EVANSVILLE, Ind. — James Stinson, the Evansville car wash manager who found Alabama fugitives Casey and Vicky White’s abandoned truck in a wash bay, said he has heard nothing from authorities about reward money.
Stinson, who reported a Ford F-150 left by the Whites at Weinbach Car Wash, also said he isn’t the anonymous tipster to whom Alabama will give $5,000 for help apprehending the fugitive couple. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced the reward Wednesday. In all, $25,000 in reward money was offered for help bringing in the Whites, the bulk of it from the U.S. Marshals Service.
Standing outside the car wash Thursday, Stinson vowed that he won’t fight or beg for the money — although he could use it. If no cash comes his way, he said, he’ll be content with the knowledge that he helped deliver accused murderer Casey White to John Q. Law.
“It ain’t about the money,” Stinson said. “People don’t understand. This is not a ‘getting drunk and having fun’ kind of a guy — this guy is a bad, bad boy. I just feel like I done the right thing.”
Casey White, a convicted felon who was already serving time for attempted murder and kidnapping, is expected to stand trial on June 13 in the Oct. 23, 2015, slaying of Connie Jane Ridgeway.
White was an escaped inmate when he hid out in a room at Evansville’s Motel 41 with Vicky White, a former corrections officer who aided in his escape. The pair were the subjects of a nationwide manhunt. Vicky White died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a brief car chase.
Crank callers and more dollars: Evansville’s Motel 41 wants to profit from Casey and Vicky White On Thursday, Stinson stood in the spot in the wash bay where he said his security camera caught Casey White loitering while waiting for Vicky White to pick him up in their next vehicle, a Cadillac sedan.
“I seen that tattoo on his arm. I was watching my cameras, I paused it right here,” he said. “I googled, ‘Inmate from Alabama,’ and his picture come up. I held it up to my monitor, and the tattoos matched.”
Fugitives had pizza delivered, White claimed
A veritable cottage industry of speculation, rumor and urban legend has sprung up in Evansville about what the Whites did while they were holed up at Motel 41 from May 3 until May 9. Casey White left his wallet behind at nearby Marigold Bar. The couple were spotted dining at Golden Corral. There are more such tales where those came from.
Stinson laughs them off as the product of overactive imaginations. “(The Whites would have) stuck out like a sore thumb,” he said. “He’s 6-9. That’s a dead giveaway.” Casey White did shed a little light on his and Vicky White’s dining habits while they were hiding out at Motel 41, Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said. After he was captured, Wedding said, White told investigators they ate pizza.
“Dominos delivered and she met driver in parking lot!” Wedding said by text. The Courier & Press reported last month that the Whites gave a homeless convicted sex offender $100 to rent the motel room for them. It’s been a whirlwind for Stinson
The three-plus weeks that have passed since the Whites’ run ended in Evansville have been heady for Stinson, who said he has been approached by national and international media. He showed the Courier & Press a letter from a UK-based television producer who said he is creating a documentary about the Whites for Netflix.
Last week, two sons of Connie Ridgeway came to Evansville with a friend to meet Stinson. Murfreesboro, Tenn., resident Austin Williams, brother Cameron Williams and advocate Mark White spent hours with Stinson, mostly talking about Ridgeway. Not content to wait to see whether Stinson got any official reward money, the Williams brothers and Mark White created a GoFundMe page to collect money for him. The page reported having raised $5,175 as of Thursday night.
Stinson has framed a congratulatory letter he received at the car wash from U.S. Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana.
“You stand as a strong example of Hoosier values, and I commend you for your persistence and diligence in returning Vicky White and Casey White to police custody,” Braun’s letter states.
Not all the attention has been positive. Stinson isn’t big on social media, but his daughter is. She got thrown in Facebook jail, he said, for defending him against accusers.
“They said I ruined a honeymoon in Indiana. I’m the one that put the gun to (Vicky White’s) head. I’m the one that pulled the trigger,” Stinson said, pausing to draw another breath. “They paid me to leave the car here and they stopped paying me, so I turned them in for the reward. Snitches get stitches. It’s all kind of stuff.”
Stinson is animated by other things. He supports a push by Ridgeway’s sons for new legislation in Alabama that would require judges to notify victims of violent crimes and their families of the location and relocation of inmates. Ridgeway’s sons have said they didn’t know where Casey White was being confined when he escaped.
Stinson also plans to closely follow White’s capital murder trial in Ridgeway’s death. He said he will soon trek to Florence, Alabama to have lunch with Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton, in whose jail Vicky White worked. Singleton called him, he said, to thank him for reporting the Whites’ truck.
The corners of Stinson’s mouth creeped upward as he recalled his conversation with the Alabama sheriff. “He told me, ‘You’re a redneck country boy like me — we’re going to get along just fine,” he said with a laugh.