(NewsNation) — Investigators are still trying to piece together the connection between inmate Casey White and corrections officer Vicky White that led to a jail escape and an 11-day statewide manhunt.
Investigators believe celebrated corrections officer Vicky White helped capital murder suspect Casey White escape the Lauderdale County Jail in Florence, Alabama, on April 29. Authorities said the pair had a “special relationship.”
Authorities caught up with the pair Monday, more than a week after the breakout and nearly 300 miles away, and rammed their car into a ditch after a brief chase. Casey White surrendered and Vicky White was found with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head and was pronounced dead at a hospital, officials said.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton says they may never get answers to what happened after Vicky White’s death. Dr. John Duffy, a clinical psychologist weighed in on “Morning in America,” saying that Vicky White was likely not in control despite having to execute most of the plan.
“Certainly she executed a lot of what he benefited from right, so there was some masterminding going on certainly what there was some plotting and some executing going on,” Duffy said. “But I think it was under the guise of being manipulated all the way through. She’s the only person if you think about it, who had everything he needed to achieve his goals, not necessarily hers. I think he convinced her that his goals were her goals.”
As officers pulled them from the wreckage, Casey White blurted out, “Please help my wife, she just shot herself in the head,” Keely said. It wasn’t clear why he referred to Vicky as his wife. Investigators quickly cuffed him and started rendering aid to Vicky as medical crews rushed to the scene.
Duffy said that Casey White was smart enough to groom Vicky White over the course of several years.
“I suspect that this man had just enough intelligence, even though he doesn’t come across, a lot of people say is particularly bright. You don’t need to have a great deal of IQ points, in order to manipulate another person to help you achieve your goals, especially if you’re desperate to have those goals or goals achieved,” Duffy said on “Morning in America.”
The investigators interviewed family members and coworkers, examined financial and other records and learned from other inmates that Vicky White had a “special relationship” with Casey and the two were involved in a “jailhouse romance,” officials have said. Weeks before the escape, she sold her house for $95,000, far below the market value, sold her car and filed for retirement, Keely said. She had also bought an AR-15 rifle and a shotgun to add to her 9mm service weapon and a .45-caliber pistol investigators believe she had.
Duffy said that Casey White likely cultivated an “us against the world” mentality to isolate Vicky White.
“It tells me that he likely but maybe the two of them together over time, were able to create a culture of two,” Duffy said. “When your culture is that small, you’re able to make really bad decisions and convince yourself this can work. We can make this happen without consulting anybody else.”
This interview was edited for length and clarity.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.