Ethical Challenges of Investigation & Prosecuting the Oldest Cold Case in History

When: Thursday, November 5, 2015 – 6:30pm

Location:  136 Doudna Hall

A presentation of the 1957 case where 7 year old Maria Ridolph was abducted from Sycamore, Ill. and later found dead in a wooded area outside of Galena. Jack McCullough, AKA John Cherry, was tried and convicted of Kidnapping and Murder in 2010.

At the forum, Dr. Patrick Solar, assistant professor of criminal justice at UW-Platteville, will discuss the police investigation and prosecution strategy of the Maria Ridulph Case, believed to be the oldest unsolved murder case that resulted in an arrest and conviction in the United States. He will also explain the case’s ethical challenges, which included the decision to pursue a new case investigation based on new information and the need to dig up old wounds, the decision to take the risk of pursuing prosecution with no direct evidence and week circumstantial evidence, the decision to first prosecute the defendant on a fifty-four year old rape of his half-sister where the only evidence was the testimony of the victim. This action re-victimized that victim and we might ask, “To what end?”


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