Illinois State Police director applauds Zone 1 investigators and
DeKalb County prosecutors on
55-year-old cold case conviction
to be the oldest cold case brought to trial in U.S. history
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[September 21, 2012]
SYCAMORE -- Illinois State
Police Director Hiram Grau commended the outstanding investigative
efforts by ISP Zone 1 investigators and special agents in the
55-year-old cold case murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of
Ridulph was kidnapped and murdered in 1957, and on Sept. 14, 2012,
Kane County Associate Judge James Hallock found Jack McCullough, 72,
guilty of murder, kidnapping and abduction of an infant.
A deathbed confession by McCullough's mother in 1994 was passed
on to Illinois State Police Zone 1 by McCullough's half-sister in
2008. Capt. Tony Rapaz took the initial call that launched the ISP
cold case murder investigation.
"Every tip to law enforcement officers is taken seriously because
you never know where the evidence may lead to," said Rapaz said.
"Within two weeks of receiving this peculiar phone call, an
investigation was immediately launched."
Rapaz enlisted the resources of ISP Zone 1 investigators --
Special Agent Brion Hanley, Senior Special Agent Todd Damasky and
Senior Criminal Intelligence Supervisor Larry Kot.
Hanley, the lead investigator, recalls the case as being
extraordinarily complicated, with both families having to relive
painful grief and horrible memories.
"Without the cooperation of the families in their pursuit of
justice and closure, our work as law enforcement would not be
possible," Hanley said. "Their memories and solid, positive
identification of photos, times and locations were just as powerful
as the investigative leads that solved the case."
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Grau added: "These investigators did an extraordinary job in
developing a timeline with powerful statements from family members
and community residents that presented the facts that eventually
helped convict a murderer. Since 2008, they have tirelessly applied
their investigative skills to this cold case by using good,
old-fashioned police work."
Grau also underscored the importance of teamwork by DeKalb
State's Attorney Clay Campbell and his team of prosecutors, Seattle
police, and the Ridulph and Tessier family members in seeking
justice and closure.
[Text from file received from the
Illinois State Police]