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Man Gets Life For 1957 Murder

December 11, 2012 by  

Man Gets Life For 1957 Murder, A former Washington state policeman convicted of kidnapping and murdering a young Illinois girl more than a half century ago was sentenced Monday to life in prison. Jack McCullough, 73, was convicted in September in one of the oldest unsolved crimes in American history to make it to trial. Judge James Hallock had the option of sentencing McCullough from 14 years in prison to life.

The sentencing took place in Sycamore, the small community where 7-year-old Maria Ridulph was abducted and killed in December of 1957. Like McCullough’s trial, it was expected to be emotional for members of both Ridulph’s family and McCullough’s family, as well as 63-year-old Kathy Chapman, a childhood friend of Ridulph’s who was with her until moments before she was abducted and later testified at the trial.

An unrepentant McCullough spoke before the sentencing and was admonished by Hallock for turning to face Ridulph’s family and friends. The judge ordered McCullough to face the bench rather than the gallery, but McCullough kept pivoting toward them.

“I did not, did not, kill Maria Ridulph,” said McCullough, who grew up in Sycamore. “It was a crime I did not, would not, could not have done.”

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