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

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

"He's not going anywhere," Milam heard one of the EMTs say. "He's almost dead."

They shackled him anyway, and the ambulance sped toward Parkland Hospital. As they hit a bump in the road, Milam's entire body went ice cold. He felt like he'd been stuck with "a humongous shot of morphine," he says. "I had a numbing sensation from the outer extremities in." He suddenly felt very calm, and knew he was about to die. "I was at peace. I wasn't scared. I was ready."

Milam lost his hearing, then felt his bladder and bowels release and his lungs constrict. "All of a sudden I was in this black solitude. No movement, no air, no nothing." Suddenly, he wasn't so ready anymore. "It was horrible."

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

Milam awoke a day or so later to find himself staring at two feet. "I've seen plenty of dead people in my life," he says. "I've helped casket a couple hundred bodies. And that color, that chalky death color, my feet were that color."

My gosh, he thought. I died after all.

Citing privacy laws, jail staff won't discuss Milam's suicide attempt or confirm the details as he remembers them. But an order by the federal judge who heard Milam's case calls the attempt "calculated and serious," designed to get his property returned to his family.

Still, the judge found Milam competent to stand trial. He pled guilty, and at the end of October, in a courtroom in downtown Dallas, the judge sentenced him to 35 years. (He still faces state charges for attempted capital murder and was recently transported to Dallas County Jail to be arraigned.)

"My life was comprised of so many faces and masks, I had to win an Oscar every day I arose," he told the judge at his sentencing, appearing to tear up as he read from a piece of paper. "I prayed for the day when I would be discovered and captured, so I could stop the convoluted web of lies my life had become."

Perhaps even more lies than anyone knows. Milam implies that his mask-collecting "hobby" — the one that had him driving as far as Georgia to pick up new acquisitions — may have been part of a string of other robberies.

"I can't give you a number, but I can tell you what's in the federal report: I had several masks," Milam says. "That's what my wife told them. Several. They only found two masks. And those two were the next two masks to be used." Handsome Guy was up to 11, he says, and probably had about two more left "before he was retired."

Hypothetically, he says, 15 robberies per mask would be the limit. Different masks might also work better in different places. "You look at the different areas of the United States. Would the Handsome Guy in a suit fit in in Memphis, a rough part? You would also have to change other things, your whole M.O., the time of day, what kind of bank you're robbing."

The FBI is unmoved by his hinting. If they had any concrete evidence that there were any more, agent Wetherington says, they'd be investigating.

"He's really into himself," Wetherington says dryly. After Milam was arrested, Wetherington was sure to remind him of his taunt to a bank teller, to "tell the FBI I said 'Hi.'"

"I got your message," Wetherington told him.

Milam has again stayed busy in prison, mainly by working out and writing emails on Corrlinks, the Bureau of Prison's in-house email system. A few months after his wife filed for divorce, he got back in touch with his childhood sweetheart, Annie. She was his neighbor in Oklahoma, where he was raised. His family moved to Richardson when he was about 16, but Annie never forgot him.

"I've always been in love with him," Annie says. "I thought of him on my wedding day. I'm going to marry him, and I don't care what anyone else thinks. ... He's one of the kindest, sweetest men you'll ever meet. So whatever drove him over the edge to do what he did, it must have been severe. So that's really all I have to say, is that he's very kind and I love him with all my heart. And I'll be waiting when he gets out."

They plan to marry once he settles into his new home, after his next trial. In the meantime, Milam's biggest concern is providing for his son. Before he agreed to be interviewed, he insisted that his federal prisoner number (12089-078) be made available, in case Hollywood comes calling. But even without a book or movie deal, Milam seems confident he'll be able to provide for his family. Along with being lucky, he's also been proactive, he says.

"If there was money from a string of robberies, what would I do, if I had access to money like that?" he asks. "Well, I'm a casket salesman. And I believe in gold and commodities. They never go backwards over time. They'll probably be worth a lot more in 30 years."

"I don't know," he adds, before gathering his notes and saying goodbye. "I probably would put the gold in sealed containers inside of a casket, then fill it full of wax. And I'd probably stick that casket somewhere where nobody will ever find it. That's probably what I would do, if that were the case."

« Previous 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.