Judge Overturns 1957 Cold Case Murder Conviction

Today a judge overturned the murder conviction of Jack McCullough.  McCullough was convicted of the 1957 murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph.


In 2012, a judge convicted McCullough in Maria’s death he was sentence to life in prison. After Prosecutor Richard Schmack found evidence that McCullough was wrongly found guilty Judge William P. Bradley threw out the conviction. McCullough was released later that day.

The judge pointed to several factors in his decision, including records that support McCullough’s long-held contention that he was about 40 miles away from Sycamore when Maria was abducted. Newly discovered phone records proved McCullough had made a collect call to his parents at from a phone booth in downtown Rockford – which is 40 miles northwest of where Maria was abducted.

“I was on the other end of that phone, in Rockford, three minutes before she was kidnapped. Try and make that happen. Only Scotty could make that happen, if he beamed me up.” Said McCullough

No physical evidence ties him to the crime.

Maria’s family remains convinced that McCullough is guilty and have sought the appointment of a special prosecutor

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