NewsWorldANALYSIS | Jailer Vicky White and inmate Casey...

ANALYSIS | Jailer Vicky White and inmate Casey White had a head start when they fled Alabama, security experts say. Unforced errors brought them to an end

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How authorities managed to locate Casey White and Vicky White 2:37 (CNN) — A large amount of cash. A getaway car. A huge world in which to hide. It seemed that inmate Casey White and his jailer Vicky White had many advantages when they walked out of an Alabama jail on April 29, when the correctional officer allegedly helped facilitate her protégé’s escape. For 11 days, the unrelated couple remained at large, until a Monday car chase in Evansville, Indiana, ended with the arrest of 38-year-old Casey White and the death of 56-year-old Vicky White. from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. By this time, their disappearance had become a matter of national interest, and a tip from the public helped locate them just five hours away from where they disappeared. The fugitives’ preparation to break out of the Lauderdale County Jail gave them a huge advantage over the authorities seeking to catch them. Before the escape, Vicky White sold her house for about $95,500 — well below market value — and used a false name to buy an orange 2007 Ford Edge SUV that the couple used to flee Florence. Alabama. She was also videotaped shopping for men’s clothing and was later seen wearing a wig. But Casey White — who is facing two counts of capital murder while serving 75 years in prison for other crimes — and Vicky White — a veteran officer with a stellar professional reputation — also faced hurdles, like having to ditch the vehicle early on. of his trip and do things in public to favor his escape. His unforced errors seemed to accumulate as his infamy grew, law enforcement experts told CNN, ultimately spelling the end of his quest for freedom. “They had the cash, they had the transportation, the ability to keep switching modes of transportation, but they just didn’t take advantage of it,” former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CNN on Monday. “And that’s how they got caught.” The escape plan was “well planned and calculated.” Escape plans don’t usually go far beyond the walls of a prison or jail, said John Moriarty, a retired Texas Department of Criminal Justice inspector general who has worked on other cases. of prisoner escapes, including those in which a prisoner received assistance from a prison officer. “They usually have a great plan,” Moriarty said, “but when something goes wrong, they don’t know how to deal with it.” Vicky White and Casey White’s escape “was obviously well planned and calculated,” Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said before Monday’s arrest. “They prepared a lot for this. They had a lot of resources, they had cash, they had vehicles, they had everything they needed to pull this off.” And because Vicky White used a credible excuse to improperly bail Casey White out of jail—telling her colleagues that she was taking him in for a mental health evaluation—“they gave us a six-hour head start,” he said. As second-in-command at the detention center, White “scheduled the van ride that morning, she made sure all the other armed officers were out of the building and busy in court,” Singleton said Tuesday. She “knew that the registration officer would not question her — the deputy director — when she told him that she was going to take him to court and leave him with other employees.” “She set it up: she bought the getaway car, she sold her house, she got cash, she went shopping, she bought clothes for him. She obviously put the plan together,” Singleton said, adding that Vicky White was “basically the guy.” brain behind the whole plan. Casey White will return to prison and there will be special measures in his cell 0:57 The abandoned truck was a revealing clue But a key setback for the couple may have come soon after, when they got rid of their getaway vehicle: the Ford Edge was found in a trailer lot in Williamson County, Tennessee, about two hours north of the jail they fled from in Florence, Alabama, the US Marshals Service said Friday. The SUV had been towed to the lot the day the couple went missing after the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office found it abandoned and locked up, with no tags or identifying information, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told CNN. . The couple may have abandoned the Ford Edge due to mechanical problems, Singleton said during a news conference on Friday. Nothing was found inside. Whatever the reason his vehicle was disposed of, the condition of the vehicle and where it was found are telling, William Sorukas Jr., retired chief of the Marshals Service’s Investigative Operations Division, told CNN. Fugitives often dump a vehicle at an airport or in the parking lot of a large shopping mall, where they may not be discovered for some time, he said before the couple was found. The fact that Vicky White and Casey White’s SUV was abandoned in the middle of a rural area suggests that they had to “modify whatever plans they had about where they were going or how to get there,” Sorukas said. In Tennessee, Vicky White and Casey White spent $6,000 to buy a Ford F-150, US Marshals Commander Chad Hunt told CNN. Where exactly they went next remains a mystery, though Casey White since his arrest has been “pretty candid” with investigators, who haven’t shared details publicly, said Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding in Indiana. Money can be a double-edged sword It’s very hard to find someone if you have the resources, said Jeffery Walker, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “The fact that he sold his house and took the money … he created a fund for them to move in and survive for a while,” he told CNN before the capture. Still, money can be a double-edged sword, these experts told CNN. Even if Vicky White and Casey White had cash, they would have to venture out in public to spend it on food, water, clothing, and gasoline. Complicating the situation, Casey White was conspicuous for being 6-foot-5, which authorities say is “better than having a tattoo on your forehead,” Moriarty said. In fact, it is believed that it was Casey White who was caught on surveillance camera at an Evansville car wash where investigators learned that the 2006 Ford F-150 they had purchased in Tennessee had been spotted. The jailer and inmate are believed to have been in Evansville since May 3, Wedding said. Casey White and Vicky White are also believed to have purchased another vehicle at some point, Hunt said. Investigators released photos of the car wash Monday; Vicky White did not appear in them. That same day, surveillance officers saw Vicky White wearing a wig as she was leaving a hotel, Sheriff Marty Keely said. She and Casey White got into a Cadillac and drove off, on the trip that would end in his arrest and her death. In the days after the couple escaped, authorities likely spoke to people who knew them, security experts told CNN. The goal would have been to build a “complete picture of their lives,” Sorukas said, to help authorities “determine how they were doing and what they were doing in their lives before they escaped.” Now that Casey White is talking to investigators, what really happened may soon be revealed, including perhaps the most perplexing question: why they never got more than 300 miles apart. “It’s kind of incomprehensible that they had that time advantage, and it seems like they wasted it staying in Evansville, Indiana,” McCabe told CNN, “and essentially letting the investigation catch up with them.” CNN’s Jason Hanna contributed to this report.

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