Defense rests in 1957 Sycamore murder trial; Jack McCullough accused of killing 7-year-old Maria Ridulph

September 13, 2012 2:48:01 PM PDT
After calling just two witnesses, the defense has rested its case in the Jack McCullough murder trial. McCullough is accused of killing a 7-year-old northern Illinois girl in 1957.

Thursday's testimony began with yet another jailhouse informant claiming that McCullough shared details about the murder of Maria Ridulph with him LAST YEAR AND admitted to killing her.

"No matter what the verdict is, for me, I'm talking, whether it's guilty or whether it's not, guilty, I'm ok with it," said Pat Quinn, Maria Ridulph's sister.

The snitch says McCullough told him he accident idly killed the girl, allegedly saying he smothered the girl while trying to quiet her after he fell while giving her a piggyback ride.

The witnesses were the last the state put on the stand before resting their case.

Prosecutors did not say if they felt they proved their case despite a lack of eyewitness testimony, no murder weapon or DNA evidence linking the former Washington State Police officer to the crime.

Authorities say McCullough, formerly known as John Tessier, is responsible for the disappearance and death of the 7-year-old who was abducted from her Sycamore neighborhood in 1957.

Ridulph's remains were discovered five months later in Jo Daviess County.

McCullough was arrested in 2011 after his former girlfriend talked to investigators. He has pleaded not guilty.

One of the detectives who brought him back to Illinois testified McCullough described the victim as a "beautiful Barbie doll."

"He did most of the talking," said Seattle Police Detective Mike Ciesynski.

The defense only called a few witnesses, including a doctor who treated McCullough's mother as she died of cancer in the hospital. The physician was supposed to refute claims by McCullough's half sister Janet that on her deathbed their mother said she believed her son had committed the crime.

Court is back in session at 9 a.m. Friday morning. Both sides will give their closing arguments. After that, we will hear a verdict from the judge since this is a bench trial.


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