Vicky White: All the Questions We’re All Asking Will be Buried with Her, Unanswered

Note to self: in case I’ve forgotten to mention it to them already, remind daughters to try not to fall in love with a man facing murder charges with violent tendencies when off his meds who’s already serving 75 years for other serious crimes. Another important tip: if you happen to find yourself a fugitive in a manhunt, the car wash can probably wait, lay low. Also, remind them that running from the law almost never ends well. I think that’s all for now.

As parents, it’s hard to prepare our children for everything they may encounter in life, but we try our best.

I know, it’s probably too soon for sarcasm. It’s a tragic story, for sure. Vicky White was somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister.

Casey White’s story is a familiar one. We’ve heard it a thousand times. Hardened criminal, sociopath. If we dig deep, we’ll probably find the usual variables: probably abused as a child, probably fell through the cracks of our flawed mental health, education, juvenile justice, social service systems. His story is also tragic.

Her story, though, I think, is what captivated the nation, right? Why would she give up everything for the likes of him? Anyone could see the plan was doomed to fail, especially someone with years of experience as a correction officer, like her. It wasn’t even a good plan. They’d apparently been plotting the escape for months. They had a ton of cash, getaway cars, a six-hour head start. And in ten days, they could only get as far as Indiana?

She was set to retire. She had a pension. Her house was paid off. She had options. She had family who loved her. She had a future. And she had to know the end would be tragic.

I imagine most of us want to think of her as a sympathetic figure, the victim. What kind of spell did he put her under? Did it start out as fear, coercion, manipulation? What kind of deficits in her psyche and soul would lead her to seek love from Casey White? What future did she convince herself they could have together? How unloved she must have felt. Did she even try Tinder? (comic relief)

Love (or the delusion thereof) is intoxicating. We’ve all been punch drunk in love and done stupid things as a result. Eventually, logic and reason take hold. But you hear stories of people abandoning their small children to run off with some new lover and other crazy tales. We scratch our heads and wonder how anyone could do such things. A frail, fragile species we are, susceptible to delusion and manipulation.

This story is even more bizarre to me. And all the questions we’re all asking will be buried with her, unanswered. RIP.

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Stephen Raburn is a writer, daydreamer, activist, and father of two amazing daughters. He lives in Durham, NC.

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Stephen Raburn

Stephen Raburn is a writer, daydreamer, activist, and father of two amazing daughters. He lives in Durham, NC.