Incident Summary:

09/18/1973: Twin brothers, Roger and Ralph Bankston, were shot to death by a pistol and shotgun in Edison, New Jersey in the United States. They were found in the front seat of their car parked in the lot behind the Local 980 United Automobile Workers Union Hall across the street from the Ford plant on Route 1, where the brothers were employed. The perpetrators were members of the New World sect, as were the brothers, who were apparently killed due to disobeying orders. This event was one in a series of related Black Muslim attacks. Two members of the New World of Islam sect, Albert Chavies and Lamont Calloway were later convicted of the Bankston murders.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:

New Jersey


Location Details:
In a car parked behind the United Automobile Workers Local 980 Union hall across the street from the Ford plant on Route 1.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Assassination
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Roger and Ralph Bankston, captains in the New World Sect
Specific Description brothers Roger and Ralph Bankston
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) No
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information This event was one of a series of related attacks during this time (see events 197309040001, 197310180002). On September 4, 1973, a Black Muslim leader, James Shabazz is murdered by members of New World of Islam, a rival faction of Black Muslims. On October 18, 1973, two more Black Muslim dissidents are killed and beheaded by others in the New World sect in the midst of feuding Black Muslim factions. This case in particular may not be terrorism because the Bankston brothers were allegedly murdered for disobeying orders so this is a case of inner-party conflict. Also, two members of the New World, Albert Chavies and Lamont Calloway, were later convicted for the murder of the Bankston brothers. Chavies and Calloway were also convicted and sentenced for the Shabazz murder.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Black Muslims (suspected) Unknown
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 2
Number of Captured Perpetrators 2
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 2 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 2
Number of U.S. Fatalities 2
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Police Check Link in Twins' Slaying," New York Times, September 20, 1973.
Philip Wechsler, "Decapitated Bodies of 2 Men Discovered in Newark Park," New York Times, October 19, 1973.
Harry Camisa and Jim Franklin, "Inside Out: fifty years behind the walls of New Jersey's Trenton State Prison," Windsor Press and Publishing, 2003.