Saturday, July 2, 2011


COPS have made an astonishing arrest in a murder case which is more than 50-years old.  Back in December 1957 Maria Ridulph was playing with a friend outside her Sycamore, IL home when a young man walked up and introduce himself as "Johnny".  She accepted piggyback rides from the mysterious stranger and her friend left her, playing with the mysterious stranger. It was the last time the girl dubbed "Pretty Maria" by newspapers at the time, would be seen alive.  For the next five months, almost the entire 7000-strong community, searched alongside FBI agents for the girl and then in April 1958, Maria’s decomposed remains turned up beneath an oak tree near Galena.
Now more than half-a-century later Jack Daniel McCullough, now 71
has been arrested on murder charges.
Maria’s brother, Charles Ridulph, 65, was stunned by the news, telling The Chicago Sun Times he had assumed whoever killed her was long dead.
“We’re in shock, to tell you the truth,” said the old timer, who was just 11, when his sister disappeared.
“The shock that it [was] someone that we know from the neighborhood is just an added shock,” said Ridulph, who still lives in Sycamore.
McCullough, also known as John Tessier, was living in Seattle at the time of his arrest and will now be extradited to Illinois to face the charges.
DeKalb County investigators said he had been a suspect at the time of Maria’s disappearance, but that “the case ran cold after McCullough joined the military and changed his name.”
At the time claimed he’d been on a train from Rockford to Chicago on the day Maria was abducted, court documents state.
But the case was re-opened last year after one of his ex-girlfriends in 2010 came across an unused and unstamped train ticket for the Rockford-to-Chicago trip, ripping apart his alibi. 
Mary Katherine Chapman was the little girl playing with Maria Ridulph the day she was kidnapped. Chapman chose to speak through her husband Friday, saying she’s delighted someone has finally been charged with her childhood friend’s murder.

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