Apple TV+’s crime series ‘Black Bird’ centers around James “Jimmy” Keene, a drug dealer imprisoned at a federal prison in Milan, Michigan, who gets approached by FBI agent Lauren McCauley and federal prosecutor Edmund Beaumont for an undercover mission. If Jimmy manages to elicit suspected serial killer Larry DeWayne Hall’s confession to killing Tricia Reitler, along with the location of her suspected dead body, Lauren and Beaumont promise him a way to become a free man. Since the series progresses through the mystery that revolves around Tricia’s supposed death, one must be intrigued to know more about the same. If that’s the case, you are at the right place!
How did Tricia Reitler pass away?
First of all, the authorities haven’t yet confirmed that Tricia Reitler is dead. Officially, she is still considered missing and not dead or murdered. Lawrence Beaumont, a federal prosecutor, believed that Larry Hall had killed her. Beaumont sent Jimmy Keene to Larry’s penitentiary in Springfield, Missouri, to prove his belief. Tricia was an Indiana Wesleyan University student at the time of Tricia’s disappearance. She left her campus in March 1993 to go to a nearby grocery store. She never returned. Even though there isn’t any physical evidence to link Larry to Tricia’s disappearance and presumed death, Jimmy’s mission did shed light on the same.
According to the source text of the show, ‘In with the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption,’ written by Jimmy Keene with Hillel Levin, Tricia got into Larry’s van on the day she was last seen. “Me and her [Tricia] They were talking. She was friendly with me, James,” Larry told Jimmy, as per the latter’s book. “When I tried to kiss her [Tricia], she started like going crazy on me, and hitting me, and punching me, and wanting to get out of the van,” Larry continued. According to the source text, Larry attempted to stop Tricia from resisting him and tried to get out his van.
“I started choking her [Tricia] to stop her. And honestly, James, that’s the last thing I remember. It was almost like I had blacked out all over again. I was lying next her when I woke up and her clothes were all off. Then I looked at my body and realized that she was dead. I started feeling for a pulse but it wasn’t there. […] I realized I had done it again,” Larry added to Jimmy, as per ‘In with the Devil.’ According to the book, Keene assumed that Larry stabbed Tricia since her clothes were found with blood. “He [Larry] Her buried [Tricia] that night, in a place that was way out in the country,” Jimmy told Hillel Levin, as per ‘In with the Devil.’
Larry allegedly confessed to having hurt other women while Gary Miller was investigating the death of Jessica Roach. Larry was close to Indiana Wesleyan University’s campus and confessed that he had raped and strangled a girl. When investigators showed Tricia’s photograph, as per reports, he identified the girl as Tricia as well. Larry later retracted the confession.
Have Tricia Reitler’s Remains Been Found?
As of yet, Tricia Reitler’s supposed remains have not been found. Since Jimmy blew his cover before Larry revealed the apparent location of Tricia’s supposed dead body, Beaumont’s mission failed. As per ‘In with the Devil,’ Larry had a map of Illinois and Indiana with several red dots in the same, possibly indicating the location of his alleged victims’ dead bodies, which might have included the location of Tricia’s supposed dead body as well. The map was lost before Jimmy could get it.
Garry and Donna Reitler, Tricia’s parents, had bought her a grave and headstone, hoping that they would be able to rest their daughter one day. Unfortunately, what happened to Tricia remains ambiguous since her body hasn’t been found. “We’re not looking for revenge. We’re beyond that. We just want her home. It would just mean so much to all of us,” Patricia Reitler’s mother Donna told FOX 59. Tricia’s case remains open as of March 2022.
Read More: When and How Did Jimmy Keene’s Dad Die?