Emmett Till Murder Investigation Reopened 63 Years Later

13 July, 2018, 06:37 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • DOJ reopens Emmett Till case after ‘new information’ arises report

One year after the production of Timothy B. Tyson's, The Blood of Emmett Till, the federal investigation of the infamous murder of the 14-year-old black boy on account of two white men has been reopened.

A Justice Department report to Congress says the agency is reinvestigating Till's slaying after receiving what it calls "new information". Roy and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, subsequently abducted Till, beat him and shot him.

Thursday, the Associated Press reported that, back in March of this year, the Justice Department revealed the reopening to Congress in a report and cited "new information".

According to The Associated Press, the two men later confessed to the crime in a magazine interview. 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.

After Look Magazine published Bryant and Milam's confession, the two were rejected by friends and supporters around the country. Both are now dead.

Donham, who will be 84 this month, now lives in Raleigh, N.C. and declined comment to the AP. Emmett's death has been sighted as a catalyst for the civil rights movement. "We're happy to have that be the case so that ultimately or finally someone can be held responsible for his murder", said Johnson, who leads the Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse University.

The recent information brought forth in the Justice Department report has not been elaborated upon, however, there's speculation that the intel comes from a book titled, The Blood of Emmett Till which was released around the same time that the report was filed. The government has investigated 115 cases involving 128 victims under the "cold case" law named for Till, the report said.

His murderers then strapped a 75-pound cotton gin fan to his neck with barbed wire so it would weigh him down when they tossed him in the Tallahatchie River.


Relatives of Till who have tried to get the case reopened since the release of the book, are grateful for the newfound efforts.

Till's mother, Mamie Till Mobley, insisted that her son's disfigured body be displayed in an open-casket funeral.

Images of his mutilated body gave witness to the depth of racial hatred in the Deep South and inspired civil rights campaigns. 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. With jurors out of the courtroom, she said a "nigger man" she didn't know took her by the arm in the store. The book says the woman acknowledged she wasn't truthful when she testified that the 14-year-old Till grabbed her.

Tyson is the only journalist or historian known to have interviewed Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman who claimed Emmett harassed her, leading to his lynching and murder.

After delivering her testimony, Judge Curtis Swango ruled that it was inadmissible.

Alan Blinder of the New York Times reports that Donham also told Tyson she could not remember the sequence of events on that fateful day, but that "n$3 othing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him".

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