Chicago Sun Times - SWAT teams appeared to have come up empty-handed Tuesday after they burst into a Tinley Park home that two escaped bank robbers were believed to have possibly visited. The bank robbers — including one who vowed to a federal judge just last week, “You’ll hear from me!” — escaped Tuesday morning from the federal jail in the Loop by apparently knocking out part of a cinder-block wall at the base of a window and climbing down 17 stories on a rope made of bed sheets along the south side of the building. The inmates, who shared the same cell, are Jose Banks, the so-called Secondhand Bandit who was convicted last week of four bank heists, and Kenneth Conley, a former strip club floor host who pleaded guilty in October to robbing about $4,000 from a bank in Homewood. The men were discovered missing about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday from their cell, which is on the 17th floor of the Metropolitan Correctional Center at 71 W. Van Buren St., authorities said. The inmates were last seen during a check at 5 a.m., wearing orange jumpsuits.
Banks made headlines earlier this month when he decided to represent himself at trial despite not being a lawyer. Banks is considered one of the most prolific bank robbers in Chicago history and was dubbed the “Secondhand Bandit” because of thrift store clothes he would wear at some robberies. During his trial at one point, he tried to leave, and court security strapped him to a chair, prompting Banks to say he felt like “Hannibal Lecter.”
Awesome story. Almost too good to be true. One of the most prolific bank robbers in the history of Chicago teams up with a strip club floor host whose committed one crime in his life to bust out of a downtown correctional center by climbing down 17 floors with a rope they made out of bed sheets. Straight out of a fucking movie.
And I know that in real life we’re always supposed to root for the cops and the good guys and all of that but I just can’t do it here. I want the Secondhand Bandit and Kenneth the Strip Club Floor Host to win and for every man hunt for these two to come up totally empty. For them to be one step ahead of the law and maybe commit a couple more minor bank robberies. Have their initial tension and apprehensiveness around each other to fade as they eventually become best friends. I want Kenneth and his racist parents to have the Secondhand Bandit over for Thanksgiving, accept him and adopt him as part of the family. I want the Secondhand Bandit to return the favor at Christmas and have his 45 kids, nieces and nephews teach Kenneth how to Crump and do the Chicken head. Anything except them getting caught and going back to jail. The story’s too good. It’s like Red and Andy meeting up in Mexico and living out their days sipping on Mai Tais and hollering at sluts. This whole thing goes to waste without the Hollywood ending.