1957 Murder Cold Case Conviction Appealed by Jack McCullough, 74

Image: 1957 Murder Cold Case Conviction Appealed by Jack McCullough, 74

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 09:10 AM

By Nick Sanchez

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Jack McCullough was convicted just two years ago for the 1957 abduction and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph in one of the oldest cold cases to ever go to trial, and now the 74-year-old is determined to get the conviction overturned.

CNN reported that McCullough, a former police officer, filed a nearly 80-page appellate brief Thursday in Illinois that claims the evidence used against him was flimsy, and did not prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

Among the evidence cited are "personal memories of what occurred 55 years ago; a photo identification made 53 years after the incident; testimony from jailhouse informants; innocuous statements from the defendant; and an improperly admitted and inconclusive statement from the defendant's mother while on morphine and Haldol just before her death."

Chief among McCullough's criticisms is the testimony of Kathy Chapman, who is now in her 60s. Chapman picked out McCullough from an old photograph during the 2012 trial. She said the then-teenage McCullough from the photo was the one who gave her friend Maria a piggyback ride before she disappeared. McCullough and his defenders say it is highly unlikely she could reliably recall such a childhood memory from 55 years ago.

McCullough also took issue with Judge James Hallock's judgements on what constituted as evidence.

He excluded FBI reports from the 1957 kidnapping investigation that documented an alibi for McCullough, and excluded local police detectives' mid-1990s investigation that concluded that another man had committed the crime. The judge also allowed McCullough's sisters testify about a deathbed statement made by their mother through an exception to the hearsay rule.

The sisters said their terminally-ill, cancer-stricken mother, Eileen Tessier, told them "John did it," but gave contradicting testimony as to what "it" was. Tessier herself was heavily sedated at the time, "basically comatose" and often "pleasantly confused" the testimony showed.

State-appointed appellate defender Paul Glaser wrote that, "In a court with murder charges at issue, the law demands more than nostalgia. It demands proof beyond a reasonable doubt."

Maria Ridulph went missing on Dec. 3, 1957, and her body was found the following spring in a grove of trees 120 miles from her home.

Urgent: Assess Your Heart Attack Risk in Minutes. Click Here.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

'Frozen': Most Popular Toy in Holiday Survey Dethrones Barbie

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 19:46 PM

Barbie has been the most popular holiday gift for more than a decade, but this year the iconic doll will have to let it  . . .

Nor'easter, Snow Threaten Northeast Travel Ahead of Thanksgiving

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 17:50 PM

The Northeast is bracing for a Nor'easter that is expected to snarl holiday travel plans on Wednesday . . .

Michael Hanline Freed After 1980 Murder Conviction Overturned

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 15:34 PM

Michael Hanline, who was convicted of murder in 1980, was released on bail Monday after prosecutors said they are no lon . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved