Federal government reopens investigation into the killing of Emmett Till

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 12, 2018

One year after the publication of Timothy B. Tyson's The Blood of Emmett Till, the federal investigation into the murder of the 14-year-old black child at the hands of two white men has been reopened. A grand jury in the southern US state declined to issue new charges, the department said.

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".

But the Justice Department's decision to devote new attention to the case is a demonstration of how deeply the episode resonates more than 60 years after Till was killed in rural MS and photographs of his mutilated body were published, so staggering the nation that the case is now seen as a catalyst for the civil rights movement.

An explosive new book by Timothy B. Tyson called "The Blood of Emmett Till" came out past year 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.

Till was later abducted from the home he was staying at for the summer and was beaten and shot. He was kidnapped and killed days later, his body tethered to a cotton gin fan with barbed wire and then cast into a river.

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Pictures of his mutilated body during his funeral helped spark the civil rights movement, AP noted.

The men later confessed to killing the boy in a magazine interview but weren't retried, and both men are now dead.

"Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him", Donham told Tyson, a senior research scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Donham, who will be 84 this month, now lives in Raleigh, N.C. and declined comment to the AP.

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