John George Haigh was born on July 24, 1909 in Stamford, Lincolnshire and grew up in Yorkshire, England. His parents, John and Emily belonged to the religious sect of the Plymouth Brethern. He was raised on Bible stories and any kind of frivolous entertainment was strictly forbidden. His father claimed the world was evil and erected a 10 ft fence around their property to discourage contact with the outside world.

John Sr. had a bluish birth mark on his forehead. He told his son that it was the devil's mark because he had sinned. John Jr was in a constant state of anxiety that he would "sin" and it would leave a mark. Contrary to what his father told him, he did not suffer any dire consequences for his infractions and he started to believe that he was invincible. He also learned to lie quite convincingly at an early age.

As he got older he stopped attending his parents church and adopted a more worldly practice. In 1934 he married Beatrice Hammer and the couple moved in with his parents. The marriage lasted only 4 months when he was arrested for fraud and sent to prison. Beatrice gave birth to the couple's daughter and gave her up for adoption. After Haigh was released from prison he returned to his parents home and worked briefly as a dry cleaner before moving to London.


He answered an ad for a job as a secretary/chauffeur to amusement park owner, William "Mac" McSwann. The two became fast friends and Haigh was soon promoted to manager. He left after one year citing that he wanted to be his own boss.

He opened up an office pretending to be a solicitor and set up a stock scam. When he was caught it earned him four years in prison. While there he studied law books in order to perfect his craft and chanced across the Latin phrase "Corpus delicti". He erroneously interpreted the phrase to mean no corpse (body), no conviction and it would prove to be the key factor in his downfall.

Within a year of being released he was imprisoned yet again for theft. He vowed that this would be the last time he was caught and decided to put a more profitable plan into action. In order to get the real money he had to prey on older, wealthy women. He learned how to work with sulfuric acid in the prison tin shop and experimented with mice to learn how long it would take their bodies to dissolve.

Upon his release from prison Haigh obtained a position as a bookkeeper. When he had saved up enough money he rented a basement space at 79 Gloucester Road and set up his ghoulish workshop which included special glass containers of sulfuric acid.

One night when Haigh was out on the town he ran into his old friend Mac McSwann and the two reminisced about old times. Mac took him to see his parents, William and Amy, who told him about their profitable investment properties. Unbeknownst to them they had sealed their fate with their revelations.

Around September 9, 1944 Haigh invited Mac to his basement workshop. Sometime during the night he snuck up behind him and bludgeoned him with a blunt object and then slit his throat. He left him overnight to bleed to death and returned the next day with a 40-gallon drum. He stuffed McSwann in the drum, filled it with sulfuric acid and covered the drum. He returned two days later to find the drum filled with a black sludge and poured the contents down a manhole drain.

Haigh told McSwann's parents that he had run off to Scotland to avoid the draft. He bolstered his lie by putting his talents as a forger to use sending fake postcards from Scotland.

When his parents became concerned about their son's continued absence he invited the McSwanns to his basement workshop and killed the in the same fashion as their son. He told their landlady that they had moved to America and their mail, including William's pension checks, forwarded to him. He forged Mac's signature on a Power of Attorney given him control over the McSwanns estate. He sold their properties and securities and netted a tidy sum of approximately £8000.

He moved to Onslow Court Hotel in Kensington and passed him self off as a liaison officer who dealt with patents and inventors. By the summer of 1947 Haigh had gambled away most of the money and needed to find more victims.


Dr. Archibald and Rose Henderson were selling their house. Haigh pretended to be interested in buying their house and cultivated a friendship in order to learn the extent of their considerable assets.









Haigh rented a storehouse on Leopold Road in Crawley, London. He moved his possessions from Gloucester Street and set up his workshop once again. He ordered more sulphuric acid and two 40-gallon drums.

On February 12, 1948, Haigh drove Dr. Henderson to Crawley on the pretext of showing him an invention. Once in the workshop Haigh shot him in the back of the head with a gun he had stolen earlier from Dr. Henderson. Next he lured Mrs. Henderson to the workshop and she too was shot in the back of the head. He placed the bodies into the two 40-gallon drums and dissolved both bodies in the sulfuric acid. As he dumped the sludge in the corner of the storehouse yard, he noticed that one of Dr. Henderson's feet had not dissolved. Unconcerned he tossed the foot on top of the sludge.

He forged a letter from Dr. Henderson giving him legal authority to obtain their possessions and properties. The sell of which totaled £8000.

Mrs Olive Durand-Deacon, a wealthy widow and resident of Onslow Court, approached Haigh with an idea she had for artificial fingernails. He invited her to his workshop to discuss her idea further.

February 20, 1949, Constance Lane walked into the Chelsea police station and reported her friend, Mrs Durand-Deacon missing. She was accompanied by John Haigh.

Policewoman, Sergeant Lambourne had been assigned to question the residents of Onslow Court about the disappearance. When she first encountered Haigh her gut feeling told her that he was not being truthful and she decided to run a background check on him. Within the hour his extensive criminal past was uncovered.

When she reported her suspicions to her superiors the West Sussex constables decided to search his workshop. The found three 10-gallon glass bottles of sulfuric acid, rubber boots and gloves, and a gas mask. They found a man's attache case bearing the initials J.G.H that contained papers belonging to the Hendersons and McSwanns, a .38-caliber Enfield revolver, and a cleaner's receipt for a Persian lamb coat that was identified as Mrs Durand-Deacon's. They also located jewelry belonging to Mrs Durand-Deacon's that had been sold by Haigh.


When Haigh was brought in for questioning he denied any involvement until he realized the evidence they had against him. Before he began his bizarre confession he asked one of the inspectors "what are the chances of anybody being released for Broadmoor?" The inspector refused to answer. Assuming he was safe, after all, as he put it, "How can you prove murder without a body?" Haigh confessed to the murders of Mrs Durand-Deacon, the McSwanns and the Hendersons. In an attempt to set up his insanity defense he claimed that he had had nightmares about blood since he was a child and had been driven by a compulsion he could not control to drink the blood of his victims after he killed them.

As the police continued to search his storehouse they identified a fine spatter of bloodstains on one of the walls. They then focused their attention on the sludge in the corner of the yard.

They carefully sifted through the sludge for 3 days and cataloged the following evidence:
  • 28 pounds of human body fat
  • three gallstones
  • part of a left foot
  • 18 fragments of human bone
  • upper and lower dentures
  • handle of a red plastic bag
  • lipstick container

April 1, 1949 John Haigh went on trial for the murder of Mrs. Olive Durand-Deacon. Confident that he would be found insane and confined to Broadmoor for a period of time, Haigh paid little attention to the proceedings preferring to work on a series of crossword puzzles instead.

During the closing arguments the crown stated that Haigh thought he had discovered the perfect method of concealing a crime. He had committed murder for gain and had only raised sanity as an issue when he got caught. He had laid claim to vampire tendencies in order to advance his insanity plea.

It took the jury only 15 minutes to find him guilty. John George Haigh was executed at Wandsworth Prison on August 6, 1949.





John Reginald Halliday Christie was born in Yorkshire, England in 1898. The product of a control-freak, abusive father and an overprotective mother, he grew up sexually impotent and a hypochondriac. He developed an inherent dislike of women, a horror of dirt and often exaggerated minor illnesses in an attempt to gain attention.

Socially and sexually inhibited, his early attempts at love-making failed earning him the nicknames, "Can't-make-it-Christie" and "Reggie-No-Dick." By age 19 he was frequenting prostitutes.

In 1920 he married Ethel Simpson Waddington. The two were separated four years later when Christie left her to move to London. He also continued visiting prostitutes throughout the marriage.

Over the next ten years Christie spent the next ten years or so in and out of prison for petty crimes and assault. When he was released from his latest stint in prison in 1933, he was reunited with his wife, Ethel, when she agreed to join him in London. The two moved into a ground floor apartment at 10 Rillington Place in the Ladbroke Grove neighborhood of Notting Hill.


During World War II, Christie became a special constable for the Harrow Road Police Station. His wife made frequent trips to Sheffield to visit her relatives leaving Christie free to continue visiting his prostitutes. He also had an affair with a woman working at the police station which lasted until he resigned in December 1943.







In August of 1943, Christie picked up 21-year-old Ruth Fuerst, a munitions worker and part-time prostitute, and brought her back to his apartment at Rillington Place. She would become his first victim when he impulsively strangled her during sex and buried her in the communal backyard garden.


His next victim was 32-year-old Muriel Eady who was suffering from bronchitis. He invited her over to his apartment claiming that he had a special inhaler which would cure her chest ailment. In actuality, the "inhaler" contained carbon monoxide which rendered her unconscious. He then strangled her while raping her and buried her alongside his first victim.



In the Spring of 1948, Timothy Evans and his wife Beryl moved into the top-floor apartment of 10 Rillington Place. The couple was expecting their first child and shortly after moving in a daughter Geraldine was born.

Evans had an IQ of 70, possessed a violent temper and his learning disabilities made it difficult for him to hold a steady job. One year later Beryl found her self burdened with an unwanted pregnancy and tried several times to rid herself of the baby.

Christie, claiming that he had some medical knowledge from his time spent as a constable during the war, offered to abort her baby. On the morning of November 8, 1948, Christie entered the Evans' apartment. Instead of performing the abortion he gassed Beryl and then strangled her with a cord while raping her. When Timothy returned home from work he was informed by Christie that the abortion had not gone well and she had died from septic poisoning from her previous abortion attempts. He convinced Timothy not to go to the police by instilling a fear in him that the police would blame him for his wife's death.

Christie offered to dispose of her body and make arrangements for a couple he knew to care for baby Geraldine while Timothy went to stay with his aunt in Wales.

Timothy's mother became concerned about the mysterious disappearance of Beryl and the baby. She confronted him and quickly exposed his lies.


On November 30, 1949, Timothy Evans walked into the police station at Merthyr Tyalfil, Wales and confessed to having disposed of his wife down a drain. He claimed that she had died after taking abortion pills and he got scared and disposed of her body in a sewer drain outside of the apartment.

Evans was re-questioned after the first search yielded no body. This time he implicated Christie. Fear of Christie had forced him to confess. A second search by the police uncovered the bodies of Beryl and baby Geraldine in the communal washroom in the backyard. A man's tie was still knotted around Geraldine's neck.

Evans went on trial at Old Bailey on January 11, 1950. The fact that he lacked the mental capabilities to come up with the elaborate attempt to cover up the murder of his wife and he was unaware that his daughter was also dead, never registered with the authorities.

He was charged with the murder of his baby and testimony included the murder of his wife. Christie was the chief witness for the Crown.

Evans lawyers never launched any investigation of their own and failed to provide any type of defense on his behalf.

He was found guilty and was hanged on March 9, 1950.

After the trial Christie fell into a deep depression. His criminal past had been exposed in court and he lost his job because of it. His wife Ethel was not pleased and made sure he knew it. She also taunted him about his continuing impotence.

December 12, 1952 was the last day anyone could recall seeing Ethel Christie. John told neighbours that she went to Sheffield to visit her relatives and that he would be joining her there shortly. He told her relatives that she was too ill to visit or write them. In fact he had strangled her and placed her body under the floor boards in the parlour.

When neighbours remarked about the foul odor, he sprinkled the house with strong disinfectant.

In need of funds, he pawned his wife's wedding ring and watch and sold almost all of his furniture except for a table, three chairs and a mattress.


On January 19, 1953, a pregnant prostitute named Rita Nelson caught Christie's eye. He lured her back to 10 Rillington place with a promise to assist her in aborting her baby. Once in the apartment he gassed her and then strangled her while raping her. He placed the body in an alcove behind a cupboard in the kitchen.

Christie forged his wife's signature on her bank account and emptied it.




His final two victims were both prostitutes, Kathleen Maloney and Hectorina McLennan. Both were gassed and strangled while being raped. Their bodies were stashed in the alcove along side Rita Nelson and then Christie wallpapered over the cupboard.

The smell from the apartment was becoming increasingly putrid. It was time to make a move. He illegally sublet his apartment to a young couple and absconded with the three months rent they had paid in advance. They were forced to move less than 24 hours later when the landlord notified them that Christie did not have the authority to rent to them.

While the flat was being renovated, the landlord allowed another tenant to use the kitchen. While he was tearing down wallpaper he discovered the concealed cupboard. When he opened the door who noticed what appeared to be a body. He closed the door and immediately notified the police.



When the police arrived and examined the cupboard they found not one but three bodies located in the alcove. They continued to search the flat and noticed loose floorboards in the parlor. The floorboards were removed and they began to dig. It did not take long for them to uncover the body of Christie's wife, Ethel. The police also discovered a man's suit, a man's tie fashioned like a noose, a container of potassium cyanide, and a tobacco tin that contained four clumps of pubic hair.



The communal garden was dug up and the bodies of Christie's first two victims were unearthed.

Christie was arrested 10 days later. During questioning he confessed to four of the murders. He claimed that his wife's murder was a mercy killing. He woke up and she was choking next to him and he strangled her to put her out her misery. He claimed self defense in the other three murders. The victims were all prostitutes who had tried to take advantage of him and attacked him first.

At one point he also confessed to the murder of Beryl Evans, claiming hers was also a mercy killing, but later recanted. He denied killing baby Geraldine.




John Christie stood trial at Old Bailey on June 22, 1953. His trial lasted four days and after 22 minutes he was found guilty of the murder of his wife. He was sentenced to death and hanged two weeks later on July 15, 1953 at Pentonville Prison in London.

His confession led to an inquiry of Timothy Evans' case in order to see if an innocent man had been put to death. Eleven days later the inquiry concluded that Evans had indeed murdered his wife and daughter leading to a backlash of public criticism siting that the inquiry was rushed and grossly inadequate.

Another inquiry conducted in 1968 concluded that Evans probably strangled his wife but not his daughter. As a result he was granted a posthumous pardon in 1966 in the death of his daughter.

To this date it is unlikely that the guilt or innocence of Timothy Evans will ever be definitively established.



Graham Frederick Young was born in Neasden, North London on September 7, 1947. His mother died when he was three months of age after developing pleurisy while she was pregnant. His father, unable to raise young children on his own, sent Graham to live with his sister and Graham's older sister to live with her grandmother.

When Graham was 2-1/2 years old his father remarried and the family was reunited.

Graham preferred to keep his own company and had very few friends. By age 12 he was avidly reading books about murder, especially those that used poison as the modus operandi. He had also developed and unhealthy fascination for Adolf Hitler and the occult and took to wearing a swastika badge to school. His only interests in school were chemistry and toxicology, particularly the study of poisons.

Although 13-years-old at the time, Graham was able to convince some local chemists he was much older due to his considerable knowledge of poison and he was able to procure large quantities of antimony, arsenic, digitalis and thallium for "school" experiments.

Graham befriended a fellow science enthusiast at school named Christopher Williams. The two often ate lunch together and swapped sandwiches. Soon after Christopher began to suffer from bouts of vomiting, severe cramps and headaches. Doctors were baffled as to the cause of his illness and attributed the symptoms to severe migraines. Christopher would eventually recover from his illness.

In early 1961, a mysterious gastric illness plagued the Young family. Graham's stepmother, Molly, was the first to suffer from vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. The illness next struck his father, older sister and finally Graham himself.

One morning Graham fixed his sister, Winifred, a cup of tea. After a couple of sips she refused to drink anymore because it tasted bitter. On the train ride to work she began to hallucinate and had to be hospitalized. The doctors eventually discovered that she had been poisoned with belladonna.

Graham's father, Fred Young, suspected that he had inadvertently contaminated the families food with his chemistry experiments and warned him to be more careful in the future.

On April 21, 1962, Fred Young came home to find an entranced Graham staring out the kitchen window. When he looked out he saw his wife, Molly, writhing in agony in the back yard. She died at the hospital later that night. Her death was attributed to a prolapsed spinal bone and she was cremated at Graham's urging.

Following Molly's death, Fred's symptoms intensified and he was admitted to the hospital. When the doctor's diagnosed that he was suffering from Antimony poisoning, he still refused to believe that his son had deliberately poisoned him.

Concerned about the dangerous experiments he was conducting, Graham's chemistry teacher contacted police after he searched his desk and found bottles of poisons and information about infamous poisoners.

Graham was arrested on May 23, 1962 and confessed to poisoning his family and his schoolmate. No charges were brought against him for the murder of his stepmother since the evidence had been destroyed when she was cremated.

At the age of 14, Graham would become the youngest inmate at Broadmoor Maximum Security Psychiatric Hospital since 1885. He was sentenced to serve a minimum of 15 years.

Within a few weeks of his arrival, fellow inmate John Berridge died from Cyanide poisoning. Graham confessed to the murder but he was not believed and the official verdict was listed as suicide.

By the end of his 5th year Graham realized that the only way he would be released any sooner was to become the model prisoner and to hide his obsession with poison. However, that did not stop him from continuing to tamper with the staff and inmates drinks.

By June 1970, after he had served nearly 8 years, the prison psychiatrist recommended that Graham be released stating that he was no longer obsessed with poisons.

On the eve of his release Graham told one of the nurses, "when I get out, I'm going to kill one person for every year I've spent in this place." His statement was recorded in his file but was never passed on.

Graham was released on February 4, 1971 and moved into a room at a hostel in Hemel Hempstead. It was not long before he started his poison collection for his "experiments". Soon after residents of the hostel started to exhibit abdominal cramps and sickness. One of the residents ended up committing suicide because of the severe pain he was suffering.

Graham obtained a position as a store clerk at a photographic supply firm in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire and within days of his employ started to make tea for his colleagues.

His boss, Bob Egle, began to suffer from severe cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. His symptoms were attributed to a virus that was going around at the time. When Bob Egle went on vacation he recovered completely. However, the day after he returned to work he fell ill again. Eventually he was admitted to the hospital where he died 10 days later. The official cause of death was recorded as pneumonia.

Fred Biggs, stock supervisor, suffered from symptoms similar to Bob Egle. He was admitted to London National Hospital for Nervous Disease when he eventually succumbed after suffering excruciating agony for weeks.

By this time at least 70 employees had suffered similar nonfatal symptoms of various degrees prompting authorities to launch an investigation. The police quickly ascertained that the illnesses started shortly after Graham began working at the firm. Subsequent forensic investigations revealed that the victims had been subjected to Thallium poisoning. They also uncovered the fact that Graham was a convicted poisoner.

When his room at the hostel was searched, the police found numerous vials of poison and a detailed diary with the names of his victims along with the effects of the poison. Also who he was going to kill or allow to live.

Graham Young was arrested on November 21, 1971 and went on trial at St. Albans Crown Court in June 1972. He was convicted of two murders, two attempted murders, and two counts of administering poison. When asked if he felt any remorse he replied, "No, that would be hypocritical. What I feel is the emptiness of my soul."

He served his sentence in the maximum security Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight until his death in 1990 at age 42. The official diagnosis was Myocardial Infarction, however many have their doubts.



Armin Meiwes, a 44-year-old computer technician from Rotenburg, Germany, lived a lonely and fantasy-filled life. He was born on December 1, 1961 in Kassla, Germany. His father was a stern, authoritarian who showed little interest in his only child and when Armin was only 8, his father abandoned the family and had no further contact with them. His mother domineered his life, accompanying him everywhere and often admonishing him in public.

At the age of 12 Meiwes began fantsizing about eating his imaginary friends so that they would remain a part of him always.

In 1999 when his mother died, Meiwes constructed a shrine to her in their mansion-type home in Rotenburg. He also had a replica a mannequin's head that he would lay on the pillow next to him each night. Also at this time Meiwes developed an interest in internet pornography, particularly that which dealt with torture and pain.

He eventually found his way into chat rooms that specialized in cannibalism and in 2000 Meiwes posted a message on the Cannibal Cafe website advertising for a young, well-built man aged 18 to 30 to slaughter and then consume.

On February 14, 2001, Bernd-Jurgen Brandes, a 43-year-old engineer from Berlin, responded to Miewes post and agreed to be killed and eaten. On the evening of February 25, 2001 Brandes arrived at Meiwes home in Rotenburg.

He swallowed 30 sleeping pills, a bottle of Vicks cough medicine and a bottle of Schnapps. Then he allowed Meiwes to cut off his penis and bandage him so that the two of them could eat it. Brandes tried to eat some of his penis raw but claimed it was too tough and "chewy" so Meiwes sauteed the rest of Brandes penis with garlic, salt and pepper but ended up burning it.

Meiwes assisted Brandes into a warm bath so that he could finish bleeding out and then sat down to read a Star Trek book. Ten hours later Brandes was still alive so Meiwes stabbed him in the neck several times in order to put him out of his pain and suffering. The entire death process including the amputation of Brandes penis was recorded on videotape.

After Brandes was finally dead, Meiwes hung him on a meat-hook and stripped chunks of flesh from his body. He even tried to grind up the bones to make flour. He stored the flesh in plastic bags hidden under pizza boxes and dined on it over the next 10 months.

When his supply started running low, Meiwes posted another advertisement along with details of Brandes death on cannibalistic websites looking for another willing victim.

The authorities were notified when the ad was seen by an Austrian student whom Meiwes had contacted and assured him that it was not a sick joke. When his gruesome story was picked up by the press, Meiwes was dubbed "Der Metzgermeister" or master butcher.

Meiwes was arrested in December 2002 after police raided his house and found the remaining flesh in the freezer and the videotape.

The case proved to be problematic for German prosecutors given that Bernd Brandes was a voluntary participant and the fact that at the time of the incident cannibalism was legal in Germany. Still Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 8-1/2 years in prison on January 30, 2004.

One year later Meiwes was retried after prosecutors appealed the sentence. They claimed that the sentence was too lenient and because he had mental problems and had consumed a large quantity of drugs and alcohol, Brandes was not legally capable of given consent.

On May 10, 2006 Armin Meiwes was convicted of murder and his 8-1/2 year sentence was changed to life in prison.




In the early 1930's Brighton, England became the site of a series of grisly murders. The seaside resort, best known as a destination for illicit rendezvous' earned the dubious nickname of "Queen of Slaughtering Places."

On May 10, 1927, the attendants noticed a foul odor emanating from the left-baggage department at the Charing Cross Station. They discovered the smell coming from a large, black trunk. The staff became suspicious and notified police. When the trunk was opened, the police discovered five brown paper packages that were tied with string. The packages were opened to reveal the arms, legs and torso of a female.

Sir Bernard Spilsbury performed the post-mortem and determined that the female was in her 30's and she had died of suffocation. She was eventually identified as Minnie Alice Bonati and the trunk she was found in was traced back to a John Robinson.

When he was taken to Scotland Yard for questioning John Robinson confessed to the murder. During the trial his defence was that he had been attacked by Minnie Bonati when she demanded money from him and he refused. He stated that during the attack he pushed her as she tried to to strike him and she fell and hit her head on a coal-scuttle. According to him he panicked when he realized she was dead and he decided to get rid of the body by dismembering it, stuffing the body in a trunk and leaving it at the Charing Cross Station.

John Robinson was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was hanged at Pentonville Prison on August 12, 1927.

On June 17, 1934, an attendant at the Brighton Railway Station noticed a foul smell coming from an unclaimed trunk. He alerted police who opened the trunk and discovered a female torso. The next day her legs were discovered in a suitcase at the Kings Cross Railway Station. Sir Bernard Spilsbury performed the post-mortem and estimated the woman's age at 25. He also found that the woman was five months pregnant and the she had been struck in the head with a blunt object.
The only clue was a piece of paper with the word "Ford" written on it.

After a month-long investigation uncovered no further clues, police decided to conduct a search of the houses surrounding the Brighton Station. On July 15, 1934, the police entered a house located at 52 Kemp Street. They noted a foul odor in a bedroom. They located the source, a trunk that had been covered by a cloth. When the trunk was opened they discovered yet another decomposing body of a woman.

The woman was later identified as 42-year-old Violet Kaye Saunders. She was a known prostitute and had also worked as a dancer. She shared the home on Kemp Street with her lover Tony Mancini. Violet was last seen on May 10, 1934. Mancini told friends that he and Violet had argued and that she had left him and moved to Paris.

Mancini was arrested on July 17, 1934. In his statement to the police he claimed that he had returned to the home and found her dead. He assumed that she had been killed by one of her "clients" and he was afraid he would be blamed for her murder because he had a criminal record. He hid her body in a trunk and on hearing that the police were conducting house-to-house searches he went on the run.

Despite the overwhelming evidence presented by the prosecution, Mancini was found not guilty of murder. However in 1976, prior to his death he publicly confessed to the murder but could not be tried again.

The first murder that led to the discovery of Violet Kaye's body was never solved. The body was never identified. She was dubbed by the press the Girl with Pretty Feet. Her head and arms were never found. Her murder was thought to be unrelated to Kaye's death because no evidence was ever found linking Mancini to her murder.

George Emil Banks

6/05/2009



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.



On Sunday July 6, 2003, Joanie Harper, her three children and her mother, Earnestine Harper, attended Sunday morning church service. It was the first time at church for six-week-old Marshall Harper. After the service they went to dine at the Black Angus before going home. They laid down to take a nap prior to returning to church for the evening service. Joanie and her children were in the rear bedroom while her mother was in another bedroom at the other end of the house.

An intruder, armed with a .22-caliber pistol, entered the house through the backyard and quietly moved to the rear bedroom.

On Tuesday morning family friend, Kelsey Spann, decided to check on her friend Joanie Harper and her family. She had not heard from her in several days and feared something was wrong. She went to a side door and inserted the key given to her by Joanie into the lock. Something was blocking the door keeping her from pushing it open. She walked around to the back of the house and tested the sliding glass door. It was unlocked, something that was very unusual. Kelsey entered the house and walked back to Joanie's bedroom.

A call was placed to 911 at 7 am. When the police arrived at 901 3rd st, they witnessed the horrific scene that Kelsey Spann had stumbled upon:


Joanie Harper - found face down on the bed. She had been shot three times in the head and twice in the arm. She had also been stabbed seven times.

Marshall Harper - the six-week old was found next to his mother under a pillow. He had been shot in the back.







Marques Harper - the four-year-old was found on the bed. He had a gunshot to the right side of his head and his eyes were open. The fingertips of one of his hands had been bitten to the bone. It was surmised that he had seen the killer and frightened he had stuck his
fingers in his mouth.








Lyndsey Harper - the two-year-old was found at the foot of her mother's bed. She had been shot in the back.













Ernestine Harper - found in the hallway. She had been shot twice in the face. The pistol she held when she confronted the intruder was found lying next to her body.







Almost immediately after the murders were discovered, suspicion fell on the estranged husband of Joanie Harper, Vincent E. Brothers. He was arrested nine months later and charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

Vincent Brothers was well-known and well-liked in the Bakersfield, CA community. He was respected as a mentor and a Christian family man. Brothers has a bachelor's degree from Norfolk State University and a master's degree in education from California State University - Bakersfield. He began his career as a substitute teacher in 1987 and eventually became the vice-principal of Fremont Elementary School in 1995.


The trial began on February 22, 2007. Brothers pleaded not guilty and claimed that he was in Ohio visiting his brother at the time of the murders. A brother he had not seen in ten years.

The Prosecution:

According to the prosecution, Brothers was an admitted adulterer, who never loved his family and used murder as a means to rid himself of the financial burden his family placed on him. They claimed that on July 2, 2003 he flew to Ohio to visit his brother in order to establish an alibi. When he touched down in Ohio he rented a Dodge Neon from Dollar Rent-A-Car. Detectives seized the rental car and alleged that the records proved that while the car was in his possession, Brothers put more that 5,400 miles on the car. More than enough mileage for him to have driven to Bakersfield and back. Prosecutors contended that Brother's drove approximately 4,500 miles in three days.

The radiator and air filter was taken to the Bohart Museum of Entomology for testing. Prof. Lynn Kimsey from the University of California - Davis took the stand and testified that she found several insect species in the car parts that were found only in the west and that the types of insects found indicated that the car had only been driven at night.


The prosecution introduced video evidence that proved that Vincent's brother, Melvin, used his credit card at Wal-mart. Melvin also admitted to forging his brother's signature and that he had no knowledge of his brother's whereabouts between July 4th through July 7th. Evidence showed that a call was placed to Brother's cell phone in Ohio around 4 pm on the day of the murder from the Harper residence.

The Defense:

The defense claimed that the extra marital affairs did not a murderer make and were being used to discredit his character. They claim that cell phone records placed Brother's in Ohio at the time of the murders and that he had also been involved in a minor traffic accident when a boy on a bike darted out in the street and ran into Brother's car. Also there was no video evidence of Brother's in over 100 gas stations and mini marts between Ohio and California. The murder weapon was never found. Brother's took the stand in his on defense and claimed that he had also spent time driving around with his other brother, Troy, which was why Melvin did not know where he was from the 4th through the 7th.

Troy Brother's was subpoenaed to testify for the defense but he disappeared. A $100,000 arrest warrant was issued. Columbus police tracked down the man who was actually involved in the traffic accident with the boy on the bike and he testified in court.

On May 15, 2007, the jury found Vincent E. Brothers guilty of five counts of first-degree murder. and on September 27, 2007 he was sentenced to death.

During the sentencing hearing the family members were allowed to read statements, including an emotion packed statement delivered by his only surviving child, Margaret Kern-Brothers. She said that she was resigning from the Brother's family and after she walked out of the courtroom she would be known as Margaret Kern. She went on to state "I am leaving my name with him. I don't have a father now. He is just a man handcuffed to a chair, looking straight ahead. He will never see me again, until it's time to die."