Aja Fogle, banita jacks case, banita jacks daughters, benita jacks banita jacks murder case, Brittany Jacks, case of woman killing four girls, depression, four girls deaths, mental illness, N'Kiah Fogle, Tatianna Jacks, washington dc murder, what's going on marvin gaye
by vivrant thang on what’s going on and the daily news
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today
I often joke that the future Mr. Vivrant Thang will not only need to have the patience of Job, but should also have experience dealing with mental patients in order to live with me for the rest of his life. It’s cases like this that remind me that there are some issues that just aren’t a laughing matter.
I was talking with The First Lady yesterday and realized that people outside the area may not have heard about this case, although it has been picked up nationally.
It’s a difficult story to report on several levels because so much of it doesn’t make sense and there are so many details that are still unfolding. I suspect there are some things that will never be fully explained because there are no explanations.
Last week, authorities arrived at the home of 33-year-old Banita Jacks’ to evict her from her DC residence. Instead, they essentially stumbled upon a house of horrors. Inside the home were the badly decomposed bodies of her four daughters; Brittany Jacks, 16; Tatianna Jacks, 11; N’Kiah Fogle, 6; and Aja Fogle, 5. It’s unclear how long the children had been dead. The medical examiner says at least two weeks.
Jacks claims they were possessed by demons and died in their sleep some time before her electricity was cut off , which was back in September 2007. However, the girls were found to have blunt force trauma, stab wounds, and ligature marks around their necks. Jacks also admitted she starved them before they “died.”
There are many more details to this story which you can read about here and here. After you read them, I’m sure you’ll be left with several questions.
Here are my issues.
There were 30 family members in the courtroom at Jacks’ first appearance. Where were these same family members when these girls went missing?Reports have said that the family would come over there and she wouldn’t answer or she wouldn’t let them in. See, this brings up an issue in the Black community that I need to talk about in another post. We don’t have “Big Mommas” anymore. Big Momma would have gone over there to see about her babies. If Jacks’ would have dared to fix her lips to say that she couldn’t come in, she would have been backhanded and shoved to the side.
Apparently, there was a grandmother to two of the girls in the picture. She gave the same sob story about trying to contact them but had gotten cussed out and turned away. I guess she gave up.
What about the two fathers of the oldest girls? Did they not notice their daughters were missing? No, because neither of those negroes were paying regular child support so they probably couldn’t have cared less about seeing the girls. They probably were glad not to have seen or heard from Jacks. We won’t even get into how social services and the school system failed this family. Just like any inner city, you got a bunch of lazy heifers and negroes sitting up there collecting fat checks while claiming they are underpaid and overworked. Sure, the system needs major reform and Mayor Fenty wasted no time cleaning house, as he should have. It’s unconscionable that a school social worker actually did her job and after a visit to the home in April, had to plead for authorities to help the girls. At that point, they had missed over a month of school and were essentially being held hostage in a nasty house by a deranged mother. The social worker reported all of this and the cops went over there and left, apparently without laying eyes on them. Those girls could have been dying then. Can you imagine how terrified they must have been? The older girls probably tried to comfort the younger ones while dealing with their own hunger and fear. Horrible.I know there are rules that have to be followed, but officials seriously dropped the ball here.
Cellmates of Benita Jacks have said she admitted to killing the girls and that she is “crazy.” There is no question in my mind that this woman is indeed mentally ill. Apparently after the father of the two youngest died of cancer, the family situation changed drastically and something inside of her snapped. Why didn’t someone recognize this and get this woman some help?
Mental illness is a serious problem in this country that is not being addressed. We are quick to dismiss someone as “crazy,” and keep it moving until something like this happens. A girl that I hang out with on occasion is battling depression and I am the first to admit that I often avoid her or become impatient with her moody behavior and what I deem stand-offishness. I don’t know the extent of her illness because she doesn’t talk about it, but clinical depression is also nothing to ignore.
It’s time for us to go back to the days of it taking a village to raise a child. If we don’t start speaking up and getting involved when something ain’t quite right about a situation (and not stopping until there is a resolution!), we are going to keep losing our children.
Based on some accounts, it seems Jacks was a good mother before she snapped. So if she had gotten some help, there’s a chance this tragedy could have been avoided. Who knows what these girls could have accomplished had they actually had a chance at life? Perhaps this? Or any of this?
Sadly, we’ll never know.
They can’t get it right no matter how hard they try.
B. Good said:
How horrible. Whats worse is that it seems that this tragedy was VERY preventable. Sometimes people just snap, and theres no opportunity to cut them off at the pass. But there were several instances where someone could have taken just one more step (not even a big step) and saved these girls from their demise.
That is so hurtful.
WELL SAID! I TOTALLY AGREE!
Wow, my stomach is in knots. this is beyond sad it is a tragedy, and one that could have been prevented. I really don’t understand families that don’t connect with each other. Why is it that this babies were dead for so long and no one intervened???
The system is also at fault because there should have been some action long ago. It is tragic to see young life evaporated for no reason other than the system failed them…
vivrant thang said:
@ B and Regina: Indeed, this is a very hurtful case because it was so preventable.
I also just can’t wrap my mind around the fact that there were THIRTY family members in that courtroom and not a one helped that girl when she was losing her mind. It seems like it was a gradual thing and could have been headed off before it got to that point. And not one of them thought to find out where those kids were when they hadn’t seen them in forever and a day.
I just hope there is some reform of the system after this. But it’s a shame that four innocent kids had to lose their lives for it to happen. I’m so tired of these kids dying.
Jennifer Morris said:
listen i am Benitas family member. you say that their was 30 family members at the trial,your correct,however u know nothing about our family or the girls. i lived with Benita and the girls for almost a year and then moved 6 months later she committed this awful act. I was there for her and spoke to her on a regular and never did i think or feel like something was wrong,Benita was a good no great mother to the girls and always had been. she was going through things that noone could ever know so dont judge the family or me for not doing something to help. I loved the gils more than u know we all did and to be honest i tried to contact her days before this happend and she and the girls were supposed to come stay with me but she never called and my call was never answered by her. you dont konw the whole story or life but i do cause i am real family. i miss my cousins very much and yes do feel some blame for not just going out to pick her up the weekend before this happend but i am a single mom myself and no transportation so i couldnt get to them that day. I do blame myself but like i said we meaning the family had no idea that it was that bad, and we NEVER
That’s sad. Benita Jacks needs some gasoline poured on her body. I’ll light the match. I hate to hear about sickness like this. I always wonder why the person responsible just don’t kill themselves, and let the children live. So, so sad.
You are right. No big momma’s anymore. No daddies. Just women who grew up to fast and no longer want to deal with the demons which comes with growing up too fast. Then, you also make an excellent point about the 30 family members who come to court just to put on a show, I guess.
It’s fucked up, dawg.
“We won’t even get into how social services and the school system failed this family. Just like any inner city, you got a bunch of lazy heifers and negroes sitting up there collecting fat checks while claiming they are underpaid and overworked.”
Good morning. As a SW, I have to say that the claim that many of us are underpaid and overworked is actually true. I know I damn sure am living paycheck to paycheck, and I’m licensed. I think that many people point fingers at us right away once something like this happens. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough fingers pointed at what is usually the correct reason for tragedies like this happening itself – the bureaucratic system itself.
As an example, my job has very recently put restrictions on certain things that I could be doing with my families, making my job even harder. If something happens with any of my families, I’m screwed. Fingers will point at me right away. And of course, the higher-ups will not take any responsibility. As recently as this past weekend, something happened with one of my families that almost turned very tragic and because of the restraints put on me by the higher-ups at my job, I was not able to assist the family in the way that I could have. Luckily, my supervisor was able to step in and handle things. Because of my (client) family’s situation, I will be re-addressing the restraints that the job has put on me and point this tragic case as an example of what could happen next if they don’t take these restraints off of me and my team.
The situation with our children and families in this country is so complex that one reason is not enough to answer why our children and families are being neglected, and later dying, by the system as a whole.
This is said with peace. Have a good day.
vivrant thang said:
@ don – I totally understand why you would personally feel that way about Banita and it’s HARD to get over what she did. However, when mental illness is involved, I have to take pause in calling for the mother’s head.
@ph- Thank you so very much for stopping by and posting this. I can always appreciate other perspectives on issues like this, particularly from someone that works inside the system. I admit in my anger, I probably spoke too broadly and didn’t do more to acknowledge that there are other underlying issues. So thank you for tactfully calling that to my attention.
I totally agree that there are instances when the system ties social workers’ hands and that’s why I said that indeed the whole system also needs reform. I guess my rage is more against the workers, unlike yourself, that aren’t doing their jobs – that aren’t pushing like that school social worker did. Thank you for doing what must be a VERY tough and mentally draining job.
If you come back and read this, I’d like to know your thoughts on this particular case and what you think happened here? Have you ever seen anything like this? What do you think should happen to Banita?
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I appreciate the respectful reply. 🙂
Personally I have never seen anything like this, but I’ve had a couple very difficult cases recently in which the potential was there. Here’s one – young mother under age 40, 9 kids, been in the system for years and using it for what it’s worth. 3 of her kids are in jail – 2 in juvenile detention, 1 in adult prison (age 19) for 3 years. The kids would be much better off in another home because she’s absolutely ridiculous, but she’s been able to effectively use the system to her advantage and get workers to work against each other. Unfortunately, as you pointed out with not-so-good workers, whoever has worked with the case I just mentioned in the past was not doing their job. As a matter-of-fact, when I got the case, everyone else involved washed their hands of it and didn’t tell me until well after the fact.
It’s unfortunate that the people who aren’t doing their jobs get highlighted in the media, because I know for damn sure that I’m doing the best that I can with what I have and with garbage pay. I totally understand where your anger comes from because sometimes, even I wonder if the workers who don’t give a damn outnumber those of us who do. Fortunately and unfortunately, I actually give a damn.
As far as Banita Jacks, something went terribly wrong. I believe that there were things in her life that just added up and caused her to snap. I wouldn’t be surprised if she already had a mental illness and was just never diagnosed. Since I don’t work in the D.C. system I can’t really say if any of the workers did anything wrong. However, I can say this much: if any of the workers DID fail this family, I blame their higher-ups and the bureaucracy that they work for as much as I blame them. People at the top NEVER get touched and they always get to point fingers, knowing full well that they’re part of the problem too.
I have much more to say. Feel free to ask more questions. 🙂
vivrant thang said:
@ph – I appreciate you coming back and sharing your thoughts on this. I agree that people at the top often don’t get touched. Actually, that’s who I was referring to when I talk about people collecting fat checks and not doing a damn thing to earn them. That runs rampant in government agencies. I can definitely attest to that! I hope that the people directly involved in this case (that did nothing) and their superiors were the ones that were fired.
Please don’t ever stop giving a damn. There are people out there that need people like you…as we can see!
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I can only pray that other parents or care givers take this for all its worth, If you feel you need help just ask for it, because the services are available. Just think if all parents or caregivers went off the deep edge like this, most of us would not be here today