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Scott Scurlock, the ‘Hollywood bandit’ from ‘How To Rob A Bank’

Prolific bank robber Scott Scurlock evaded arrest for years by wearing costume makeup and elaborate disguises during his robberies – earning him the nickname “Hollywood Bandit.”

Scott Scurlock

Tammy DiamondScott Scurlock, one of the most successful bank robbers in American history.

To those who knew him, Scott Scurlock was an eccentric but likable man. Raised by religious parents in Virginia, Scurlock stood out as a smart boy whose only obvious flaw was his failure to apply himself.

As an adult, he moved to Washington State to attend Olympia as a pre-med student. There he built a huge tree house and gained a foothold in the drug trade in the Pacific Northwest. But his real claim to fame was his talent for robbing banks.

Beginning in 1992, Scurlock robbed nearly twenty banks in the Seattle area in just four years, collecting approximately $2.3 million and becoming Washington State’s most prolific bank robber. Scurlock, dubbed the “Hollywood Bandit” by the FBI, wore a series of elaborate disguises during his robberies, leaving few clues as to his true identity.

It wasn’t until police officers compromised his getaway car one day in 1996 that Scott Scurlock’s lucky streak ended forever.

The Early Life of Scott Scurlock

William Scott Scurlock was born in 1955 and grew up in Virginia. His father was a Baptist minister and his mother was an elementary school teacher. Scurlock was one of three children and the only son of the family.

Although his family was very religious, Scurlock grew up without structure and boundaries. He was a bright boy, but he rarely applied himself to school and was regarded by friends as charming and free-spirited, if somewhat manipulative.

In 1974, Scurlock moved to Hawaii to work on a tomato farm with his childhood friend Kevin Myers. At some point, Scurlock and Myers stole a marijuana plant from a nearby farm and began selling the drug. This operation ended when their employer discovered the factory on the premises and fired the duo.

After this blunder, Scurlock enrolled at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington as a premed student in 1978, apparently intending to right himself. This effort was short-lived.

Not long after his enrollment, Scurlock allegedly began sneaking into the school’s chemistry lab to make methamphetamines, which he then sold for a profit. He got away with this long enough to purchase about 50 acres of land where he would later build an idyllic three-story treehouse using stolen lumber from a nearby sawmill.

TreehouseTreehouse

Washington Secretary of StateScurlock’s treehouse in Olympia, where he lived as a lost boy.

The house had a sundeck, plumbing, electricity, a fireplace and a fire pole for a quick descent. The property would become his home base while he ran his illegal drug operation.

For more than a decade, Scurlock continued to sell methamphetamines, becoming a huge drug distributor in the region and using the profits to finance his eccentric lifestyle.

From drug dealer to bank robber

Hollywood banditHollywood bandit

NetflixScott Scurlock robs a bank in an elaborate disguise.

In 1990, Scott Scurlock suffered a devastating emotional blow when his drug distributor was murdered. The crime was a rude awakening and prompted Scurlock to quickly get out of the drug trade.

Fortunately, he had cash reserves hidden on his property, which kept him afloat until 1992. But he soon realized he had to find another way to make money.

So he decided to attempt a bank robbery.

Together with his college friend Mark Biggins, Scurlock robbed his first bank on June 25, 1992. That day, he entered the Seafirst Bank in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood, disguised with theater makeup and a prosthetic nose. Biggins wore a Ronald Reagan mask.

Without hurting anyone, Scurlock left the bank that day with about $20,000 – and a newfound love for robbing banks.

On August 14, 1992, Scurlock returned to the same bank alone, this time in a different disguise. But according to Washington’s Secretary of State, the tellers recognized the bandit’s authoritative stance.

Scurlock walked away with $8,124 that day. Again no one was injured. Although Scurlock carried a gun, he would never harm anyone during his many robberies.

These crimes caught the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who dubbed Scurlock the “Take Charge Robber” given his intimidating robbery style.

Over the next three months, Scurlock and his associates robbed four more Seattle banks. The last robbery during this period occurred at another Seafirst Bank on November 19, 1992 and netted the group a whopping $252,000.

After this crime, the FBI changed Scurlock’s name to the “Hollywood Bandit,” referring to his theatrical costumes and behavior.

The FBI has their eye on Scott Scurlock

By 1993, Scott Scurlock had made more than $300,000 robbing banks.

In the meantime, he continued to live in his bizarre tree house like a lost boy, telling those who asked that his income came from construction or carpentry work. An avid outdoorsman, Scurlock also apparently saw himself as a modern-day Robin Hood, donating much of the money he stole to environmental charities.

In 1994, Scurlock and his associates robbed five banks in the Pacific Northwest for a total of approximately $260,000. On January 27, 1995, Scurlock robbed the Madison Park Branch of Seafirst Bank for the third time, netting a whopping $252,466, according to History Link.

But as Scurlock proved himself to be an exceptionally talented bank robber, the FBI slowly closed in.

Investigators reviewed surveillance footage of the robberies and went over the details of each case. They quickly estimated that Scurlock was spending about $20,000 a month; the date of the robberies correlated with the times he was low on cash.

With this information, the FBI began placing agents at banks that “Hollywood” had robbed in the past on dates related to his spending habits. They also offered a $50,000 reward for information on the bandit’s arrest.

In total, Scurlock and his associates stole more than $1 million from banks in 1995. And it seemed like he had no plans to stop.

The Hollywood Bandit’s Last Heist

Mark BigginsMark Biggins

King County Sheriff’s DepartmentMark Biggins, Scurlock’s henchman.

By 1996, Scott Scurlock and his associates had committed nearly twenty bank robberies in four years.

But Scurlock’s profession came with risks, risks that would soon prove fatal for the bank robber.

On November 27, 1996, Scurlock plotted with his associates, Paul Meyers and Mark Biggins, to rob the Seafirst Bank in Seattle. But when Scurlock entered the bank that day, a trained teller immediately recognized the Hollywood Bandit and pressed the silent alarm button.

The robbers forced the bank employees to the ground at gunpoint as they entered the vault and retrieved the money. The bandits then walked out of the bank and down the street to a getaway car.

Unfortunately for them, a bank customer had discreetly followed them and reported their vehicle to 911. Task force officers soon flocked to the neighborhood, and although Scurlock and his associates abandoned the getaway car for a white van, officers trained to Suspect vehicles follow quickly. follow the crew.

Realizing he was being chased, Scurlock stopped the van and did something he had never done before: he pointed his gun with the intention of using it.

Shots rang out between officers and the van crew. Scurlock reentered the vehicle and attempted to flee. Instead, he drove the van into a nearby home and fled on foot.

Officers approached the van and arrested Biggins and Meyers, who was injured with non-fatal gunshot wounds. Police also recovered the blood-soaked money the crew stole, worth about $1 million.

Soon, Biggins and Meyers would confess that Scott Scurlock was the mastermind behind all the robberies.

Scott Scurlock meets his end

ScurlockScurlock

Washington Secretary of StateScott Scurlock was a charming and handsome “hippie” type.

With Scott Scurlock on the loose, police established a six-block perimeter around the area into which he disappeared. Officers and K-9 units began patrolling the area, intent on finally catching the Hollywood Bandit.

The next day, two brothers, Robert and Ronald Walker, were visiting their mother, Wilma Walker, for Thanksgiving dinner at her home, two blocks from where the van crashed into the house.

Wilma had a 3 meter camper on her property. After hearing about the manhunt for the Hollywood Bandit, the brothers began to suspect that someone might be hiding in the RV when they noticed the top window was open. Ronald and Robert looked in the van – and saw that someone was inside.

The two brothers called the police and within minutes officers surrounded the RV. Scurlock was cornered.

However, when an officer attempted to open the camper door, a shot rang out from inside, prompting police to fire their weapons at the van. After securing the area and attempting to make contact with Scurlock, officers forcibly opened the RV – and found Scott Scurlock’s body.

Despite his arrest, the Hollywood Bandit had fatally shot himself.

Who was the Hollywood bandit?

Shortly afterwards, agents searched Scott Scurlock’s property and found a secret underground room filled with cash, costumes and face paint. The police were certain they had found their man.

After the shootout, Biggins and Meyers both went to prison for their crimes. Meanwhile, many of Scurlock’s friends and family members were puzzled as to how he ended up on this dark path.

Scurlock was described by friends as a “hippie” who spent much of his free time outdoors. His only apparent source of income had been carpentry. Many described him as quiet, handsome, intelligent, gentle and a generous tipper, and they were shocked that such a person could be the mastermind behind so many robberies.

“I can’t even imagine him ending up in a violent world,” Stuart Scurlock, Scurlock’s cousin, told the newspaper. Seattle Times. “He was always gentle and peace-loving. I can’t imagine something like that.”

However, some noted that Scurlock had an explosive temper that often got him into fights.

“He was the scariest man I ever met,” his neighbor Greg Smith told the newspaper Seattle Times. ‘I wasn’t surprised when I saw the police outside his house yesterday morning. To see someone like that in such an angry state, you knew something would happen one day.”

With so many conflicting stories about Hollywood’s personality, we may never understand who the real Scott Scurlock was.


After reading about Scott Scurlock, dive into the story of Brian Brown Easley, the veteran who took over a bank after the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to pay his disability benefits. Then read the true story of Patty Hearst, the heiress who was forced to join a left-wing guerrilla group and rob banks.

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