Recorded jailhouse phone calls between Vicky White and Casey White help prove the prison guard was having a relationship with the Alabama inmate before the two went on the run, according to police.
“You think you know someone,” Lauderdale County sheriff, Rick Singleton, whose office oversees the Lauderdale County correctional center where the couple made their daring escape, told The Guardian. “And it turns out you really don’t know them at all.”
Correctional officer Vicky White met Casey White in 2020 at the Lauderdale County Correctional Facility, and kept in touch when he was transferred temporarily to state prison, before returning.
Once the pair went missing in late April, police spoke with detainees who said the two had been in a romantic relationship, a fact confirmed by recordings of calls made between the two, Mr Singleton said.
The Independent has contacted the Lauderdale County sheriff’s office for more information on when police and jail officials became aware the two were having a relationship
Vicky White, who had a spotless record and was set to receive a fifth Employee of the Year award before coming a fugitive, also showed Casey White preferential treatment and gave him extra food, according to officials.
Despite the shock to law enforcement that Ms White was carrying on a relationship with a man who pleaded guilty (then recanted) to murdering Connie Ridgeway, a 58-year-old mother of two, in 2015, and had been convicted of a string of other violent crimes, those close to to two knew about their romance.
“Vicky was really, really, good to him – just being there for him, talking with him. They had a real thing,” Connie Moore, Casey White’s mother, told The Daily Mail. “He was calling her his wife even when he was in prison. I just sort of went along with it, I didn’t say, ‘You shouldn’t’ or whatever. It made him happy.”
White, who is now in state prison as he awaits trial on escape charges as well as the Ridgeway murder, is said by his mother to be devastated by Vicky White’s death, after the prison guard apparently shot herself as police closed in on the couple in Indiana.
“I spoke to him yesterday and he was crying and saying he couldn’t believe she was gone,” Ms Moore said.
In the days since Casey White’s capture, a clearer picture has emerged of how Vicky White broke him out of Alabama in the first place.
Using her position as a senior official, she sent 12 inmates and five deputies to court on the day of the escape, leaving her as the last remaining police official in the prison with transport privileges.
From there, she said she was taking Casey White to a mental health evaluation in court, though no such appointment existed.
The jail official ditched her patrol cruiser and drove off in a 2007 Ford Edge she bought with a false name.
In addition to probing how the couple went on the run, police are also re-examining past cases where Casey White was involved.
His dramatic escape inspired investigators in Limestone County, Alabama, to re-examine the case of another of White’s girlfriends who met a tragic end, in what authorities ruled at the time was a self-inflicted gunshot to the chest while staying in White’s trailer.
Police at the time found no blood on White’s clothing, and noted he appeared distraught over the death.
“It was just all too much – a woman killing herself with a sawed-off shotgun?’’ the woman’s brother, Tyler Rolin, told AL.com.
“The police said he was crying and very hysterical and I don’t doubt that one bit because I know he can turn it on,’’ he added. “He’s a master manipulator.”