McCullough trial focuses on death bed statement - – Rockford’s News Leader

McCullough trial focuses on death bed statement


The death bed confession of an accused killer's mother takes up two days of the Jack McCullough trial. He faces the charges of kidnapping and murder of Maria Ridulph more than a half century ago.

"He did it," were the words of Eileen Tessier, according to the testimony of two of her daughters.  They say she made the statement in 1994.

The defense questioned Mary Tessier on the stand earlier Thursday.  She says her mother never specifically mentioned who she was talking about or what the "he" did.  The prosecution asked her if she knew what her mother was referring to and she said it was about McCullough and Maria Ridulph.

The defense also called experts who testified McCullough's mother was suffering the end stages of cancer and taking drugs that made her confused.  One doctor wrote in his chart she had unspecified psychosis.

Maria Ridulph was last seen in the early evening of December 1957 with a man named Johnny.   The kidnapping sparked a massive search effort and then President Dwight Eisenhower asked to be kept informed on the progress of the case.

One of those searchers, Herman Hansen says he left his own 21st birthday celebration a half century ago to help find Maria.

"It was very, very cold that night and that's what we did for several hours and that experience has just stuck with me all these years and that's why I'm here. I'm just hoping for some kind of justice," says Hansen.

The defense rested its case this afternoon.  Closing arguments will take place Friday morning.  It is a bench trial so a verdict from the judge is expected soon after.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WREX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Trista Truesdale at (815) 335-7856. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at