HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Ex-policeman gets life fo...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:39 PM

Ex-policeman gets life for 1957 death of Ill. girl

Source: Associated Press

Jack McCullough, 73, was convicted in September in one of the oldest unsolved crimes in American history to make it to trial. He was sentenced in a small town courtroom a few blocks from where Maria Ridulph played with a friend on Dec. 3, 1957, before she was grabbed, choked and stabbed to death in an alley. The 7-year-old's body was found months later, dumped in woods more than 100 miles away.

The little girl's friends and relatives didn't utter a sound or betray the slightest emotion as a silver-haired Jack McCullough stood, turned to them and proclaimed his innocence.

"I did not, did not, kill Maria Ridulph," said McCullough, who grew up in Sycamore and was 17 when Ridulph died. "It was a crime I did not, would not, could not have done."

Judge James Hallock admonished McCullough to face him, not the spectators, and a sheriff's deputy stood behind McCullough to block his view of Ridulph's relatives and the childhood friend who was left behind.

"He can say all he wants to say," Kathy Chapman, now 63, said afterward. "This finally puts this part of my life to a resting point."

Chapman had been playing with Ridulph in the snow when she ran home to get her mittens, leaving her friend with a teenager who had been giving them piggyback rides. When she returned, both were gone.



Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/ex-policeman-gets-life-1957-death-ill-girl-221429523.html

10 replies, 2487 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ex-policeman gets life for 1957 death of Ill. girl (Original post)
Douglas Carpenter Dec 2012 OP
bluestateguy Dec 2012 #1
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #5
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 #8
Hassin Bin Sober Dec 2012 #2
Douglas Carpenter Dec 2012 #3
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #6
azurnoir Dec 2012 #4
Kelvin Mace Dec 2012 #7
Ron Obvious Dec 2012 #10
Rowdyboy Dec 2012 #9

Response to Douglas Carpenter (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:19 AM

1. Too bad Cold Case is off the air

Great script this would be.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bluestateguy (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:46 AM

5. I'm a total Cold Case junkie. That has to be one of the best shows

 

on television week in and week out ever. I watch re-runs on ION out here in LA as much as I can. Only The Good Wife comes even close among current shows being broadcast, imho.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bluestateguy (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:59 PM

8. real stories are on ID channel, hour long episodes about solved cold cases

Many solved by DNA. Crimes committed in 60s, 70s, 80s. The cold case detective opens the file and finds that someone saved blood/fluid samples.

They pretty much knew who did it at the time but didn't have enough for a jury. DNA confirms the killer.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Douglas Carpenter (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:29 AM

2. This seems a bit odd to me:

On Monday, he pointed to a white box that he said contained 4,000 pages of FBI documents that he said would prove he was not in Sycamore when Ridulph disappeared. His attorneys had argued during the trial that the material supported McCullough's alibi, but Hallock ruled it inadmissible because the people in the documents were dead and could not be cross-examined. On Monday, McCullough's attorney said there would be an appeal and that the FBI documents would be part of that appeal.


How does that work and will it, in fact, be grounds for appeal?

I mean, if the state waits fifty years to bring a case, should it be allowed to deny exculpatory evidence due to the fact the corroborators are dead? It seems to me the benefit should go to the accused. Not the state.

I don't know the first thing about this case but that just seems wrong to me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:32 AM

3. I noticed that too

It is always the burden of the state to prove guilt even when the crime was committed yesterday. In this case an elderly man in his 70's is being accused of something that happened when he was seventeen years old. It sounds outrageous that he cannot put forward evidence that collaborates his claim that was not even physically in the same town at the time -

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:51 AM

6. Yes ...

That is grounds for appeal ... And, IMHO, it verdict will likely be over-turned because the documents should have been allowed to be entered.

The judge apparently ruled the documents violated the Hearsay Rule of Evidence; but I don't see how. The documents, assuming that they were prepared in the regular course of business (e.g., a bus ticket or gas receipt, a physical examination, a signed document), especially documents prepared by a governmental unit (as an airforce medical exam would be) would survive any Hearsay Objection.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Douglas Carpenter (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:40 AM

4. something else the story is not clear on was anyone save the half sister

witness to the mothers death bed confession? It seems odd that FBI evidence was labeled inadmissible but what seems hearsay was not, there is much that is curious about this case

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Douglas Carpenter (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:57 PM

7. This is a questionable conviction

based on a hearsay deathbed confession which merely repudiates an alibi.

Also, the most unreliable testimony is eyewitness testimony, never mind 50+ year old eyewitness testimony.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:07 AM

10. Agreed

Agreed about eyewitness testimony. I know nothing about this case, but I was struck by:

On Monday, he pointed to a white box that he said contained 4,000 pages of FBI documents that he said would prove he was not in Sycamore when Ridulph disappeared. His attorneys had argued during the trial that the material supported McCullough's alibi, but Hallock ruled it inadmissible because the people in the documents were dead and could not be cross-examined


Then what about the mother's deathbed reversal of the alibi? I imagine it wasn't admissable either, but did the jury know about it, or was the alibi allowed to stand?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Douglas Carpenter (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:27 PM

9. Had I been on the jury the verdict would likely have been different....Nothing I've read in this

article or elsewhere about the case makes me certain beyond a reasonable doubt-not even close.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread