On July 28, 1980, 32-year-old double-murderer Troy Leon Gregg did the unthinkable. Followed by three other condemned murderers, Gregg escaped from Georgia State Prison’s death row by disguising himself as a corrections officer.
The murderous four had sawn through the bars of their fourth-floor cells and a window in an exercise area and walked along the ledge to a fire escape. Before making their way to the front gate, the escapees altered their prison pajamas to look like uniforms and eventually were challenged by actual corrections officers. The officers were careless enough to allow the escapees to continue on their way after being told that the four were making “security checks.”
Why is this story so special?
The prison officials learned of the escape from a reporter for the Albany Herald, who Gregg had called a couple of hours after the escape. Gregg told the reporter that they had to get out because they could not stand the inhuman conditions on death row anymore. He added they would rather die than stay there another day.
Ironically enough, Gregg’s words backfired the same night. Celebrating his perfect escape, Troy Leon Gregg went to a biker bar in North Carolina, where he was beaten to death.
Gregg’s body was found the next day in a lake a few miles away from where the other escapees were recaptured.