Justice Dept reopens investigation into Emmett Till’s lynching murder

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 12, 2018

The U.S. government has reopened an investigation into the 1955 killing of black teenager Emmett Till in MS, saying it had discovered new information in the case, which helped spark the nation's civil rights movement.

The Justice Department announced in a March report to Congress that it has reopened Till's 1955 killing after receiving "new information", The Associated Press reported Thursday.

The case was closed in 2007 after authorities said the suspects had died and the state grand jury didn't file any charges. The Justice Department, per AP, has not commented on the reopening of the investigation.

Media interest in the case was revived in 2017 with the publication of the book, "The Blood of Emmett Till", which reportedly quotes the white woman in the case, Carolyn Bryant Donham, as admitting she had lied when she testified against Till.

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.

Till was later abducted from the home he was staying at for the summer and was beaten and shot.

His body was later found in the Tallahatchie River, weighed down by a cotton gin.

"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.

Although two white men eventually confessed to a magazine that they had killed Till, they had previously been acquitted by a MS jury.

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

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