In an obscure Indiana town on the banks of the Ohio River, the 11-day manhunt for escaped convict Casey Cole White and his jailboss girlfriend Vicky White came to a crashing end.
The Alabama fugitives, who’d been in a “jailhouse romance” for nearly two years before Vicky broke Casey out of the Lauderdale County jail on April 29, were found hiding in plain sight at a dingy, roadside motel some 300 miles away on Monday.
With cops hot on their tail, they fled the Motel 41 in Evansville and led police on a chase that ended later that afternoon when members of the US Marshals Service rammed into the couple’s latest getaway car, sending it careening into a ditch.
The pair had planned to end their time on the run in a bloody blaze of glory by starting a shootout with police — but instead, Vicky turned the gun on herself the moment cops closed in, while Casey surrendered.
Inside the Cadillac the couple had been driving, police found more than $29,000 in cash, a series of wigs they used to disguise themselves and a small arsenal, including four handguns and an AR-15, police said.
Investigators later determined they’d paid a homeless man to check them into their hotel, where they stayed for about a week, so they could fly under the radar.
“They’re criminals. Their plan was faulty and it failed. Thank God,” Vanderburgh County Sheriff David Wedding told reporters during a press conference Tuesday.
“Members of the US task force basically rammed the vehicle and pushed it into a ditch and we later found out had they not done that, the fugitive was going to engage in a shootout with law enforcement. That action may have saved many of my deputies and fellow law enforcement officers’ lives.
“I commend them for a job well done.”
While police nabbed the couple in the end, the star-crossed lovers left behind a trail of bread crumbs on their journey north from Alabama — and it was tips from the public that finally did them in.
The beginning of a “well-planned” escape
On the morning of April 29, Vicky told her coworkers it was her last day on the job as the Lauderdale County assistant director of corrections after filing her retirement paperwork the night before.
Unbeknownst to them, however, Vicky had sold her Lexington home about 10 days prior, drained her bank accounts and had been sleeping at a Quality Inn for the last two nights as she prepared to embark on what police called a “well-planned” escape.
The 56-year-old widow was wrapping up close to 17 years with the department and when she told them she’d be transporting Casey, 38, by herself to a mental health evaluation, they didn’t question her, even though it was against protocol to drive an inmate alone.
Vicky pulled her sheriff’s cruiser into the jail’s sally port at approximately 9:29 a.m. that morning and was captured on surveillance video walking out minutes later with Casey, who was shackled at the hands and feet and in an orange jumpsuit.
Instead of heading to the courthouse for the appointment, which investigators later found was never scheduled, Vicky drove to the Florence Square shopping center, ditched her sheriff’s cruiser and took off in an orange 2007 Ford Edge, which she’d bought under an alias.
It wasn’t until 3:30 p.m. that afternoon that investigators realized something was terribly wrong when Casey never returned to the detention center and repeated calls to Vicky’s phone went to voicemail.
By then, the couple had already crossed state lines and had seemingly vanished.
A few hours after they left, Vicky and Casey ditched the distinctive Ford Edge, which was later found crudely spray painted in some parts with a camouflage-like hunter green, on a country road “in the middle of nowhere” in Williamson County, Tennessee.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said the couple must’ve had a mechanical failure considering the conspicuous location the car had been left and how quickly they abandoned it.
At 1:50 p.m. that same day, a passerby called the local sheriff’s office to report the abandoned vehicle, which was towed and impounded later that afternoon.
At the time, cops didn’t yet know the two were missing, or that Vicky had purchased the Ford Edge, and it took another week for investigators to link the car to the couple.
Now on foot, the couple needed to act fast to get back on the road and they soon managed to buy a Ford F-150 using about $90,000 in cash Vicky had pulled out of a series of banks in the days before their escape.
Three days later, they arrived at the Motel 41 in Evansville where they paid a local homeless man to rent a room for 14 days, Wedding said.
“[Casey] said that he was just trying to find a place to hide out and lay low,” Wedding explained.
“They thought they’d driven long enough and they wanted to stop for a while, get their bearings straight and figure out their next place to travel.”
Casey, a hulking figure at 6-foot-9 with eyes tattooed to the back of his head and a smattering of white supremacist ink across his body, instead decided to take the F-150 to the Weinbach Car Wash the following day. He was caught on surveillance footage, wearing a hat and sunglasses, inexplicably washing the truck.
He later abandoned it and took off in a Cadillac, cops said, but the decision ultimately proved fatal.
James Stinson, the car wash’s manager, noticed the truck last Wednesday and immediately thought it was suspicious, he told News Nation.
“I walked up to the truck and went, ‘Oh my God, it’s probably this guy from Alabama.’ I walked and looked in the truck because I think he could be dead, passed out, who knows? So I backed up. I opened the door, the keys are in it. I start it up,” Stinson told News Nation.
“They sent a cop out. The cop says, ‘Well, there ain’t nothing I can do. It’s not reported stolen.’ ”
It took another four days for the US Marshals Service to realize the truck was connected to Casey and Vicky and by then, Stinson had already had the car towed.
“[The USMS] asked me where did you tow it? And I told him, so then they said, well, there are going to be flood of marshals at your house in 30 minutes. Well, he never showed up till the next morning,” Stinson told the outlet.
“The news media is what flushed them out. Y’all doing your job, they were hiding in plain sight, but y’all flushed them out so they were able to get caught.”
The next day, the couple was taken into custody — with Vicky barely clinging to life after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, cops and officials said.
She died Monday evening, the same day she was hit with charges of identity theft and forgery, in addition to a permitting or facilitating escape charge filed shortly after she fled.
On Tuesday, Vicky’s cause death was officially ruled a suicide by Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear, WAAY-TV reported.
Twisted criminal history
Little is known about the couple’s plan, or the true extent of their relationship, but Singleton believes they first met in August 2020 when Casey was transferred to the Lauderdale County jail to face murder charges.
At the time, Casey had been serving out a 75-year sentence at the Williamson E. Donaldson Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison, in Bessemer after he was convicted of a 2015 crime spree that involved attempted murder, kidnapping and armed robbery.
That summer, he penned a letter to Lt. Brad Potts of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s office allegedly confessing to the stabbing death of Connie Ridgeway, 58, on Oct. 23, 2015 in a home invasion.
Potts, one of the lead investigators in the case, claims that Casey said he was paid to murder Ridgeway and then provided information about the crime that had never before been made public.
Casey’s mother Connie White disputes that Casey killed Ridgeway — and said he just wanted to get back to the Lauderdale County lockup.
“The only reason he came out to Lauderdale County was to get out of the prison he was in,” Connie previously told The Post.
“He wrote a letter to say that he murdered that woman but he didn’t really murder her, he just done that to get back up here … He just wanted to be out of that prison because it was so bad and there was no food.”
She said she didn’t know who Vicky was but did say that Casey had a “pen pal” that he’d been keeping in touch with.
“Respect” for Vicky
For nearly two years, Casey was in and out of the Lauderdale jail where Vicky worked as his new murder case wound its way through court. All the while, the pair grew cozier and cozier and whenever Casey was transferred back to the Donaldson prison, the two kept in touch by phone, Singleton said.
During her tenure with Lauderdale County, Vicky gained a reputation for treating some inmates “above par” and developing relationships with them, Chad Hunt, the commander of the US Marshals Service’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, told WAAY 31.
“She treated these inmates above par, if you will. They had a lot of respect for her,” Hunt said, as he expressed concern that some of these inmates could’ve helped Vicky while she was on the run.
“Some of the things that we have to account [for] and sit back and look at is 17 years’ worth of contact with other inmates that are potentially out now… Is that another avenue that she’s exploiting?”
As for Casey, his mother Connie insists that he’s no “monster” and a former attorney of his said he’s mentally ill and addicted to drugs.
“When he’s on medication and in a supervised environment … he’s a decent person,” attorney Dale Bryant told local news station WAFF last week.
“When he gets out of incarceration, he is unable to stay on his medication and he even self-medicates by smoking methamphetamine or taking other illegal substances.”
Bryant accurately predicted Casey was planning suicide by cop and said he attempted the same thing in 2015 following his crime spree.
“He was trying to get the officers to shoot him and that is kind of my fear, how this situation is going to end,” he said Friday.
“Casey may try to shoot [cops] to try and get them to shoot him.”
For now, the fugitive’s plan has failed.
He’ll be hauled back to Alabama for an arraignment late Tuesday night and very likely sent back where he started — a maximum-security lockup.