US Reopens Investigation Into 63-Year-Old Murder of Emmett Till

US Reopens Investigation Into 63-Year-Old Murder of Emmett Till

Four days later, Till was taken from his home and killed.

Not even a month after the boy's body was pulled from the river, an all-white jury acquitted Carolyn Bryant's husband, Roy, and another man, J.W. Milam, of Emmett's murder, despite eyewitnesses identifying the defendants.

"With Emmett's murder taking place 63 years ago, this is an opportunity for us to do it right, for the justice department to do the right thing, and for the country to see justice prevail", Watts said.

CHANG: That's Timothy Tyson, author of "The Blood Of Emmett Till". On January 26, 2017, Vanity Fair published the story of Tyson's interview iwth Donham.

Donham testified on August 24, 1955 that Till grabbed her hand while he was paying for bubble gum at a store that she owned with her husband Roy Bryant. "He said, 'How about a date, baby?'" she testified.

Ms Bryant also said he told her "you don't need to be afraid of me", alleging he used an obscenity and mentioning something he had done "with white women before".

A judge ruled the testimony inadmissible.

TYSON: She said her testimony in court of him grabbing her and making sexual advances to her - that part's not true.

Hours after news broke Thursday about a renewed investigation prompted by the book, Tyson told reporters that he supports a fresh look at "one of the most notorious racial incidents of racial violence in the history of the world", but doesn't think his research alone will provide enough evidence for new charges. She later told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that Emmett had touched her hand.

"America has narrated the 1955 lynching of this 14-year-old black boy in MS as a Southern horror movie, set in some distant and exotic Dixie, starring Redneck Frankenstein", Tyson wrote in an email to The Chronicle in May. Emmett's death has been sighted as a catalyst for the civil rights movement. Citing "new information", the US Justice Department has reopened the investigation into Till's death. The FBI still conducted an inquiry, which included an exhumation of Emmett's body from an IL cemetery, for about two years to settle whether there were any state crimes that could still be prosecuted.

In a report submitted to Congress, the Department of Justice said the revived interest into the 1955 slaying was "based upon the discovery of new information". It did not elaborate.

After Till's alleged crime, Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam allegedly pulled Till from his bed in the middle of the night, dragged him to the back of a pickup truck and beat him almost to death before shooting him in the head. After they finished reportedly assaulting him, the two shot Emmett in the head and threw the teen's body - which had been tied to the cotton gin fan with barbed wire - into the river. "Can't you take it?" she recalled his saying. Years later, the men admitted to the killing, but due to double jeopardy laws, were protected from being tried again. Donham told Tyson that "nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him". The manuscript is being kept at the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill library. His mother, Mamie Till Mobley, had his casket left open.

The men later confessed to the crime in a magazine interview but weren't retried.