The portrait of a true crime character...


Rachel Trlica, Renee Wilson, and Julie Ann Mosley disappeared almost 46 years ago. Rachelís brother, Rusty, hasnít stopped looking for them, and heís become the central character in a tragic mystery.

The Swiss Pastry Shop is a longtime Fort Worth establishment, the kind of place with wood floors, bingo hall chairs, and black forest cake staring at you from behind a glass. It had recently celebrated its 40th anniversary when Rusty Arnold suggested I meet him and Richard Wilson there in December of 2016 to talk about Rustyís sister, Rachel, and Richardís daughter, Renee. The last time anyone saw either girl was two years before the diner served its first meal.

Two days before Christmas 1974, Rachel Trlica, Renee Wilson, and Julie Ann Mosley piled into Rachelís beige Oldsmobile and headed for the Seminary South Shopping Center in Fort Worth to go shopping. When the mall closed later that night, the Oldsmobile was in the Sears parking lot, with Christmas gifts locked inside it. The girls were nowhere to be found. Rachel was 17. Renee was 14. Julie was 9.

The four decades of aftermath that their disappearances produced would include devastated parents, a much-debated letter from Rachel, suspicious family members, strange coincidences, torn relationships, mysterious phone calls, an ominous psychic, numerous suspects, a potential love triangle, supposed Rachel sightings around Christmas every so often, horrific rumors, and dozens of relatively convincing theories. To the police, the case of the disappearances of Rachel Trlica, Renee Wilson, and Julie Ann Mosley is an open investigation. To you or me, it might prove to be a compelling story. To Rusty, itís his universe.