LANSING, Kan. — The search for a missing inmate in Alabama and the corrections officer accused of helping him escape entered its seventh day.
While no one knows where Casey White and Vicky White (no relation) are, Toby Dorr said she knows exactly what that corrections officer is going through.
“People were saying we really don’t know what happened and I thought I know exactly what happened,” Dorr, previously known as Toby Young, said.
That’s because Dorr did the very same thing in 2006. She was married and running a volunteer dog training program at Lansing Correctional Institution when she met John Manard, who was serving a life sentence for a deadly carjacking.
“When you create a situation having female officers or volunteers with male inmates all it takes is for that one officer or volunteer to just be a little bit nicer at that moment to an inmate and things just take off from there,” Dorr explained.
She got Manard out of the prison in a dog crate and they went on the run hoping to create a life together.
“I fell in love with John and I know he was in love with me but we didn’t really know each other,” Dorr said.
She said red flags including Manard’s temper started to pop up, but she never considered turning the inmate in. She said she now fears for Vicky White’s safety.
“When you are living on the run like that it’s kind of a powder keg. “You’re always just looking over your shoulder expecting something to happen every minute, so you are on edge all the time.”
They lived in a cabin in Tennessee for most of their 12 days on the run but said she wasn’t ready for their time together to be over when it came to a dramatic end.
“When we came up over a hill the whole interstate was just filled with police vehicles,” Dorr recalled.
A chase topping 100 miles per hour ended with the couple smashing into a tree. Dorr was sentenced to 27 months in prison for aiding the escape.
She spent most of her time in the area after her release, only recently moving out of state. She’s remarried and she and her husband have visited her former lover in prison where he’s serving a life sentence, plus an additional 10 years for the escape.
“Chris is my husband, Chris and I both consider John a friend still to this day,” Dorr said.
She’s turned to writing books on how to escape prisons of a different kind in a series titled “Unleashed.”
“When you are in an emotional prison you don’t make good decisions the whole purpose of these workbooks is to help women escape their emotional prisons,” she said.
Lessons she thinks Vicky White could actually benefit from, as she prays for the guard and inmate’s safe capture.
Dorr said she’d never help an inmate escape again now, but said the lessons she learned in prison and rebuilding her life were priceless. It’s part of the story she tells in her memoir out next month, “Living With Conviction.”
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