Emmett Till Murder Investigation Reopened Because of 'New Evidence'

13 Julio, 2018, 01:25 | Author: Gregg Anderson
  • Till a 14-year-old black Chicago boy who was kidnapped tortured and murdered in 1955 after he allegedly whistled at a white woman in Mississippi

A MS prosecutor isn't saying whether federal authorities have given him any new information since they reopened an investigation into the slaying of Emmett Till in 1955.

An explosive new book by Timothy B. Tyson called "The Blood of Emmett Till" came out a year ago and alleges that Carolyn Donham, the white woman at the center of the case, admitted to lying about the events leading up to the murder.

His body was later found in the Tallahatchie River, weighed down by a cotton gin.

An Associated Press report Thursday revealed that the Justice Department had reopened the case, and notified Congress in a March report that it was reinvestigating Till's brutal murder after receiving what the department called "new information". The Chicago teenager was visiting relatives in MS when 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, a white woman, accused him of making a pass at her in the small-town grocery store she and her husband owned.

Both men later confessed in a magazine interview but have since died, AP reported. In 2007, at the age of 72, she granted an interview to Tyson, who was conducting research for The Blood of Emmett Till. Donham, who turns 84 this month, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. She wanted "all the world" to see what she saw, how her boy had been maimed beyond recognition.

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He had been mutilated, and his mother's decision to hold an open-casket funeral with his unrecognizable face on full display was instrumental in drawing attention to his case and has been credited with "reigniting a widespread passion for the Civil Rights Movement". Bryant and his half-brother Milam were charged with murder but acquitted in the kidnap-torture slaying of 14-year-old black teen Emmett Till in 1955 after he allegedly whistled at Carolyn Bryant.

"He said, 'How about a date, baby?'" she testified, according to a trial transcript released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation a decade ago. But if something's out there, we want to know it, you know?

Moments after pulling away, she said the teenager "caught me at the cash register", grasped her around the waist with both hands and pulled her towards him. Bryant also said he told her "you don't need to be afraid of me", claiming that he used an obscenity and mentioned something he had done "with white women before".

The evidence, which was heard after jurors had been sent out, was ruled inadmissible by the judge. In the book, author Tyson wrote that Donham told him her testimony about Till accosting her wasn't true.

"Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him", Donham says in the book. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, introduced legislation this week that would make the government release information about unsolved civil rights killings.

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