DC Woman: 4 Daughters 'Had Demons'

Mother, charged with murder; lived for months with bodies
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2008 7:21 AM CST
A large group of family and friends of Banita Jacks, center, who did not wish to be identified by names, exit D.C. Superior Court after Jacks' appearance there in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008,...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – A Washington, DC, woman accused of killing her four daughters admitted to police she had lived for months with their decomposing bodies. Banita Jacks told police that the girls died in their sleep, but told jail blockmates that she killed them because they were possessed by demons, the Washington Post reports. Investigators estimate the girls died as long ago as last May.

US marshals discovered the bodies, which bore marks of strangulation and stabbing, when they tried to evict her from the house Wednesday. Jacks had retreated from relatives after her partner, the father of two of the children, died of cancer almost a year ago, holing up in the house and pulling the children out of school. Critics question why no state intervention occurred; she told authorities she was going to home school the girls.