Records show that when Dominique Foster was just 7-months-old, her father threw her through a glass door.
43 years later, Baltimore Police have again arrested her father, Lawrence Banks, and this time they’ve charged him with her murder.
Foster, a mother of six, was discovered on May 12, her dismembered body hidden in garbage outside a dumpster in Northwest Baltimore. Her head, hands, feet, and lower legs were all missing and have not been recovered, police said.
She was identified only after the department released photos of her tattoos that were later recognized by family members.
Banks remains at the city jail, where he has been since being charged with illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition in late May.
During a search of his apartment on May 29, police found blood and a gun. They didn’t charge him with the killing then, but the police documents hinted that more charges would come.
The murder charges have brought relief to family members, who say they feared Banks, now 65.
He was previously convicted of killing his son and a friend, and has been questioned in the deaths of several family members deaths over the last 40 years. They say they long-predicted Foster’s grim fate: “Dominique knew if she left this world, it would be by her dad,” her husband, Willie Foster said. Banks killed his 17-year old son back in 1991. That same day, he gunned down a friend, but served only a decade in prison after being awarded “good time credits,” court records show.
Victim: Dominique Foster was murdered and her body desecrated by her her father 43 years after he threw her through a glass door as a 7-month-old baby, police said
Before the unveiling of the new murder charges, court documents in the firearms case show investigators had suspected Banks since the May 29 search of his apartment. Those documents detailed their investigation into Foster’s death. They said officers interviewed a neighbor who heard some arguing on the night of May 10.
A security camera video from that day obtained by police showed a man with a limp in a white jacket and hoodie wheeling a shopping cart toward the lot where Foster was found. “The team of detectives that worked on this case were simply relentless. There’s no substitute for solid detective work, which is exactly what led to an arrest,” Homicide Major Christopher Jones said in a statement.
The department declined to discuss the case further. The statement of probable cause was not yet publicly available. Banks did not have an attorney listed in online court records. “Dominique knew if she left this world, it would be by her dad,” said Willie Foster who called Banks a “monster” who long traumatized his wife. Through their 19 years of marriage Willie Foster said, his wife kept her family away from Banks. Foster and his wife moved to North Carolina about 15 years ago but in the past year she moved to Baltimore to live with her sister.
Dominique Foster, a mother of six, was discovered on May 12, her dismembered body hidden in garbage outside a dumpster in Northwest Baltimore, Maryland
In recent months, Willie Foster said his wife began to reconnect with her father even though she kept her family at a distance from him after being abused by him as a child. According to Foster and court records, Dominique Foster had been abused physically and sexually by her father. In the gun case, Baltimore Police homicide detectives said Banks had a sexual relationship with his daughter. Police said Foster had been staying with Banks at his apartment at 4001 Clarks Lane in the Glen neighborhood, around the corner from where her body was found. At a bail review hearing last month in the gun case, he attempted to tell the district court judge that the gun was not his. A public defender argued for leniency on his behalf and told the judge that Banks is a father of six with a master’s degree from Towson University. However, contradicting the defense argument, the college said they had no record Banks was ever a student there. Banks was also described as a member of the Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Northwest Baltimore, but Leroy Davis, a trustee at the church on Garrison Boulevard, said the church had no record of a member by that name. Members of he congregation have no recollection of him attending services either.
The victim was identified by a family member after police released photo of his tattoo of lips on the dismembered body
The defense represented that their client volunteered at The Baltimore Station, a shelter for veterans, which remains uncorroborated. Banks told the investigator he liked to read and travel. He admitted to a temper but told the investigator, “I have a pretty good personality” but that he didn’t like violence. But court records show a history of violent charges. Banks has had a history of violence and deception, according to court documents. “He is not at all the person that he presents himself to be. He lies smoothly and talks smoothly. He is quite skilled at misrepresenting himself,” a pre-sentencing investigator wrote in 1976 after the assault of his infant daughter. Dominique Foster was just a baby when a few days after Christmas 1975, Banks was drunk and got into an argument with his then-wife Vivian Banks, at his mother’s house in East Baltimore. He threatened he was “going to do something to this baby you’ll both regret,” and then the women heard a loud crash. Vivian Banks then rushed her young daughter to the hospital where she received two dozen stitches on her head, the report said. One of Dominique Foster’s daughters who chose to remain anonymous, citing safety concerns, said the baby was her mother.
Banks was charged with assault in that case. But while he was on bail awaiting trial, police found the body of his wife Vivian Banks in a closet of an East Baltimore apartment she had been renting.
He had previously be charged with assault and intent to murder Vivian Banks after police said he held an 8-inch steak knife to her throat, but she subsequently asked that the charges be dropped against him.
Court documents in several criminal proceedings against Banks show that though detectives believed he killed his wife, because her body had been badly decomposing, the medical examiner could not determine a cause of death.
Banks was sentenced to 15 years for the assault against his baby daughter. He was released in 1988.
Four years later, Banks had been drinking with two friends in Pasadena when he shot and killed one, Michael Chisholm. That same day in 1991, prosecutors said he drove to Baltimore and shot and killed his 17-year old son, Lawrence Jr., at his foster home on Northern Parkway.
Police said at the time that Banks killed his son because he was angry that the son and daughter, Dominique Foster, reported that their father had severely beaten them on multiple occasions.
As a child in the early 1990s, Dominique Foster had reported that her father had raped her while he was drunk
Dominique Foster also reported that her father had raped her while he was drunk.
After her brother was killed, Foster told investigators she lived in fear that her father might kill her as well – she told investigators her father occasionally would come to her school and “threaten with meeting the same fate as her mother.”
After pleading guilty to the Chisholm murder and no contest to the murder of Lawrence Jr., he was handed a 20-year concurrent sentence.
On his release in 2002, Banks changed his name to Malik Samartaney, remarried and moved to Laurel, but his wave of domestic terror continue.
His new wife filed three protective orders against him, and in 2004 Banks was charged with assault in Anne Arundel County for choking and threatening to kill her.
Banks allegedly told his then-wife, “I must kill you,” held a knife to her throat and threatened to dump her body in the Patuxent River.
After nine months remanded in jail awaiting trial he w acquitted by a jury.
By 2006, Banks separated from his wife and moved in with another woman and her daughter, Lisa Laverne Brown, 22 and Brown’s daughter Labria.
Months later on Dec. 12, 2006, police said Brown and her daughter were fatally shot.
Prince George’s County police questioned Banks, and asked Banks’ parole agent to find violations that could keep him behind bars as they built a case.
He was never charged and the cases remain open.