On the day Vicky White was set to retire from her position as the assistant director at the Lauderdale County Jail, she helped convicted criminal Casey White escape prison. People were glued to their TVs as a manhunt ensued to capture the two. However, no one understood why Vicky helped him.
The search continued for ten days until Casey and Vicky were captured after a car chase with police. Unfortunately, Vicky died hours later, and many questions were left unanswered. Now Casey is back behind bars and still awaiting trial for a previous murder charge. Keep reading for all the details on this strange case.
They Never Came Back
On April 29, 2022, Vicky White, the assistant director at the Lauderdale County Jail in Florence, Alabama, escorted inmate Casey White to a prison vehicle. She told fellow officers she was taking Casey to the county courthouse for a psychological evaluation and needed to stop at the doctor because she wasn’t feeling well.
The other officers were suspicious because inmates are usually escorted to the courthouse by two deputies but brushed off their concerns because of Vicky’s position. She accompanied Casey to the car, and a surveillance video showed that he was in handcuffs and leg shackles. Hours later, the two hadn’t returned.
He Had a Long Criminal History
Because of Casey’s extensive criminal history, authorities initially feared that Vicky was in danger. His record dates back a decade to when he first landed in jail in 2012. He was arrested and convicted for beating his brother in the face and head with the handle of a sledgehammer.
Casey served more than three years for his crime, but it didn’t take long for him to end up back in jail. In 2015, he went on a crime spree, breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home, shooting at her and two friends, and killing her dog. He also shot at police while fleeing in a stolen car.
A Hefty Sentence
Although he faced 15 criminal charges, Casey was ultimately convicted on seven of those counts. The judge sentenced him to 75 years in prison. It was long enough that if he ever got out, he would be too old to commit another crime. However, he waited four years to share the full extent of his crimes.
In 2020, Casey sent a letter to the sheriff’s department, asking to speak to them. He had been serving his 75-year sentence at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Alabama when he confessed to the 2015 murder of Connie Ridgeway. His statement matched evidence that wasn’t publicly released.
They Transferred Him
Following his confession, Casey was charged with two counts of capital murder. He was transferred to the Lauderdale County Jail while waiting for his murder trial. Casey restated his confession but pled not guilty by reason of insanity. However, his knowledge of the crime led others to believe he was guilty.
While locked up in Lauderdale, Casey came into contact with Vicky. The two shared the same last name but had no prior relationship. And she wasn’t the first corrections officer that he tried to fool into helping him escape. He had plotted a jailbreak when he first got to Lauderdale.
It Wasn’t a Surprise
While being held at Lauderdale, authorities learned that Casey planned to break out of prison and take a hostage. They immediately inspected him and his cell and found a shank. They confiscated his knife and sent him back to the Department of Corrections.
Casey was brought back to the Lauderdale County Jail on February 25, 2022, to attend court hearings in his murder case. His latest escape was not a surprise to attorney Dale Bryant because Casey had attempted this once before. People were more shocked about who he escaped with.
Everyone Trusted Her
Vicky was a small-town girl who grew up in Alabama. Her neighbor, James Ballentine, had lived next to Vicky for nearly 40 years. He shared that she was a devoted daughter who spent most of her life living with her parents or in the home behind them.
She helped her father pour concrete for his business, bought her parents groceries, cleaned their house, drove them to the doctor, and took care of repairs around their home. Vicky was trusted by everyone in their neighborhood and babysat her neighbor’s children.
A Model Employee
Everyone who knew Vicky said they could always rely on her. When she became a corrections officer in 2005, she delighted the neighborhood children with her patrol cruiser. Vicky was nice, and she also had a spotless record at work. She won “Employee of the Year” four times.
Vicky was up for the award for the fifth time this year. Her colleagues and the inmates she oversaw respected her, making Vicky’s involvement even more surprising. Sheriff Rick Singleton said Vicky was the employee everyone wanted because she did what was asked of her.
She Lost Two Partners
Although she seemed fine on the outside, Vicky’s life wasn’t without tragedy. In December 2009, her long-time boyfriend was killed in a car crash. She was devastated by the loss, but Vicky didn’t give up on finding love again.
However, she was hit by another tragedy in January 2022. Her ex-husband, Tommy White, passed away from complications from Parkinson’s disease. Although they divorced, Vicky remained close to him, and it might have been the heartbreak that made her vulnerable to start an ill-advised romance.
She Gave Him Special Treatment
Casey and Vicky first met when he was transferred to Lauderdale. She knew his criminal record and why he was in prison, but that didn’t stop her from being sweet with him. Sheriff Singleton said that shortly after Casey got to Lauderdale, Vicky started giving him special treatment.
She would sneak him extra food and give him more privileges. Casey had a way of eliciting sympathy from the staff, and Vicky fell into his trap. Her special treatment eventually led to a romantic relationship that may have begun in 2020.
She Stayed in Touch
When Casey was sent back to the Department of Corrections, Vicky kept in touch with him. They would speak on the phone, and she didn’t try to cover it up. As a corrections officer, Vicky knew all her calls to Casey would be recorded, but she didn’t care.
The phone recordings proved they had a romantic relationship, but investigators haven’t released the context of the calls. Sheriff Singleton said he was shocked to find out about the phone calls. He thought he knew Vicky, but she hid many things.
She Sold Everything
Towards the middle of April, Vicky started talking about quitting her job and moving to the beach. She had never told anyone about this before, and it all seemed sudden. Vicky had never taken a sick day or vacation time, so why would she want to leave now?
Vicky’s plan moved quickly. On April 18, she sold her home for $95,550 even though it was valued at $235,600. She briefly moved in with her parents and initiated the retirement process from the sheriff’s office, scheduling her last shift for April 29.
Her Last Duties
The paperwork for Vicky’s retirement was never finalized, but April 29 was her last day. As one of her last duties on the job, she sent 12 inmates with five deputies under her command to court in two transport vans, making her the only employee authorized to transport inmates.
Vicky put herself in a position to be the only one who was allowed to transport Casey. She took advantage of this and put him in her patrol cruiser. However, her colleagues started to get suspicious when they realized she should have returned after a few hours.
The Authorities Were Alerted
Around 3:30 pm on April 29, a booking officer told another corrections official that Vicky wasn’t answering her phone. The calls were going straight to voicemail, and they realized that a mental evaluation had never been scheduled at the court. The two never went to the courthouse.
Vicky knew it was against the rules to travel alone with an inmate. Sheriff Singleton feared that Casey had overpowered Vicky to help him escape, so he issued a Blue Alert, a notice of a violent attack on a law enforcement officer, and an active search for a suspect.
She Was Part of the Plan
Singleton quickly realized she was in on the plan. Vicky’s patrol car was abandoned at a nearby shopping center, and surveillance footage showed them getting into a different car. Singleton said Vicky knew the booking officer wouldn’t question what she was doing.
He didn’t know why Vicky would do something like this, but he was determined to get some answers. Vicky had the perfect story to get Casey out of jail, and her colleagues soon found out she had been planning this escape for a while.
She Bought a Car
The video showed Vicky and Casey getting into a 2007 Ford Edge, which Vicky purchased under a fake identity with the money she made from selling her home. Casey had a change of clothes, and the two took off on the run.
As the news spread, other inmates came forward to tell investigators about Casey and Vicky’s relationship. They used the recorded calls to confirm the information. Within hours of their disappearance, a warrant was issued for Vicky and Casey’s arrests.
The Search Begins
The search for Casey and Vicky drew assistance from the US Marshals. Casey was a violent and wanted criminal, and no one knew what he might do. He had threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend if he ever got out of jail, so police alerted her immediately.
The police also went to question Vicky’s parents for information. Her mother, Pat, didn’t know anything about her daughter’s whereabouts. But she went on a local television station, begging her daughter to come home. Pat last spoke to Vicky about her dog but never heard of Casey.
Crossing State Lines
Vicky’s mom didn’t believe the news at first, and her pleas didn’t make Vicky come home. Instead, she and Casey crossed into Tennessee and ditched their car. Two hours north of Lauderdale county, they bought a Ford pickup truck with Vicky’s money.
Investigators didn’t know if Vicky and Casey had a plan, so they had no idea how to track them. All they knew was that Vicky was armed, which could be dangerous if anyone approached them. Their pictures were splashed across every news outlet across the country.
A Suspicious Vehicle
By May 3, Vicky and Casey got rid of the truck at a car wash in Evansville, Indiana. A local police officer saw the truck parked in the area on May 2 while doing a routine check for stolen vehicles. He ran the license plate, but nothing came up.
James Stinson, the carwash manager, got a weird feeling about the pickup truck. It had been sitting in the parking lot for hours, so he inspected it. He found the doors were unlocked, the windows were open, and the keys were in the ignition.
He Called the Police
Stinson called the police to report the vehicle, and they ran the license plate. However, nothing came up because the truck was never reported stolen. No further action was taken, and law enforcement didn’t consider it an abandoned vehicle.
However, 48 hours passed, and the truck’s status changed. Stinson had the police run the license plate again and got the same result. He then had the vehicle towed from the car wash on May 4. He didn’t realize it belonged to the two most-wanted people in America.
She Was Organized
They were already 270 miles from Lauderdale by May 5. Vicky and Casey had been on the run for six days, and the police didn’t know where they were. The couple switched cars to a Cadillac, their third getaway vehicle purchased by Vicky. They didn’t want to get caught.
US Marshal Marty Keely was in charge of the search, and he realized that their escape plot was well planned. He said Vicky’s knowledge of jail operations made her much more organized. Typical escapees only think about how to get out, not what to do after.
She Changed Her Appearance
Vicky and Casey checked into several motels along the way. After their first car was found, investigators saw in surveillance videos that Vicky had dyed her blonde hair black. She knew her picture was all over the news, so she had to change her appearance to blend in.
They were trying to lie low and paid a homeless man $100 to rent them a room at a motel using his ID. The man was unaware that the couple were wanted fugitives. Casey and Vicky gave him enough money to book 14 days in the motel.
They Offered a Reward
Authorities offered a reward to anyone who had information that could lead to their capture. They started getting tips from all over the country. Police also informed the public that Casey and Vicky were armed and dangerous, adding that Casey was violent and shouldn’t be approached.
The police learned about Vicky’s purchase of the Ford pickup truck and tracked it to its pre-tow spot at the car wash. Stinson gave the security footage to investigators, which showed a man matching Casey’s description getting into a grey Cadillac with a woman behind the wheel.
They Were Spotted
As officers drove around looking for the Cadillac, they spotted the car at a local Motel 41. Knowing Casey and Vicky had at least one weapon, police staked out the motel waiting to see the two fugitives. After a while, Casey and Vicky emerged from their room.
They were getting in their car to leave, so the police started to follow them. Officers waited for a few minutes before turning their sirens on to stop Casey and Vicky. However, the couple wasn’t going to go down without a fight, so they kept driving.
They Chased After them
Vicky and Casey sped away in their car, causing a police chase. They drove as fast as possible but couldn’t ditch the police cars following them. Casey and Vicky led police down Highway 41 and then drove into a grassy field on the side of the road.
One of the police vehicles finally caught up with them and rammed the Cadillac. It flipped into a ditch, where it turned on its side. The crash activated the car’s airbags, and equipment in the vehicle automatically alerted 911 of the crash.
She Didn’t Want to Go to Jail
Emergency dispatchers listened and recorded a panicked Vicky speaking to Casey as the car crashed. She said, “Oh my god. Casey! Airbags are going off. Let’s get out and run. Get us back to the f***ing hotel. Casey!” Then, she did the unthinkable.
Vicky had worked in prisons long enough to know she didn’t want to be sent to one. She was aware of the consequences she faced if she were caught, so she aimed her gun at her head and shot herself. Vicky had no plans to go to jail.
After Vicky shot herself, the recording picked up the voices of approaching officers. They saw she had a gun in her hand and was still breathing. She had her finger on the trigger, but she was barely moving. Casey immediately surrendered and said something strange.
Casey told officers, “Please help my wife. She shot herself in the head, and I didn’t do it.” There was no evidence that they were ever married, but it showed how close they had grown. Casey was handcuffed and taken back to prison.
They Were Ready for a Fight
Officers searched the vehicle after arresting Casey and transporting Vicky to the hospital. They found handguns, a rifle, ammunition magazines, and $29,000 in cash. It seemed like they were prepared for anything. Although he faced the death penalty, Casey didn’t try to run anymore.
He had a weapon and could have done the same thing Vicky did, but he chose to surrender for unknown reasons. Casey later told authorities that he was “probably going to have a shootout at the stake of both of them losing their lives.”
He Didn’t Kill Her
When the police found Casey and Vicky, they speculated that Casey had shot her and tried to lie about it. However, when Vicky was pronounced dead at the hospital hours after the crash, an autopsy revealed that she died from a self-inflicted wound.
Meanwhile, Casey was returned to Alabama for his murder trial and faced new charges in connection to his two-week escape. Everyone felt safer knowing Casey was back behind bars. Sheriff Singleton said he celebrated officials getting “a dangerous man off the street.”
He Hoped to Get Answers
Although Vicky willingly helped Casey escape, Sheriff Singleton had no ill feelings towards her. He hoped to get answers about her conduct once she was caught, but that wouldn’t happen. Singleton said everyone was devastated over Vicky’s death because everyone liked her.
Singleton added, “We brought in counselors for the employees. Corrections officers are the real unsung heroes of the criminal justice system with what they have to put up with day in and day out. To find one as good as Vicky White was just rare.”
He Still Faces a Trial
Casey’s murder trial was supposed to begin on June 13, but the escape delayed the trial further. Connie Ridgeway’s family has been waiting for almost two years to get justice for their mom’s murder, and now they will have to wait longer.
A judge recently denied a request for a preliminary hearing in the escape case. They are sticking to the original order to send it directly to the grand jury. His capital murder trial is now scheduled to begin in December. However, Ridgway’s family is sure that he is guilty.
They Had Questioned Him Before
When Casey confessed to Ridgeway’s murder in 2020, his name sounded familiar to her son, Cameron Williams. Casey had originally been questioned early in the investigation but denied involvement. The police had to let him go because there wasn’t enough evidence.
With the news of a confession, Williams felt there would finally be some closure for him and his family. He believed his mother could rest in peace now that the killer was known. But Williams was saddened when Casey escaped because it only pushed the trial back.
Mourning Her Loss
Vicky might have been the mastermind of the escape plan, but people still came out to mourn her loss. An estimated 200 people attended Vicky’s funeral in Alabama, including law enforcement officials, her colleagues, friends, and family. The service was just 25 miles from the prison.
Sheriff Singleton chose not to attend the funeral because he was disappointed about what she did. Many others decided to focus on the Vicky they knew before the prison escape. Her eulogy had no mention of the dramatic search for her and Casey.
She Went on a Shopping Spree
In the days leading up to the prison escape, Vicky was seen browsing at an Alabama adult store. One of the employees, Anna Jackson, knew Vicky from her time in prison. Vicky reportedly purchased a pair of sexy stockings. She then headed over to Kohls.
Vicky purchased men’s clothing for Casey at Kohls. Another store employee recognized her from their time in prison. Vicky transported the employee to their court dates and encouraged the inmate that things would get better. However, Vicky didn’t say hello in the store.
The Prison Is Hiring
The jail where Vicky formerly worked is reportedly hiring new corrections officers. They made it clear in the job description that they are looking for someone with integrity and self-control. The job post said the starting salary is $31,000 per year with benefits.
Although it might seem like they are trying to replace Vicky, the jail is hiring 11 new corrections officers. It will be up to the sheriff to decide who will replace Vicky as the assistant director. We are sure they are getting many applications because the prison has been all over the news.