Wash. man gets life for 1957 slaying of Ill. girl

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SYCAMORE, Ill. — A former Washington state policeman convicted of kidnapping and murdering a young Illinois girl more than a half century ago was sentenced today to life in prison.

Jack McCullough, 73, was convicted in September in one of the oldest unsolved crimes in American history to make it to trial.

Prosecutors contended that on Dec. 3, 1957, a 17-year-old McCullough, known then as John Tessier, killed 7-year-old Maria Ridulph, then disposed of her body.

Ultimately, members of his McCullough’s family helped convict him. During the trial, McCullough’s half-sister described McCullough’s mother making incriminating comments about McCullough on her deathbed in 1994. The mother acknowledged that she had lied to police when she supported McCullough’s alibi that he was out of town on the day of the murder.

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