Man Dies In Jail– Committed Murder Inside Coffee County In 1985
On New Year’s Day 1985 Gregory Thompson and a 15 year-old female accomplice abducted Brenda Blanton Lane at knife point from the parking lot of a Shelbyville Wal-Mart and forced her to drive to a remote location outside Manchester just off Short Springs Road.
There, Thompson stabbed Lane multiple times in the back and ran over Lane with her car and left the woman alone to die. Thompson’s only motive for the murder was to obtain Lane’s car.
At the time of her death, 28-year-old Brenda Lane was married and a budding journalist, having worked as a reporter and columnist for the Shelbyville Times- Gazette and, later, for United Methodist Communications in Nashville. In 1982, Lane was named the “Outstanding Young Woman of Bedford County.”
Thompson would have been the second man to be put to death in Tennessee in 40 years, but his execution date came and went.
Thompson gained national attention after 60 Minutes reported on him, claiming Thompson was schizophrenic, paranoid and delusional at the time he was supposed to be put to death.
Thompson, 52, was pronounced dead Thursday afternoon at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. His death is believed to be from natural causes.