Jack McCullough Sentenced for 1957 Murder

By: Landon Cassman Email
By: Landon Cassman Email

SYCAMORE (WIFR) -- One of the nation’s oldest unsolved crimes has come to a close. Jack McCullough was sentenced today for the 1957 murder of Maria Ridulph. Maria was seven years old at the time, and lived near McCullough in Sycamore.

Charles Ridulph was just a child when his sister Maria Ridulph was kidnapped and murdered. Now, her killer, Jack McCullough is going to prison for the rest of his life.

"I would not have been happy with any verdict other than the maximum because I think it makes a statement that this community will not allow children to be murdered and abused," said Ridulph.

McCullough has professed his innocence all along, maintaining his position during the sentencing hearing. The judge even ordered him to quit looking at Ridulph's family.

"It did not bother me, but he looked right in our eyes, and was definitely addressing us,” said Pat Quinn, the victim’s sister.

In addressing the court, McCullough urged the judge to read more than 4,000 of FBI documents previously refused as evidence. He said "in the name of honor and justice, open the box to view the truth."

"Yeah, he going to come up and say that, but like Clay said, it's a bunch of nonsense. The times that he gave were wrong, the stuff that he said, was just absolutely wrong,” said Brion Hanley, a special agent with the Illinois State Police.

The Ridulph family says they can rest easy, knowing justice has been served.

McCullough’s attorney would not speak to the media. They plan to appeal McCullough’s sentence.


SYCAMORE (WIFR) -- 73-year-old Jack McCullough will spend the rest of his life in prison. You may recall he is charged with kidnapping and killing seven year old Maria Ridulph nearly six decades ago.

McCullough was also sentenced to 5 years for kidnapping and 7 years for abduction.

We will bring you the latest information tonight at 5.


CHICAGO (AP) -- A 73-year-old man convicted this fall in the 1957 slaying of a 7-year-old girl is scheduled to return to court for sentencing.

Jack McCullough faces a maximum sentence of life in prison when he stands before the judge on Monday in the DeKalb County community of Sycamore, where Maria Ridulph was abducted more than a half century ago.

During the trial, prosecutors contended that McCullough, who was 17-year-old John Tessier at the time, approached Maria and a friend as they were playing in the front yard of Maria's home.

Prosecutors said when the other girl ran home to get her mittens, McCullough dragged Maria into an alley where he choked her and stabbed her before dumping her body in a wooded area.

McCullough was convicted in September.


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