Emmett Till Murder Investigation Reopened 63 Years Later

Yolanda Curtis
July 13, 2018

A MS prosecutor declined comment Thursday on whether federal authorities had given him new information since they reopened the probe. "That part's not true", Donham was revealed as admitting.

Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman 14-year-old Emmett Till was accused of flirting with which resulted in his death in 1955, recanted her statement years after Till was murdered.

The once-closed lynching case of 14-year old African-American Emmett Till has been reopened.

In the January 1956 Look magazine article, titled, "The shocking story of approved killing in Mississippi", Bryant and Milam said they went looking for the "Chicago boy" with the initial intent of scaring him and putting him in his place. Still, he said investigators may be able to link it to other material in their possession.

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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.

The Associated Press reported that the federal report did not indicate details about the new information. The official wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity. The Justice Department declined to comment on the status of the investigation. Citing "new information", the US Justice Department has reopened the investigation into Till's death.

University of MS law professor Tucker Carrington says conspiracy or murder charges could be filed if anyone still alive is shown to have been involved. Both are now dead.

Donham, however, is still alive and will turn 84 this month. A man who came to the door at her residence declined to comment about the investigation. His mutilated body was later found tied to a cotton gin with barbed wire in a river.

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Till's remains were returned to Chicago where his mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket.

During the trial of Roy Bryant and Milam, Carolyn Bryant was brought as a potential witness for the defense. With jurors out of the courtroom, she said a "nigger man" she didn't know took her by the arm in the store.

"He said, 'How about a date, baby?'" she testified, according to a trial transcript released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation a decade ago. 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".

After delivering her testimony, Judge Curtis Swango ruled that it was inadmissible. The two men have since died. Then she said, nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him. Nobody - to me, the fact that Carolyn Bryant lied in court is not the morning news.

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A Justice Department report to Congress says the agency is reinvestigating Till's slaying after receiving what it calls "new information". He says he assumes his book helped prompt the renewed investigation of the black teen's brutal slaying. Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam are both dead, and while Donham appears to have admitted to perjury, the statute of limitations on that crime has long passed.

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