Authorities have not said exactly how many people are involved with the search. But the entire 35-member staff of the U.S. Marshal's Service's Chicago office was involved, a show of force that spokeswoman Belkis Cantor said "was rare."
Many questions remained about how the two managed to pull off such an escape from the federal prison in the heart of downtown Chicago. At the top of the list is how they could have smashed a gaping hole into the wall at the bottom of a 6-inch wide window being heard or seen by correctional officers.
Another question is why, in the federal facility that houses some 700 inmates, the correctional officers apparently did not check on the two men between the 10 p.m. headcount and one at 5 a.m. And what was done between the 5 a.m. headcount and 7 a.m. when the rope was spotted?
Also, authorities have not said how the two men managed to collect 200 feet of bed sheet or how the broke through the wall.
The escape bore a striking resemblance to one at the same jail in 1985. In that case, convicted murderer Bernard Welch and an accomplice, Hugh Colomb, smashed through a window with a bar from a weight set and used bed sheets and an electrical cord attached to a floor buffer to descend six stories to the ground.
William Rollins, a Washington, D.C., police detective at the time who was brought in by the U.S. Marshals Service to investigate, said the noise of breaking the wall would have been deafening. But he thinks other inmates would have gladly made a lot of noise to drown out the sound.
"They will lure a guard into the laundry room and have all the dryers going," said Rollins, now retired, whose investigation is included in a book about Welch by Jack Burch and James B. King called "Ghost Burglar."
Not only that, but he said his investigation revealed that inmates had hidden hacksaw blades in ceiling tiles and drill bits in bed frames.
"And they used a vacuum cleaner motor to power the drill bit," he said. "These guys are really creative."
Rollins said it's likely Conley and Banks are still in the area. The vast majority of escapees don't stray too far, he said.
"They stay where they feel comfortable in that environment," he said.