The death of Vicky White adds to the mystery of why a respected prison worker would risk her life for a violent convict
After more than a week on the run, a former Alabama prison officer has died and the murder suspect she is accused of helping to escape from custody has been arrested.
After a three-state manhunt, the two fugitives were arrested near Evansville, Indiana, when US Marshals pursuing them collided with their vehicle.
Prison officer Vicky White shot herself and was taken to hospital after the fugitive surrendered; She later died from her injuries.
Vicky White’s death only adds to the mystery of why a respected prison official would risk her life to help free a convict with a violent and horrific past.
Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Lauderdale County Jail Assistant Superintendent Vicky White reportedly helped Casey White, who was awaiting trial in a murder case, escape on April 29.
White had told colleagues she would take the inmate from jail to the courthouse for a mental health assessment, but the two, who are not related, fled the area instead.
The car they fled in was later discovered abandoned in Tennessee, but no trace of the two remained until May 8, when US Marshals received a tip that surveillance photos from a car wash showed a man resembling Casey White, as he exited a 2006 Ford F-150 pickup truck.
A day later, the two were spotted outside the sheriff’s office, but when officers arrived, they escaped in a vehicle and led police in a pursuit.
Indiana’s Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said Casey White was not seriously injured in the accident and Vicky White then shot herself, causing “very serious” injuries.
“We are fortunate that no law enforcement officers were injured, no innocent civilians were injured, the prosecution was short lived and we took both individuals into custody,” he said.
Who are Casey and Vicky White?
At the time of his escape, Casey White was serving a 75-year sentence on attempted murder and other charges and awaiting trial for stabbing a 58-year-old woman in 2015 during a burglary.
If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Casey White also threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and sister in 2015, saying “he wanted the police to kill him,” according to the Marshals Service.
On May 2, an arrest warrant was issued for Vicky Sue White, charging her with allowing or facilitating the first degree escape.
Before her death, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton of Alabama said he hoped to get answers about her behavior from his once-trusted prison officer, but that those answers might not come.
“I had complete faith in Vicky White. She was a model employee,” Singleton said.
“What on earth provoked her, caused her to do such a stunt? I do not know. I don’t know if we’ll ever know.”
Were they lovers?
According to Singleton, Vicky White’s plan had been in the works for some time, with fellow inmates claiming the two shared a special bond and that she treated Casey White differently from other inmates.
She had bought a rifle and shotgun in recent months and was also known to own a handgun, according to US Marshal Marty Keely.
She sold her house for about half the market value and in 2007 acquired an orange Ford Edge, which she parked without a license plate in a mall.
Video of the escape showed the couple walking from the jail to the mall, where they picked up the Ford and left.
The outbreak happened on Vicky White said this would be her last day at work.
She told colleagues that Casey White was scheduled to undergo a psychiatric evaluation but none was planned. The couple were not accompanied by a second officer, which was against prison regulations.