SEATTLE (CBS) — 75-year-old Seattle man Jack McCullough, who was charged in 2012 with the 1957 murder of a young girl in Illinois, has been granted a certificate of innocence by a judge. The certificate will allow McCullough, 77, to sue the state of Illinois for damages.

McCullough, a former security guard and police officer, was arrested by Seattle police in 2011 and charged with the 1957 kidnap and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph — making it the oldest cold case ever brought to court. Ridulph was last spotted with a man who identified himself as “Johnny,” according to a friend of Maria’s. Ridulph’s body was discovered five months later, partially-clothed, under a tree nearly 90 miles away from where she was last spotted.

In 2016, a judge agreed with evidence supporting McCullough’s alibi that he had been 40 miles away when Ridulph disappeared. The conviction was subsequently overturned.


  1. Eric Lynch says:

    And where has Clay Campbell and his sidekick, Julie Trevarthen, been during all of this? Hiding is where they have been. Any reasonable person has to conclude the fact that Clay and Julie have “no comment” on this case ever since Schmack’s report came out is evidence that they know they did wrong and as any smart lawyer will advise their client, “keep your mouth shut”. Clay and Julie conspired to railroad Jack McCullough for one reason and one reason only, fame. Clay has a deep desire for fame and he received his fifteen minutes of fame for this case. All Clay needed was an assistant looking to pad her resume, Julie, a cop looking to be a hero, Brion Hanley, and the Seattle detective, Irene Lau, lying about McCullough’s interview and hiding evidence was just a bonus for Clay that he didn’t count on. Clay and Julie had no problem doing interviews to celebrate the conviction of McCullough, but when it all started to unravel, they were nowhere to be found. If Clay and Julie believed in their case and were 100% certain that they upheld their ethical duty as prosecutors, they should have had no problem speaking to the media and testifying on behalf of the state at the post-conviction hearings. It is time for Clay Campbell, Julie Trevarthen, Brion Hanley and Irene Lau to face the music, but we all know that it is highly unlikely that any of them will ever be held accountable for their actions as is the case with most cases of police/prosecutor misconduct.

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