Just this month, Dominick Maldonado staged an prison break, holding scissors to a guard's throat while a fellow inmate broke through the prison door and security fences with a forklift. A guard was shot and killed.
"I guess from what I've heard he just wanted to see me," said Quynh Maldonado. "At the same time, if he did it for love then I guess I shouldn't really be that mad about it."
Now, her husband has been moved to maximum security at Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen and may not get to see his wife for another year.
"It's sad, a very sad situation," said Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington, who has written 16 books on love and relationships.
She said women who look for relationships with inmates are more common than thought. "They usually don't have much going on that's good in their life," said Schwartz. "They need a fantasy escape from their life."
But the fantasy can have a dark side. "Oh my God there's so much danger," she said. "I mean, sometimes then the person gets a heroic picture of themselves, they try to help the person break out."
Psychologist Spector agrees: "People love fairy tales about the girl turning the guy around. They have illusions of the perfect love and people embroider their own fantasy and leave the facts out that don't fit in."
"I don't know what her relationship history is," she said. "Maybe he's better than nothing."