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Taken: The Oldest Cold Case Ever Solved


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14 replies to this topic

#1    Kowalski

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 04:35 PM

I just read this article on CNN. Really good, and very well written....

Link: http://www.cnn.com/i...case/index.html


#2    docyabut2

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 12:37 AM

I don`nt unterstand this case was it this  johnny http://www.cnn.com/i...d-case/ch2.html  that the other little girl   identified?


#3    Kowalski

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 03:27 PM

View Postdocyabut2, on 13 August 2013 - 12:37 AM, said:

I don`nt unterstand this case was it this  johnny http://www.cnn.com/i...d-case/ch2.html  that the other little girl   identified?

Yes, it was. The case is confusing, you have to admit, because of the alibi times, and the questioning of when exactly Maria was snatched. I think this guy did it. Just a gut feeling, seeing as he has a history of behavior involving underage young girls. Where there's smoke theirs usually fire...


#4    regi

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 02:11 PM

If they would have thoroughly checked that guy's alibi, they likely would have solved the case way back when. :td:


#5    docyabut2

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 10:39 PM

There was a show on this case last night on HLN, the detectives said years laters  the daughter of Jonnny`s mother claimed  on her death bed it was him that killed this little girl, and when showing his picture to the other little girl that was with her, now as adult claimed it was him,  however how does one go by hearsay in a guilty verdict of evidence  ,when the little girl that was with the little girl that was taken didn`t identify him then?


#6    regi

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:05 PM

I don't know if she was shown a photo at the time. I know it'd be hard to believe if she wasn't, but I can't say that she was.
Regardless, I've seen it reported that she'd described him (at the time) with a gap between his two front teeth, so that, together with her having said his name was "Johnny" would be too coincidental for me to consider that it wasn't him.

Re: his photo, he pretended not to recognize himself! He actually tried to deny his own photo! :unsure2:
There's links to that and links to a lot of other video and info about the case here:
http://www.cbsnews.c...-1957-murder-of maria-ridulph/


#7    Vincennes

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 03:46 PM

This is a really fascinating case !  I have read through most of the articles but have not watched the entire 48 hr. episode yet.  However, what really bothers me is that this guy "Johnnie" if it is McCullough was not recognized immediately from the description.  It seems to have been a rather small town and McCullough definitely states that he knew who Maria was.  Why didn't at least her older brother and sister recognize the description of him.  The description that the other little girl gave of the hairdo of the kidnapper seemed to be pretty well stated.  I recognized the style she was talking about which in 1957 a "bad boy's" hairdo.  It indicated a follower of James Dean and, even worse at the time, Elvis Presley.  This kid lived only a couple of blocks away and Maria's fifteen year old sister did not recognize who wore their hair that way ??

I'm not indicating in anyway that I do not think this man is a viable candidate for the murder.  I just don't understand the aspect of the older neighborhood children not being more involved in fingering him out at the time.


#8    Kowalski

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 03:54 PM

View PostDuncansmom, on 24 September 2013 - 03:46 PM, said:

This is a really fascinating case !  I have read through most of the articles but have not watched the entire 48 hr. episode yet.  However, what really bothers me is that this guy "Johnnie" if it is McCullough was not recognized immediately from the description.  It seems to have been a rather small town and McCullough definitely states that he knew who Maria was.  Why didn't at least her older brother and sister recognize the description of him.  The description that the other little girl gave of the hairdo of the kidnapper seemed to be pretty well stated.  I recognized the style she was talking about which in 1957 a "bad boy's" hairdo.  It indicated a follower of James Dean and, even worse at the time, Elvis Presley.  This kid lived only a couple of blocks away and Maria's fifteen year old sister did not recognize who wore their hair that way ??

I'm not indicating in anyway that I do not think this man is a viable candidate for the murder.  I just don't understand the aspect of the older neighborhood children not being more involved in fingering him out at the time.


Hmmmm, I don't know. Maybe they didn't think he would do something like that, I don't know....
But from what I understand of the story, he was questioned by police and considered as a suspect, but they considered his alibi airtight at the time.


#9    Vincennes

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 05:50 PM

View PostBurt Gummer, on 24 September 2013 - 03:54 PM, said:

Hmmmm, I don't know. Maybe they didn't think he would do something like that, I don't know....
But from what I understand of the story, he was questioned by police and considered as a suspect, but they considered his alibi airtight at the time.

Just finished watching the TV episode.  My problems still remain the same.  The girls were 8 at the time which would make McCullough 10 yrs. older than them.  However, her sister was 15.  He would only have been 3 years older.  Also, the girl's description was that of blonde hair.  This guy's hair looks pretty blond to me along with the other five pictures they put up before him to recognize ??? All of their hair looks pretty dark to me.  Perhaps the street light / snow combination lightened the perception of the color.

I do have a question regarding his name change, "to honor his mother's family."   Well Mrs. Tessier was his step mother.  Did he go to such a length to honor his birth mother or what ?

Do I think he did it?  Yes.  However, there is much left unanswered.  I can not imagine why the judge disallowed the statements of the police and FBI regarding his alibi.  Whether they were accurate and correctly considered was the Prosecution's problem to prove.  I can't think that is anything but reversible error on the part of the judge. Especially since the hearsay regarding the mother's death bed utterance was allowed.  I know death bead utterance is regarded by the law and allowed but it does create a situation of only the prosecution being allowed to present their case.  It makes it pointless to have a trial if there are errors that will allow him another one.  So, I really think that was a stupid ruling.    What on earth could have been the basis for that ruling?  "Well, we think they might be wrong, so let's not look at them ???"  As a point of fact, every piece of evidence they looked at was 50 years old --- but they exclude FBI statements due to their age ??? :no:

Edited by Duncansmom, 24 September 2013 - 06:01 PM.


#10    Vincennes

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 07:29 PM

I've been doing a little more reading.  I found this in the comments regarding one of the articles.  I thought it's worth copying in this thread just in case someone else might not have noticed it.


During the time that the accused suspect lived in Washington State, the following girls and women
disappeared. These are all cold cases and the victims have never been
found. There were many more, but these ones disappeared without a trace
and no specific suspects:
Teresa Davis, age 18, 1973
Laurie Patridge, 17, (Dece. 4) 1974
Angela Meeker, age 13, 1974
Loralee Lhotka, age 20, 1975
Linda Mary Adams, age 15, 1978
Carlotta Sanchez, age 12, 1979
Andria Bailey, 1979
Christina White, age 12, 1979
Carla Owens, age 14, 1981
Katherine Gregory, 1981
Kassee Lee, 16, 1982
Patti LeBlanc, age 15, 1983
Patricia Osbourne, age 19, 1983
Kelly McGinnis, age 18, 1983
Pollyanne Carter, age 15. 1984
Diane Robbins, age 13, 1985
So, maybe the FBI should question "Johnny" about all of these missing
girls that happened to disappear from the face of the earth while he
was living in Washington State.


#11    regi

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 01:31 PM

View PostDuncansmom, on 24 September 2013 - 03:46 PM, said:

However, what really bothers me is that this guy "Johnnie" if it is McCullough was not recognized immediately from the description.  It seems to have been a rather small town and McCullough definitely states that he knew who Maria was.  Why didn't at least her older brother and sister recognize the description of him. This kid lived only a couple of blocks away and Maria's fifteen year old sister did not recognize who wore their hair that way ??

I just don't understand the aspect of the older neighborhood children not being more involved in fingering him out at the time.

In that program, it was stated that McCullough had left school at some time before and for that reason, it was difficult for authorities to locate a photo of him. That makes me question whether there was ever a photo available which could have been shown at the time to the witness, but since he'd left school, I think it's possible that McCullough wasn't known well enough by any peers in the neighborhood. (That might also speak to his personality.)

McCullough was an early suspect, but for some reason, authorities were satisfied with his alibi and I think they used the polygraph the wrong way and very mistakenly relied on the results.

Edited by regi, 25 September 2013 - 01:35 PM.


#12    Vincennes

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:35 PM

View Postregi, on 25 September 2013 - 01:31 PM, said:

In that program, it was stated that McCullough had left school at some time before and for that reason, it was difficult for authorities to locate a photo of him. That makes me question whether there was ever a photo available which could have been shown at the time to the witness, but since he'd left school, I think it's possible that McCullough wasn't known well enough by any peers in the neighborhood. (That might also speak to his personality.)

McCullough was an early suspect, but for some reason, authorities were satisfied with his alibi and I think they used the polygraph the wrong way and very mistakenly relied on the results.

I don't disagree with what you are saying. I also wondered if the fact he had left school made him lesser known and perhaps that's why the description didn't strike a chord with the older kids.   An introverted personality might also fit that type of monster.  However, there was a statement by one of the kids that did know him that he had seen his car the evening of the kidnapping and knew that it was his car because it had red fire designs coming back from the wheels.  That indicated to me that he was more of a show-off, who wanted attention.

However, I still feel the saddest part is he will be granted a new trial.  I did check on the issue of the reports that were not allowed in and that very possibly might be an issue to gain him a new trial.  I asked why a judge would do that and the answer, with no further knowledge of what was going on, the answer was, "Political." Remember the prosecutor was running for reelection.  I think an easy win for his camp was granted.  I bet you would find judge and the prosecutor are the same political party and that's sad because it jeopardize this monster being put away for the rest of his life.

Edited by Duncansmom, 25 September 2013 - 02:46 PM.


#13    regi

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:57 PM

View PostDuncansmom, on 25 September 2013 - 02:35 PM, said:

I also wondered if the fact he had left school made him lesser known and perhaps that's why the description didn't strike a chord with the older kids.  

Maybe he did strike a chord and that's part of the reason he was an early suspect. Now, why he wasn't put in a line up so that the little witness could possibly ID him, heck I don't know, but apparently, he wasn't. :td:

There's three things in this case that I most often see in cold cases which are later solved: 1) the perp is named in the police file (usually, that happens early in the investigation as it was in this one)
2) alibi not thoroughly checked
3) suspect passed ploygraph

Edited by regi, 25 September 2013 - 02:58 PM.


#14    Vincennes

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:35 PM

View Postregi, on 25 September 2013 - 02:57 PM, said:

Maybe he did strike a chord and that's part of the reason he was an early suspect. Now, why he wasn't put in a line up so that the little witness could possibly ID him, heck I don't know, but apparently, he wasn't. :td:

There's three things in this case that I most often see in cold cases which are later solved: 1) the perp is named in the police file (usually, that happens early in the investigation as it was in this one)
2) alibi not thoroughly checked
3) suspect passed ploygraph

I hadn't really ever thought of putting that together but you are right :tu:   I don't think I've ever seen a "Well, we never thought of him." Now, if those pesky police would just turn over their files, we could get a lot of crimes solved here!   :tsu:

Edited by Duncansmom, 25 September 2013 - 03:36 PM.


#15    Maureen_jacobs

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:05 AM

The article was very well written.  I have not seen journalism like that in a good long time.  Sad story though.

@maureen_jacobs ~ twitter




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