How to Rob a Bank (2024) Movie Script

[rock music playing]
This is real. This is a robbery.
Step away from your cages.
[man 1] He was the most prolific
bank robber in the Pacific Northwest.
[woman 1] He keeps changing his disguises.
He seems like he's in a movie,
robbing bank after bank.
[man 2] Three or four banks,
one right after the other
in the same evening.
[woman 2] In the FBI,
we like to give nicknames to bank robbers.
His moniker was "Hollywood."
Pretty fitting,
especially when we learned
that he really was inspired
by Bodhi in Point Break.
Why be a servant to the law
when you can be its master?
You wanna open the vault,
or do you want me to do it?
[woman 2] He'd been successful
for four years.
That's why he became
our number one priority.
He was not a stupid bank robber.
[man 3] Hollywood was probably
one of the most dangerous people
that I went up against,
because he was a true professional.
[man 2] He wanted
to decimate the city of Seattle,
and it was not only doable,
it was winnable.
They knew that this man
got millions over the years.
They knew that he humiliated them.
[man 1] When he walked
into the Lake City branch to rob us,
he walked right past his wanted poster.
Don't panic. This is a robbery.
Step away from your counter.
[reporter 1] What happened here
reads straight from a movie script.
[reporter 2] He wears heavy makeup, a wig...
[reporter 3] His co-star
is this 9 mm. handgun.
[reporter 4] The most prolific bank robber
in the country.
He's number one
on the FBI's Most Wanted List.
[man 4] They could not figure out
who this guy was,
and where he was gonna hit next.
[man 5] Was this guy some kind of a ghost?
How does he just slip away like that?
[rock music intensifies]
[music fades]
[suspenseful music playing]
Hollywood was a unique case
for us in Seattle.
We knew from evidence
that he was familiar
with security practices.
He knew how long he had
before he had to get out of there.
He was a smart bank robber.
He became our number one priority
after I became
the supervisor of our task force.
[intriguing music playing]
Shawn Johnson was the FBI agent
that was the lead on the case.
He was like an encyclopedia on Hollywood.
He's number one
as far as, uh, the amount of money
that any bank robber has taken.
Hollywood was a professional bank robber.
He worked at it. He perfected his craft.
I think he was enjoying what he did.
I think money was part of it,
but at that point in time,
it was just the, uh, adrenaline rush,
the challenge.
[Ellen] When I assigned Mike to head up
the Seattle Police response to it,
I knew that it would be
an electric relationship.
[man 3] Shawn and I were night and day,
oil and water, two different styles.
My partner at the time summed it up.
"Shawn Johnson was the fire,
and Mike Magan was the can of gasoline."
I heard one description
that I'm not sure if I agree with,
but I was the brains and he was the brawn.
Don't agree with that 100%,
but the brain part
I agree with for myself.
[Mike] Ellen Glasser was
a very talented supervisor
who believed in the "KISS" method:
Keep It Simple, Stupid.
[Ellen] As one of the first women agents
in the FBI,
to be able to be supervising
this violent crime squad
and the task force
was such an awesome thing for me.
Not only was I in this badass job,
I also was blessed
to have four young children,
and so sometimes I feel like
I was two different people.
A lot of the guys called me Agent Mom.
[intriguing music playing]
[man 4] In the '90s,
Seattle was a city in major transition.
[intriguing music continues]
You went from a two company town,
Weyerhaeuser and Boeing,
to then you add Microsoft,
and then all the companies
that came around Microsoft.
Bezos from Amazon.
Starbucks was growing like gangbusters.
There was a flood of money
that came into Seattle.
It was amazing
how many banks were popping up.
I didn't put two and two together
at the time
that all the cash coming in
from the tech boom was fueling this,
but you could find a bank
in the grocery store.
You could find a bank
just about every corner.
[reporter] In Washington state,
the number of bank robberies is exploding.
I told my wife,
"Don't go into a bank in Seattle."
Chances are it'll get robbed."
[reporter 1] Three men ran
into the US Branch Bank in Woodinville
with a shotgun...
[reporter 2] A man enters the bank,
and usually passes a note
to the teller demanding money.
[David] There were
a lot of bank robberies.
I don't know that we did one every night,
but we did a lot of them.
Let's go to Deborah Horne,
who's at the scene with the latest.
That's right, David.
Just a very few moments ago...
[woman 1] Seattle was an exciting place.
We were sort of
coming into our own as a city,
certainly in terms of being
well-known around the country.
We had Nirvana, so you have grunge.
[David] Grunge, to me,
to a certain extent,
was that frustration
that a lot of people were feeling
about changes that were coming
to their communities.
[man 6] The whole grunge thing,
it was so anti-corporate
and anti-brands
and big-name and fame was all... [scoffs]
Nobody cared.
Nobody wanted any of that shit.
People were literally anti-establishment
for all the right reasons.
They hated all the oppression,
they hated the colonialism,
they hated the attack
on human rights and the environment.
And ripping off banks,
if they're getting away with it?
People love that.
[reporter] He's robbed 14 banks in Seattle
since, uh, June of 1992.
Wow! He's pretty clever. [chuckles]
Darn clever.
It's the ultimate F-you to the man.
- [woman] It's Mr. Hollywood.
- [reporter] Hollywood, right.
We knew that there was a guy
with a bunch of disguises
who was robbing banks,
not hurting anybody.
No shots were fired.
Sounds very bold. [chuckles]
There may have been some rooting for him,
and people talk about Robin Hood...
[Jimmy] The mystique of the bank robber
goes back to the Robin Hood thing.
You steal from the rich
and give to the poor.
Duh. How noble is that?
[Ellen] He was kind of legendary
in terms of bank robbers.
[Mike] But in terms of who Hollywood was,
we couldn't have been more wrong.
[birds chirping]
Hey, Bubba!
[man 7] Wow, a man with his shirt off.
Come on back!
[man 7] Let's go, boys. Come on.
- You still filming?
- [man 7] We're filming this whole trip.
You gotta hold the camera steady.
[man 7] That's a little easier
said than done, man.
As you can see, we're deep in the forest.
And there's not a whole lot of light.
[pensive music playing]
- Okay, Tarzan. What do you want to do?
- Go up top.
- [man 7] Go up top?
- Yeah.
[man 7] We're going
into Scurlock's domain.
What's the elevation here, mate?
- [Scurlock] 75 feet.
- [man 7] 75 feet above what?
[Scurlock] The floor of the cedars.
Down there.
[man 7] Tell us the story, mate.
How long did it take you?
What's the deal here?
Took me about two weeks
to build this whole thing.
- [man 7] Two weeks to build this.
- Six stories.
Fifty-eight tons of wood.
Did a little work.
Kind of ate breakfast before I did it.
[man 7 laughs] Okay.
Okay, no, it really took maybe...
I don't know.
- Three or four months?
- [man 7] Three or four months.
[tranquil music playing]
[woman 3] The Treehouse
was a really amazing, amazing place.
A place you could go
to get out of the norm of society.
[woman 4] The first time I went
to the Treehouse, Scott answered the door.
He was stripped naked
except his tool belt.
I'd never had anybody
answer the door quite like that,
but I pretended
that it was an everyday occurrence.
You'd see furniture,
like you would in a normal house,
and you'd walk across the deck,
and here was a toilet, here was a shower.
It was like a real bathroom,
except you had
a wonderful outdoor experience.
[Elizabeth] It was built around
seven trees and it was really well-made.
It was like cedar boards
and picture windows.
It was an extravagant tree house.
There was a huge oven range,
and we carried
this oven range up the stairs,
70 feet to the first floor.
[man 2] My brother
was good friends with Scott,
and he said he'd hire me
to come out and build his house.
And I said, "Yeah, why not?"
We did some
of the most insane construction.
We would be hanging
from ropes from our ankles
to be able to nail it
and bolt it in place. And...
It was insanely dangerous.
All of it was dangerous,
but we didn't care.
[gentle music playing]
The Treehouse was Scott's
inner personality that came to life.
He was safe.
It was his harbor. It was his anchor.
He was free from it all.
[Scott] I'm sitting at my desk,
40 feet in the trees.
The deck extends off the rim
like a ballerina's tutu in full twirl.
It's wide enough in places
to bake in the sun's rays,
and maybe catch a wink of sleep
if you're not scared of rolling off.
[man 7] What's going on?
[Scott] I like just sitting on the edge,
gazing across the trees at Mount Rainier.
[man 7] Talk to us.
[Scott] I get a feeling
of subtle exhilaration.
I want a lot out of this life.
I think it will be a long search
before I find the place
where God wants me.
My mind is like an undisciplined child
that has gone wild.
I'll just have to catch it.
Everybody loved Scott.
Everybody loved the Treehouse.
The two were connected.
We clicked right away
when we first met in school
and we just both had a lot of energy,
wild and free.
We'd like to drink beer.
Mark Biggins is an interesting character.
He and Scott
went to Evergreen College together.
[Elizabeth] People that came to Evergreen
were in some ways misfits.
Me included.
People are pretty progressive.
It wasn't like people taking crazy drugs
and drinking and being crazy in that way.
It was very earthy.
Playing drums and taking mushrooms
and sitting around fires.
It was also a very tight community.
[Mark] Fate just threw us together.
Scott was this wild and free guy.
Even more so
than the other Evergreen students
who were considered wild and free.
Mark is just a really tender, gentle soul,
you know?
He played guitar and wrote poetry.
But he was having a really hard time.
He was struggling.
So I think Scotty really helped him out.
[Mark] I called him on the phone,
and I said, "Man, my marriage is over."
"I don't know what I'm gonna do,
where I'm gonna go."
And he says, "Well, get on up here!
Move in with me."
[Steve] Mark Biggins was a big, gruff man.
He smoked Chesterfield straights.
He probably did a pack or two packs a day.
He would knock bourbons down
like it was no big deal.
That was the bond between him and Scott.
Biggins could drink Scott to hell.
[Mark] I lived at the Treehouse
for many years. So did my daughter.
And perfect strangers
would come knocking on the door
and they'd say, uh,
"Oh, we heard there's this
really cool tree house on this property."
Or "Can we go see it?"
And we'd have to turn them away.
I mean, it got so bad we actually built
a gate across the driveway.
And the Treehouse
was not built by Scott alone,
even though
it's been quoted in many places,
but, uh, dozens of people
worked on that place.
[woman 5] My brother Scott
was never gonna be controlled
and he wanted to be free.
He was an adrenaline junkie.
He loved doing daring things.
We're sitting at 60 feet up in the air
at six stories and
this is the first time
I've ever done this.
[Mark] So he's gonna do approximately
a 100-foot climb upside down.
Anytime go, Rambo, Tarzan.
[Scott] Woo!
- Whoa!
- [Mark] Oh! [laughs]
He just kept wanting to go
higher and higher and higher
and he needed more and more and more.
[Mark] Right now,
if he slipped he's gonna fall
60 feet to the ground.
[Scott] This is hard!
[Mark] I told you.
This is a death act, my friend.
[Suzanne] He was, uh, an adventurer.
He loved the excitement of life,
and wanted new things and new experiences.
But he made certain pivotal choices
that led him into directions
he couldn't turn around and back out of.
[intriguing music playing]
[Scott] In my studies,
I've gotten on the wrong track,
delving into areas
not good for my spiritual growth.
A voice speaks loud and clear.
"Remember what you are here for."
I understand, but do not change course.
He was always in pursuit
of something of his own world.
[Mark] When I first met him,
he was aspiring
to get a degree in medicine,
but that fell by the wayside
once he worked in the chemistry lab
and he saw an opportunity
to make a lot of money.
Scott was the first person in my life
I had ever known to produce crystal meth.
He would, at nighttime,
go up through the ceilings
and crawl into the laboratory.
Scotty's professors discovered him.
They kicked him off the campus.
Said, "Don't you ever, ever, ever, ever
show your face here again."
He was smart enough to have been a doctor.
He was one course short
of graduating in chemistry and biology.
He would have been pre-med.
But he didn't wanna be.
That was not who he was and he knew that.
And then he just continued
right on down that road.
[Steve] This grew and grew and grew
and he became so prolific,
and his product was so absolutely pure.
If you were ever to try his stuff,
I'm telling you,
it was something unbelievable.
He did have a reputation for producing
some of the finest substance, uh, around.
I never heard anybody say... say
that somebody else's meth was better.
Scott's use of crystal meth
was very moderate and controlled.
He just enjoyed it
and it inspired him for creativity.
[Steve] As time went on, he bought
a piece of property with a barn on it.
And so I went out there
to renovate the barn.
In the loft of the barn,
he had his whole laboratory set up.
Captain Pat was the front man.
He was the finance man.
The only times they met
were in the forest,
transferring product and money.
When Scott would bring
180 lb. to Captain Pat,
he would give him $2 million.
[Mark] Pat was the one
who introduced Scott to the meth world.
The Captain, that was Pat's nickname.
He'd take it down to Barstow
and sell it to the Hells Angels.
And then Scott
would come back to the Treehouse
with these boxes full of $20 bills.
Scott and I would sit and count it out.
We'd be up all night counting money.
But this got dangerous.
I mean, really dangerous.
Captain Pat was murdered
by some person who was trying to rob him
and he was murdered in his sleep.
Scott was devastated when he heard.
But that's what people do in that world,
and he didn't want to be any part of it.
And that's when he quit.
[Alban] Crystal meth
was his income, period.
And so when he quit distributing,
he needed a new way to make money.
[Steve] At that time in the '90s,
Point Break was one
of the big bank robbery movies.
[Bodhi] Little hand says
it's time to rock and roll.
[Steve] Scott would watch films and see
different things to get ideas from.
[Jimmy] Scott was down on banks
and insurance companies.
It feels like everyone at the time was.
[Bodhi] On the floor, asshole.
The money's insured,
so it's not worth dying for.
He was always wanting
to find a way to beat the system.
- He's a real searcher.
- What's he searching for?
[woman] The ride. The ultimate ride.
[Steve] What he liked about Point Break
was the individualism of Bodhi
and his fearlessness toward life,
whether it was robbing banks
or whether it was surfing on wild waves.
And so when he got
out of the drug business,
that's when he said,
"I'm gonna become a bank robber."
[Bodhi] Thank you very much,
ladies and gentlemen,
and please don't forget to vote!
[tense music playing]
[Mark] The first bank we robbed,
we were just talking about it,
kicking the idea around.
How would we do it?
Could you do this and get away with it?
Scott told Mark before the robbery,
"Do not say anything.
Just come in and keep people orderly."
"Okay, okay."
He called him Boss. "Okay, boss."
[Mark] A friend of mine dropped us off
a block away from the bank,
and she was supposed to meet us
at this designated spot.
Our plan was to wait
for a bank customer to arrive,
then use his car as a getaway car.
[Steve] Biggins puts
his Ronald Reagan mask down.
Rock and roll!
[Mark] Scott went in first.
He was gonna announce the robbery
and then I would come in
and make sure that nobody left.
I was so freaked out.
Like, "I can't believe
this is actually happening
and I'm actually doing this."
[Steve] Biggins has his gun in his hand
and he says,
"Every motherfucker on the ground!"
Scott turns around and says,
"Everybody stand up! Stand up!" [laughs]
Because he doesn't want anybody walking by
to see people on the ground.
[Mark] I think Scott ordered
everybody on the ground.
I think everybody was down
when I walked into the bank.
If you've ever been in a car
that you've lost control,
and it, you know, things slow down,
that's what happened to me in the bank.
Everything was in slow motion.
Finally, it was time to leave,
and Scott goes,
"Mark, did you get the keys?"
He actually used my name.
I bent down and I said,
"Sir, can I have your car keys?"
And the poor guy,
he was really frightened.
It's a brand-new car
and I couldn't hear that it had started.
[engine starts]
And as I was doing that,
this other car pulls in.
Finally Scott goes,
"I think the car's started."
"Put it in reverse.
Let's get out of here."
We started driving through suburbia.
We get out at this designated spot
and there's no van.
My friend panicked and went to point B.
We had a backup.
And we end up
running across this golf course.
We could hear police cars coming.
There are sirens.
And there's my friend,
parked where she's supposed to be.
[sirens wail]
That's the way it was.
It was a comedy of errors.
I don't know how they didn't get caught,
but they didn't.
[Mark] And then I started thinking
about all the possible clues
we might have left behind.
We used Scott's van.
If anybody took down the license plate,
I thought, "Well,
they're gonna show up any minute."
At one point, I sat up and said,
"I am never doing that again."
Scott goes, "Are you sure? Let's go
do another one! Right now!" [laughs]
[Steve] After the robbery, Biggins got
real scared and drove off to Montana.
But all of the failures
inspired Scott to go deeper into it.
He realized
he could handle the banks himself
as long as
everything outside was controlled.
And that's why he came for me.
He was very scientific, analytical.
I was more improvising, artistic.
I had worked in sculpture
throughout Europe, in Germany and Norway.
I didn't care about the banks themselves.
It didn't matter.
"Great. Take 'em down."
"Take every last penny
they have in the bank."
"That's no problem for me."
But I couldn't imagine doing it.
I just thought, "This is... This is insane."
But it's Scott and he's convincing.
He said, "Man, this is the easiest thing.
It's like taking candy from kids."
"There's millions to be made in this."
But, as we always said,
there is no school of training
for bank robbers.
Doing what Scott and I did
is the most creative thing
I've ever done in my life.
Much more than the art world.
Finding the perfect bank
was a moment of exhilaration.
It's like finding a piece of marble
that is perfect for some image
that I have that I want to sculpt.
I would sit on the street,
close enough that I could observe it.
I'd write down
the time of arrival of armored cars.
The deliveries
were an important time of day
because that's when you've got
the most money in the bank.
If it was summer,
I would have my windows down
and I'd have Bach or jazz going on.
I'd be on the scanner all day,
listening to the police calls.
[police radio chatter]
[Steve] And I would watch
the patrols in that bank area
to know when they'd come.
I would log down the times.
A number of the banks we did,
there was a very consistent patrol route
that the cops took
at certain times of the day.
We learned these routes
so that five minutes
after the cops left the area,
we knew it was time to hit the banks.
I spent months driving around the streets
doing surveillance.
You can't get a jump on a bank
going in with some stupid mask on.
It's ridiculous.
So I would prepare these prosthetics,
like they do in Hollywood.
["Goodbye Horses" by Q Lazzarus playing]
What we wanted were just components,
like a nose, a chin, cheeks.
["Goodbye Horses" continues]
He wore D.A.R.E. caps for two reasons.
The first thing people think of
is that he's probably a cop
who wears a D.A.R.E. hat,
and also to smite the police.
'Cause it's like, "Here I am."
You know what I mean? "Dare me."
I see my hopes and dreams
lying on the ground...
[Steve] When I first saw him,
he came back from the woods
and I just stood there frozen.
I go, "Oh my God Almighty.
What in the fuck is this?"
I could look at it and there'd be no way
you'd ever think this was Scott Scurlock.
Goodbye horses...
[Scott] I feel transformed
in an eerie, magical way.
I'm flying over...
[Scott] I'm changing rapidly
in this stage of my life.
Goodbye horses...
[Scott] I feel like a different person.
I'm flying, flying, flying
[tense music playing]
[Steve] The very first bank robbery
that I did
was the same bank
that he did with Mark six weeks earlier.
The important thing in taking down a bank
is that initial 15 seconds
when nobody thinks anything's happening.
And he looked like a person
that might have had a skin ailment.
So people would avoid looking at him.
[teller] How can I help you?
This is a robbery. Nobody move.
[Steve] He would
pull the gun out casually.
Nobody in their right mind
would ever say no to this man.
You two! Money in the bag.
Everyone stay calm.
[police radio chattering]
[Steve] I was sitting with the scanner
and the radio, and that was it.
There was never any risk on my part
because I had my own alibi.
I had my own reason for being there,
and I would never be caught,
unless of course
I had to call him out of the bank.
And the beauty of all of this
was creating and developing
one of these robberies
so that everything
would work flawlessly, safely,
and that the actual outcome was
what we wanted, which was the money.
We didn't talk the whole way.
When we got to the Treehouse
and began counting the money,
it was just five or ten thousand dollars.
I go, "Man. This is ridiculous."
"Who wants to go to prison
for this little bitty kibbles and bits?"
[tense music playing]
[Mike] In the early 1990s,
I arrested my first bank robber,
and I thought, "Shit,
this is like shooting fish in a pond."
I don't mean to say it
in a braggadocios manner,
but within a period of five or six months,
I had cleared close to 80 cases,
and it became very addictive.
I was subsequently assigned
to the FBI's violent crime task force.
Hollywood flew under the radar
for the first couple of robberies
because of the low take.
When a suspect gets on top of the counter
and dances around
and tries to get command and control,
and you have to carjack
an old man for his Cadillac,
it showed that these guys
were bumbling idiots.
They probably started to ask themselves,
"Hey, what are we doing wrong here?"
[Steve] I said, "Scott, I'm not gonna
do this for 10, 15, 20 thousand dollars."
"It's stupid."
"We either do this right,
and we either go for the vault,
or I don't do it anymore."
"I don't wanna be messed up
in this nonsense."
He goes, "We can't do the vault
'cause I don't have enough information."
- So he hired Mustang.
- [telephone rings]
Mustang was a special young woman.
I've never quite met a woman like her.
[sultry music playing]
She was hired
to work in the Seafirst Bank as a teller.
She got the manuals
and she got all of the bank protocol
for teller stations, for the vaults,
the armored car deliveries.
Once we had
all the inside information from Mustang,
we knew we could do what we needed to do.
[funky music playing]
[Steve] We learned from the protocol
what to say.
This is real. This is a robbery.
[Steve] There's certain terminology
you use to the bankers,
and when they hear that terminology,
they know you know what's going on.
Who's the vault teller?
[woman] That's me.
[Steve] This was the phenomenon of Scott.
He could control the lobby
and still deal with the vault
at the same time.
[tense music playing]
[Scott] Quickly.
[tense music continues]
[Steve] He wants them to be calm.
"Go over there. Just open the vault."
"There's no problem.
Don't worry. Everything will be fine."
"Just let me get in and get out."
[tense music continues]
[Steve] It's like he's going
into this catacomb of fantasy.
[tense music continues]
Do you have another bag?
[police radio chatter]
[Scott] Everyone on the floor. Let's go!
[tense music continues]
[Steve] When we got home,
we drove into the back of the studio.
I said, "How'd you do?" And he says,
"Oh, man, it wasn't... Not good."
"It was another bad one."
I go, "Oh, fuck me, man."
"What, are you kidding me?"
And we get in
and he dumps out this big bag.
And it's just like... And I go, "Oh, man."
[tense music continues]
That was the biggest haul.
It was the game changer.
Not only for us, but for the FBI.
[music fades]
I began with the FBI in 1987.
By the time
of the Hollywood investigation,
I was the most experienced agent
in the Seattle division
working bank robberies.
I'm trying to recall the cases I worked
where somebody did what Hollywood did,
from doing teller drawers
to doing armed takeovers
to doing vault takeovers.
I can't think of anyone else
that took that route.
The Hollywood investigation
was similar to a jigsaw puzzle.
We had little clues here,
little clues here.
Starting to put the big picture together.
I think Hollywood
was enjoying what he did.
First four robberies,
he got more than the average bank robber.
But then he started going into the vaults.
Doing vault robberies on your own
is very risky,
because you have no idea
what's happening in the rest of the bank.
It's more exposure.
It's more potential for alarms going off.
At that point in time,
his level of sophistication went up.
The threat went up.
It was a challenge to him,
and he wanted to challenge us.
But the big picture here was what?
It was, "Who is Hollywood?
Who is Hollywood?"
- [man] All right. You ready?
- Welcome to the Treehouse. Come right in.
[Suzanne] My parents
were totally in awe of the Treehouse
because my dad loved building things.
[man laughs] This is going to be
the dining room.
[Scott] Yup.
[Suzanne] It was one
of the most remarkable edifices ever.
So they were in awe of who Scotty was
and what he had done in that arena.
[wistful music playing]
We grew up in a loving household.
My father was a minister,
a very well-loved minister.
My mother was a teacher
of learning disabled children.
We were preacher's kids, and darn it,
from a very young age,
we were gonna prove to everybody
that we're not goody-two-shoes.
[man] Both of us were very adventurous.
That's what made us friends.
He had a different quality,
a fearlessness.
There were showroom houses
all around Reston, Virginia.
We knew how to get into all of them.
Scotty and I both learned
how to pick locks.
We did not learn to pick locks
to steal anything.
We learned how to pick locks
so we could get
to the other side of the door.
[wistful music continues]
[Suzanne] As he grew older
into his teen years,
he became more and more
and more secretive.
And we used to call him
the master of disinformation
because he wouldn't outright lie to you,
but he would tell you something
that you knew wasn't quite right
or he would leave something out.
When he first started to do crazy stuff,
one of the things he did,
and I think he was 15, maybe 16,
was that he and this friend stole a car,
a van I believe,
from a local day care center,
and drove it to the beach,
and they got caught.
And I think that was
a big break for my father,
because he realized with that event
that something
had really gone south in Scotty.
[wistful music continues]
He grew up and didn't outgrow the behavior
that we had as kids or adolescents.
He just sort of refined it
and kept right on going.
[Steve] Everything with Scott
was a stepping stone.
The Hawthorne Hills Bank
was the opening of a new world for us.
Once you enter the vaults,
you're on another level.
At this point,
when we would intentionally
leave a vehicle for the cops,
we would make sure we hired a person,
either a woman or some guy
that looked totally different from us,
maybe he'd be 6 ft. 3 in.
and long, scraggly hair or whatever,
give him $1,000,
he would go purchase the car,
drive it to me, and I would take it.
We sanitized them with mineral spirits.
We would get female hair
and put that in the back seat.
Tried to make it
always as confusing as possible.
Sometimes there were multiple roads
leading to the bank
where police would be coming,
so we would hire somebody as a lookout.
My role, only two occasions I did,
uh, was to be a point man.
He gave me a radio, told me to park here.
When you see the police coming,
just say, "Mama's coming."
That's all you gotta do.
There was no hesitation on my part
to help Scott out.
You know,
it was just a thing among friends.
[Steve] One of Scott's main methodologies
was to repeat robbing the same bank.
Nobody's gonna believe
that you're gonna come right back
and do the same thing again
within a few days.
The first thing we'd do,
we'd dump all the money out
and then we would go through
with ultraviolet lights
any money that looked like
it might be marked.
New money was the most dangerous
'cause you have sequential serial numbers,
so we would scatter those around.
We would lock up all of the equipment
in military canisters
that we would bury in the ground.
Then we took the clothes
back into the forest
and we had a pit
where we burned everything.
After that, I had to go launder the money.
["I Want More" by Can playing]
Scott did a lot of sportsbook gambling.
And the laundering of the money,
he thought of that.
That was his creation.
It's an ingenious creation.
You place the same amount of money
on both teams that are playing
at two different casinos,
and one of the teams is gonna win.
So you end up getting back all your money
except for what the house receives
on the losing team,
which is 5%.
We weren't losing anything, really.
["I Want More" continues]
Scott did a lot with his money
and he just lived his life
the way he wanted to live it.
["I Want More" continues]
Travel, seeing the world,
meeting different people.
That's what he loved.
[Scott] I have been realizing lately
the virtues of traveling alone.
All my wildest experiences
have happened while I'm alone.
[T.J.] Scott was definitely
a man of mystery.
He would disappear for a while.
One time I thought maybe he was CIA.
Maybe he was a pot grower.
[Jimmy] I never really asked him
what he did for money.
He must be a contractor. I don't know.
That's why he was so handy building.
I found out that he was really interested
in stopping the logging of the forest.
[Steve] He worked with Earth First,
and he would give donation money
to these environmentalists.
And I said, "Why do you do that, Scott?
Why waste money on these hippies?"
[Alban] Scott did view himself
as a Robin Hood figure.
And I think it was, uh, evident
in the way he acquired the money
and then also the way he dispersed it.
[Jimmy] In terms of him being
a Robin Hood figure, I know that was true.
He gave money to me. He gave money
to other people and other things.
I saw him give money away.
[Steve] He helped people.
They needed something, he'd give them
a few thousand dollars for whatever.
He spread the money around.
[Mark] It's a funny relationship
you have with money.
You didn't earn it.
You stole it. You took it.
Spend it freely, and then go get more.
[Scott] Mmm, mmm.
[Steve] He wasn't Robin Hood.
If you look at Robin Hood,
it was idealistic.
He stole from the rich and gave,
you know, all of that nonsense.
And Scott wasn't like that.
He helped people that he knew
if he needed something
in the future to be done,
he could call on them
and they would do it.
[suspenseful music playing]
[Steve] Regardless
of how successful it all was,
there's a certain point
where you're challenging fate
and it doesn't always turn out
the way you want it to turn out.
[suspenseful music continues]
One robbery we had to abort
because a customer recognized him
as he was walking in.
I got the dispatch call,
and I had to call him out.
[Steve on radio] We're out.
Let's go, let's go.
[Steve] For the next one,
as soon as he got in his getaway car,
the dye pack blew up
and he threw that whole thing out.
[suspenseful music continues]
[tires screech]
We found the vehicle
just blocks away from the bank.
I sat in that station wagon
at the scene for a couple of minutes,
just absorbing that.
That was the closest
I had come to him at that point in time,
sitting in that car
waiting for the next robbery to happen.
We were able to trace it
to previous owners.
Through that, we were able
to develop composite sketches
of individuals who had bought cars.
[Ellen] We had a police profiler come in
and brief all of the people
that were working on the case
who suggested
that he might be a police officer.
We thought that because of the skill
that he had when he was robbing banks.
There was suspicion
that Detective Magan had
that Hollywood might be a police officer.
Shawn Johnson had the belief
that Hollywood could be a police officer.
Did I believe he was a police officer? No.
I didn't buy that theory.
We definitely considered it,
and we thought that
that made him more dangerous.
We wanted to get the word out
so we could solve this case.
So we used the media,
and that was part
of a very carefully laid-out plan.
We told you about
a bank robber nicknamed Hollywood.
He's number one
on the FBI's Most Wanted List.
[reporter] Disguises are the reason
the FBI dubbed this man Hollywood.
He's successfully hit
more than a dozen banks
in the past four years.
[David] It changed the story dramatically
when the FBI came out
with this nickname of Hollywood,
because we knew that they were having
a hard time tracking this guy,
and it seemed to be on a cycle.
Like every six months,
a bank was being hit,
and it became, "Was this Hollywood again?"
[reporter] FBI agent
Shawn Johnson's mission
is to find anyone
who knows anything about Hollywood.
I think initially,
we'll start off, uh, door-to-door,
half of us on one side, half on the other.
[David] You didn't usually see
an FBI agent walk into a neighborhood
and say, "Can you tell me anything
about this bank robbery?"
That was wild, to see an agent,
you know, being so open.
Also a clue that they had no clue.
Maybe I wanted him to know
that I was there, you know?
I was there too. So here's me on TV.
[mysterious music playing]
[Mike] Most suspects followed their media.
In fact, I think they actually loved it.
[Steve] The first time
we heard about Hollywood
was from the two-page article
with Shawn Johnson.
He was saying,
"Somebody out there knows who this man is
and we need your help."
- [reporter 1] His nickname is Hollywood.
- [reporter 2] Hollywood wears makeup...
[Steve] That name
influenced him immensely.
I think it built him up even more.
I think it excited him,
without him saying it or acknowledging it,
but I know his personality.
Deep inside, he was proud.
[Ellen] We thought he would rob again
if he was getting so much attention.
[tense music playing]
[Steve] Each robbery was an opportunity
to try something new.
For the getaways, we would try to figure
out what the FBI would expect us to do,
and then we would just do the opposite.
For the bank we wanted to do, to get away,
you either go down Madison
toward the police coming in,
or you have to go all around the lake.
So I said, "Why don't you get into the van
and just stay there?"
"And I'll go to a restaurant,
and I'll sit and wait for the heat to go."
"When the police are gone,
I'll get back out in my car,
and I'll radio you and let you know,
uh, that it's clear to come out."
He had a van and we had it retrofitted
so he could get under the floor.
So if they shined lights in there,
they couldn't see him.
[tense music continues]
I told Scott, I said,
"Man, this is gonna be big."
"I just had a dream last night."
"We're gonna have
over a quarter of a million dollars
and you're gonna get out safely."
"It's not gonna be a problem."
[tense music continues]
[sirens wail]
[Steve] It was a good 45 minutes
I was in the restaurant.
There was four or five cop cars out there,
and I could just look out the window
and see when it was dispersed
and finished.
I arrive at the scene and I'm thinking,
"Is this guy some kind of a ghost?
How does he just slip away like that?"
[tense music continues]
[Steve] One thing he discovered
while he was in the van
was the condensation from his breathing.
If the police had been aware,
they would see that
and think there was someone in there.
I went over
to a wine shop across the street
and when I came out of the wine shop,
they had all gone.
And I went to the car
and I got my radio out
and I radioed Scott,
and I said, "Boss, let's go."
It was this cat and mouse game.
It was clear that police
and law enforcement were frustrated.
They couldn't figure out
who this person was.
[reporter 1] What everyone
seems to remember
is how he orders people around
and threatens to shoot them.
[reporter 2] FBI agents are frustrated
that Hollywood has been able
to get away with so much for so long.
They fear that he will turn violent
before he's caught.
[David] I think that's what changed
the Hollywood story,
is that, until we started
to hear from the tellers
who told these horrifying stories,
he hadn't hurt anybody.
[tense music playing]
[Shawn] He got more desperate sometimes.
He tried to get in the vault.
The vault tellers weren't there
to let him in, he got real upset.
He said, "It's Christmas.
I don't want to kill anybody,"
and used a stun gun
on one of the employees.
So he was willing to use weapons.
I've seen people crying.
I mean, just very emotional,
and you're trying to get to the point
where you calm them down a bit
to... to talk to them, what happened.
It was unlike any robbery that any of them
had ever gone through before.
[bank teller] We could not tell
from one second to the next
what he was likely to do.
He was extremely threatening.
[Ellen] Bank robbery
is not a victimless crime.
The people that are
in the bank are traumatized,
tellers are traumatized.
When you have a gun pointed at your face,
where people threaten to kill you,
these take a toll on human beings.
I've been robbed 14 times,
and one of those
was the Hollywood bank robber.
He commanded this presence,
and he told everyone to freeze
and everyone froze.
It's unusual for a robber
to have that much control.
It doesn't ever leave you.
You can go on with your life,
but it doesn't ever leave you. Ever.
[bank teller] There's got to be something
more that we can do to stop these people.
Somebody's going to get hurt.
He thought that he was
just having the greatest time,
living his best life.
But for him to think
that he was gonna get away with this
was just a false premise.
[Steve] When you step
into the world we were living,
you have no idea
the toll it's gonna bring upon you.
It's impossible.
After so many years of bank robberies,
you are no longer the same person
that you were before you began.
[Alban] Scott started to get stressed.
He was no longer
the casual, happy-go-lucky person.
That person was gone.
[T.J.] The vibe
around the Treehouse changed.
He became more closed off,
and more isolated, and way less social.
[Steve] Scott had me
live up at the front house
to keep people out of there.
More and more,
his life was becoming secretive
and he needed to have people away.
He didn't want people around,
seeing what he was doing.
[Mark] Once you do cross the Rubicon
and start living that life,
you have to lie
to everybody about everything.
Everybody you care about.
Everybody you meet.
[Scott] I keep going
in the wrong direction.
I start things and then stop
before the great benefit can be gotten.
Many females have felt
my no-follow-through.
Do I just want to want?
Is that why I get no satisfaction?
I one time kidded with him
when I'd observe him with certain women.
I'd say, "What do you do? Treat women
like condiments? Give me a break."
[T.J.] Is he single or what?
You got women in your bed?
[Scott] Things don't compute
like they used to.
I usually feel free and secure
about my plans in life,
but now I'm beginning to feel captured.
[T.J.] Cheers!
[Suzanne] He showed up at the door,
"Gotta talk to you."
And as we're sitting there,
he's sitting across from me
and he just starts to cry,
like tears streaming down his face.
And he says,
"Suze, I don't know what's going on."
"But when I look in the mirror,
the face looking back at me isn't my own."
"What is that?"
I knew at that point
he was really in trouble.
This light and dark tussle in him,
he was losing the battle.
[Steve] He started drinking more and more
and more to subdue the anxieties.
But Scott wanted one final act,
and that was three or four banks,
one right after the other
in the same evening.
We get 10 to 15 million dollars
and we call it a day.
I go about my business,
you go about yours.
[tense music playing]
We had three banks figured out.
First, you hit a small bank,
go in and get out,
and you don't care about the money.
You just care about
diverting the police to that small bank.
Then you go back and hit a bigger bank.
Then by the time they get there,
there's a third one.
I mean, what are they gonna do?
We wanted to decimate the city of Seattle,
and it was not only doable,
it was winnable.
[tense music playing]
[Shawn] I was getting a bit frustrated
during this investigation.
We had come up with
a couple of getaway vehicles and such,
but it was getting close
but not close enough.
I got tired of waiting,
just reacting to his bank robberies.
I started digging back through the files,
back through the MO,
the time of day, the day of the week,
location of the banks,
how much money he was taking.
I knew he had an ego.
That's why I knew he was gonna come back
at some point in time.
I sat down and did the math,
figured out that he was going through
approximately $21,000 a month.
So with that in mind,
I predicted that he was going to hit
one of three days
the following year in January.
I knew that he would be back.
Certain locations I thought
were likely targets.
It was a waiting game
for them to come back,
and that we were in the right spot
at the right time.
[Steve] After the last big robbery,
we took a year off.
We were finally planning
to take down three banks,
but we needed another person
because of the logistics
of taking down these banks.
[Mark] After the first bank robbery,
I went right to Montana
and was hiding out there
and then Scott showed up
and drew me back into it.
Scott's been going
into the banks by himself,
and he was having trouble
with crowd control.
So he told me, "All you have to do
is stand in the lobby."
"Make sure nobody leaves.
That's all you gotta do."
[Shawn] A year had passed
since I made those predictions
on three days in January
that he was gonna hit.
- [police radio chattering]
- So myself and a task force member
surveilled banks I figured
were logical targets for Hollywood.
First day, nothing happens.
Second day, nothing happened.
The third day, I was out there
waiting for him by myself.
[Steve] With Mark back,
we decided to hit one bank,
just to get the feel of it,
before we hit three.
[tense music playing]
[Mark] My second robbery
was so different than the first.
More under control, went a lot smoother.
It was more like a job than an adventure.
[tense music continues]
[indistinct radio chatter]
[Shawn] I knew immediately
based on the description,
"Oh shit, it's Hollywood."
He's hitting another bank a mile up
from where I was waiting for him.
He came back just as I said.
He came back the third day.
I was getting closer and I felt like,
"I'm just a couple of minutes behind you."
"Not months, not weeks.
Just a few minutes behind you now."
[tires screech]
[Shawn] I proceeded up to the bank.
We had secured the scene.
I was the first follow-up person
at the scene.
And I get to the bank
and I'm looking at Shawn Johnson,
like, "How did you get here so fast?"
And I found out
that he and FBI agents only
were running their own surveillance
looking for Hollywood.
He cut everybody else out
on the task force.
Other task force officers decided
that what I was doing was crazy.
"He's not gonna come back.
He's not gonna be here."
[Ellen] I remember how
that kind of ramped up everybody's energy
to work this case,
'cause it had been some gap
since his previous robbery.
[Mike] Everybody on the task force
thought at that point
that something bad
was definitely gonna happen.
And to Ellen's credit,
she saw that this case
was spinning a little bit out of control,
and we needed to put an end to it.
[Ellen] Hollywood was kind of predictable
in terms of the times of day
and where he would rob.
We hatched a plan to do surveillances,
hoping that one of our guys
would be out on the street
when he robbed a bank.
We needed the Seattle Police Department.
We needed their special patrol unit.
We needed aerial resources.
- We added extra FBI resources.
- [camera clicks]
To get all of that in line
was an absolutely Herculean effort.
So we made a commitment
to bring all these resources together
for an indefinite period.
This was a time when
one of the new techniques was ProNet.
It was using these electronic tracers
that were attached to money.
They would shoot their signal to towers.
And so then you had to have
a mechanism to follow the tags.
So we had to put 'em
in a lot of police cars.
[Shawn] I had to go back again
through the robberies to date
to find out logical targets
that I would hit again
to put devices into the banks.
[Ellen] We put two of these electronic
tracers in as many banks as we could.
[Mike] Everything revolved around time.
The more of these tracking devices
that were in the vault,
the more time it allowed me to get there.
[Al Pacino] If it's between you
and some poor bastard
whose wife you're gonna turn into a widow,
brother, you are going down.
[Mark] Scott and I had watched Heat,
which was a pretty intense movie.
- [screaming]
- [grunting]
[man] Don't move! Don't fucking move.
[Mark] The bank robbing scenes
in that movie are spot-on.
And then the shootout
just scared the bejesus out of us.
I remember Scott and I
looking at each other, just going,
"Oh my goodness, what if that happened?"
And that was the game we were playing.
It was a real possibility,
which put the fear of God into us.
Fear of our own mortality.
[dramatic music playing]
Throughout my time working on this case,
I always thought
there was a great possibility
that someone could get hurt.
I've been close
to other bank robberies before in the FBI
where colleagues of mine were killed
in a major shootout in Miami in 1986.
[reporter] In a firefight
lasting over four minutes,
two special agents of the FBI were slain
and five other agents were wounded.
We may not have known who Hollywood was,
but what we did know is that
if we faced off with him in the street,
he would not go down without a fight.
[somber music playing]
[Steve] At some point
in the middle of everything,
I had a very vivid dream.
I was crawling up a beach from the water
and a shark had just bitten
both of my legs off.
[somber music continues]
[Steve] I took the dream as advice.
The advice was to get out of it.
I could sense that Scott felt
that there was something looming.
We took hikes up in the Olympics.
The Olympics were special to Scott.
That was our time of peace.
We cleared our mind of the city,
of the chaos,
and we would go up there in nature
and we'd challenge ourselves.
On the top of Mount Washington,
Scott said to me, "Listen. No matter what,
let your own hand be the hand of fate,
and never let your enemy
dictate your fate."
"You make sure you're in control
of what you do with your life."
[Alban] One bank was not enough for Scott.
He wanted to do three banks.
I said, "You're nuts, man."
I talked to Steve and I told him,
"Listen, man. I think this guy
is getting out of hand here."
"And I'm going to California
and I suggest you come with me."
And he actually was thinking about it,
except he didn't want to let Scott down.
[Steve] With the final robbery,
I knew I had to go through with it,
because something had to culminate.
Something had to finalize itself.
The last time that I saw Scott,
I had this really bad dream.
The dream involved guns, a shootout.
It was in Seattle. People were running.
And I'm telling him this dream
and he got all white.
He took a big breath and says,
"You're probably not gonna see me again."
"I'm probably gonna go
to the Seychelle Islands."
And I go, "Really?"
I said, "You're gonna come back, right?"
He goes, "I don't think
you're gonna see me again."
[somber music continues]
[Scott] I walk into the night and scream
at God to make his message known to me.
God is not responding
and I sense rejection.
It is a time of pain
and anger and resentment.
Where the fuck do I go from here,
oh great winged white horseman in my mind?
This will be the last entry
for a long time.
[music fades]
[Steve] We prepared for years
to rob these banks.
And about two weeks before Thanksgiving,
Scott said there's good news and bad news.
The bad news is that they now have
ProNet tags in the vault money.
There is no way to beat the tags
in time to do our original plan.
So we had to abandon
the multiple banks scenario.
[tense music playing]
The good news is,
we take this bank up on 125th Street.
Mustang told us that there should be
five to seven million dollars
within the bank.
So our whole game plan changed.
But the tracers we had to figure out,
and we had to figure out quickly.
We did a bank
just to see how we had to deal with it.
We de-disguised Scott into a ski mask.
We didn't want them to think
it was Hollywood taking out the tracers.
And I said, "Listen, just go in there.
Don't even fuck around with the tellers."
"Go into the vault, get the money,
and when you come out,
we'll have the tracers."
"Then we'll find out
how they're planted in the money."
All of these tags
were put between $20 bills,
because you can fan it,
you can feel this lump.
In a very short time, we got two
that we discarded out the window.
And then after all of that,
we both felt comfortable and confident
that we could actually do it.
[tense music playing]
[Shawn] I woke up the morning
of Thanksgiving Eve 1996.
My wife says to me that morning
before I leave, "This is the day."
"This is the day.
You're catching Hollywood today."
And I'm thinking, "Well,
yeah, I... I don't know about that."
[Mike] Thanksgiving week
was always a short week
and most of the people
aren't even in the office.
[Steve] We wake up Thanksgiving Eve.
We look out the windows.
The rain was pounding.
It was gray and dark.
It was beautiful. Wonderful.
Perfect day for what we were doing.
[tense music continues]
I'm in there cleaning,
setting things up, making it perfect.
[Mark] We go to the makeup room
and we put on
the prosthetic pieces and the wigs,
and there wasn't really a lot said.
[Steve] I walk into the studio.
Scott has the guitar case out.
He has his assault rifle out.
He has the shotgun out.
[Mark] The idea was
that if a cop car came up on us,
we would grab the shotty,
jump out, and shoot out the engine,
and disable the cop car.
[Steve] Everything was finalized.
We were ready to get in the van
and take off for Seattle.
We had Mustang as a lookout on the hill.
It's time to do it.
[music fades]
We had been trained specifically
on the Hollywood Bandit.
And when he walked
into the Lake City branch to rob us,
he walked right past his wanted poster.
Don't panic. This is a robbery.
[Steve] Scott walks in first, sets
the motion of getting everybody in place,
and then Mark comes in,
and he starts
directing the patrons in there.
[Mark] You're not even afraid.
You've rehearsed it in your mind
and you've done it before,
and so you do it.
My worst nightmare. Not one Hollywood,
but two, walk through the door.
And shit just hit the fan.
So I started pulling up the bill trap,
which sets off an alarm.
Who's the vault teller?
So I said, "Well, that's me."
So we both went back,
and the vault can open
with a special duress combination
that activated another alarm.
[tense music playing]
I wanted every fucking
law enforcement agency in Seattle there,
and there as quick as possible.
[Mike] The office was a ghost town.
Nobody was there. Lights were out.
[Ellen] I'm at my desk,
just trying to tie up some loose ends.
[Mike] We're monitoring
the Seattle police radio
when the tones go out.
And you hear this beep, beep, beep.
They're in there for two minutes,
three minutes, five minutes.
I don't hear anything from Mustang.
Everything is cool.
And then finally I get the radio.
[dispatch] We have two suspects
who entered the bank with hats on.
Long green coats,
wearing white pancake style makeup
on their faces.
[Scott Levine] I hear someone calling in
over a radio, "You've been seen."
- He was not calm.
- Get in here. Help!
[Scott Levine] He was angry.
He wanted in, he wanted out.
He meant business.
[Scott] Let's go, let's go, let's go!
[Scott Levine] I dumped the ProNet
into the bag.
As he has a gun aimed at me,
I'm thinking,
"Is he gonna come back and shoot me?"
[keys tapping]
Mike runs by and he says,
"A bank's been hit.
I think it's Hollywood."
[Mike] We ran to the car,
turn on the lights,
turned on the siren
and took off down Second Avenue.
[Shawn] I leave my office
about five o'clock,
thinking the day's over with.
I walk into the kitchen of my house,
my pager goes off.
I looked down. It was Hollywood.
[Mark] Scott was in the vault
for a little too long, I thought.
But then here he comes
bounding out of that area,
and he had this great big duffle bag,
which I took immediately.
I'm grabbing the 1,080,000
in this duffle bag.
[tense music playing]
- [sirens wailing]
- By this point, we can hear the sirens.
And that's when we noticed
that there were cops everywhere.
Thick as flies.
[sirens continue wailing]
[Steve] Scott yells, "Steve,
maybe we should just abort right now."
"Let's just quit."
I say, "What the fuck
are you talking about?"
"Let's go! Get this shit done.
Get these tracers out."
I was driving that fucking car
like it was stolen.
We were getting updates constantly
from the chief dispatcher.
Two suspects armed with handguns,
but I'm trying to focus on
the tracking devices that left the bank.
[Mike] Do we have any signs
going at all at this time?
[dispatch] Wedgwood and Lake City
are both hot.
[Shawn] I'm following
this tracking device.
It's hitting different areas of the city,
different antennas, hot and cold,
hot and cold.
I'm trying to follow that signal.
Finally Scott yelled out, "I got one!"
He gave me two $20 bills
that were glued together
with the ProNet tag,
and I threw it out the window
and kept going down the street.
[Mike] An officer
pops up on the radio and says,
"I'm starting to get
a real strong indication here."
I roll up on the scene
and found on the street
the tracking device discarded.
And immediately, I said, "Oh, shit."
But I knew there's one more
tracking unit still out there.
They were back there working. I said,
"Biggins, straighten your mind up."
"Get the fucking shit going.
Don't be afraid. Just get it done."
[Mark] It was such a panic
with all the police out buzzing around.
We knew that they were hunting us.
We had taken $1,080,000 out of the bank
and it was too difficult
to find the tracking devices.
[sirens wailing]
All of a sudden my display lights up
and goes, "Poof!" It's game day. Showtime.
[dramatic music playing]
[Steve] Scott said, "Pull over.
I want to drive. I know better where...'
I said, "I know where I'm going.
Just do what you gotta do."
And he was stubborn.
[Scott] Get over here!
[Steve] And I finally said, "Okay,"
and I looked behind my driver's seat,
and there was this pile of money.
And they didn't have
any order to what they were doing,
and I go, "Oh my God. Oh my fucking God."
[Scott] Just drive!
What are you doing? Let's go!
I'm still a ways back.
I need to get there.
It's my case. I need to be there.
[Mike] I'm listening to the tone
and it's going, "Eeee."
And I'm following the display
and it's guiding me in
towards this white van.
And I shut off all my lights
and I'm just following the display
right towards the rear end
of this Chevy van.
I could see there was condensation
on the back windows.
[Ellen] And we could see lights
through the back window.
It looked very odd.
So we knew
they were scouring through the money.
I said, "Radio,
we're gonna be doing a felony car stop."
[Mike] We're gonna have to do
a felony stop here.
I'd like to have more units.
[Steve] And so Scott, as he pulls up,
we're on a little knoll,
he pulled up to the street to turn left.
And as he turned left, I saw the cop cars.
Three cop cars behind us.
[Mike] The van coasted to a stop
against the curb.
As I was getting out of the car
and drawing my pistol and going on target,
I realized that the suspect
was already out of the van.
The police have always said we shot first.
It didn't happen that way.
They were the ones that ambushed us
and began shooting at us.
Meyers' mouth is moving again,
so he's obviously lying.
Let me tell you this.
Let me tell you this.
I could see, along the driver's side door,
a silhouette,
and it was dark,
but I could see they had a rifle.
And I saw the rifle come down on me.
[Ellen] I didn't see it.
I... I could only see
through the front windshield.
So I never saw anybody get out of the van.
[Steve] The reason for those guns
wasn't to have a shootout with the cops.
It was to disarm the vehicle.
No. That rifle was pointed right at me.
Everything that I was taught
was kicking in.
He went down to take aim at me,
and I thought, "Oh, shit."
And for some reason
the rifle was not firing.
And then,
"click, click, click." Three clicks.
I go, "Oh my God."
Suddenly the cops started shooting
into the back of the van.
I could tell my rounds
were going through the back door.
[Mark] All I remember is getting hit
by a bullet, and getting knocked over.
Suddenly, my left arm
just starts flying in front of my face.
"They fucking shot my arm off!
They fucking shot my arm off!"
I'm screaming.
And then a little bit further up,
Scott stops again and gets a shotgun.
When we get to that second location,
a firefight really ensues.
As I was getting out of the car
to draw down on the van again,
I heard three of the loudest booms.
[Ellen] There are bullets
whizzing by my head.
All I could see was glass breaking.
I didn't have my body armor,
and I am in the middle of a shitstorm.
I'm trying to communicate
with the FBI office.
I'm telling 'em, "Shots fired."
[Mike] The van takes off again.
[Steve] My left arm
is just floating in the air.
Biggins is shot in the abdomen.
Blood everywhere.
And then suddenly
the van comes to a thud. Boom.
[van crashes]
As I lay in the back of the van,
Scott runs off.
I'm thinking,
"This is what we always spoke about."
We were all in this on our own.
[Mike] As I was running
towards the vehicle,
I'm seeing a silhouette of a body
running south in an alley.
[Steve] The wipers were going,
it was still in gear,
and Biggins is not saying a word,
so I don't know
if he's alive or if he's dead.
And Scott's gone
and all I could hear
were all the cops yelling,
"He's gone. He's running over there."
"Shoot that motherfucker!
Kill him! Kill him!"
I went to the alley and I... I stopped.
I thought, "Don't go down this alley.
This is what we call the Fatal Funnel.
At that point I realized I should back off
and go back to the van
where other officers
had two suspects down.
And I saw this white male
down on the ground handcuffed.
I said, "Who are you? Are you Hollywood?"
And he says, "No. He ran down the alley."
I said, "Shoot me, son of a bitch.
You were doing it a minute ago."
"Just shoot me.
Kill me, get it over with."
He said, "Don't worry about it.
The courts will take care of your ass."
When he told me to shoot him, I said,
"No. You're not getting out of this one."
"We beat you at your game."
[Steve] I didn't want to go to prison.
I mean, at that point nothing mattered.
Life was over as far as I was concerned.
And suddenly, the fear
and the pain and all that goes away,
and I looked in the van
and I saw this pile of money
and all the bullet holes
that the cops put in the van
were like laser beams of light.
And suddenly, this beautiful divine music
came into my head.
I'd never heard earthly music like it.
And the money became
almost like this talisman of...
"What is it? It's a bunch of paper.
Who gives a shit?"
"Who does what people do
for this stupid stuff
that has no meaning, really?"
[ethereal music playing]
[Mike] The Fire Department
was at the scene treating Biggins,
and he was motionless
like he was dead on the ground.
As I was looking at him, the firefighter
looked up at me and he went...
He gave me a thumbs down. I thought,
"Oh, shit. I just killed somebody."
I took a deep breath and I said to myself,
"This is something I never thought about."
I'd been in one previous shooting,
but I was not in a shooting like this.
This was a shootout.
[Mark] Outside of the van,
I was in and out of consciousness.
I remember Mike Magan
opening one of my eyelids,
checking to see if I was living or dead.
I remembered having a sense of relief
that it's finally over.
I can let it go now.
I don't have to live like this anymore.
[reporter 1] The two men who were shot
were taken into custody
and then taken to the hospital.
One man remains at large.
[reporter 2] Dozens of officers,
FBI agents, K-9 units,
even the SWAT team
were called in to look for the fugitive.
Especially if somebody's
still on the loose, that's a scary thing.
They could be anywhere.
[Shawn] I follow the ambulance
down to Harborview Hospital.
I would deal with the crime scene later.
I need to talk to Steve
and find out who else
we were looking for that night.
This is it. I'm not putting up with this
anymore. This has gotta be the closure.
[Steve] In the waiting room
in the hospital,
Shawn Johnson asked me questions.
And if you can imagine me being shot up
and I'm in a situation, here we are,
Scott's on the loose,
I don't know if he's dead or alive,
Biggins might die.
Your mind is not clear.
So I'm trying to protect myself.
After two hours,
Steve Meyers finally tells me
that the person I'm looking for
is Scott Scurlock.
He said Scott Scurlock is Hollywood.
[dispatch] Seattle Police and Fire 19.
[man] Yeah, I know they're doing a search
in our neighborhood.
- [dispatch] Yeah.
- [man] Somebody just pounded on our door.
[woman 1] There is a canoe
with a tarp over it.
[dispatch] Uh-huh.
[woman 1] I don't know
if anybody should check it.
[woman 2] I didn't see anybody,
but I'm thinking that, um, under my deck
would be a good hiding place.
I keep hearing that the officers
are going door-to-door
throughout the night
and throughout the day,
trying to find some lead.
Nothing is turning up.
[woman 3] I'm just wondering, in my area
there's police all over and helicopters...
[dispatch] Right,
you need to stay inside, ma'am,
and, uh, try not to tie up
the emergency lines with calls.
When I learned that Hollywood had escaped,
I was angered because so much work
had gone in to try to apprehend him.
The only word that kept coming
to my mind is, "Fuck. Really?"
Hollywood was right there.
How did he get away?
[suspenseful music playing]
[Mike] For the next several hours,
I was walking around with nervous energy
when my pager went off.
[man] I think that bank robber might be
hiding in my camper in the backyard.
[dispatch] And what makes you think that?
[man] I saw somebody's in there
and it's all locked up
and nobody's supposed to be in there.
It was my old partner and he said to me,
"They have your suspect cornered
right near the shooting scene."
[dispatch] Could you tell
if it was male or female?
[man] No, I just saw some dark hair.
- [dispatch] Okay. How long ago?
- [man] I just came in, right now.
[Mike] The officers
are dispatched to the camper.
They're pounding on the camper,
trying to see who's inside.
So they bust the window
and spray in pepper spray.
And a moment later
they hear a single gunshot.
[Mike] The officers
fire back into the camper.
- [gunshots]
- [smashing glass]
I was told that 76 rounds
had been fired into the camper
by officers who were at the scene.
[David] Good evening.
Thanksgiving has been interrupted
for dozens of families.
It's a police standoff,
and the suspect may be
the bank robber known as Hollywood.
[reporter] Right now,
Hollywood the bank robber,
one of the luckiest,
most prolific in the country,
looks like his luck has run out.
[tense music playing]
[Mike] As I was arriving,
Seattle police
was getting there simultaneously
with their armored vehicles
and setting up a command post.
[Shawn] We had helicopters.
We had armored vehicles.
There were probably a couple of hundred
law enforcement officers there that day.
I'd never seen such a huge response.
This is Thanksgiving Day.
The whole city is at home
with their families
and able to watch what's happening on TV.
Not only does
the entire neighborhood come out,
but if you live near that neighborhood,
you come out.
People come to see what is happening,
especially when something
that's almost like a movie
is so close to their homes.
[David] I mean,
a quiet North Seattle neighborhood,
and you have hundreds of police,
the SWAT team.
All this happening on Thanksgiving.
A Thanksgiving
that nobody's going to forget.
Our last of our guests were leaving
and I got a call
from my Aunt Helen who lives in Seattle,
and she was hysterical.
[reporter] Our top story...
[Suzanne] It was all over the Seattle news
that there was this police shootout
with this bandit named Scott Scurlock,
and there's a SWAT team
around this little trailer
in this lady's backyard.
And then I, at that point, sat down
and just said... [exhales] "Whoa. Whoa."
It was just so mind-blowing
to find out that he's been robbing banks
for five years.
[reporter 1] People are
out of their homes,
their Thanksgiving disrupted
by this, uh, police manhunt
that has been going on now
for more than 24 hours
in this neighborhood.
[reporter 2] Police and FBI agents
have been in standoff mode,
guns drawn, and negotiators in place.
[David] The standoff is still underway.
We know that shots have been fired.
They've been banging on the door.
They've tried to contact him. They can't.
They wanted this to end
in the way they wanted it to end.
They weren't gonna take any chances.
[Shawn] And after two hours of no response
we decided to make entry into the camper.
[tense music playing]
[Shawn] I walk in with the Tactical Team.
We found a body underneath the table.
I had a picture with me. I look down.
[tense music continues]
At that point, I knew that it was...
We had him.
And turned out that he had killed himself.
That first shot the officers heard
was him killing himself.
[reporter] Good evening.
A suspected bank robber who died yesterday
during a standoff with police
apparently killed himself.
[David] Scott Scurlock,
who police dubbed Hollywood,
was found dead in a camper last night...
[Steve] I woke up the next morning
in the hospital and the TV was going
and the news was carpeted with us,
and my name and Scott Scurlock
from Olympia, Washington, deceased.
A self-inflicted wound.
And, uh, I kind of looked and I just go...
"Thank God," you know.
I just said, "Thank God."
The shootout was the end.
Not only the end of our endeavors,
but the end of a certain life that I had.
We were like two comets that came together
and we met up and we started flying
through the fucking universe
and suddenly, boom!
It's all busted up in one second.
It's gone.
[Ellen] I feel like this episode
tested me in every possible way.
I was thinking about my kids
when the shooting started,
and wondering, you know,
am I doing the right thing
by doing this job
when there's a lot of other jobs
I could be doing in the FBI?
[somber music playing]
[Mike] A day doesn't go by
where you don't think about it.
My only question to him would probably be,
"Why did you take your life?"
And I'll quote Mark Twain,
and Mark Twain said
that he would never wish death upon a man,
but he's read some obituaries
with great pleasure.
[Shawn] The major regret I have
in this investigation
is the fact I never got
to sit down with Scott
and talk to him face-to-face, man-to-man.
If I had been in the vehicle that night,
in front of that pursuit line,
would I have done what Mike did,
shoot into the back of that van? No.
There's always another day to catch him.
Seriously, there's always another day.
[somber music continues]
[camera clicking]
[Suzanne] It was heartbreaking
for the whole family.
It was almost like a...
like a double whammy of... of,
"Whoa. He was doing what?
He ended up here?"
My father adored Scott
and was heartbroken.
Not only that we lost him.
We also lost who we thought he was.
[Scott's father] I miss
being able to love him.
I miss being loved by him.
And he really genuinely loved me.
I don't think
there's any question about that at all.
And I loved him dearly.
No matter what he was like.
The number of secrets he had
about the life he had been leading
were so huge
that if he had walked out of that trailer,
put his hands in the air, and surrendered,
he would have had to have faced
his entire world.
And I honestly believe
that the last decade of his life,
he was making choices that he knew
were gonna come down to a dead end.
[Steven] I received a call.
"Scotty's died.
He died in a bank robbery."
My mind immediately went into,
"He was trying to stop the bank robbery.
He was being the hero."
And so I asked the question. "Well,
how did he die in the bank robbery?"
And the answer came back
that he was the bank robber.
It felt like my heart
and my brain exploded.
[Steve] When I was in prison,
Mustang visited me four or five times.
She would always come on the anniversary,
the day before Thanksgiving.
She'd always think of Scott.
And I got a letter from her sister,
said that she'd committed suicide.
She just couldn't bear the fact
that all that she'd been involved with
over the years with Scott and me,
and that suddenly he's dead
and I'm in prison for all these years,
and that she is walking free.
It's like, she's not walking free
in her own soul.
I don't think she believed
she was walking free.
[T.J.] Steve Meyers,
who used to go to Shakespeare plays
with my husband and I.
He's going to prison.
We have Mark Biggins.
Sensitive guy. Poet, guitar player.
He's going to prison. Blows my mind.
People always say,
"Oh, you knew the guy in the Treehouse?"
"You knew Hollywood?"
I'd go, "Hey, I didn't know Hollywood."
"I knew Scott Scurlock."
[Mark] Scott and I
had several discussions about,
"What are you gonna do if we get caught?"
And he would always, always say,
"I'm not going to prison.
I'm gonna head for the white light."
I've read the victim impact statements
and some bank tellers and some customers
in the bank were... were truly traumatized
by the... the whole experience,
and that I regret sincerely.
[somber music continues]
[T.J.] Scott had a T-shirt
that said "Live Free or Die."
And I think he spent a lot of years
figuring out how to live free.
But in the end,
he died and he wasn't free.
[Steve] After his death,
the Treehouse died
within a year, a year and a half.
It crumbled and fell.
I mean, this tree house and Scott
were one soul, inseparable.
And Scott's death was its death.
And it had to be that way.
[Mark] After being released from prison,
I went back to the Treehouse.
It looked like a shipwreck.
It was just a pile of timber.
And I took some of Scott's ashes
and spread them and said goodbye, finally.
[Scott] I have just finished
reading my whole diary
and it seems like a thing of the past.
I feel like a completely different person.
So many things have happened to me
that there's no way
I could write them all down.
My mind seems to be farther than my body
from the earth below.
I feel excited but scared.
It is a time of new beginnings.
[soft rock music playing]
[music fades]