Convicted Murderer Charged in Death of Dismembered Daughter Today

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
July 12, 2019USshare
Convicted Murderer Charged in Death of Dismembered Daughter Today
Lawrence Banks. (Baltimore Police)

BALTIMORE—A man convicted of two murders is now charged in the death of his adult daughter who was found dismembered near a dumpster in Baltimore, Maryland.

Sixty-five-year-old Lawrence Banks has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dominique Foster, according to The Baltimore Sun. City police served him with charging documents on July 11 as he was being held at a detention center awaiting trial on firearm charges filed last month during the investigation into Foster’s death.

Foster’s headless body was found in May on Mother’s Day in an abandoned shopping cart near Banks’ apartment. Her feet, lower legs and hands also were missing. Charging documents say a search of his apartment revealed blood, counterfeit money and a .380 caliber handgun that had only five bullets in the magazine.

For decades, women close to Banks have been found dead. He hasn’t been charged in any of their deaths until now.

In 1976, Banks was sentenced to 15 years in prison for throwing his 7-month-old daughter through a glass door while arguing with his wife, Vivian Banks. Vivian Banks was found dead just before that case went to trial. Her body was so decomposed that a cause of death couldn’t be determined. No one has been charged in her death.

Years later, Banks was convicted in the 1991 killings of his son and another man. Prosecutors said then that Banks killed his son because the son and a daughter—the one who was thrown through the glass door—claimed Banks physically abused them. They said the daughter also accused Banks of sexually abusing her.

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and released in 2002.

Two years later, his then-wife, Patricia Samartaney, took out several protective orders against him, accusing him of threatening to kill her. She said he had choked her with a vacuum hose and tried to suffocate her with a pillow. He was jailed on an assault charge for several months before being acquitted.

In 2006, the daughter of Banks’ then-girlfriend filed a protective order against him. That woman, 22-year-old Lisa Laverne Brown, and her 9-month-old daughter, Labria, were later found shot to death.

Prince George’s County police asked Banks’ parole agent to find violations to keep him behind bars as they built a case, according to the newspaper. He was detained the day after the slayings for possibly violating his parole by moving without first telling his parole agent and for being a threat to others.

He was ordered to serve out the rest of his sentence for the 1991 killings. The parole commissioner at the time, Perry Sfikas, said the slayings couldn’t legally be considered in revoking Banks’ parole. He said of Banks’ general behavior that there was “way too much smoke for there not to be a fire.”

He hasn’t been charged in the 2006 deaths, and the case remains open.

Banks was released again in 2014, years after Foster moved to North Carolina. Foster’s husband says his 43-year-old wife recently started trying to reconnect with Banks and was staying with her sister in the city.

Family members say they fear Banks, and Foster’s husband said it’s a blessing Banks is off the streets.

“He’s a modern-day serial killer, but no one wants to come out and say it,” he said, adding that Foster said she believed she would leave the world by her dad’s hand.

Court records didn’t list an attorney for Banks.

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