Following the report done by Pat Solar which Clay Campbell had barred from court on July 31, 2012.


For those interested, the PDF is readable, but there is not a single period in the entire report.  For those interest in where Mr. Solar came up with his theories, a lot of his research is found in the Discovery File.

Following is Mr. Solar’s report:

October 28, 1997

Sycamore Police Department

Report on the Closure off the Maria Ridulph Kidnap/Murder

On December 3rd of 1957 8 year old Maria Ridulph was abducted from the corner of Archie Place and Center Cross in Sycamore.  She was playing at that location with another child of the same age.  Both families lived just up the street on Archie place. As night time approached the two girls were confronted by an unknown subject who apparently walked up to them from south of their location on Center Cross street.  The subject introduced himself as Johnny and told the girls he was not married.  He offered to give the girls piggy back rides.  Maria’s friend declined but Maria accepted.  This subject gave Maria a piggy back ride up the driveway at that location and returned.  He asked the girls if they had any dollies and Maria ran home to get one leaving the subject with Maria’s friend.  Maria’s friend asked the subject what time it was and then Maria returned.  The subject commented on the doll and then gave Maria another piggy back ride up the driveway.  Maria’s friend said she was cold and excused herself to run home to get her mittens. When she returned, Maria and the subject were gone the doll was later found behind a garage near the area

An extensive search effort and Investigation resulted once it was clear that Maria had been abducted Local police questioned Maria’s friend and called in the FBI.  Months went by as Federal authorities conducted a thorough investigation of known offenders and any other subjects who were potential suspects.  In April of 1958 Maria’s body was found in a remote wooded area just off of Rt. 20 east of Galena, IL.  This crime scene did not provide any worthwhile clues to the crime Federal authorities ended their involvement in the case since they no longer had jurisdiction. The Illinois State Police then took over the case Investigators ran down leads and interviewed hundreds of individuals in connection with this case over the years but were never able to bring charges against anyone for the crime.

This case first came to my attention in 1982 when an individual presented a name of a possible suspect.  At that time I attempted to locate departmental reports concerning the status of the investigation but found little official documentation a former officer, Don Ehrier  provided substantial information.  The FBI was very helpful providing reports that needed to be reproduced from micro film.  They provided over 1000 pages of  documentation and lists of names of individuals who were investigated.  I then entered the basic facts of the case into the FBI’s violent offender data base. This program is intended to link solved and unsolved crimes throughout the country by the fact patterns known to authorities, however, no linkages could be established at the time

The individual who was originally named by an investigative source as possibly involved in the crime was investigated by me but  was unable to link him to the crime.

As the years went by other individuals would call the department and suggest the name of others who may have been involved for one reason or another.  In some cases individuals were alleged child molesters, abusive individuals, convicts, alleged organized crime members, petty criminals, or just estranged ex-husbands in whom individuals were seeking retribution.  It was useful to have a list of those individuals who were previously investigated so that these names could be discarded or previously accomplished investigative work could be avoided.  Much additional information concerning the case has also been uncovered as community members recalled the incident and phoned the department with pieces of information that could be linked to the volumes of unrelated facts already at our disposal.

In the spring of last year I received a call from the FBI Academy at Quantico Virginia. An agent informed me that the Ridulph case had been linked to a Pennsylvania Murder case that occurred in 1951 The facts of the Ridulph case closely matched those of a 1951 murder investigated by a Trooper Malcum Murphy of the Pennsylvania State Police Apparently Murphy had been assigned to the cold case squad in the late 1980’s and came across the strangulation murder involving an 8 year old girl, Jane Mane Althoff who had been abducted from a carnival in Eastern Pennsylvania An unknown subject tempted the victim away from a carnival ride and strangled and sexually assaulted her She was found a short time later. Many of the carnival workers were questioned but released soon after because of a lack of evidence to hold them The case remained unsolved until Murphy discovered It as part of his case load Murphy came across the list of these individuals and ran a routine inquiry on them He discovered that one of the carnival workers, Redmond, had an extensive criminal history involving sexual abuse and assault He was able to track this Individual throughout the country because of a former law which required convicted felons b register with local authorities and provide them with finger prints. A finger print from the truck in which the victim was found was a match to William Henry Redmond, DOB 1/22/22 a transient laborer who was employed as a Ferris wheel operator at the time of the murder

Redmond was first incarcerated in 1935 at the boys industrial school in Lancaster Ohio for burglary, theft, and assault on a girl In 1938 he was again arrested and incarcerated in the Ohio state Reformatory for assault with intent to rape.  Both of these cases involved an assault on a pre-teenage girl.  His method was to charm the girl into trusting him and then lead her away to a secluded area.  He would then strike them and choke them into unconsciousness before trying to rape them.  In the case that first sent him to prison, he concealed the body in a culvert, thinking that he killed the girl, however, she survived and subsequently identified him. This fact pattern matches the conclusions of the 1958 authorities concerning what happened to Maria.

Murphy was able to secure an indictment against him for the Pennsylvania murder in 1988 and arrested him at this home in Grand Island Nebraska where he had lived since leaving  California in early 1957.  Redmond reportedly confessed to the murder but the confession was challenged by his defense attorney and Trooper Murphy was held in contempt of court during pre-trial motions for refusing to reveal the name an informant. During his time in jail he reportedly made comments about being involved in one other child abduction case the authorities were unaware of, this could have been the Ridulph case but ultimately Redmond was not tried for the 1951 Murder and was allowed to return to Grand Island where he died in January of 1992.

Through his investigative efforts and contact with Redmond, Trooper Murphy got to know the man quite well.  As the facts of the Ridulph case were relayed to Murphy he became convinced that Redmond was responsible for this abduction. Specifically he matches the physical description he used  the alias, Billy, which could easily have been mistaken for Johnny by Maria’s 8 year old playmate, he always wore a hat of the type described by Maria’s playmate and he was fond of longshoreman type sweaters. He had the motive, sexual gratification. He had the opportunity, being a truck driver working in the area He had the desire, in evidence from his previous known behavior It should also be noted that US 20, where Maria’s body was found, would have been a common route from our area to the area of Grand Island Nebraska at that time, Rt. 20 heads west through Nebraska to just north of Grand Island

Redmond is, far and away, the best suspect as yet named in this case These and other facts create a level of certainty that he is responsible for the abduction which is greater than mere suspicion Unfortunately, however, Redmond died in 1992 and refused to declare his responsibility for the 1951 case for which he was arrested even though he knew he was dying.

December 3rd, 1997 marks the 40th anniversary of this case which has had a great impact on our community We will never know for certain if Redmond was responsible for the crime but, then again, the law only requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone is responsible for a particular crime they may be convicted of We should keep in mind that no community Is immune to this kind of tragedy These kinds of predators exist, even though our ability to identify them and prevent this type of crime has greatly Improved The family of Maria has suffered greatly and we can only hope that a reminder of what can happen to our children will somehow help to prevent a similar occurrence The police department is committed to maintaining a high level of uniformed visibility in the hope that this will deter these and other criminal predators

Patrick J Solar



If anyone has the description of Redmond from a police file, I would really like a copy ~ Casey