Misconduct by Seattle officer alleged in 1957 child murder case

  • Wed Aug 24th, 2016 11:41am
  • News

Associated Press

SYCAMORE, Ill. — A northern Illinois prosecutor wants a judge to have a special prosecutor investigate possible misconduct involving a murder case in the 1957 slaying of a 7-year-old girl.

DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack said in a Monday court filing that the special prosecutor should look into whether a Seattle police detective committed perjury in the prosecution of Jack McCullough for Maria Ridulph’s killing, The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle reported.

McCullough, 76, was convicted of the crime in 2012 after he was arrested by Seattle police in 2011. McCullough was released in April after Schmack said a review found flaws in the case and determined McCullough’s alibi was solid. His conviction was vacated and charges against him were dismissed.

Clay Campbell was DeKalb County State’s Attorney at the time of McCullough’s conviction. Campbell lost his bid for re-election to Schmack in 2012.

Schmack said in the DeKalb County Circuit Court filing that video evidence contradicts statements from DeKalb County prosecutors and Seattle police Detective Irene Lau.

The video is of an interview McCullough gave with Lau in a polygraph room at a Seattle police station in 2011. McCullough’s son-in-law, Casey Porter, obtained the video via an open records request.

Schmack said a special prosecutor is needed because the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s office would be involved in any investigation, he said.

“There exists an actual conflict of interest in said office investigating its own conduct, since such an investigation could conceivably lead to wrongdoing by others beyond the allegations against Detective Lau,” Schmack wrote.

A Seattle police spokesman said Lau retired in 2013 and that the department had no further comment. There is no phone listing for Lau in the state of Washington to seek comment.