Isadore Banks was a fifty-nine year on black landowner on the day he disappeared. His wife Alice, last saw him leaving the house with the intentions to pay the people who helped him on the farm.
Banks was born on July 25, 1895, a time when in Arkansas violence against blacks was on the rise. By 1900, African Americans throughout Arkansas had been cut out of the political process and were living in constant fear, with lynching quickly becoming the main form of control of black people.
Banks had made quite the life for him and his family. He was a prominent and respected leader, a Freemason, and one of the wealthiest African-American landowners in this region. At the time he owned over 1,000 acres of land.
On June 8, 1954, Banks truck was located in a wooded area outside of Marion in Crittenden County by a neighbor. Some of Banks belongings were still in the truck including his jacket and shotgun. Later that day, Banks body was discovered tied to a true. He had been mutilated beyond recognition.
The coroner found no sign of a robbery or struggle had taken place at the scene and since Banks weighed 300 pounds it would have taken several people to dispose of his body if the crime had taken elsewhere. It was also discovered that a firearm or knife had left a hole in Banks right side.
Banks murder became one of the most notorious cold cases of the civil rights era.
We all know what happened to him, he was murdered by a bunch of barbaric, white, heathens.
He was murdered by a bunch of racist devil cowards!They will pay!
I’m a retired police officer from the west coast. When I saw the billboard I felt compelled to research this case. I spent most of my career as an investigator.
I am also 59 years old and at times feel a reverse of the racism that plagued this country in the previous centuries. I feel this mostly from young white and Hispanics, not black folks.
Please do not take this as any comparison of what our black citizens went through, far from it. Not even close.
I only pray that many black folks are starting to see the change that is so desperately needed in our great country. Although this can never in any way erase the unbelievably cruel treatment of our black neighbors, I hope our black friends, neighbors and citizens see some relief in sight or actually experience how absolutely horrible most white Americans feel about the history we share and how much we wish to create a better future for all Americans.
With regard to Mr. Banks, my sincere wish is that the people responsible for this have suffered greatly or will when judgement day arrives for them. It unlikely they will ever suffer enough. My other wish is that anyone involved, that is still alive come forward to confess and settle the record so that Mr. Banks family could have some sliver of satisfaction.
My most sincere sympathy to Mr. Banks family. I pray that you find some small amount of peace knowing that the vast majority of Americans who hear about this incredible injustice are wishing you well and the strength to forgive those who would hold ill will toward anyone of color.