The kidnapping of Maria Ridulph in 1957 and the trial of Jack McCullough for that horrible crime in 2012 left an indelible mark on the small community of Sycamore, Illinois, as well as the larger community of Rockford. The Rockford Register Star and Rockford TV stations provided extensive coverage of these events as they impacted the region over five decades. The trial and conviction of Jack McCullough 55 years after the murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph brought not only local but national and international interest as being the oldest cold case in history ever to be brought to trial.
The importance of this case was brought to light on the television program 48 Hours as they aired the show “Cold as Ice” in March 2013. Dr. Phil chose to feature the case in October of this year, which was followed by a two-hour documentary on the LMN Nov. 12. This is what Charles Ridulph had to say after the airing of the LMN documentary: “The book Footsteps in the Snow and the LMN documentary based upon the book have finally brought to me a sense of conclusion. I feel at ease and at rest, and I am thankful for that. I now feel able to move on and focus only on the good and pleasant memories. The Bible says, ‘We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.’ Romans 8:28. And, I believe that to be true.”
The author of Footsteps in the Snow, Charles Lachman, the executive producer of Inside Edition, along with the brother and sister of Maria, Charles Ridulph and Pat (Ridulph) Quinn, will be in Rockford Dec. 6. They will be at the CherryVale Mall Barnes & Noble from 3 to 5 p.m. for a book-signing and short presentation, along with time for questions and answers regarding the oldest case ever solved in America.
The book Footsteps in the Snow goes into detail about the Rockford connection to this landmark case; a connection that was not explored during the trial of Jack McCullough. It is only fitting that the book-signing should be in the Rockford area. The author of this book is donating a portion of the proceeds from this book to go to the Ridulph family who have established The Maria Ridulph Memorial Fund, which will be used to help children in need.
From the Dec. 3-9, 2014, issue