THE TRUE STORY OF GEORGE EMIL BANKS
A Chilling Discovery
Sometime around 2:30 a.m., Jenkins Township Patrolman John Darski and Detective Captain Ray McGarry, while on routine patrol, received a call instructing them to investigate a possible shooting in Heather Highlands. As the two veteran officers turned into the park entrance, they had no way of knowing the horror and carnage that they were about to witness, a memory that would stay with them for the rest of their lives. Upon reaching lot 188, they immediately noticed that a Caucasian female, covered with blood, was lying next to the steps of the home. She had no vital signs and it was apparent that she had died as a result of at least one gunshot wound.
Upon a cautious and defensive entrance of the home, the officers discovered Kissamayu on the couch, Scott face down in the hallway and the decapitated body of Alice in the bedroom. Realizing they were no longer in danger, Keith and Angelo came out from hiding. Officers on the scene, while sick to their stomach from the bloody massacre, were relieved that at least two children had survived. Alices sons, while in a state of shock, were able to tell investigators that George Banks was the man who had committed the appalling crimes. The officers put out an all-points bulletin for Banks arrest.
At about the same time Jenkins Township police officers were arriving at Heather Highlands, Wilkes-Barre Police Lt. John Lowe, en route to a similar call, discovered the bodies of two Caucasian males lying next to the street on Schoolhouse Lane. Lowe immediately called for backup before exiting his vehicle to evaluate the situation.
Uncertain as to whether the perpetrator was still in the general vicinity, Lowe walked up to a small white house across from the victims bodies and cautiously stepped inside. Hoping to spot the gunman in the home, he shined his light around the interior. A nightmarish scene greeted Lowe. The smell of fresh gunpowder still saturated the air and there were corpses scattered about the rooms.
Paramedics dispatched to the scene immediately treated James Olsen and Raymond Hall. Both men had sustained serious injuries and were in critical condition upon their arrival at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. While the paramedics were treating the wounded, the local police department was just arriving at the scene. Wilkes-Barre Detective Tino Andreoli was one of the first investigators to arrive at 28 School House Lane. Detective Patrick Curley greeted him solemnly as he walked up to Banks front door:
Curley: We have a homicide.
Andreoli: How many?
Curley: I lost track.
Detective Andreoli was horrified as he entered the home; in all of his years on the force he had never encountered anything like the slaughter that now presented itself. The rooms were blood-splattered and riddled with bullets. The detectives wondered to themselves how a person could murder young, innocent children in such a heinous cold-blooded manner?
Police had cordoned off all routes out of the city and were desperately trying to find their murder suspect. George was well aware of the manhunt and decided to change vehicles to elude police. After deserting his vehicle, he stopped a motorist near the Cabaret Lounge in Wilkes-Barre. George put his gun to the mans head and forced him out of his vehicle. He drove the mans 72 Chevy to the east-end section of the city and then abandoned it. Still feeling the effects of the alcohol and drugs that he had consumed earlier, George walked into a desolate area, lay down in the grass and passed out.
At Wilkes-Barre General Hospital at 3:30 a.m., Raymond Hall, Jr. was pronounced dead. A Life Flight helicopter rushed James Olsen to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville when his condition deteriorated.