Old Train Ticket Leads to Arrest in 1957 Murder of Girl

Retired cop charged after decades-old alibi breaks down
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2011 4:40 PM CDT
A 1957 murder case may have been solved.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Crazy twist in a high-profile murder case going back half a century: A retired cop in Seattle has been charged in the 1957 murder of a 7-year-old girl near Chicago. The arrest of 71-year-old Jack Daniels McCullough came after an ex-girlfriend found an unused train ticket from the day of the murder that tore a hole in his alibi, reports the Seattle Times. McCullough, who changed his name from John Tessier years ago, is awaiting extradition to Illinois.

McCullough was 18 at the time of Maria Ridulph's abduction and killing, and he had been an early suspect. But the case went nowhere in part because he had an alibi—he said he was on a train at the time. Police re-examining the cold case interviewed his girlfriend at the time and asked her to turn over photos and mementoes. That's when she found the unused, unstamped train ticket. "Once his alibi crumbled, we found about a dozen other facts that helped us build our case," says an investigator. (Read more Jack McCullough stories.)

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