Air Force Veteran John Tessier (aka Jack McCullough) Freed from Prison After Maria Ridulph Cold Case Homicide Conviction Overturned with New Evidence (2016)

Maria Ridulph, 7, disappeared on December 3, 1957 in Sycamore, Illinois. She was found stabbed to death a few months later. Air Force veteran John Tessier (aka Jack McCullough) of Seattle, Washington, 17 at the time, was convicted in 2012 of the kidnapping and murder of Maria and sentenced to life in prison. It was the oldest cold case in the country to be solved but soon that victory would be lost and conviction overturned on appeal. A prosecutor found evidence that supported McCullough’s long-held alibi that he had been 40 miles away at the time of the disappearance. As a matter of fact, the former Captain was enlisting in the Air Force and left for active duty service a few days later. A certificate of innocence was issued and Jack McCullough was set free on April 15, 2016. Despite the past sexual abuse of minors allegations, which McCullough doesn’t deny, he wants to clear his name of the homicide. McCullough is suing the State of Illinois for wrongful conviction. The case remains unsolved to this day.

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Maria Ridulph, 7, Illinois

Related Links:
Jack McCullough: The Last Man Standing
48 Hours: Cold as Ice
Jack McCullough Case: A Timeline
Footsteps in the Snow: The Cold Case Murder of Maria Ridulph
Train ticket could solve 50-year Maria Ridulph murder mystery
Maria Ridulph Alleged Killer Arrested: How Cops Finally Found Jack McCullough
Man guilty of murder in 1957
Jack McCullough, 72, convicted in 1957 murder of Maria Ridulph, 7
Former cop convicted in 1957 murder of 7-year-old Illinois girl
McCullough gets life for 1957 killing of 7-year-old
Ex-police officer convicted in murder of 7-year-old Illinois girl ,Maria Ridulph, snatched from a small-town street corner 55 years ago
Oldest U.S. cold case closed in Illinois
The murder that became the oldest solved cold case in America
Illinois: People v. McCullough (2015)
Newly discovered evidence in one of the oldest unsolved crimes in U.S. history to ever make it to trial means a 76-year-old convicted and sentenced to life in the 1957 slaying of a 7-year-old Illinois girl has a chance to go free
Prosecutor moves to dismiss 1957 cold case murder conviction
Police eye new suspect over 1957 murder of seven-year-old girl after receiving an anonymous letter in the mail possibly naming her real killer
Illinois prosecutor: Wrong man convicted of 1957 murder of 7-year-old girl
Judge: I’m not ready to free ’57 cold case convict
Jack McCullough freed after conviction vacated in ’57 Sycamore murder
Prosecutor: Man wrongly convicted of 1957 cold-case murder
Man wrongfully convicted in 1957 cold case murder declared innocent
Schmack: Jack McCullough falsely convicted in 1957 Maria Ridulph murder
Man wrongfully convicted in 1957 cold case killing of Maria Ridulph, 7, ruled innocent
Jack McCullough Free After Judge Orders New Trial In 1957 Murder Of Maria Ridulph
Wrong Man Convicted of 1957 Murder in Illinois, Prosecutor Says
Seattle man wrongly convicted in 1957 child’s killing goes free
Schmack Posits McCullough’s Innocence
The Sad Tale Of Maria Ridulph’s Disappearance And The Trial Of Jack McCullough
The Bizarre Murder Of Maria Ridulph — Still Unsolved!
Police eye new suspect in 1957 abduction, murder of 7-year-old girl
Man wrongfully convicted in coldest murder case: ‘I want my name back’
Maria Ridulph A Tragic Case
BrainScratch: Maria Ridulph

Videos:
McCullough at the Seattle Police Department June 2011
Woman Explains Why She Turned Her Brother in for Murder — Dr. Phil
Sister, Stepdaughter of Convicted Murderer Square Off — Dr. Phil
Cold Case Prosecutor Explains Why Convicted Murderer Gave Him the “Creeps” — Dr. Phil
Dr. Phil Analyzes Convicted Murderer’s ‘Telling’ Body Language
Jack McCullough interview
Jack McCullough questioned at Seattle Police Department
Interview with Jack D. McCullough about the new book, PIGGYBACK
Cold-case conviction overturned
Jack McCullough Exonerated of Murder in 1957 cold case
Jack McCullough freed after conviction for 1957 murder vacated
Wrongfully convicted man walks free in murder cold case
Cold-Case Convict Grateful For New Freedom
Jack McCullough plans to sue for wrongful conviction
Jack McCullough: ‘I was self-raised’
Twists and turns never end in kidnapping case


Retired police officer Jack McCullough was convicted of murder in Illinois more than half a century after the crime. But he was released Friday after a prosecutor found he could not have done it. McCullough says he will sue the state for the suffering five years of imprisonment. “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty reports.

United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals Overturns the Sentence of Lackland Basic Military Training Instructor SSgt Eddy Soto (2014)

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SSgt Eddy Soto, US Air Force

“Soto faced as much as life without parole for the rape, one of six charges and eight specifications of misconduct.” -My SA

SSgt Eddy Soto was a basic military training instructor at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Soto was one of the 35 instructors courts martialed in what is referred to as the Lackland Sex Scandal. SSgt Soto was accused of unprofessional relationships, adultery, and the rape of one airman whom it appeared he had a relationship with. Investigators learned of the relationship Soto had with the airman who accused him of rape as part of a widespread probe into MTI misconduct. Soto faced life without parole but prosecutors asked for 12-15 years. Soto pleaded guilty to five charges and admitted that he had unprofessional relationships with a trainee and a civilian who had come to the base to see her husband graduate from basic training. He also admitted to adultery charges but he denied the rape accusation. He was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison in March 2013. After his confinement ended, he would be dishonorably discharged from the Air Force. Soto was the second instructor convicted of rape in the scandal. SSgt Luis Walker was the first conviction and he received 20 years for the rape of one airman and sexual assault of several others.

In an exceptional ruling by the Air Force Criminal Court of Appeals, Soto’s conviction for rape was overturned in Sept 2014. The military appeals court ruled the evidence was “factually insufficient” to support the conviction. In other words, there wasn’t enough evidence to find him guilty in the first place. The appeals court upheld the lesser charges of unprofessional relationships, adultery, and false official statement. The judge ruled the four year sentence and dishonorable discharge should be set aside and the case was referred back to the convening authority who had the authority to hold a new sentencing hearing. Soto remained jailed at the Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in California while the government decided whether to ask the appeals court to reconsider their ruling. SSgt Eddy Soto served over a year and a half for a rape conviction that lacked evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Media reports stated Soto would be re-sentenced by a lower court for unprofessional relationships, adultery, and false official statement. Further on-line research did not find evidence of the final disposition of SSgt Soto’s case. We do not know if he was re-sentenced, released from prison and when, or if he was discharged from the military.

The findings of guilty for Charge III, Specification 1 are set aside and dismissed. The remaining findings of guilty are affirmed. The sentence is set aside. The record of trial is returned to The Judge Advocate General for remand to an appropriate convening authority who may order a rehearing to determine an appropriate sentence for the affirmed findings of guilty. If the convening authority determines that a rehearing on the sentence is impracticable, the convening authority may approve a sentence of “no punishment” or dismiss the remaining charges and specifications. –USAF Court of Criminal Appeals

Related Links:
General admits failure in Lackland sex scandal; 32 alleged culprits
Cross-Cultural Expert Brought In For Lackland Court-Martial
Lackland trainer handed 4 years in rape
Lackland sergeant found guilty in rape case
Air Force instructor gets 4 years for raping trainee
Air Force trainer convicted of raping ex-trainee
Air Force trainer found guilty of raping cadet in Lackland base abuse scandal
US v. SSgt EDDY C. SOTO, US Air Force, ACM 38422, 16 September 2014
Court throws out Lackland trainer’s rape conviction (San Antonio Express)
Court throws out Lackland trainer’s rape conviction (Stars & Stripes)
Air Force appeals court tosses MTI rape conviction
Military overturns Lackland Air Force Base rape conviction
SSgt Eddy Soto Court-Martial Conviction for Rape Set Aside by Air Force Appellate Court
The Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal, Texas (2011)
A Complete List of the 35 Basic Military Training Instructors Court Martialed in the Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal

Cold Case: Maria Ridulph of Illinois Reported Missing and Later Found Fatally Stabbed; Air Force Veteran John Tessier Wrongfully Convicted of Homicide and Set Free (1957)

1415749226165_Image_galleryImage_Jack_McCullough_as_a_Hugh

Maria Ridulph, 7, Illinois

Maria Ridulph, 7, disappeared on December 3, 1957 in Sycamore, Illinois. She was found stabbed to death a few months later. Air Force veteran John Tessier (aka Jack McCullough) of Seattle, Washington, 17 at the time, was convicted in 2012 of the kidnapping and murder of Maria and sentenced to life in prison. It was the oldest cold case in the country to be solved but soon that victory would be lost and conviction overturned on appeal. A prosecutor found evidence that supported McCullough’s long-held alibi that he had been 40 miles away at the time of the disappearance. As a matter of fact, the former Captain was enlisting in the Air Force and left for active duty service a few days later. A certificate of innocence was issued and Jack McCullough was set free on April 15, 2016. Despite the past sexual abuse of minors allegations, which McCullough doesn’t deny, he wants to clear his name of the homicide. McCullough is suing the State of Illinois for wrongful conviction. The case remains unsolved to this day.

Related Links:
Jack McCullough: The Last Man Standing
48 Hours: Cold as Ice
Jack McCullough Case: A Timeline
Footsteps in the Snow: The Cold Case Murder of Maria Ridulph
Train ticket could solve 50-year Maria Ridulph murder mystery
Maria Ridulph Alleged Killer Arrested: How Cops Finally Found Jack McCullough
Man guilty of murder in 1957
Jack McCullough, 72, convicted in 1957 murder of Maria Ridulph, 7
Former cop convicted in 1957 murder of 7-year-old Illinois girl
McCullough gets life for 1957 killing of 7-year-old
Ex-police officer convicted in murder of 7-year-old Illinois girl ,Maria Ridulph, snatched from a small-town street corner 55 years ago
Oldest U.S. cold case closed in Illinois
The murder that became the oldest solved cold case in America
Illinois: People v. McCullough (2015)
Newly discovered evidence in one of the oldest unsolved crimes in U.S. history to ever make it to trial means a 76-year-old convicted and sentenced to life in the 1957 slaying of a 7-year-old Illinois girl has a chance to go free
Prosecutor moves to dismiss 1957 cold case murder conviction
Police eye new suspect over 1957 murder of seven-year-old girl after receiving an anonymous letter in the mail possibly naming her real killer
Illinois prosecutor: Wrong man convicted of 1957 murder of 7-year-old girl
Judge: I’m not ready to free ’57 cold case convict
Jack McCullough freed after conviction vacated in ’57 Sycamore murder
Prosecutor: Man wrongly convicted of 1957 cold-case murder
Man wrongfully convicted in 1957 cold case murder declared innocent
Schmack: Jack McCullough falsely convicted in 1957 Maria Ridulph murder
Man wrongfully convicted in 1957 cold case killing of Maria Ridulph, 7, ruled innocent
Jack McCullough Free After Judge Orders New Trial In 1957 Murder Of Maria Ridulph
Wrong Man Convicted of 1957 Murder in Illinois, Prosecutor Says
Seattle man wrongly convicted in 1957 child’s killing goes free
Schmack Posits McCullough’s Innocence
The Sad Tale Of Maria Ridulph’s Disappearance And The Trial Of Jack McCullough
The Bizarre Murder Of Maria Ridulph — Still Unsolved!
Police eye new suspect in 1957 abduction, murder of 7-year-old girl
Man wrongfully convicted in coldest murder case: ‘I want my name back’
Maria Ridulph A Tragic Case
BrainScratch: Maria Ridulph


2017 Illinois History Fair State Superior documentary on the longest cold case in US history. Produced by River Ridge High School Hanover, Illinois.