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Hello, My name is Chenelle. I have been looking in to this case trying to find any living relatives (of Jerry Banks), because I believe I am related to them. I have been searching for 2 years now since my mom told me a story her grandmother told her that lead me to look for such a case and it landed me at this case. Please email me back.
My grandmother and great grandmother came from Henry County, Georgia and had horrible stories and were deathly afraid of the south because of things that happened to them.  I am sorry if I am rambling but I am so excited at having someone to share the stories which my great grandma told us too. Thank you for bringing this to light and I wish you much luck with the book and for telling the ugly things that went on in Henry County, Georgia.

Well the way I found the story was by googleing his name and the names of his children. Then I went page by page to see if I could find anything new.
I think I am related to Jerry Banks. The reason why is because my mom recently told me a story that my great grandma told her many years ago. My great grandma is responsible for her family members to California, one by one, because of the horrible things that were happening to them in Henry County around the 1950s. In the early 80s she told my mom, she got a letter from a relative (Jerry Banks) who was recently let out of prison after being falsely accused for murder of 2 white people. He was distraught over his wife moving in with someone else and wanting a divorce. My great grandmother later got another letter telling her that the male relative killed himself and his wife and they wanted to know if they could send the kids to California to live with my great grandma. Her and my mom discussed the fact that she was to old to take care of the kids and so she didn't. That was the end of the story. I was thinking that this was such a major thing and I'm sure I can find something on line about it. And I did. And the people were from exactly where my ancestors are and the story matches so much of what my great grandma said.
My hope is that you can help me get in touch with any of his living descendants. My great grandmother is now deceased but she has left us with many mysteries and partial stories of our family in Henry county Georgia. She was very afraid and ashamed of things that happened there. All of our family members she brought to California have either died or are lost to drugs and the streets. My mom and I just really want to know the family history and roots and I hope with finding Jerry Banks descendants we can get that. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me and for any help you can extend to me.


Chenelle Brown

Friday, January 27, 2012 9:10 PM

Hi Charles,
I Googled search for the "King/Hartsfield murders" and your book came up. It was by far the most detailed information of anything else that came up. I like how you had the previews of the chapters, it made me really want to read more.
Like you, this homicide and its aftermath has haunted me since early morning on November 8, 1974, when I first heard the news.  I had just graduated from Jonesboro High and was in the marching band for four years.
I knew both Mr. King and Melanie well.  This was the single most shocking piece of news I have ever received in my entire life.  I followed the case as closely as I could, up until Jerry died. But it was always felt like that really wasn't the end...very frustrating, no real answers or explanations, ever.  And it seemed to me that news coverage was very limited, even hush-hush.  The fact that I knew two of the victims (I count Jerry as the third victim),  and the fact that there has never been resolution has left me with many questions, and I have thought about this event very persistently.
When I came upon your website about your book, I was very excited.  I NEED to read this so hopefully I will learn more about this case which has been on my mind for 37 years.  Please tell me how I can obtain a copy.
I checked Amazon but didn't find it.  I can't wait to read it.  Thanks to you for all the research and time it must have taken.

Thank you Charles, just let me know how I can get my hands on the book!

Nancy Holland                     
Thursday, April 5, 2012 4:06 PM

I work in Jonesboro, Georgia and my co-worker told me about the unsolved murders of one of her high school classmates and the school band teacher. I was interested in the story so I did some research but only found more questions.

I would like to see an investigation done on this story of the unsolved murders in Henry County, Georgia in 1974. High school band teacher Marvin King and his former student, 19-year old Melanie Hartsfield were found in some woods shot to death by a black man named Jerry Banks while he was out hunting. Jerry Banks was twice convicted and sentenced to death, but then his conviction was overturned. A short while after he was released, police say he shot his wife and killed himself. There have been allegations of racism and a police cover-up.

Another interesting part of this story is that serial killer Paul John Knowles was in the area at the time of the murders while he was on the run. This story has lots of aspects to it: unsolved murders, alleged police cover-up, racism and a possible serial killer.
This was posted on  ID Investigation Discovery  04/27/12