The Tangled Story Of Vicky White, The Jailer Who Helped A Convict Escape

In late April 2022, an Alabama prison inmate named Casey White left the jail in which he was serving a 75-year prison sentence, accompanied by a trusted corrections officer and widow named Vicky White. (The two are not related, according to CNN.) Casey was convicted in 2015 of a home invasion robbery, among other offenses. He was also facing two counts of capital murder for the killing of Connie Ridgeway. The purported reason for Casey's outing that day was a mental health evaluation at the county courthouse. No such appointment was ever scheduled.

It was later revealed that Vicky helped Casey in his prison escape, ABC News reported. Detectives found evidence suggesting that she had fallen in love with him. Vicky ended up dying by suicide amid the manhunt for the two, and Casey was ultimately caught and received a life sentence for the escape. What's clear most of all is that this corrections officer had a dark side to her personality, more so than those close to her ever realized, including colleagues and her own elderly mother.

She was a model corrections officer

Prior to the escape of Casey White and her own disappearance, Vicky White was a long-serving jailer in Alabama law enforcement in Lauderdale County, located in the northwestern corner of the state. Those close to Vicky say they never believed she could be capable of such a thing, including ​​Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly, who spoke with her the day before she disappeared. "I am so disappointed in her," he said (via WVTM). "She was trusted, and she exploited that trust." Speaking to "20/20," Deputy Commander Ross Manley of the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force said, "Every person that we came in contact with had a similar message about Vicky. She was a hard worker, had an impeccable service record. She was well-liked."

It even surprised Vicky's own mother, Pat Davis, with whom she was living, having just recently sold her house. At first Davis assumed there must be a mistake. "And then when I found out for sure it was, it was just disbelief," she told WAAY.

She had an inappropriate relationship with an inmate

What no one realized about Casey White and Vicky White is that ever since he was brought into her facility in 2020, an inappropriate relationship had developed between the two. Few details are known of exactly how close they were, or the true nature of their relationship. What is known, though, is that Casey was transferred to a different facility when an escape plot was uncovered with no known connection to Vicky. During this period, she spoke with him over the phone on several occasions, as the New York Post reports.

Prior to his escape, Casey White was moved from William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility to the Lauderdale County facility to await his murder trial, ABC7 Chicago reported. According to Casey's mother Connie, he never spoke of Vicky — though he did mention a pen pal. She also indicated her son admitted to the murder of Connie Ridgeway so he could escape Donaldson prison. "He didn't really murder her, he just done that to get back up here," his mother said. No one knows for sure how Vicky and Casey became acquainted. Vicky's primary duty as an assistant director of corrections, though, was the transport of prisoners, per the New York Post.

Vicky White planned her disappearance

Incredibly, Vicky White timed her disappearance and the escape of Casey White to her very last day before retirement. After two decades in corrections, Lauderdale Sheriff Rick Singleton said she filed her retirement paperwork the day before the escape, although it had yet to be processed, WHNT reported. Surprisingly, Vicky White never mentioned the end of her career to her mother, although Singleton does say she had opened up to her colleagues about plans to live near the beach.

With loose ends tied up with her employer, Vicky White seems to have planned her escape in one other way as well: She had just sold her house for less than $100,000 — much lower than the market value of around $235,000. She had also just purchased the 2007 orange Ford Edge in which she and Casey made their escape (per CNN). Vicky's mother Pat also said her daugther never spoke to her of Casey. "You know, I never heard of him, never seen his picture, nothing," Pat said (via WAAY). "I didn't know anything about him."

She died by suicide

After over a week on the run, authorities closed in on Vicky White and Casey White on May 9, 2022. KTLA reported that she was taken from the scene to Evansville hospital before dying from her injuries. Per CBS News, the Vanderburgh County Coroners Office concluded that she died of a "self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head." The U.S. Sun reported that 911 audio might have revealed her last words — she appears to say, "Airbags are going off. Let's get out and run."

Casey White was initially charged with murder in connection to Vicky's death. "Under the felony murder rule, law enforcement may charge someone with a killing they didn't actually carry out if the death occurred in the commission of another felony — in this case, Casey White's first-degree escape," Reason noted. He eventually dodged the charge by pleading guilty to first-degree escape and accepting a life sentence without parole, NBC News reported.

Experts suggest she was manipulated

After the escape, Candy Allen, a friend and co-worker of Vicky White, told "20/20" (via ABC News), "I can't believe she willingly went along with anything." Crucially, there's also no evidence that Vicky was abducted, kidnapped, or otherwise forced into helping Casey White escape, or coerced into planning her own disappearance.

Speculation around the case continues. In October 2023, Kevin M. Gilmartin, a law enforcement behavioral scientist and retired police officer, told "A&E True Crime" that most corrections officers he has encountered in his career who are manipulated by prisoners have poor social connections — and great work records. "C.O.s [corrections officers] see inmates for long periods of time in fairly intimate settings that can be highly emotional," he said. Later, he added, "Seeing [a prisoner's] humanity is healthy — with a healthy employee. It is not healthy with an unhealthy employee. There's this transference reaction because they don't have a vibrant, emotionally supportive relationship or social network at home. This is their only relationship."

Gary Cornelius — a retired first lieutenant who trains correction officers and author of "The Art of the Con: Avoiding Officer Manipulation" — said inmates typically prey on lonely people. "We all have a need for emotional feedback," he said.

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