Justice Department reopens investigation in 1955 murder of Emmett Till

Justice Department reopens investigation in 1955 murder of Emmett Till

Justice Department reopens investigation in 1955 murder of Emmett Till

Though the Justice Department has reopened its investigation-possibly due to Donham's comments to Tyson-it is not yet known if prosecutors will bring a new case against anyone connected to the murder. In a book published past year, researcher Timothy B. Tyson reported that the woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, had acknowledged that the entirety of her story was "not true" but that she did not remember the precise sequence of events.

Thanks to Donham's falsified testimony, Till was abducted and mutilated before being fatally shot and dumped in the Tallahatchie River.

The Justice Department told Congress in a March report that the case would be reopened based on "new information", although a cousin of the slain teen said she was not aware of the development until she was contacted by reporters, reported the Associated Press.

Emmett, a 14-year-old Chicago boy visiting family in MS in 1955, was brutally murdered after reportedly flirting with a white woman in a country store.

"What's the matter baby, can't you take it?", she claimed he said.

Although two white men eventually confessed to a magazine that they had killed Till, they had previously been acquitted by a MS jury. Jackson's slaying was an impetus for the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march later that year.

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Bryant, whose name is now Carolyn Donham, is in her 80s and lives in North Carolina. A man who came to the door at her residence declined to comment about the FBI reopening the investigation. She wanted "all the world" to see what she saw, how her boy had been maimed beyond recognition.

Till's mother, Mamie Till Mobley, insisted that her son's disfigured body be displayed in an open-casket funeral. "Just what did he say when he grabbed your hand?" defense attorney Sidney Carlton asked, according to a trial transcript released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation a decade ago.

"We don't know anything".

Despite the pleas of his MS family, Roy Bryant and Milam reportedly forced Emmett into their waiting vehicle and drove him down to the Tallahatchie River, where they reportedly forced the teen to carry a 75-pound cotton gin fan. Bryant said she pulled away, and moments later the young man "caught me at the cash register", grasping her around the waist with both hands and pulling her toward him. According to the AP, she also stated that Till used an obscenity when speaking to her.

The evidence, which was heard after jurors had been sent out, was ruled inadmissible by the judge.

"Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him", the book quotes her as saying. "You'd have to leave it to the judgment of some of the law enforcement agencies that are involved or the commission that would be created" to consider materials for release, Jones said.

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