Man accused in girl's decades-old murder faces new charges

Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, was charged in the 1957 murder of a 7-year-old girl.

Story highlights

  • Jack Daniel McCullough is charged with child sexual assault and indecent liberties
  • The alleged victim says she was 14 when McCullough raped her, police say
  • Months earlier, he was charged with the 1957 murder of a 7-year-old girl
A 71-year-old man recently charged with the decades-old murder of a young Illinois girl has been indicted again, this time for alleged improprieties with another child.
An Illinois grand jury indicted Jack Daniel McCullough, who also goes by the name John Tessier, on one count of child sexual assault and four counts of indecent liberties with a child, the state police announced Thursday.
The charges came after the alleged victim told state police investigators that McCullough raped her when she was 14 years old and living in Sycamore, about 60 miles west of Chicago. It was not clear when or exactly where the alleged crimes took place.
"Sadly, we have another victim, and for the families of all victims, the pain never goes away," said state police Director Hiram Grau.
At the time of the latest indictment, McCullough was in a DeKalb County, Illinois, jail on a $3 million bond.
Three months ago, in July, he was arrested in Seattle and charged with the murder, kidnapping and abduction of an infant.
That followed a revived investigation into the 1957 death of Maria Ridulph, a 7-year-old who disappeared while playing with a friend near her home in Sycamore. Her body was found five months later and 120 miles away.
McCullough was an early suspect in her disappearance, but had an alibi: He told police he was at a military recruiting station in Rockford, about 20 miles away, the evening Ridulph was reported missing.
He also claimed he had been given a train ticket from Rockford to Chicago by the military, then returned home and went on a date with his girlfriend. But when police re-interviewed his then-girlfriend in 2010 and asked if she had any photos of McCullough, she discovered an unused train ticket from Rockford to Chicago that she said he gave her on the date of the crime. The discovery led to McCullough's arrest.
In July, investigators exhumed the girl's body in hopes that modern science will bolster the case against the man now accused of killing her.
At the time, DeKalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell said, "Suffice to say science has advanced greatly, thankfully, since (1957) and we're hoping that advancement in science can assist us in our investigation of this case."