Banks' prolific bank spree as the Second Hand Bandit — so named for the discount clothes he wore to his robberies — earned him headlines. He was an aspiring clothing designer when he started knocking off banks.

But his trial in recent weeks added a new level of curiosity about Banks, who represented himself and at times made a quiet spectacle in court as he challenged the proceedings.

At one point the judge ordered he be strapped into a restraint chair, prompting him to tell her felt like Hannibal Lecter.

Banks and Conley were cellmates at the MCC and together plotted only the second successful jailbreak there in three decades.

The shocking escape appeared to involve extensive planning. In addition to the bedsheets, investigators recovered bars that had been removed from a window as well as fake, replacement ones. The men had also put clothing and sheets under blankets in both their beds to throw off guards making nighttime checks, authorities said.

After Banks and Conley were seen in Tinley Park, federal and local investigators zeroed in on the south suburban area, executing raids at several locations. The hunt shifted late Tuesday evening to nearby New Lenox, where authorities believed some of Conley's friends and associated lived.

On Wednesday there was little visible evidence of the manhunt, but FBI officials said the search remains focused in and around Chicago.