Details of Banita Jacks's Relationship With Eldest Daughter Emerge

By Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Banita Jacks repeatedly told District homicide detectives that demons possessed her daughters but that she was confident that they would return from the dead when the demons died.

For the second day, Jacks's voice dominated proceedings in D.C. Superior Court, as the remaining portion of her eight-hour police interrogation was played yesterday for the judge hearing her case.

During the interview, Jacks began sobbing when detectives pulled out a box of family photos that included several of her four dead daughters, Aja Fogle, 5, N'Kiah Fogle, 6, Tatianna Jacks, 11, and Brittany Jacks, 17. She cried again when detectives pulled out a picture of the sonogram from when she was carrying Aja.

The videos were played by Jacks's attorneys for Judge Frederick H. Weisberg during a motions hearing preceding the trial. Jacks's attorneys want their client's answers to police disallowed. The hearing will resume today, and after Weisberg issues his ruling on the admissibility of the tapes, he will allow the lawyers to make their opening statements and begin the trial.

The girls were found by federal marshals delivering eviction papers Jan. 9, 2008. They had been dead for about seven months. The police interrogation occurred that same day.

Jacks is charged with 12 counts in the deaths of the girls, including premeditated first-degree murder and cruelty to children. Because of the ages of the victims, she faces life in prison without parole. She pleaded not guilty.

In the videos, new details emerged about Jacks's confrontational relationship with Brittany. Jacks said Brittany was possessed with a Jezebel demon and was the most difficult to control. Jacks said that her daughter was about 6-foot-1 and that they fought twice after Brittany ran away from home.

Jacks, 35, said she kept Brittany in her room so she wouldn't influence her sisters. She described a chaotic life after her live-in boyfriend of seven years, Nathaniel Fogle Jr., died of cancer in February 2007. But then, Fogle appeared to her in a dream and told her that all four girls would be taken from her. "To stop my suffering, Nathaniel took them," she said. "But they would be resurrected."

Jacks said Fogle told her in the dream that for the two of them to be together again, she would have to suffer. "He was trying to protect me," she said. Jacks corrected the detectives when they said Fogle died. "He went to sleep," she said.

Aja died in her sleep first, Jacks told police, while her two sisters lived with the body in their bedroom. One of the sisters, Jacks said, "thought Aja's death was funny. They didn't care."

N'Kiah died the next night, then Tatianna, who had "green stuff" pouring out of her mouth and nose, Jacks told police.

The weaker the girls got, the weaker the demons got, she said on the tape.

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