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A close Analysis of the case of Maria Ridulph

Updated on July 7, 2017

Maria Ridulph was only seven years old when she got kidnapped and murdered in the year 1957, in Sycamore Illinois. Her case remains to be one of the oldest cases to ever go to trial. There was a requirement that family members had to rebel against one of their kin and the instance indeed haunted the town for close to fifty-five years. Even as the present, the case may not come to a conclusion.

Ridulph went through more innocent time, the period before Amber Alerts and the images of children who were missing on milk cartons that ended up being part of the cultural landscape. In the year 1957, the little girl's kidnapping shocked each and every person with regards to safety. News about it was all over every place (O'Neill, 2017). News reporters thronged in Sycamore from Chicago and New York newspapers and others from renowned television broadcasters. The FBI director during that time sought for daily updates from his staff and sent teletypes accompanied with instructions that were detailed. Likewise, the then President, Dwight Eisenhower also made follow ups on the case. However, weeks that saw necessary activities about the case were sharply followed by nearly half of a century with silence on it.

Many at times, secrets tend to lie at the heart of crimes that their solution failed to be found for longer periods since they are believed to go "cold." Most of these cases get cracked by the advancement in science or by an individual whose aim is to walk out clean (O'Neill, 2017). In the case of Ridulph, it lacked both the DNA and confession from the person who committed murder. The solution of this mystery was through circumstantial evidence got from the last four years through Bulldog cops and foreigners who came to Sycamore with the intention of supporting the little girl who had already been robbed her life. However, it is not easy to undertake the reconstruction of the past in a court of law. Often, people may have died, memories may have been lost, and also facts may have had distortion with time or even lost due to personal differences or motives.

As much as it is not easy to build a cold case, also it may also not be easy to be in defense of one. For instance, trying to gather an explanation for what took place in the past year and what happened during the lifetime are not easy tasks. With regards to the same, the man who faced conviction for being responsible for kidnapping and murdering of Maria Ridulph according to him is innocent (O'Neill, 2017). On a similar note, his long-time wife of close to twenty years and the step daughter share a belief that their kin may have been sacrificed to bring peace in the minds of Sycamore residents. Due to this reason, there is an appeal that has been lodged and may take two years or more for its hearing.

However, a close analysis of the case raises doubts on the strength of the evidence, the witnesses' motives and the capability of the judicial systems to hold a fair and accurate reconstruct history (O'Neill, 2017). For example, the case got re-opened only after an ailing woman did implicate her thirty-six-year-old son with a case. The words from this woman looked cryptic, and there was no way that they could be clarified. Even her daughters did not agree with her allegations. On the other hand, the siblings of the thirty-six old sons, had genuine reasons for fearing and despising their step brother.

A lot of evidence that was physically based in the Ridulph's case had been lost or destroyed in the many years such as her doll that her killer handled. On the other hand, prosecutors depended on heavy evidence that previously had been found as not reliable such as eyewitness identity and the testimony got from the informants. Eyewitness identification may not be simple as it may appear (O'Neill, 2017). For example, it always gets influenced by the distance traveled perpetrator, the strength of light at the scene where the crime took place and also the prevailing conditions where the witnesses are placed. In this regard, jailhouse informants had their baggage since there were themselves criminals or at least had been involved in criminal activities and as a result, their testimony could ask just for leniency. Added to the same, inmates had their different versions of the story of how they murdered Ridulph Maria; either by suffocating her, dropping her down or strangling her when she tried to make noise.

In conclusion, emerging victorious on a conviction crime that took place in the year 1957 may mean an achievement that is remarkable. At the same time, it may also support a fact that there is no any person who walks away with murder charge even if justice would be awarded after such a period of fifty-five years.


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