Local

Judge To Hold Hearing On Reporters’ Notes In Ridulph Case

Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, was charged with kidnapping and murder in the 1957 slaying of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph in Sycamore, Ill. (Photo credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office)

Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, was charged with kidnapping and murder in the 1957 slaying of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph in Sycamore, Ill. (Photo credit: DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office)

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Updated 08/08/11 – 12:23 p.m.

SYCAMORE, Ill. (CBS) — A DeKalb County judge will hold a hearing next month to determine whether two reporters should give prosecutors their notes on jailhouse interviews with a man charged in the 1957 kidnapping and murder of a 7-year-old girl.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding reports, DeKalb County State’s Attorney Clay Campbell filed subpoenas last week, asking that notes taken by the Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press be turned over to the court this week. Reporters from the news organizations conducted separate interviews with Jack Daniel McCullough last month at the King County Jail in Seattle.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

At a hearing on Monday, a judge set a Sept. 29 court date to address whether the reporters have to give their notes to prosecutors.

Attorneys for the news organizations have argued that the subpoenas violate the Illinois Reporter’s Privilege Act and the U.S. and Illinois constitutions.

The Monday hearing will be the second for McCullough, 71, who is charged with killing Maria Ridulph, 7, a former neighbor from Sycamore.

When she vanished, Maria had just accepted a piggyback ride from a young man named Johnny; back then, McCullough used the name John Tessier.

McCullough has said he has an ironclad alibi for the murder, that he was headed to Chicago to undergo medical exams before joining the military. He used the same alibi when he was questioned about the murder at the time, then disappeared.

But one of McCullough’s former girlfriends recently found an unused train ticket hidden behind a photograph he had given her, which authorities have said shatters the alibi.

McCullough later became a police officer in Washington state. At the time of his arrest, he was living in a retirement community in Seattle and working as a night watchman.

Meanwhile, Maria’s body was exhumed last month, in the hopes of finding DNA or other scientific evidence that could help determine exactly how she died.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)