Culture&Arts

‘New Information’ Leads DOJ to Reopen Emmett Till Murder Case

‘New Information’ Leads DOJ to Reopen Emmett Till Murder Case

Her husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, later snatched Till from his bed in the middle of the night. His murderers then strapped a cotton gin fan to his neck with barbed wire so it would weigh him down when they tossed him in the Tallahatchie River.

"Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him", the book quotes her as saying. The government has not announced any new charges in connection with its investigation, and it is unclear whether prosecutors will ultimately be able to bring a case against anyone.

With the main suspects long dead, the case had been closed since 2007.

Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago, was visiting relatives in rural MS when he was accused of whistling and making sexual advances at a white woman, Carolyn Bryant.

Parker says the Justice Department hasn't told Till's family anything about the reopened investigation.

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. They both admitted to the murder in an interview with Look, but were never retried.

The report doesn't indicate what the new information might be.

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In this September 23, 1955, file photo, J.W. Milam, left, his wife, second left, Roy Bryant, far right, and his wife, Carolyn Bryant, sit together in a courtroom in Sumner, Miss.

The Associated Press's Jay Reeves wrote, "A man who came to the door at [Carolyn's] residence declined to comment about the FBI reopening the investigation". The two men, like many others considered to be possibly connected to the episode, are now deceased.

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". With jurors out of the courtroom, she said a "nigger man" she didn't know took her by the arm.

Bryant, whose name is now Carolyn Donham, is in her 80s and lives in North Carolina.

It is not clear from the report what that information might be, but relatives of Till asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reopen the case after the book was published.

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

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. A judge ruled the testimony inadmissible.


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