George Emil Banks was born on June 22, 1942. He was the illegitimate son of a black man and white woman and would claim that his bi-racial status caused him to be shunned and abused throughout his life.
Despite an IQ of 121, Banks was an underachiever in school. In 1959, he joined the army but was discharged in 1961 due to numerous disputes with his officers. He was sent to prison in 1961 after he shot and injured an unarmed man during an attempted robbery. He was paroled in 1969.
Banks married his longtime friend Doris Jones and they had two daughters. They separated in 1976 due to domestic arguments and infidelity on George's part. Shortly after the separation Banks bought a home at 28 Schoolhouse lane in Wilkes-Barre, PA and began to accumulate live-in lovers. All of his girlfriends were white.
Regina Clemens, Bank's first lover, gave birth to his daughter, Montanzima Banks in 1976. Sharon Mazzillo moved in with Banks and Clemens and shortly after gave birth to Bank's son, Kissamayu Banks on October 6, 1976. Regina Clemens' sister, Susan Yuhas joined the bizarre family and gave birth to Bank's son, Bowendy Banks in 1978.
In 1980, despite his criminal record, he obtained a job as a prison watchtower guard at the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill, PA. His last lover, Dorothy Lyons moved in along with her daughter from a previous marriage, Nancy Lyons. She gave birth to Bank's son, Foraroude Banks on January 25, 1981. Shortly after, Susan Yuhas gave birth to her second child with Banks, daughter, Mauritania Banks.
It was at this time that Banks started to lose his hold over "his" women. Sharon Mazzillo was the first to move out. In 1982 she left with their son and moved in with her mother, Alice Mazzillo at the Heather Highlands mobile park just outside of Wilkes-Barre. Regina Clemens was the next to leave, moving into a shelter for battered women. For some unknown reason she decided to return to the residence on Schoolhouse Lane.
Banks was also beginning to have problems at work. He began writing a book about an impending race war. He spoke with co-workers about committing mass murder. He also talked about killing himself and his family to spare them the painful realities of racism. After he barricaded himself in a guard tower and threatened to commit suicide, he was suspended from work and told not to return until he received counseling.
In the early morning hours of September 25, 1982, George Banks lost his fragile thread of reality. He woke after a night continuous drinking and drug use, rose from the couch and picked up his AR-15 assault rifle. Regina, Susan and Dorothy were sitting in the living room. He raised the rifle and fired. The first shot hit Regina in the face, killing her instantly. Susan was shot next, five times in the chest. One-year-old Mauritania was shot once in the face. Dorothy raised her arm to shield her face. The first bullet sliced through her arm and chest. The second hit her in the neck. Four-year-old Bowendy was shot once in the face.
Banks then made his way to the bedrooms upstairs where the rest of his children were sleeping. Six-year-old Montanzima was shot in the chest. Nancy Lyons, Dorothy's daughter was shot once in the arm and the face. Bank's one-year-old son Foraroude was shot once in the back of the head. Banks then went to his bedroom where he changed his blood splattered clothes and donned fatigues and a T-shirt that read Kill em all and let God sort em out.
He left the house and happened across Jimmy Olsen and Ray Hall Jr. Both were shot in the chest and then Banks got into his car and drove off.
His next stop on his murderous spree was the Heather HIghlands Mobile Park. He forced his way in to the mobile home of Alice Mazzillo and shot Sharon Mazzillo in the chest. Next he put his rifle up to his five-year-old son, Kissamayu's, forehead and pulled the trigger. While Alice frantically tried to call the police, Banks walked up to her, pointed the end of the rifle up her nose and pulled the trigger. He grabbed Sharon's screaming nephew, seven-year-old Scott Mazillo, hit him with the butt of the rifle, kicked him while accusing Scott of calling his son a nigger. Then shot him in the head just behind his ear.
When Banks had finished his savage rampage he had killed a total of 13 people, including his five children and their mothers. He claimed he had killed the children in order to spare them of having to suffer the racism he had been forced to endure.
Banks refused to allow his attorneys to put forth an insanity plea. He was found competent to stand trial and insisted on taking the stand in his own defense. He claimed that the police had conspired against him and fired the fatal bullets into some of his family members whom he had only wounded. He demanded that the bodies be exhumed so that he could prove that the police had killed and mutilated nine of the victims to make the crime scenes look more horrific.
On June 21, 1983, George Emil Banks was found guilty of 12 counts of first-degree murder, one count of third-degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, and other lesser charges. He was sentenced to death the next day.
On the eve of his scheduled execution, December 1, 2004, the state supreme court issued a stay when he was declared to be too psychotic to executed. Banks is still on death row at Graterford State Prison in Pennsylvania.