Love Behind Bars — and Beyond: How 5 Women Helped Their Lovers Escape Prison

Toby Dorr, who ran a dog training program at a prison, smuggled her lover out in a dog crate

This image provided by the U.S. Marshals Service on Sunday, May 1, 2022 shows part of a wanted poster for Casey Cole White. On Sunday, the U.S. Marshals announced it is offering up to $10,000 for information about escaped inmate Casey Cole White, 38, and a “missing and endangered” correctional officer, Vicky White, 56, who disappeared Friday after they left the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, Ala. (U.S. Marshals Service via AP); This photo provided by Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office shows Assistant Director of Corrections Vicki White. The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office in said in a Facebook post Saturday, April 30, 2022, that White disappeared while escorting an inmate being held on capital murder charges. The inmate is also missing. ( Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Casey White and Vicky White. Photo: U.S. Marshals Service via AP; Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Alabama corrections officer Vicky White is currently at large, accused of helping accused murderer Casey White escape prison. (The two are not related.)

The alleged motive? Investigators allege the guard and the inmate had a "special relationship," and that Vicky White's feelings for Casey White caused her to uproot her life.

If the allegations are true, Vicky White wouldn't be the first woman in authority to fall for a man behind bars. Here are five women who have helped their lovers break out of prison.

Vicky White

U.S. Marshals Continue to Pursue Leads in Hunt for Alabama Fugitives: Vicky White
A rendering Vicky White, with brown hair, because authorities say she may have dyed her hair. U.S. Marshal Service

Days before she vanished, Alabama corrections officer Vicky White, 56, put in for retirement and sold her house. Then, on April 29, her last scheduled work day at the Lauderdale County Detention Center, she left the jail, saying she was escorting an inmate to a mental health appointment.

But there was no appointment.

Instead, police allege White, a 25-year veteran of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office, helped accused killer Casey White escape. (The two are not related.) The motive? According to police, Casey White and Vicky White were in a romantic relationship.

Authorities have said that White violated department policy by transporting Casey White alone; protocol calls for two jail guards to escort prisoners.

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, the two were last seen on the day of the escape in Rogersville, Ala.

The search for the pair continues.

Bobbi Parker

Bobbi Parker Bobbi Parker, the wife of a former Oklahoma prison warden, arrives at court in Mangum, Okla. Jury selection is set to start, for Parker who is charged with helping convicted killer Randolph Dial escape from the Oklahoma State Reformatory in 1994
Bobbi Parker. Sue Ogrocki/AP/Shutterstock

Bobbi Parker, the deputy warden's wife at the Oklahoma State Reformatory disappeared along with convicted murderer Randolph Dial on August 30, 1994.

They were found 11 years later living as a married couple on a chicken ranch in Texas after a tip came in from the America's Most Wanted TV show.

Dial, a sculptor and painter, ran an inmate pottery program with Parker in the garage of the home Parker shared with her husband, which was on prison grounds. Dial maintained until his death in 2007 that he kidnapped Parker and held her hostage, forcing her to drive him away from the prison.

But at her trial, prosecutors said that the pair had fallen in love, and Parker helped him escape willingly.

She was found guilty in 2011 of assisting a prisoner to escape and sentenced to a year in prison. She was released after six months.

Lynette Barnett

Lynette Barnett, a prison guard at Crossroads Correctional Center in Missouri, fell in love with inmate Terry Banks, a convicted murderer doing life without parole. In 1999, Barnett snuck in a fake ID and an extra uniform — and walked Banks out of the maximum-security prison.

Nearly two months later, in December, the FBI arrested the pair in a trailer park in Victoria County, Texas in December 1999. The big break? Someone had seen them on America's Most Wanted.

Barnett was sentenced to five years in prison for helping Banks escape.

Toby Dorr

In this July 9, 2018, photo, Toby Dorr, formerly Toby Young, poses for a photo in Kansas City, Mo. Dorr, who assisted an inmate to escape in a dog crate 12 years ago, is planning to write a memoir of her experience.
Toby Dorr. Tammy Ljungblad/The Kansas City Star via AP

Toby Dorr ran a dog training program at Lansing Correctional Facility, a state prison in Leavenworth County, Kan.

There, the married woman fell in love with a convicted murderer, John Manard, who was serving a life sentence. And in February 2006, she smuggled Manard out in a dog crate.

The pair escaped to a cabin in Tennessee, where authorities captured them two weeks later in a highway chase after a car driven by Manard hit a tree.

Dorr ultimately pleaded guilty to a state charge of aiding and abetting Manard's escape, as well as a federal charge of knowingly providing a firearm to a felon. She served 27 months in prison.

Later, Dorr wrote a memoir titled Living with Conviction, and her website says she's now a true crime author.

Joyce Mitchell

Joyce Mitchell
Joyce "Tillie" Mitchell. New York State Police Dept.

At Clinton Correctional Facility in New York State, a love triangle formed between married prison seamstress Joyce "Tillie" Mitchell and two convicted murderers, Richard W. Matt and David Sweat.

The pair seduced Mitchell, who subsequently helped them escape in 2015 by sneaking in supplies like hacksaw blades, chisels and other tools she'd smuggled into the prison via frozen hamburger meat. Using the tools Mitchell had brought in, the two prisoners cut through a brick wall and a steam pipe which they crawled through, eventually escaping through a manhole.

The case attracted national attention, and was the inspiration for Showtime's award-winning miniseries Escape at Dannemora, which was directed and produced by Ben Stiller. Patricia Arquette played Mitchell in the miniseries.

A multi-state search for the two men unfolded over the next 22 days. The manhunt came to an end when Matt was shot and killed by police.

Mitchell was ultimately convicted of providing material support to the prisoners, and served four years in prison before being released in 2020.

Why did she do it?

In court documents, Mitchell told authorities that Matt "treated me with respect and was nice to me. He made me feel special."

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