The disappearance of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph on December 3, 1957 shocked the small town of Sycamore, Illinois and the entire country. Her decomposing body was found almost 100 miles away in April 1958, yet her killer has remained at large for over 55 years.
The case gained traction again recently when police arrested her suspected murderer in 2008 after a series of events. This cold case is now the subject of a new documentary titled “The Maria Ridulph Case” which details the story of this tragic crime and its long search for justice.
At around 6 pm on December 3, 1957, Maria and her friend Kathy Sigman were playing in the snow when a young man with blonde hair and a gap-toothed smile approached them calling himself Johnny. He offered to give Maria a piggyback ride before he disappeared with her shortly afterwards.
Police initially suspected 18 year old high school student John Tessier who lived around the corner from Maria’s home. He matched the description provided by Kathy but claimed he was signing up for US Air Force basic training in Chicago that day and arrived late that night. His sisters testified that their mother had lied about his whereabouts at the time, however they were unable to prove his guilt as he was taken off the suspect list and soon left Sycamore for basic training after being thoroughly investigated by FBI agents.
This unsolved mystery is an intriguing look into crime investigations and criminal justice systems that will keep you guessing until its final moments. It is an emotional journey filled with sorrows and surprises as well as inspiring moments where truth prevails even after decades of unanswered questions. For those who are interested in true crime documentaries or just want to know more about this case, “The Maria Ridulph Case” provides an enlightening look into one of America’s most notorious cold cases while also giving us some hope that justice can prevail no matter how long ago a crime has been committed.