Clifton Bankston handwritten envelope

Clifton Bankston handwritten envelope

11.00

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.

The envelope is handwritten.

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