Bank manager says she pretended she was dead

March 10, 1993|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Staff Writer

Barbara Mitchell Aldrich said she knew something was wrong that Monday afternoon in October when she didn't hear her tellers give a friendly "hello" to the people who had entered the Randallstown bank she managed.

Her instincts proved accurate.

"One of them had a gun," Mrs. Aldrich told a Baltimore County jury yesterday.

Within minutes, she said, two robbers wearing ski masks herded her and three other employees into the vault of the Farmers Bank and Trust Co., made them lie on the floor, then shot them "from one side to the other." Two of the women died.

Benjamin Franklin Boisseau Jr., 23, of Baltimore is standing trial on multiple counts of murder, attempted murder, robbery and gun charges. However, prosecutors don't believe he pulled the trigger.

Yesterday, in a matter-of-fact tone, Mrs. Aldrich, 52, of Sykesville described what happened Oct. 26 in the bank in the 9800 block of Liberty Road.

She was shot in a finger. Blood from the wound covered her head, apparently leading the robbers to think she was dead, she said. She played dead until she realized she had to get help.

"I saw Stacy's eyes go shut and I heard her go "unh,'" Mrs. Aldrich said of the woman lying next to her, Anastasia "Stacy" George, 51, the head teller, who would die several hours later.

Dorothy Juanita Langmead, 44, a teller, died in the vault. The fourth woman, 22-year-old teller Cindy Ann Thomas of Sykesville, spent two weeks recovering at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

"I could hear Cindy say something. . . . I tried to see, then I thought, 'If they get me, they get me, but we've got to get some help.' "

Next to testify was Cindy Thomas, a metal brace wired through her chin. Ms. Thomas said that after the two men came into the bank, "I don't remember anything till I was back in the vault and the one gentleman was asking for the money and we were trying to explain that we couldn't get into the vault. . . .

"The next thing I remember, we were on the floor. I was on my hands and knees with my head tucked down. . . . I was shot to the back of the neck -- out the face -- and in the leg," she said in an even tone.

"The next thing I recall, I said, 'Help me' . . . and Bobbie started talking to me, and she got up and went out," Ms. Thomas said. "The next thing I saw was shoes and pants and it was a police officer, I could tell."

Police and other witnesses described the arrest of Mr. Boisseau and his co-defendant, Louis Hill III, 25, who is to be tried later.

Ten minutes after the robbery, officers said they saw a silver Toyota speeding down Liberty Road at Milford Mill Road. Moments later, police have said, they cornered Mr. Hill and Mr. Boisseau as they tried to discard evidence in trash cans behind the 8000 block of Liberty Road.

Recovered were a Cobray Mac-11 machine pistol and magazine, $5,865 in serialized money, ski masks, surgical gloves, bloody shoes, jackets and other material.

Though Mr. Boisseau refused to give a written statement, officers testified that he told them he robbed the bank because he needed money for rent and his son's birthday that Friday and because "we thought it would be easy."

Mr. Boisseau also accepted a detective's suggestion to write the victims a letter of apology. The letter, which the defense presented yesterday, reads:

"To the women in the bank. I'm very sorry the situation that occurred turned out in the way it did. i didn't realy want to hurt anyone, i just needed money. I wish none of you were in there. but you were. I'm very sorry."

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