That was the story Janet related to Mark Lemberger in Madison in 2008, after reading his book on Annie's murder.

"It was very stressful for her," Lemberger said this week. "She was very scared of this man," even though by 2008 her half-brother was almost 70, had changed his name to Jack McCullough, and was living in the Seattle area.

Lemberger recalled that Janet asked, "What do you think I should do?"

Mark encouraged her to go to the police with the story. "Find a detective who is a bulldog," Lemberger said.

Janet wound up speaking to a captain with the Illinois State Police. The captain agreed to look into it, and then, unsolicited, said his officers were like "bulldogs."

Janet saw the bulldog reference as an omen, and investigators began to turn up more evidence. Kathy Chapman, the girl who was playing with Maria when they were approached, picked John Tessier out of a lineup of photos from that era. An old girlfriend produced Tessier's Chicago train ticket — unused — from the day Maria disappeared.

John Tessier — now Jack McCullough — was arrested in Washington state in July 2011.

Last week, McCullough was tried for murder and kidnapping in front of a judge in DeKalb County. He waived a jury trial. Among the witnesses testifying was Janet Tessier, who related her mother's deathbed words.

McCullough was found guilty on Friday.

The next day Mark Lemberger sent Janet a note of congratulations. She wrote back thanking him for encouraging her to come forward.

It was hard not to think of Annie, dead a century now, and how her story helped find justice for another 7-year-old who disappeared.

Doug Moe

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Post by Guest on Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:31 pm

I think it's a sad, sad situation that he was not arrested and confined long before this because I am certain there are other victims over these many years,' Mr Ridulph said.
I agree
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Post by lisette on Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:11 pm

McCullough’s attorneys ask for new trial

SYCAMORE – Attorneys for the man found guilty last month of kidnapping and killing Maria Ridulph more than 50 years ago have filed a motion seeking a new trial or not guilty verdict.

Jack D. McCullough, 72, is awaiting sentencing on charges of murder, kidnapping and abduction of an infant. Prosecutors said on Dec. 3, 1957, he abducted 7-year-old Ridulph, who was last seen near her home at the corner of Center Cross Street and Archie Place, and killed her.

Ridulph’s remains were found five months later in rural Jo Daviess County. During the trial, a forensic anthropologist testified that marks on bones of her throat and chest areas looked to be those left by a knife.

McCullough’s attorney, interim Public Defender Tom McCulloch, said the post-trial motion, which allows a judge to change his or her mind, had to be filed within 30 days of the verdict.

McCulloch said he was frustrated by Hallock’s decision to allow hearsay evidence the state sought to include and not admit hearsay evidence defense attorneys wanted to use.

“I don’t think this was worked out to be a very level playing field,” he said.

Within the seven-page motion, defense attorneys claim Kane County Associate Judge James Hallock erred for a number of reasons, including that he barred the defense from using FBI reports that supported McCullough’s alibi, allowed a jailhouse inmate to testify as a John Doe witness on behalf of the state, and admitted Eileen Tessier’s deathbed statement but not her medical records.

The motion also mentions Kathy Sigman Chapman’s unreliable photo identification of McCullough should not have been allowed. Chapman was playing with Ridulph and was the last person to see her the night she disappeared.

Defense attorneys said the FBI records supported McCullough’s claim that he was in Chicago and Rockford for military purposes at the time of Ridulph’s disappearance. Hallock ruled that the records could not be used as evidence because the people in them were dead or unavailable and could not be cross-examined.

The John Doe witness testified that McCullough shared details of Ridulph’s death with him. McCullough’s half-sisters testified that Eileen Tessier, McCullough’s mother, said “Those two little girls, the one that disappeared, John did it,” just weeks before her death in 1994.
Defense attorneys contended that Tessier was being given morphine at the time and was confused.

Prosecutor Julie Trevarthen with the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office called McCulloch’s motion standard and said it’s something prosecutors expect in such a case. Every murder conviction gets appealed, she said.

“It would be unusual to not have them be filed,” she said. Hallock followed the law, she added, and there was some hearsay evidence in the case that was admissible under appropriate exception.

McCulloch said the motion has to raise errors attorneys believe are relevant, and the judge’s decision determines whether the case goes to appellate court.

McCullough’s sentencing is set for Nov. 30.

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:15 pm

Lisette, Thank you so much for this update. This degenerate needs to Finally Fry. It's been a VERY long time coming!

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