UPDATE: The Saint Louis fire mentioned below did destroy the air force records of John Tessier / Jack Daniel McCullough. Here’s the Associated Press story reporting the lost records under a Boston Globe headline “Alibi is lost to suspect in ’57 slaying.” Is that headline naive? My story below reports that McCullough (but originally John Tessier) claims he could not have killed seven-year-old Maria Ridulph in Sycamore, Illinois, in 1957 because he has an “iron-clad alibi” — he was in Chicago that day taking medical tests in order to join the air force. He insisted his air force file stored in Saint Louis would exonerate him. But did McCullough say that knowing the file burned up in 1973? He was in the military almost nonstop from 1957 to 1973 — first the air force, then the army. Personnel files are more important to veterans who put in that much time than they are to draftees who did a two-year active duty hitch. I’m guessing many of them have never heard of the National Personnel Records Center in Saint Louis. McCullough knew all about it.
It’s nice to see the press rallying around the jury that acquitted Casey Anthony. Said the Tribune editorial page Sunday, “The case was tried in the courtroom, not the living room, and the evidence came up short. Stop blaming the jurors.”