New Intel Prompts U.S. Government To Reopen Emmett Till Investigation

Justice Dept reopens investigation into Emmett Till’s lynching murder

In last year's The Blood of Emmett Till, however, it was discovered that Carolyn Donham had lied when she testified that Emmett Till harassed her with "verbal and physical advances" at a store in MS in 1955.

Till was abducted from his great-uncle's house in Money, Mississippi, beaten and shot.

Emmett's body was reportedly recovered from the river three days later, disfigured beyond recognition.

MAMIE TILL-MOBLEY: I don't want his death to be a vain thing. But he says it's always open until everyone involved has died.

An all-white jury acquitted Bryant and Milam of the murder barely a month after the incident, despite eyewitnesses identifying the two men at the scene of the crime and the their confessions, according to CNN.

Last year, Vanity Fair published an article in which author and Duke University scholar Timothy Tyson said Carolyn Bryant - by then, Carolyn Bryant Donham - confessed she made up the most damning part of her story.

CHANG: So can we first step back for a moment? 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.


Emmett's mother was horrified to see the state of her son's body when it was returned to her.

CHANG: Now, many people including Emmett Till's family hoped that your book would lead to reopening the investigation into his murder because you had the chance to speak with Carolyn Bryant Donham, the white woman who had accused Till of harassing her. She also told Tyson that she could not remember what else happened in the grocery store that day, but admitted that her testimony was false.

The Duke University scholar says he shared materials including recordings of 2008 interviews with a white woman, Carolyn Donham, acknowledging that she wasn't truthful when she testified that Till made sexual advances at a MS store in 1955. You tell these stories over and over until they seem true. When Donham had testified in the Till case she said that the teen Till grabbed her and verbally threatened her.

The federal case regarding Till was closed in 2007 after the Justice Department had earlier concluded it could no longer prosecute the case and referred it to the district attorney in Mississippi. Citing "new information", the US Justice Department has reopened the investigation into Till's death.

TYSON: Well, I think that's been done. But it was issued in March following the publication a year ago of "The Blood of Emmett Till". You know, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has never really closed this case, and there's a 500-page report of the FBI's findings from 1955 certainly on - into the 1990s.

FILE - In this 1955 file photo, Carolyn Bryant poses for a photo. Nobody believed she was telling the truth.

Weeks after he published a book about the brutal slaying of Emmett Till, a North Carolina author received a call from Federal Bureau of Investigation agents asking about his interview with a key witness who acknowledged lying about her interactions with the black teen.

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