Another case of ‘Watch Your Neighbor’.
Over five decades ago, when everyone looked like extras in a Grease movie, Jack McCullough was 17 years old. though he sported the same type f hair style as most teens of his generation, he was your typical teen.
Except for one thing.
Most teen boys, tend to avoid little girls.
But not ole Jack.
One day, back on December 3, 1957, when he was known as John Tessier, Jack McCullough approached two girls , Maria Ridulph and Kathy Chapman as they playing together in the snow. He won Maria’s trust by talking about dolls and giving her piggyback rides. At some point after Chapman had gone home, authorities say McCullough dragged Maria into an alley, choked her with a wire, then stabbed her in her throat and chest.
McCullough was briefly a suspect, like more than 100 others, in the 1950s, but he had an alibi. He told investigators he had been traveling to Chicago to get a medical exam before joining the Air Force. He settled in Seattle, working as a Washington state police officer.
As the months became years, many Sycamore residents assumed the killer must have been a transient – perhaps a truck driver passing through but not connected to the town.
No one ever thought that the case would be solved.
But now it has.
A deathbed accusation by McCullough’s mother in 1994 – passed on to police by his half-sister in 2008 – led to a chain of events that brought about his conviction.
His mother, Eileen Tessier, had lied to police canvassing the neighborhood in 1957 about her son’s whereabouts, buttressing his alibi, prosecutor Julie Trevartchen said Friday.
“She knew what she did and she didn’t want to die with that on her conscience,” she said.
McCullough’s girlfriend in the 1950s also contacted police with evidence that called his alibi into question. She had found his unused train ticket from Rockford to Chicago for the day Maria disappeared.
The case seemed a long shot – at least at the beginning.
DeKalb County State’s Attorney Clay Campbell was taken aback when investigators told him they had a suspect in a 1957 murder. “When they said 1957, I said, you mean 1977? 1997?” he said Friday.
McCullough was arrested on July 1, 2011, in Washington state at a retirement home where he worked as a security guard.
Read more here.
I’m absolutely amazed that it took so long to find this guy.
How do you live with your life for so many years, after taking someone else life?