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

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

Then, out of nowhere, a black car pulled up beside Milam, a .40-caliber pistol protruding from the window. It was Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd, who'd grown impatient with the chase and decided to end it before someone got hurt.

"Son, I may have to let you go," Milam told Brendon. He heard a shot, then watched his own back right tire fly off. The car skidded to a halt, and the cops surrounded him, turning him sideways and dragging him from the car.

Milam was placed in the back of a squad car, where he promptly vomited. He says he'd taken a handful of Tylenol PM pills back at the rest stop, hoping they'd knock him out so he could sleep through a night in custody. The cops say they watched him consume "a large amount of pills" as they approached the car to pull him out. A photo of Milam being cuffed shows him glaring at the camera, a white trail of liquid dripping down the front of his blue sweater.

"Sir, I got a warrant out," he told an officer, according to the dash-cam footage.

"For what?" the officer asked.

"I'm the Handsome Guy Bandit from Dallas. Robbed 11 banks."

"You're wanted for bank robbery?"

"Call the FBI in Dallas," Milam said. "They'll know who I am. They're the ones looking for me."

Then he passed out.

He awoke in the ICU at a hospital in Pascagoula, Mississippi, where he'd been taken to have his stomach pumped. He spent the night handcuffed to a bed before being taken to Jackson County's jail the next day. Local video footage shows him shuffling down the hall in a hospital gown and a pair of green scrub pants, his arms and legs shackled, dozens of cameras clicking in the background as police pat him down

"I didn't want to be in their custody," Milam says. "Just, whoof, you should've seen that place. It looked like a dungeon. It was just absolute filth. I've never seen anything like it." Being an attempted cop-murderer didn't buy him much sympathy, either. "They wouldn't give me toilet paper, toothbrush, food, nothing."

Finally, the cell door opened and a guy flashed his FBI badge. Milam had never been so happy to see the feds.


It's November 2012, a warm, brilliant morning, and Milam is sitting at a cold metal table in the visitation room at the Federal Correctional Institution in Seagoville, some 20 minutes southeast of Dallas. The first thing out of his mouth is an apology, for being late to the interview. Some of the Scarecrow Bandits, an infamous gang of "takeover"-style bank-robbers, were out in the yard, he says.

"We can't be around each other," he says. "So they have to move them first before they can move me."

Milam is a little under six feet tall, with a cleft chin, gray eyes and short, graying brown hair. When he points out something in the sheaf of notes he's brought with him, a tattoo of Jamie's name is visible on his ring finger. He'll need to get it covered up soon; their divorce was finalized in August, and his new fiancée doesn't like it much. When he tilts his neck and shows the crooks of his arms, jagged white scars reveal themselves faintly.

Milam tells his story amiably, as though it happened a long time ago or to someone else entirely. But he tears up when he looks at his suicide note — somehow, he's gotten hold of a photocopy. He starts to explain why he did it.

"Here's one of her letters," he says, pulling something from the stack. Jamie had filed for divorce quickly after his arrest. In the letter, she tells him that numerous things were taken from the house by police. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office says nothing was seized from the house except for Milam's mask and gun. Other items were temporarily collected as evidence by the Richardson police, including cell phones, credit cards, cash and a pair of black-rimmed glasses.

"They haven't told me anything and damn sure haven't given anything back," she writes. "I'm not allowed to sell anything from anywhere. ... As far as my job, they ended up firing me."

She ends the letter with a simple line: "I still love you with all my heart, always and forever."

"You can just tell she was hopeless," Milam says, looking down. "When I went through this, it killed me. Just killed me."

After reading it, Milam says, he remembered the Ken Lay case. The disgraced Enron executive was awaiting sentencing when he died while vacationing in Colorado; the official cause was a heart attack, but conspiracy theories have swirled. The judge was forced to vacate the charges and return the seized property to Lay's family.

Standing in his cell, looking in the mirror, Milam decided that he'd lived a pretty good life. I got myself into this, he thought. I'll get my family out of it.

By the time the counselor rushed into the cell to save him, he'd lost about four and a half pints of blood and turned a sickly grayish color, Milam says. Outside, the guards and EMTs argued over whether to shackle him.

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12 comments
magruderb8
magruderb8

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.

magruderb8
magruderb8

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.

Daniel
Daniel

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?

AlliKim
AlliKim

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
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

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

Daniel
Daniel

"[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
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

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

Anna_Merlan
Anna_Merlan

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

magruderb8
magruderb8

@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.

 
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