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When they emerged, the man was gone — but he'd left something disturbing behind.Scattered on the sidewalk were half a dozen photographs of nude women.
Excited, she called Kathy on the phone: Kathy lived in a white cottage at the end of a long driveway, and her family was the first on the block to own a clothes dryer.
It required family members to turn against one of their own and haunted a small town for 55 years. Maria was taken in a more innocent time — decades before Amber Alerts and photos of missing children on milk cartons became part of our cultural landscape. But the weeks of urgent activity were followed by half a century of silence.
In 1957, the kidnapping of a little girl shattered everyone's sense of safety. Reporters flocked to Sycamore from the big city papers in Chicago and New York and from the fledgling television networks. Edgar Hoover demanded daily updates from his men and sent teletypes with detailed instructions. Secrets often lie at the heart of crimes that remain unsolved so long they are said to go "cold." Most are cracked by advances in science, or by someone's need to come clean.
When Kathy returned a few minutes later, Maria and Johnny were gone.
he kidnapping and murder of Maria Ridulph is the nation's oldest cold case to go to trial.