“I am not going to comment on the particulars of the interview,” [Sycamore Police Chief Don] Thomas said. “I will say this: During the interview we were able to confirm that he was the offender.”

“Without really getting specifically into individual pieces of evidence, suffice to say with the initial investigation that occurred back in 1957 all the way up until right now, we have reviewed the entirety of the reports compiled as a result of the investigation, all the photographs, all the witness statements, anything we can get our hands on,” Campbell said. “… It was a result of all of that information, our review of that information, a review of that evidence, that we brought charges against him.”

“If you read the press accounts … this was such an emotional tragedy for the public and obviously the Ridulph family, that you can feel when you review the investigation, you can feel that franticness and that desperation to find Maria alive,” Campbell said. “One of the benefits of time passing is you can look at this investigation with kind of a calmer inspection, because none of us experienced it.”

In 2008, the Illinois State Police received a new lead in the case – which Campbell and ISP Master Sgt. Isaiah Vega wouldn’t comment on Tuesday – which led to further investigating.


Master Sgt. Keith Frederick of the Illinois State Police said the plan was to have everyone in place so the operation could begin at sunrise.

Frederick said that in April 2009, he was brought in to supervise an Illinois State Police investigative unit, where he first learned of the case months after a key bit of information had been received.

“When I was fully briefed and we received the case files, it was full steam ahead,” Frederick said. “It never lost momentum. I never let this case get the back burner.”

He was appointed a public defender based upon an affidavit of assets and liabilities he completed. According to that affidavit, McCullough owns 20 acres of land and a trailer in Tonasket, Wash., worth about $32,000; a 1997 Ford van; a 2004 Isuzu; and a 1969 Ford Thunderbird, all property that is shared with his wife, Sue. He had $33 cash on hand.

Note: Knowledge of property vs. Tonasket search warrant information.

“Sadly, we have another victim, and for the families of all victims, the pain never goes away,” ISP Director Hiram Grau said in the news release. “The ISP Special Agents who have been tirelessly working this case will continue to be unrelenting in their efforts to find justice, closure, and peace for the Sycamore community.”