On August 15th, 1987, three women -- 63-year-old Ann
Morris, her 59-year-old sister, Sally Nicholson and Sally's daughter,
Helen, 22 -- were savagely hacked to pieces from the blows of a madman
with a hatchet. The sheer mutilation of the corpses was so severe that
they were completely beyond recognition, and had to be positively ID'ed
through post-mordem testing.
On August 16th, cops spotted one of the victims' car
outside a home where one 16-year-old Clinton Bankston, Jr. resided.
Immediately arrested on three counts of murder, Bankston watched the
charges multiply the next day, when he was also charged with the
merciless and grisly stabbings of Glenn and Rachel Sutton.
Our hero's relatives professed no knowledge of his
violent tendencies, but Bankston readily confessed to participation in
the slaughters, blaming the real evil on an elusive accomplice named
"Chris". After months of investigation, cops concluded that he
most likely imagined or concocted "Chris" to shift the blame
away from himself.
May 12, 1988 (his seventeenth birthday) -- the young
hero pleads guilty but mentally ill on five counts of murder. Rescued
from Death Row by a state law forbidding execution of killers 16 or
younger at the time of their crimes, he is now serving five consecutive
Source: Hunting Humans by Michael Newton, Loompanics
Bankston, Clinton, Jr.
In sheer ferocity, the crimes were something new to residents of Athens, Georgia. On the night of August 15, 1987, three women -- 63-year-old Ann Morris, her 59-year-old sister, Sally Nicholson, and Sally's daughter Helen, 22 -- were hacked to death in a home in suburban Carr's Hill.
The murder weapon was believed to be a hatchet, recovered at the scene, but mutilations were so extensive that verification and identification of the victims came only through post mortem testing.
On August 16, patrolmen spotted a stolen car, owned by one of the victims, outside the home where Clinton Bankston lived with his half-brother, Curtis Johnson. Arrested on three counts of murder, Bankston watched the charges multiply the next day, when he was charged with the April 1987 stabbing deaths of Glenn and Rachel Sutton.
The product of a broken home, Bankston was living with his mother when his father died in a fire, during May 1982. Associates and relatives professed no knowledge of his violent tendencies, but Clinton readily confessed participation in the murders, blaming most of the violence on an elusive accomplice named "Chris." As months slipped past, authorities could find no trace of Chris, and they believe that Bankston made him up in an attempt to shift the blame for his atrocious crimes.
On May 12, 1988 -- his seventeenth birthday -- Bankston pled guilty, but mentally ill on five counts of first-degree murder. Rescued from death row by a state law forbidding execution of killers 16 or younger at the time of their offense, he was sentenced to five terms of life imprisonment.
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting
M RACE: B TYPE: T MOTIVE: Sex.
Killed/mutilated five victims in two home invasions
Five life terms, May 1988
Clinton Bankston Jr.