Suspect In 1957 Murder Charged In Separate Rape

SYCAMORE, Ill. (AP) — A 71-year-old Washington man accused in the 1957 kidnapping and killing of a 7-year-old Illinois girl has been charged in a separate case with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl from the same small town.

Illinois State Police announced the grand jury indictment of Jack McCullough on Friday but didn’t say when the sexual assault happened. He was indicted this summer on felony murder, kidnapping and abduction charges in the death of Maria Ridulph of Sycamore.

McCullough was arrested in Seattle in July in one of the oldest cold-case murders in the nation to be reopened. He has been held on $3 million bail in a jail about 65 miles west of Chicago.

The 14-year-old girl told investigators McCullough raped her when she was 14 in Sycamore, prosecutors and state police said. He’s now also charged with one count of child sexual assault and four counts of indecent liberties with a child.

“Sadly, we have another victim, and for the families of all victims, the pain never goes away,” Illinois State Police director Hiram Grau said in a news release.

DeKalb County public defender Regina Harris did not immediately return telephone and e-mail requests for comment Sunday.

Maria was abducted as she played outside her home in December 1957. Her body was found the following spring in a wooded area about 120 miles away. Her case made national headlines, and President Dwight Eisenhower and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reportedly requested daily updates on the massive search for her.

In a July 7 jailhouse interview with The Associated Press, McCullough said he didn’t kill the girl and maintained the same alibi he gave when first questioned by investigators when he was 18 — that he could not have committed the murder because he had traveled to Chicago that day for military medical exams before enlisting in the Air Force.

  • Jenny

    1957? Good luck proving anything beyond a doubt from that long ago.

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