Man convicted of murdering son decades ago now arrested for killing daughter who was found dismembered near dumpster
Lawrence Banks, who had already been convicted of two murders, has now been charged for killing and dismembering his daughter, Dominique Foster. Her decapitated body was found near a dumpster in Baltimore.
The 65-year-old Banks was charged with first-degree murder, and the city police served him with the charging documents while he was being held at a detention center. Banks was awaiting trial on firearm charges filed against him in June this year, during the investigation of Foster's death. Foster's headless body was found in May on Mother's Day, in an abandoned shopping cart, with her feet, lower legs, and hands also missing.
According to The Baltimore Sun, the charging documents claimed that a search of his apartment revealed blood, counterfeit money, and a .380 caliber handgun that had only five bullets in its magazine. Reportedly, women who were close to Banks were found dead in the last few decades, but he hadn't been charged in any of their deaths until now. In 1976, Banks was charged with 15 years of prison after he threw his then seven-month-old daughter threw a glass door, mid-argument with his wife, Vivian Banks.
Even though the baby had survived, Vivian was found dead just days prior to the trial. The body was so badly decomposed that no cause of death could be determined; neither has anyone been charged with her murder. Years later, Banks was convicted in 1991, but that was for the murder of his son and another man. According to prosecutors, Banks had killed his son because the boy and the daughter, whom he had flung through the door in the past, had accused him of physically abusing them and sexually abusing the daughter. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison but released in 2002.
Just two years later, Banks' then-wife Patricia Samartaney, took out a number of protective orders against him and accused him of threatening to murder her. She claimed he had choked her with a vacuum cleaning hose and had also tried to suffocate her with a pillow. This sent him to jail on an assault charge for several months before he was acquitted. Four years later in 2006, the daughter of Banks' then-girlfriend filed a protective order against him. She was 22-year-old Lisa Laverne Brown, who, along with her nine-month-old daughter Labria, was later found shot to death.
Prince George's County police ordered Banks' parole agent to find violations to keep him detained while they worked on building a case, reported The Baltimore Sun. He was arrested the day after the murders for possibly violating his parole by moving without informing his parole officer first, and for being a threat to others. Banks was ordered to serve out the rest of his sentence for the 1991 killings.
The parole commissioner back then, Perry Sfikas, said that the killings couldn't legally be considered to revoke Banks' parole. About Banks' behavior, he said there was "way too much smoke for there not to be a fire". Banks hasn't been charged in the 2006 murders either and the case remains open. He was released in 2014 once again, which was years after his daughter, Foster, had moved to North Carolina.
According to her husband, 43-year-old Foster had recently begun reconnecting with her father, Banks, and was staying with her sister in the city. Her family members had said that they are afraid of Banks, and her husband, Willie Foster, called Banks being off the streets, a blessing.
"He's a modern-day serial killer, but no one wants to come out and say it," Willie said, adding that his wife had said she feared her dad would cause her death. A vigil was held last month near the dumpster at Clarks Lane Garden Apartments. Foster's cousin, Tamara, told CBS Baltimore that the deceased Dominique loved her family and was an avid animal lover.