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Man convicted in 1957 murder of girl appeals

Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 1:19 p.m. CST

CHICAGO — The nearly 60-year-old case of a girl who was snatched from a northern Illinois street then choked and stabbed to death is still making its way through the courts.

An Illinois appeals court is considering an appeal filed by Jack McCullough, who was convicted of murder and kidnapping in 2012. He's serving a life sentence in the 1957 slaying of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph.

A key witness in the case was Ridulph's childhood friend. Now in her 60s, Kathy Chapman identified McCullough as the then-teenager gave who gave Ridulph a piggyback ride in Sycamore before she vanished.

The 72-page appeal by McCullough's lawyers calls it a "romantic notion" that Chapman's memories of her friend's disappearance were so indelibly seared into her mind that she could identify McCullough five decades later.

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