Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods


A Tormented Mind Snaps


George Banks (FilePhoto/Citizens Voice, Wilkes- Barre, PA.)
George Banks
(FilePhoto/Citizens Voice, Wilkes-
Barre, PA.)

During the year leading up to the tragedy, George Emil Banks mental state had greatly declined and one can only speculate as to what was going on in his mind before the carnage. In the early morning hours of September 25, 1982, Banks awoke from a self-induced haze. The 40-year-old prison guard had taken a cocktail of prescription drugs and straight gin around 11:30 p.m. the previous night.

Banks tried to focus his eyes and looked at his surroundings. Lying next to him was an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, which he had purchased the previous year. His four-year-old son, Bowendy, was sleeping next to him while his girlfriends, 29-year-old Regina Clemens, 23-year-old Susan Yuhas, and 29-year-old Dorothy Lyons, sat in chairs nearby. Susan, cradling the couples one-year-old daughter Mauritania in her arms, awoke when George began to stir.

Regina Clemens, Montanzima Banks (FilePhoto/Citizens Voice, Wilkes-  Barre, PA.)
Regina Clemens, Montanzima Banks
(FilePhoto/Citizens Voice, Wilkes-
Barre, PA.)

George reached down and picked up the gun, locked and loaded it with a thirty-round clip. Most likely, his facial expression began to change as he stroked the military-style assault rifle, his eyes burning with anger and a scowl tainting his generally handsome features. Lacking explanation or any apparent compassion, he raised the weapon and shot Regina Clemens. The bullet pierced her right cheek, sliced downward and traveled directly through her heart, killing her instantly. Her body pitched sideways in a lifeless sprawl.

Susan and Dorothy, frozen with fear, watched in horror as George stood there. He shot Susan five times in the chest at point blank range as her cries for mercy fell upon deaf ears. A single bullet entered Mauritanias left ear and exited her right eye as her mother Susan had tried in vain to safeguard her from the hail of bullets. Dorothy must have known that she was to be next for she shielded her face with her right arm as George fired two more rounds. The first bullet pierced her arm and chest; the second entered her neck as she fell forward to the floor, her eyes open but glazed with the unmistakable luster of death.

Bowendys young face turned away from his father when a single shot rang out; the bullet traveled through his left cheek and exited his right ear, virtually turning his face inside out. The AR-15 fell abruptly silent as George stood amidst the carnage he had inflicted upon his family. Spent cartridges littered the floor and the smell of gunpowder and death permeated the air. His taste for blood had yet to be quenched. He was a man on a deadly mission, and there was still much to do. He made his way up the stairs towards his childrens bedrooms.

Six-year-old Montanzima was sitting up on her bed. Awakened by the gunfire, she looked up at her father quizzically as he entered the room. George raised the weapon and shot the child point blank in the chest. As she fell over, he fired a second shot into her head. Her lifeless body slumped to the floor.

Moving down the hall, George stopped at eleven-year-old Nancy Lyons room. She was sitting up on her bed holding her half-brother one-year-old Forarounde Banks in her arms. The young girl saw the anger in his eyes, and attempted to shield her brother as George stood up on the bed and took aim. There were three shots fired in rapid succession. Forarounde was shot in the back of the head, the bullet exiting his left eye. A bullet struck Nancy in the left forearm and one directly in the face that immediately shattered her skull. Both children lie dead as he walked out of the room. George made his way to his bedroom, his clothes splattered with blood, where he donned military style fatigues and a T-shirt that read, Kill em all and let God sort em out.

James Olsen, victim
James Olsen, victim

Across the street from Banks house, 22-year-old Jimmy Olsen and 24-year-old Ray Hall, Jr. heard the multiple gunshots and decided to get out of the area. As they approached their car, George walked out of his house. Banks immediately ran up to them, Youre never going to live to tell anyone about this! he exclaimed as the gun expelled a flurry of bullets at the two men. Hall and Olsen were both struck point blank in the chest and fell to the pavement. Banks stood over their bodies only momentarily before getting into his vehicle and driving off.


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