As a black man and white woman drove from the Martin Theater to a Pizza Hut on a July night in 1978, they thought they were alone.

Nancy Diane Hilton, 18, and William Bryant Tatum, 20, had been dating for about eight months. Hilton visited Tatum in Whitwell, Tenn., almost every weekend, often content just to watch the quiet University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior varsity basketball player shoot hoops in the gym.

Come November, Tatum told his mother, he was going to marry Hilton.

But on this night, the couple didn't notice a green car following them, pulling up behind them in the restaurant's parking lot, watching them enter through the back door. They weren't there to eat, and they didn't stay long. Hilton, a Pizza Hut employee, chatted with co-workers while her boyfriend made a phone call.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.