Vicky White’s former mother-in-law has said that she “can’t understand” why the “really nice” person she knew for almost her entire life would have gone on the run with a dangerous inmate before shooting herself dead.
Frances White told The Independent that “it just makes you sick” knowing that the 56-year-old corrections officer who was once married to her son wound up at the centre of a well-planned prison escape and nationwide manhunt with a convict accused of stabbing a 58-year-old mother-of-two to death.
“This just makes you sick. I can’t understand why she did this,” she said.
The corrections officer had been married to Frances’ son Tommy White for around five years, before they divorced in 2006.
Despite splitting, the couple remained friends until his death from complications related to Parkinson’s Disease back in January at the age of 62.
Just three months after the death of her only husband, on 29 April, Ms White went on the run with Casey Cole White – an inmate at the Lauderdale County Jail where she had worked for 17 years with a previously unblemished record.
The couple, who are said to have had a jailhouse romance for the last two years, remained at large for 10 days until they were finally found hiding out in Evansville, Indiana, on Monday.
Following a brief car chase, the inmate was back in police custody.
Ms White was dead from what a coroner ruled as suicide caused by a single gunshot wound to the head.
Frances, now 88, said she had known Ms White almost all of the prison guard’s life, back when she went by the name of Vicky Sue Davis and was growing up in the tightknit community of Lauderdale County, Alabama.
When she married her son Tommy, she said the two women grew very close.
“She was a really nice person. She didn’t talk about nobody. She was really helpful to everyone,” she said.
Frances said she stayed close to her former daughter-in-law even after the couple divorced, saying she couldn’t fault Ms White for ending the relationship because she “had a hard time” with her son who had issues with alcohol and drug addiction.
Though they hadn’t spoken in a while, she said she was in disbelief that the “really nice” woman she had known for such a long time could do what she did.
“I can’t understand why she did this or why she killed herself,” she said.
The 88-year-old added that, if her son was still alive, he also would not have believed his ex-wife was capable of doing something like this.
“They stayed friends after the divorce and would talk to each other on the telephone until he couldn’t talk anymore because of the Parkinson’s,” she said.
“He wouldn’t have thought she would do anything like this.”
When Ms White vanished with the inmate on 29 April saying she was taking him to court for a bogus mental health evaluation, Sheriff Rick Singleton also said it was “out of character”.
Officials later learned that the 56-year-old had made several preparations to go on the run with the 38-year-old inmate who she had allegedly been in a “special relationship” since 2020.
She had sold her home five weeks earlier, withdrawn $90,000 in cash from her bank accounts and filed for retirement just one day before the couple vanished.
While her funeral is scheduled to take place on Saturday, her inmate lover is now back behind in a maximum security prison in Alabama after being charged with escape in the first degree.
This comes on top of the 75-year prison sentence he is currently serving and two counts of capital murder that he will stand trial in June for over the 2015 stabbing death of 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway.