Believed to be the Oldest Cold Case Brought to Trial in U.S. History
Sycamore, IL – Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau commended the outstanding investigative efforts by ISP Zone 1 investigators and special agents in the 55 year cold case murder of 7 year old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore, Illinois.
Ridulph was kidnapped and murdered in 1957, and on September 14, 2012, Kane County Associate Judge James Hallock found Jack McCullough, 72, guilty of murder, kidnapping and abduction of an infant.
A deathbed confession by McCullough’s mother in 1994, was passed on to Illinois State Police Zone 1 by McCullough’s half-sister in 2008. Captain Tony Rapaz took the initial call that launched the ISP cold case murder investigation. “Every tip to law enforcement officers is taken seriously because you never know where the evidence may lead to,” said ISP Captain Tony Rapaz. “Within 2 weeks of receiving this peculiar phone call, an investigation was immediately launched,” he said.
Rapaz enlisted the resources of ISP Zone 1 investigators - Special Agent Brion Hanley, Sr. Special Agent Todd Damasky and Sr. Criminal Intelligence Supervisor, Larry Kot. The lead investigator, Special Agent Brion Hanley, recalls the case as being extraordinarily complicated with both families having to relive painful grief and horrible memories. “Without the cooperation of the families in their pursuit of justice and closure, our work as law enforcement would not be possible,” said ISP Special Agent Brion Hanley. “Their memories and solid, positive identification of photos, times and locations, were just as powerful as the investigative leads that solved the case.”
“These investigators did an extraordinary job in developing a timeline with powerful statements from family members and community residents that presented the facts that eventually helped convict a murderer,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “Since 2008, they have tirelessly applied their investigative skills to this cold case by using good old fashioned police work,” he added.
Grau also underscored the importance of teamwork by DeKalb State’s Attorney Clay Campbell and his team of prosecutors, Seattle Police, and the Ridulph and Tessier family members in seeking justice and closure.