The Story of the Handsome Guy Bandit Was Made for Hollywood*

(*The Handsome Guy Bandit thinks so, anyway.)

The Story of the Handsome Guy Bandit Was Made for Hollywood*
Mark Graham
Steven Ray Milam in jail in Dallas.

The blood was starting to pool on the floor, forming interesting little patterns. To Steven Ray Milam, lying between his bunk and his locker, they looked like mesas, rising from the concrete as the blood began to clot.

I'm still alive, Milam realized, opening his eyes and watching his cell swim hazily into focus. I need to get those razors off the sink.

He thought slashing the veins in his neck and arm would've done the job. Blood had shot three feet into the air when he sliced them near the crook of his elbow, spraying the wall. He'd even pumped his arm, trying to make the blood drain more quickly. But he was still here.

Surveillance footage of Milam in his mask at American National Bank and Bank of America.
Surveillance footage of Milam in his mask at American National Bank and Bank of America.
Surveillance footage of Milam in his mask at American National Bank and Bank of America.
Surveillance footage of Milam in his mask at American National Bank and Bank of America.


Email the author at

There was little else in the cell — just the bunk, the toilet, the sink, his locker and a table bolted to the wall. He'd set a note on the table earlier that day, with instructions that it be forwarded to a U.S. Attorney, an FBI agent, his lawyer and his wife.

"In the event of my death, please contact my wife Jamie," the note began. "Please instruct her that my wishes are that she cremate my body and equally divide my ashes between her and my son, my two favorite people in this world. ... Please forward remaining commissary funds and property to my wife to help defer the cost of cremation."

Always mindful of prison rules, he added a P.S.: "Please take any costs for copying or mailing said copies from my commissary account."

He also added instructions for his lawyer: "Upon my death, please have all warrants, complaints, indictments, proceedings, etc., both federal and state lodged against me to be vacated. Furthermore, since I have not been convicted of any crimes, have all property currently seized by the FBI both directly and indirectly be released to the custody of my wife, Jamie Milam. Review what happened in the Kenneth Lay Enron trial. ... Please have Jamie and Brendon Milam auction off the mask and split the proceedings. Furthermore, help them secure a book or movie deal ..."

Now, the razors. He had to get to them, to finish what he'd started. He remembers lifting his head from the pillow he'd laid on the floor, trying to stand. But the blood was sticking him down, forming a seal as it hardened. He finally broke free and staggered to his feet, only to immediately crash down again.

He hit the toilet, breaking the porcelain, and rolled toward the door of his cell. Milam realized suddenly that he could no longer see. An inmate doing laps in the hallway peered in through the tiny window to the cell. Then he screamed.

A jail counselor came running. He threw open the door and waded into the blood, not pausing to put on gloves. He knelt beside Milam.

"Do you want to live?" he asked.

Milam found, to his surprise, that he did.

"Yes," he managed to say, before the blackness rolled in again.

The Handsome Bandit's origin story, at least as Milam recalls it, has the precise look of a big-budget action movie. It was the winter of 2005, he says, and three or four guys were shooting the shit one night at the bar of Shuck N Jive, a Cajun joint in North Dallas where Milam's then-girlfriend, Alli, was a manager. The news came on. Something about a bank robbery.

"I've always wanted to do that," one guy said. Agreement all around. A few hours later, there they were, robbing a bank.

No drugs were involved in this abrupt decision, Milam says, and there was no pressing financial need. They robbed "a few" banks, he says — how many he can't quite recall — with no particular system and no special plans for the money. They used it, he says, mainly for stays at the Four Seasons and shopping trips to impress women.

"He's embellishing," Alli counters. "I think there was only one person who had a clue what he was doing. It was not a group. I'm positive of that."

Milam and Alli were in the midst of a whirlwind romance. He'd been hanging around the restaurant for weeks, angling for a date. Eventually she relented. A few weeks later a friend of Milam's told her, "Boy, you really aced it."

She had no idea what he meant.

"Steve's a millionaire," the friend explained. Milam had recently sold his pool-cleaning chemical company for something like $37 million.

Alli didn't much care about money, but Milam could be lavish with it. For her birthday he rented a limo for a night on the town. And after just two months of dating, he took her to see a huge diamond. He said he was buying it as an "investment," but as they stood there with the jeweler, he suddenly blurted out, "Actually, this is going to be for you."

Milam didn't buy the diamond that day. A few weeks later, though, he took her to Austin to stay at the Four Seasons for another birthday celebration. They rented the Governor's Suite, which can cost up to $2,400 a night, and he arranged for a trail of flowers leading to a birthday cake. That night, he got down on one knee.

Next Page »
My Voice Nation Help

The Handsome Guy Bandit is opening an interest Facebook page. It will have all of the stories of the Handsome Guy Bandit and his rebuttal to the Observer story. Find out about Alli and the bank bags and how she was involved and her boyfirend fiance was in jail on meth and gun charges. Find out about Josh and what he did and how he contributed. Find out how many people were involved.


The Handsome Guy Bandit has a rebuttal to this article. It is too long to put in the comments section and the editor does not think it is newsworthy although Anna Merlan invited him to make a rebuttal. Anyone interested in reading the whole rebuttal call the Observer and tell them so they will post it. It tells about Alli and Josh and what exactly happened.


Coming up with names for bandits has to be one of the better jobs going. Fat Assed Bandit, Stoned Buffoon Bandit, Pseudo Intellectual Bandit, Fidgety Fuckin' Bandit ... it would be like managing the Village People, only with more job security.

Lisa Hardaway
Lisa Hardaway

What handsome guy isn't some variety of bandit?


I HOPE this becomes a Lifetime movie because since Anna's very well written and entertaining article came out, many of my friends are telling me more and more that I didn't know about Steve.

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

This has "Lifetime" movie written all over it. Hell, "Handsome Guy" is even the perfect LMN title.


"[F]amily and exercise and cremated pets couldn't scratch his every itch."

This is my new favorite sentence. I'm not sure why.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

There but for the grace of God go I.  I might have been the "Gorgeous Gal" bandit.  [Myrna snickers...]


@Daniel I feel compelled to tell you that there is also a ZZ Top Bandit. The FBI: apparently funnier than we realized. 


@AlliKim  I hope it does too Alli the the world will know your boyfriend/fiance was in jail for meth and gun charges and your your mate was convicted by the feds for conterfieting durling the three weeks you slept with Steve whom you knew was married to April at the time. I also hopes it becomesa movie so people will see that you supplied the two bank bags from Shuck N Jive during the 2 robberies he did during the time he was with you. Josh was on probabtion. There were 5 people involved. Allie you are no saint but you can tell some lies girl but what do you expect from a bar manager. You are trash and that's all there is so to it. You also accepted a 5000.00 check from one of Steve's relatives to pay for that hotel room in Austin because you wanted it on your American Express  for the the points but he was in custody when the bill came in. Yep I hope it's made into a movie so you look like the trash you are.Anyone who wishes to question this may look up the information and find it is all true.