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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    I realize that I've made several posts in a row and I intend to make several more with separate bits of information in order NOT to clutter your minds too much at once and in order to stay on point about each.

    I've been watching this thread for a while now when I had. I started at the beginning and have read each and every post. Often re-reading many. To be honest, the thread sometimes became extremely overwhelming with far too much speculation as well as some therories that were far more than "just a little" OUT THERE. Then.... as I neared the end..... it seems that interest has just. Not now people..... the families need to have resolution to this after 37 years.

    After reading it all, I decided to register as a member and do what I can do to clear up some things as well as end some of the myths. This case has haunted me off and on since I was 16 as well as another one in the exact same area a few years later. Unlike most of you... this was my neighborhood.... these were my neighbors.... this WAS HOME... and still is. It was very unnerving then.... and still is to this day.

    Therefore, this forum is a good way for me to share with you all my thoughts, my suspicions, my personal therories and what information I can provide.... as someone who was living right there iin that neighborhood when it occurred.... 37 years ago.

    My whole purpose is to weed out the nonsense and wild therories, get down to the actual facts and clues.... and maybe.... just maybe we can help these families have some closure... IF that is possible. That's what neighbors did back in 1974.... thats what I remember anyway.... we lent a hand. Thats what I want to do and thats why I'm here.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Let me start by saying that I know Rachel's brother, Rusty. Although I wouldn't consider us friends, our paths have crossed a few times in the past 5-6 years, as we are both local musicians. I didn't realize at first that he was Rachel's brother until I came across his website. After learning such I made a call to him, I believe this was around 2007 and discussed the case as well a murder case that had happened a few years later in that same neigborhood. That case had hit particulary close to home due to the fact that the victim was the younger sister of a girl who had at one time had a huge crush on me. To the best of my knowledge that case had also never been solved when I first spoke to Rusty in 2007.

    A NOTE TO THE ABOVE MENTIONED CASE.... Just this week, I have learned from the sister that FWPD Cold Case Squad has linked 33 year old DNA from the crime scene to a suspect. I can say no more at this time as they are about to go before the grand jury with an indictment. From what I understand... they've got him cold. So it CAN happen people... even after 33 years. This is another reason that we shouldn't ever give up and quit, people!

    Anyway.... when I first spole to Rusty in 2007, I asked him if was aware of that case and if he thought they could possibly be linked. He said he knew about it, wasn't sure if it was connected and in fact had spoken to some of the family members in the past. I mentioned some names and he mentioned some names as we talked. People of interest. However, one name he mentioned clicked with me but it was a pesron from an entirely different part of Tarrant county, who I knew of from an entirely different set of circumstances. It also was quite a common name and he was much older, so I kind of just wrote him off as a different person who happened to have the same name. However, when Rusty inquired more about the person I was thinking of he said.... THATS THE GUY! I was amazed because I couldn't figure out the connection and he refused to elaborate. I let it go and never talked to Rusty again until sometime last year.

    After checking to see what was up on his website, I noticed that he made it clear that he was leaning towards suspcion of his other sister's involvement. I thought that a bit strange. At the same time I had finally remembered the name of someone who many of us thought might be a suspect in the previously mentioned murder back then. I wanted to throw the name at him and see if it had ever come up. I also wanted to find out what had ever become of the OTHER person that we had talked about in our earlier converstaion. When I called him the 2nd time.... to my amazement... he ALSO knew of the new name I gave him. What you have to understand is the the person in question from our 1st conversation and the person I mentioned in this converstion had absolutely no possible connections to each other whatsoever as far as I knew. He said he'd heard about the the new guy I mentioned but really didn't know if their was a connection to the Missing Trio. When I asked again about the person we talked about in our first conversation, he again didn't want to say anything except that something BIG was about to break that he couldn't discuss, but that we'd be hearing about it soon. I haven't spoke to Rusty since.

    To be honest, with what I've read about his suspicions about Debra, his evasiveness and the fact that there's been no BIG BREAK in the past year.... I'm at a loss as to what I should think about Rusty at this point. I've read many comments on this forum that seem to feel the same. Don't get me wrong..... I think Rusty's been through an extremely tough time with this. IMO.... He's become a very troubled soul who's totally heartbroken by what happened to his sister. I just don't know...

    The one thing that I DO KNOW is that the 1st person we discussed in 2007 is/was a real person. And do to the little information he DID provide to me about them, what they did for a living and the part of the county he lived in..... it WAS one and the same person. The person that I knew of. However, he never would tell me WHY he was a person of interest.

    I'm thinking that this person is either the gas station owner or the family member / uncle? that has been mentioned numerous times here. However, I don't know for sure. I just know that we WERE INDEED talking about the same person.

    Let me make it clear that I was NOT a close personal friend of the person in question. Rather, we had ran in the same circles in the past, knew of him through others and had talked to him myself upon occasion. We were NOT personal freinds.

    It just find it more than a little strange that Rusty has never inquired further with me about this person or any information that I may have been able to provide about them. Little as it might have been.

    So, where all of you will know...... I have recently emailed Deige to see if she might shed some light on what she knows about this person and WHY he might have been a person of interest. As of yet I have not heard back from her. Which in itself is a bit strange just as was her sudden disappearance from this forum after stating she wanted to become actively involved. Its just strange.... thats all!

    Perhaps her husband, if she has one, or her family has told her it is best not to put herself forward in this forum for a number of reasons. I understand that Rusty and his mother have began speaking again as the video I posted seems to show. Don't know if the same is true for Deige, there's been nothing said. Maybe thats why she's dropped off the radar here. Maybe they've all decided its just time to go on with their lives and do their best to be happy with what they have left. Then...... there's one other distinct possibility..... maybe they've learned from LE that they've pretty much figured out WHAT happened and by WHO? BUT..... they'll never know ALL the details or whatever became of the girls.

    More on what I think about that later...........

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    I've been thinking...... some of you may be wondering just how I'd know of TWO totally separate individuals who's names Rusty recognized during our converstions??? If I were reading this and looking in from the outside, I might think that myself. So, let me clear it up for all of you so you won't think my posts are a hoax.

    First, I've lived in FW all of my life.... over 53 years. The first 25 years of that was right IN that neighborhood or within 2-3 miles. As a teenager I ran the streets just like most kids did then. I hung out at the local arcades, swimming pools, 7-11's, Jack-In-Box, movie theatres, Putt-Putt, the huge slide that was in the mall parking lot, the bowling alley which was in SS mall and the mall itself. The mall was all of us kid's playground for years. I knew every square inch of that mall, including the basement areas that were accessible and SOME that weren't so accessible. I knew all of the huge underground tunnels that went unders the mall. We rode our minibikes in them. And yes they were were vast and went on up to a 1/2 mile or more in several directions.

    We weren't bad kids.... not the punk kind. Oh yeah, we'd toilet paper someone's front yard, get someone older to buy us some Boone's Farm and occasionally smoke a joint if someone had one. We were just kids running amuck, exploring, riding our bikes. it was a comepletely different time back then. Our parents trusted us..... UNLESS we gave them a reason not to. We knew the punks and the bad kids.... and those of us who were smart.... steered clear of them. Those who didn't wound up in the pen as they got older. I guess I was one of the SMART ones.....

    I had a brother who was 9 years older than me. Sometimes he'd let me hang out with him. I knew his friends..... the good ones and the bad ones. When I got my first car.... I was off to the local drag strip. I raced and went on to work there for a number of years. After that.... I went to work and eventually became the manager of the biggest LIVE rock n roll club in that same area of FW. I saw, met and talked to over 500 people each night for a number of years there. Trust me, in that capacity, I saw and heard many things that most people wouldn't. I evenually became a local musician (which is how I came to meet Rusty) and without question have met and talked to 1000's of local people over the years.

    So, I hope that clears it up a bit about how I might have come to know QUITE A LOT of people in this town over 53 years. Truthfully..... there were A FEW that I'd have just as soon not known or known about.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    OK..... now lets clear up some facts.......

    The post office @ the mall. It was what we referred to as a mini post office. To the best of my recollection, it sat in the middle of the west parking lot of the mall. This was the other mostly unused overflow and desolate parking lot on the other side of that I mentioned in my earlier post. It was apx 1/4 mile and completely on the other side of the mall from where the car was found. To the best of my recollection, it was an unmanned, coin operated stamp kiosk-type set up with a mail slot. It was about the size of one of the old Photomats back in that era. It could have possibly been manned during the day but I just can't remember. THIS is where it was finally determined the LETTER TO THOMAS was mailed from. Deige confirmed that infomation on here.

    Yes, although I can't tell you for SURE??? But, it IS entirely possible that if the letter was dropped off in that mail slot of that liosk sometime on the 23rd, the truck would've probably picked up the holiday mail sometime overnight. From there, it would have probably gone to the nearest sub-station that was located apx 3 blocks away on Felix St. Then, if the ZIP was in that area of town. it would've been sorted out and given to the local carriers for delivery that morning. If I remember correctly, the family lived within the same ZIP as the mall and the sub-station. Therefore, it IS possible and even probable that the letter WAS postmarked AND received in the AM of 12-24-74.

    It WAS most likely mailed and received legitimately.

    However.... by WHO and WHY??? That's in my next post.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    WHO mailed the letter and WHY???

    We've already covered the facts of WHERE the letter and IF it could've made it to Tommy and Rachel's mailbox by the AM of the 24th. It came from the kiosk post office at the mall and was postmarked sometime after midnight, which would've been the 24th and the same day it was received.

    By the way.... the mall had a large 6-8 story office building at one end near the kiosk. That building housed many federal. county and local government offices. So due the enormous amount of mail all those offices got, that kiosk most likely had its own mini ZIP code as posted on the letter. All post offices have their very OWN ZIP and THATS where it would've been PM'd from.

    This is one of those things that has gotten waaaaay outta control on this forum. Stop wondering if Tommy or so and so had connection in other cities when it come to the letter Forget about Weatherford and Throckmorton or anywhere else folks. The letter came from the mall post office kiosk..... PERIOD!

    Now... on to WHO???

    First..... It was addressed to Thomas, NOT Tommy. To me... that "quite logically" rules out Rachel or ANYONE who knew that he went by Tommy and not Thomas. All that leaves is a someone who's a stranger. Let me back that up even more evidence.....

    One of the letters in the name Rachel on the envelope or the letter was originally mis-spelled or mis-shapen at first. Then, it appeared that someone tried to correct the mistake by going over it. Are you gonna tell me that by 17, Rachel didn't know how to spell her own name or had developed a standard way to sign it WITHOUT making a mistake? I think NOT!

    It sounds to me as if someone was trying to copy her name by sight. Perhaps from the signature off of her DRIVER'S LICENSE???? Think about it..... makes a LOT of sense. Again.... this is the work of a STRANGER.

    Next, FAR TOO MUCH emphasis has been put on "I'm gonna CATCH it" vs. "I'm gonna GET it". Again.... I was from that area and as I recall BOTH terms were used. However, GET was the prominent word we all used. Not that big of a deal.

    Next...... I believe "We had to get away" and Houston meant absolutely NOTHING other than to throw everyone, especially the PD into thinking the girls had run away. This was done in order to buy time and NOTHING ELSE. Again..... I believe a strangers hand. A stranger who I personally feel deep in my gut went in the totally opposite direction.... NORTH. In a direction that would take him out of state as quickly as possible. A direction that he often had traveled in the past and knew quite well.

    Lastly and perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT clue, "The car is in Sears UPPER LOT". No one and I mean ABSOLUTELY NO ONE that I know EVER used the term for that area of the mall parking last as SEARS UPPER LOT! NOT EVER! We used terms like "In front of Sears", "By JC Penny" or "in front of Sear's Garden Dept".

    "In front of Sear's Garden Dept"...... you guys from around her THINK HARD about that one. NOT Sears UPPER LOT!!! Just as much as we say "YA'LL" we NEVER said UPPER LOT!

    That term sounds like something that someone would have used in an official capacity.... say..... like a policeman or a SECURITY GUARD?????? At the very least, IT was NOT a term I that believe Rachel or anyone who lived near and frequented that mall would have EVER used. Instead...... as I said, it sounds like someone in an official capacity would say OR someone who's not from this area..... OR....... BOTH!!!

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    OK...... ya'll are just going bear with the back-to-back posts. I just want to get all this knocked at once.

    One more thing about my going NORTH theory. I can recall numerous times in my life that when someone came up missing the D/FW area, they later found the body in Oklahoma. I guess that would make sense because the OK border the closest and only about 75 mins from D/FW.

    One more thing about the letter. Why was it so important to mention where the car was??? WHY???

    To me.... the stranger.... oh, let's just call him what he is..... the abductor!

    The abductor, had one clue that due to working alone he could do absolutely nothing about. He had not enough time to deal with it and it was too risky to come back later for it. That was the car. THINK about it people.... it was rare in the disappeances that happened in this area during that time period that an abductor ever took the victim's car. However, as I recall, in most of those cases they were abductions of one lone female who also lived alone or who was old enough to be out overnight. Most likely they might not be missed until then following day.

    This was different.... I thnk the abductor realized these girls were young enough that would be missed within 2-3 hours max and someone would come looking for them when they weren't home by supper. He had three young girls and had to leave the car behind.... that was a problem. He needed a diversion to buy time.... a letter saying "we ran away" AND "here's where the car is". It would explain things temporarily and buy him the time he needed.

    I have one BIG problem with that scenario.... even if they had ran away. WHY..... WHY didn't Rachel just take the car. I mean, it basically was HER car since she was married to Tommy. Its never been an out of the question assumption for a teenager to take the family car and go joy riding. I saw it happen more than once growning up. So again... I have to ask..... WHY would she NOT take a that was essentially HERS. Especially if she wanted to leave town? Just doesn't make any sense to me that she wouldn't. If she was having trouble with and running out on Tommy WHY would she even care if he got the car back? The fact is.... SHE WOULDN'T.

    Moving on and now we'll get a little deeper into my theory............

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    OK.... a couple of other things about the run away scenario. OK.... so they left the car and ran away. So, how'd did they get to Houston???

    Hitchhike???? I think if 3 very young girls had been on the freeway with their thumbs out...... someone would have remembered THAT! Never heard anyone say they saw them.

    Bus or train station..... 3 young girls with NO LUGGAGE.... again someone would've remembered them between here and Houston. THEY HAVEN'T!

    That leave ONE LAST OPTION..... they rode off with someone else willingly. Even IF they had.... NOT.... with a 9 yr old tagging along. Julie was too young to want to leave home that easily. NOT.... when Renee had a new beau and a party to go to with him that night. NOT.... when Rachel's dad was dying and NOT without her telling him goodbye. Also if she'd been having problems with Tommy enough to make her want to leave..... don't you think daddy's baby girl would've went crying to him about it. Or course she would have. Mine do. And lastly..... two days BEFORE Xmas? Teenagers?? I DON'T THINK SO!

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    OK. That pretty much rules out running away IMO.

    So.... what happened?

    It has been suggested that they left with someone they knew and trusted and something went very wrong. Most likely it would have had to be someone RACHEL knew. She was in charge and had the car. DON'T THINK SO!!!

    I have 2 BIG problems with that scaenario.

    If it had somone they knew, someone close to Rachel.... they would've in all likelyhood knew Tommy as Tommy and NOT Thomas.

    Also, if it was someone close.... they wouldn't have chanced being found out or implicating themselves even futher by sending a letter. Too many chances to take and far too risky.

    So who and how??? We're gonna tackle that in the next post.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    OK folks.... here is what I think happened. I also think this is probably what LE has come up with but have no way to prove it.

    I believe the girls were abducted in the mall parking lot. Numerous witnesses said they saw them in the mall but they never made it BACK to the car. The car was empty with the exception of the one lone present. The car was still locked. The abductor wouldn't have taken the time to make sure the car was locked. As they were about to get into the car they were approached by someone identifying themselves and mall security or possibly LE. I do NOT believe it was a mall security guard not that they were detained and hidden at the mall basement. Thats just toooooo dar fetched. IMO it was probably someone impersonating FWLE so they could use the pretext that they were being taken downtown for suspicion of shoplifting, etc. This gave them the opportunity to get them away from the mall area. They were taken somewhere else temporarily... IMO a nearby residence. At this point... they were still alive.

    Now, here's where I'm not sure exactly HOW things played out next. Due in large part of the mall security guard who claims he saw them in a pickup @ 11:30 PM with another young security guard. First, I have never clearly understood whether he stated it was a MALL guard he saw or simply someone with some type of security uniform on OTHER than mall security.

    Seondly, lets say that he realized what was going on later that night or the next day that he'd made a HUGE mistake by NOT investigating the situation further when he should have. Its NOT unreasonable to think that the mall guard had just come on and wasn't aware of the ongoing situation. However, when he DID learn of it.... he'd realized that he'd blown it. Maybe he initially did report it ONCE to LE and they didn't follow up. As more time went by and the more foul play became apparent, the more he realized that he would surely be ridiculed as well as fired for not following procedure as he should have. Maybe he just put it out of his mind until his conscience finally got to him a few years ago and he called LE again. People have done far stranger things when they're in a jam. There's SOMETHING to the mall guards story or he wouldn't have brought it to light.... even years later.

    I'd like to know these things:

    1) What brought the mall guard's attention to the pickup truck with the girls in the first place?
    2) Exactly WHERE on the mall property did this encounter take place? Was it in a darkened area of the parking lot on the other side of the mall, totally away from where the car and the families were gathered?
    3) Was the young guard actually another mall guard or someone dressed in a different company's guard uniform? YOU KNOW HOW THE OLD BROTHERHOOD THING GOES!!!
    4) It was stated that the mall guard apologized to the man in the pickup for the language he had used in front of the girls. What did he first observe or got his attention that riled him enough to use profanity to the man in the truck in the first place?

    How bout this???

    Let's say the abductor had brought the girls back to the mall and was gonna dump them off. However, they saw the commotion around the car from far across the lot. (you people have to understand this is a huge lot that in certain areas you could observe the area where the car was WITHOUT being noticed immediately)

    Let's say the girls saw their families by the car, the abductor panicked, telling the girls that he's now changed his mind about dropping them off. The girls began to argue and yell and THATS what got the mall guards attention. As the mall guard approached the truck, the abductor pointed a gun them below eyeline of the mall guard and tells them to shut up. Pehaps the abductor tells the mall guard that these were his daughters and he'd found them at the mall after their curfew, which was was angry and yelling at them. The mall guard see the uniform, apologizes for butting in and continues on his rounds slowly driving around to the front of the mall.

    Now, what you have to picture is this...... if I remember correctly. The mall security offfices were in the basement on the NW side of the mall. They would come up the stairs and out the glass doors to the parking lot to were I beleve there was only one MAYBE two guard pickups. The car was on the SW part of the parking lot on the other side of the mall. However, you could drive through the north lot to the east end of the building in front of Striplings and see everything going on in the SE parking lot without ever being seen. The north parking lot was considerably higher with wall that was apx 4-5 foot high. You also have to understand that there were apx 10-12 entrances to the mall lot with several on the north side that came straight out of a residential neigborhood. Quick in and quick out. You could've got out of there and lost someone in that neighborhood in 30-60 seconds.

    I believe once the abductor saw the commmotion around the car from the high viewpoint, he was trying to slip out was about to try and slip out unseen through the northern exits. Thats when the mall guard spotted them. By the time he got around to the car and the families making on his 1st round and learned of what was going on they had hightailed it outta there. Maybe he went back to check afterwards, realized they were long gone and realized he'd been fooled. In his mind, maybe he thought how could he ever tell the family that he'd just seen them and let them go just a few minutes before. Again.... IMO there's GOT to be something to the mall guard's story.... even years later.... ir why tell it. No.... I DO NOT think he was involved more than at the very most.... the kind of scenario I've described. Again, people do strange things when they could get fired or publicly ridiculed for not doing their job.

    I'd also like to know what the familes have to say about what mall security told them while they were there that night, if anything??? Surely they ran into them at some time during the night. Apparently, LE didn't stay long if at all, because at that stage they considered it a runaway case. Also, the the best of my recollection, there was only one mall guard in a patrol truck at night for the entire mall. Walking home from work at the theatre as I did often in those days, I sometimes never saw them at all and the truck was parked near the basement entrace to their offices. Napping I always assumed.

    To give you an idea just how large an area we're talking about. As I recall, it would take me apx 12-15 minutes to walk from the NW corner of the parking lot where the movie theatre was, around the building, and across the SW parking lot to the intersection of I35W and E Seminary. The place was quite vast.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    I'm not sure, but in the last clip of footage of the video I posted, I do believe that the one armed man in uniform with the badge and notpad was the head of mall security at the time. I vaguely remember one of the guards always walking around who was one-armed. I wonder if he was the one who eventually came forward?

    So...... what happened afterwards, when the abductor left the mall @ apx 11:30 PM???

    Unfortunately, I think we all can figure that one out and I wish I had another outcome, such as the Elizabeth Smart case. But, I just don't see it.

    I believe the abductor, realizing that he'd now been seen, in a vehicle that could be described, on the premises and WITH the girls later that night... felt he had no other choice but to dispose of them. I believe he bolted straight out of town. Never to return again. I believe he lived here off and on for many years. He grew up in and knew the neighborhood. Knew it well. Perhaps even stalked Rachel as she drove around the southside of FW, maybe for quite some time, until he decided he had everything just right. He was methodical and well thought out. An amatuer would have NEVER tried for 3 people unless he felt sure he could get away with it. An amatuer... would have slipped up and been caught. Bodies would have eventually been found. No, this guy was a pro and had done it before.... done it successfully. I believe the girls were north out of state and disposed of. Its doubtful we'll ever know where. Somewhere on the abductors way back up north..... where he continued on with his sick thrills.

    It chills me to the bone to think that this individual could have been standing in line right behind me or my little sister at McDonalds when I was a teen. I believe he lived right under our noses up until 12-24-74.

    According to the information that I've found.... the individual who I believe was responsible for this terrible act was living in our neighborhood just before Xmas 1974. He had lived apx 3-4 minutes from the familie's neighborhood, 7-10 minutes from the mall, had an extensive arrest record in FW, knew the neighbothood extremely well and for many years, and had repeatedly used the exact same MO that the mall guard described that night. It also has been reported that he held hostage and tortured females in the attic of his mothers W Spurgeon St home apx one mile from Rachel's home. The timeline would've been close to a pefect match for the Missing Trio. He fits perfectly and FWLE has been known to have unoffically said that he the prime suspect in this case as well as several other disappearances and murders in this area during that time.....

    I feel THAT is why things have gone silent. Perhaps they finally figured it out after it was far too late.... years after. He clammed up and never gave LE ANY info about his crimes before he died in prison on 1-26-11.

    He was the devil incanate and a monster whos crimes against women most likely numbered in the hundreds. LE also believes he was probably far more evil than Henry Lee Lucas ever thought about being. But, we'll never know for sure..........

    I can't know for sure, but somehow I feel that Rusty and the girls families have possibly learned that this is what LE fells most like happened and who was responsible for it.

    Although, they will never know for sure, perhaps they've decided to lay it to rest with this and are trying to get on with their lives. If so, may God bless them and give them the peace they so deserve after 37 long years.

    This is the 10 part story of James M DeBardeleben...........

    ‪James M. DeBardeleben (1 of 10)‬‏ - YouTube

    ‪James M. DeBardeleben (1 of 10)‬‏ - YouTube
    Last edited by KateB; 04-06-2015 at 12:35 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    So, if you watched the DeBardeleben story... there's no doubt its eerily similar to what could have most likely happened at the SS mall in 1974. Too similar, in fact. Especially, when he was known to have been living apx 1 mile from the girls neighborhood and apx 2 -1/2 miles from the mall in the months just preceding the girl's disappearance. The things that he had been reported to do at his residence here certainly made him a sexual predator. Could he have been working as extra holiday security at the mall that night using one of his many alias' ??? Possibly, however I'm more inclined to doubt it. i guess it could've been possible that he did, got the girls in the security truck, took them to his house and returned back with them @ 11:30 PM. Perhaps THAT'S what upset the other mall guard. "Where the Hell have you been and WHAT have you been doing"? type thing. Maybe the senior guard told him that the girls' families were in the parking lot on the other side of the mall and thats when the abductor ran? What else could the senior guard do at that point but NOT tell what he knew and give LE half truths?

    I think that scenario is a bit unlikely, abeit not totally impossible.

    What I DO believe is that the senior mall guard knows FAR MORE than he's ever let on. I think he simply got fooled by the abductor and realized it after it was too late. If you'll remember in the DeBardeleben story... as he was running out the back of the mall, he encountered mall security and tried to fool them into believing that LE inside the mall had already let him go on his way. Now.... my theory doesn't sound too far fetched at all, does it?

    Again, the SS mall guard in 1974 was drawn to that pickup with the 3 girls in it for SOME REASON. A reason he states was serious enough and riled him enough that he used profanity in front of them. He goes on to state that he subsquently apologized for his foul mouth, realized it was just a misunderstanding and allow them to go on their merry way. That just doesn't sit right with me.

    Whether the senior mall guard was innocently fooled by the abductor or played part to a partial coverup of a fellow mall guard in order to save his job.... I believe he knows far more than he's ever told. He had to be quite an old man when he decided to contact LE again some 25 years later.... perhaps he'd been diagnosed with a terminal illness and wanted to clear his conscience..... A LITTLE BUT STILL NOT ENOUGH TO IMPLICATE HIMSELF. He may be dead by now.... if not.... maybe he'll someday make a truthful dying declaration. One thing's for sure..... he DOES know more than he's told. The whole thing 25 years later is just too hinky.

    However, as I said in an earlier post..... I do NOT believe that the girls were ever held anywhere in the mall, including the security office or the basement.

    That leaves us with just one last thing...... WHO wrote the letter and WHY???

    I honestly don't believe it was the abductor. After all the commotion that night.... the familes staking out the car.... the senior mall guard spotting them.... I just don't think he stuck around to write and mail a letter..... especially at THE SAME MALL. No..... the abductor left outta there quick with the girls and never returned to FW ever again.

    So who then?? I think its pretty easy to see boys n girls... when you really think about it. And I'd be willing to bet that FWLE has figured it out too.

    Remember the phrasing of the very last sentence of the letter..... "The car is in Sear's upper lot".

    Figured it out yet???

    How's this.... Think of a two way radio conversation between dispatch and a guard that goes something like this..... "Base to Unit 1.... Come in Ralph.... We've got a shopper in a Red Cadillac 4 door with a dead battery in Sear's UPPER LOT. Could you run over there and give them a jump please"!

    Hmmmmm...... Now here's what most of you DON'T KNOW. On that side of the mall, where the car was found, there IS what SECURITY most likely would refer to as an UPPER LOT in front of the Sear's Garden Dept. They might also have called it an OUTER lot.

    Sear's Garden Dept was in the basement of the mall. There was lot that was right in front of the building at basement level. As you drove away from the building you were heading up a fairly steep incline to what I can only describe as a loop road that went around the entire mall. On the other side of that loop road was an even bigger parking area that was considerably higher than the lot nearer the building.

    However, in all my years of going to that mall and parking in that area.... and we went there a lot. Not my family, not my friends nor myself EVER referred to it as Sear's UPPER lot... everyone and I mean EVERYONE simply referred to it as parking IN FRONT OF Sear's Garden Center.

    Folks, I have no doubt and am even 95% positive that Sear's UPPER LOT was a more refined terminology that mall security used to describe that parking area. But, NOT a 17 yr old high school girl. If you had a way to check with someone in mall security back then.... I'd bet you'd find out that I'm dead right.

    So, now do know who wrote the letter? Still no??? Then, ask yourself this?

    WHO could've went around the mall all night long, even with everything that's going on that night and get to that post office kiosk without raising so much as an eyebrow????

    Not the abductor.... he's already realized that the families have congregated around the mall, and he's already been spotted by by the senior mall guard. The abductor is GONE and he's NOT coming back to mail a letter. NOT from the THAT MALL anyway....

    NOW.... let me throw THIS at ya........

    WHO.... would've been more apt to be jotting down information from the families at the mall that night??? WHO might have been asking for IDs and getting contact information (names, phone #s and ADDRESSES from the girl's families that night??? WHO would've been most likely to copy down a name from a DL as their given name.... THOMAS not TOMMY Trlica???

    Although, I don't know for a fact if he was or wasn't..... you can NOT tell me that Rachel's husband THOMAS "Tommy" Trlica did not come to the mall that night. You KNOW he HAD to. It was HIS wife..... it was HIS deceased families car. Tommy HAD to be there that night.... along with the rest of the family members. And you KNOW that WITHOUT A DOUBT, mall security got contact information from him.

    Hence, we go to WHO could drop a letter in the mail drop box later that night WITHOUT looking suspicious??? MALL SECURITY!!!!!

    WHY..... How's about to throw LE off track that the mall guard had seen the abductor with the girls earlier, he didn't follow standard security protocol for the situation, got fooled and when he realized it, he thought he might be fired.

    Perhaps, the abductor was indeed a part time holiday mall guard that he had hired and who's actions he was responsible for? So, he told the abductor guard to "Get the Hell outta here now" and he covered for him.

    Lastly, the abductor was a relative that the senior mall guard had hired for the holidays? Same scenario.... he covered to avoid the embarrassment and to save his job.

    When you really sit down and THINK about it.... WHO is the ONLY one in this saga that's behaved strangely??? The security guard......

    Think of the ONLY person who would've had unsuspicious access that night to the mail kiosk and a possible motive.... The one who's acted the strangest over the past 37 years..... THE SECURITY GUARD.

    I'm telling you..... HE KNOWS.

    Thank you for taking time to hear my thoughts...........

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    the North Coast (Rochester, NY)
    Your theory is very plausible. I can see it all happening just that way. Is there any way to find out the name of the security guard that reported the pickup truck?

    That letter had always bothered me, but your explanation makes sense.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    May 2008
    appreciate these posts.

    There have been a group of us posting for a couple of years now that it was DeBardeleben that committed the "same" crime twice: Once in Fort Worth December 23, 1974 (just before Christmas at a crowded outdoor mall in Fort Worth) and again March 25, 1975 (just before Easter at a crowded outdoor mall in Wheaton Maryland).

    DeBardeleben loved to commit crimes at crowded malls.

    He impersonated police officers to coerce girls/women into his vehicle. He kidnapped them to take them to safe houses, raped them and likely murdered many (although never convicted of murder). He tape recorded his crimes and took photos of himself in the act.

    His mother owned the house on Spurgeon street. She died of Cancer in the spring of 74. His wife Carol Miller (her real name) left him in the fall of 74. This made him RAGE!

    There was reportedly a note written in the Lyon sister case.

    There were stolen Maryland State Police uniforms in February of 1975 (after missing trio and before Lyon sister crimes) from a dry cleaners in Baltimore.
    If this was DeBardeleben, it means he followed a cop of similar build to his own and watched him drop of said uniforms and struck the dry cleaners at the appropriate moment.

    Once in possession of the uniforms he began a bizarre psycho-sexual ruse which including going to area malls in plain clothes and asking young girls/women to speak into a microphone. He would hand them cue cards and ask them to speak what was written. Eye-witnesses all reported the menacing, psycho-sexual undertones to the behavior and appearance of said Tape Recorder Man (TRM).

    My Lyon sisters crime theory: To kidnap the Lyon girls he waited in a vehicle that looked like an unmarked cop car, on a street that was full of middle class homes. It was on the way to the mall for many suburban kids - a well worn path. When the Lyon girls approached they saw a man in a Maryland State police uniform. He lied to them stating he needed their help to catch an unsuspecting criminal who frequents this mall. If the Lyon girls see the officer in plain walk into the mall then they could help him by speaking into the mic. This would allow him to keep his cover and the seeming tape recorder is actually a communication device such that the officer could speak to other officers.

    TRM was reported to walk into the mall in a brown leisure suit (similar colors to a Maryland State Police uniform - easy for recognition and uniform to plain clothes transition), the girls were reported to have immediately gone over to him - spoke into his mic - TRM left the mall, the girls left the mall 30 to 60 minutes later and were never heard or seen of again!

    So TRM could have gone out, changed back to uniform (or not) waited for the girls...Asked them for further assistance which included "going to the station" and that's it...Kidnap in plain view of all to see.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Thanks, HiredGun! I, too, appreciate your posts, and most especially clearing up the bit about what the entrance by the Garden Center was or wasn't called by shoppers at that mall.

    Having been a teen once myself though, I'm really puzzled that the girls would park by the Sears Garden Center. Was this the closest entrance to the junior department clothing? What departments did lay just beyond the garden center?

    I grew up in Dallas, and have only seen that mall in passing, and never gave it much thought. Had no idea it was as big as you described.

    I really have only a few things to add at the moment. One is the possibility that Rachel was used to addressing letters formally. That is the way I was taught, and as a young married, my husband went out of state on business, and I always addressed the letters using his proper name, not his nickname.

    About the misspelling of Rachel's name, if Rachel had written it it could have been done to alert her family or it could've been done out of extreme stress. I'm not saying that either of those possibilities are correct, only that they exist as possibilities.

    I have never believed the security guard's story. I don't think there's even a remote chance those girls were in that mall parking lot at 11:00PM. It doesn't follow logic.

    What I wish is that someone would go check the records on Debardeleben's mother's house. I'd like to know when it was sold after her death.

    Someone could also gain FWPD info through the freedom of information act or possibly be allowed to look through their files in person, that is, if some connection can be made.

    Princess Rose and I felt like we'd put as much into this case as we could, and I don't think she even posts at WS anymore. I know she changed her user name, but I don't think that 2nd. name's been used in a good while either.

    I never knew what to make of Deige. My guess is she just became a bit paranoid, and left. I'd hoped her getting involved would be a positive experience for her, meaning she was at least doing something, rather than waiting on the FWPD to solve it. I can't imagine her coming here in the first place if she had anything to do with anything that concerns the disappearance of the girls.

    Never did find out anything about the uncle, and really felt like this was a stranger abduction from the get go so info on the uncle wasn't pursued. I'm sure if he'd moved away shortly after the disappearance, the family would've noted that, and LE too.

    I've wished FWPD would've sent divers into Lake Benbrook as Debardeleben had sunk a few stolen cars out there in his earlier criminal career. I've felt that he may have dumped the girls bodies there, weighted down.

    There's no two ways about it, if Debardeleben was responsible, he had it all planned out, from the abduction to the disposal before the crime ever took place.

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Here's what I found that was reported to be a newpaper story. However, as you can see it also says: KXAS NBC5 Scott Gordon Apr 13, 2001.

    Scott Gordon is/was a local NBC Channel 5 TV reporter. I'm wondering if this is a newpaper story that was derived from a TV news story. I will see if I can find any video clips.

    Here's the story:

    A Newspaper story

    Man Says he witnessed 1974 disappearance of Ft. Worth Girls
    KXAS NBC5 Scott Gordon Apr 13, 2001

    FORT WORTH, Apr. 13 - A possible break in an almost 30-year old mystery. A man says he is a witness to the disappearance of three girls from a Fort Worth shopping mall in 1974.
    "I saw three girls 26 years ago and I maintain it to this day..."
    It may be 26 years ago now, but Bill Hutchins says he knows what he saw. He said, "I've got it burned in here."
    Hutchins, now retired in the piney forest of East Texas, was a Fort Worth police officer himself back in the 1960s. He left the department to work security for Sears.
    He says he clearly remembers December 23, 1974, the night 9-year-old Julie Mosely, 17-year old Rachel Trlica and 14-year-old Renee Wilson disappeared from the mall, their car still full of Christmas presents.
    At about 11:30 p.m., he says he had a run-in on the parking lot with a young mall security guard who was driving a pickup truck.

    "I saw three girls sitting in the front seat with him. A young girl next to him, a little older to her, and then the older and largest girl against the passenger door,"Hutchins said.

    At that point, he said, the girls appeared to be with him willingly.

    "When I apologized for my language, they laughed, you know, everybody was happy. We just exchanged a few comments, then he rolled up his window and drove off," Hutchins said. When he saw news reports about the missing girls a day or two later, he said he called the detective working on the case.

    He said, "I talked to his secretary, gave her my name, what I had seen, everything like that, and let it go at that, and I never heard back from them ...." He said at the time, he figured the mystery was solved. "I didn't see anything more about it in the paper so I just let it slide," Hutchins said.
    He said he's talked to a few reporters over the years about what he saw, but until just a few weeks ago, never talked to the police.

    He said, "Nobody ever bothered to talk to me, until now!"

    Police tell NBC 5 detectives have tracked down the security guard Hutchins says he saw, and say that he denies ever being with the girls that night.

    Detectives consider it a solid lead, but also say they are focusing on not one, but as many as five different suspects.

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