Woman Responsible for Emmett Till’s Murder Admits She Lied

emmett_tillCarolyn Bryant Donham, the white woman responsible for the death of Emmett Til, admitted that she lied about Till making inappropriate advances toward her- the accusation that ultimately lead to his brutal murder.

Till was just 14 years old when he was brutally murdered for allegedly flirting with Bryant Donham in Mississippi in 1955. Bryant Donham told her husband at the time, Roy Bryant, and he along with is half-brother, J.W. Miliam, sought out Till, abducted, tortured and killed him. Both men were acquitted of Till’s murder by an all-white jury. Till’s mother decided to have an open casket funeral so that the nation could see the result of the heinous acts committed against him. Photos of Till in his casket were run in publications across the country and his death became a catalyst for the Civil Rights movement.

Read the excerpt from Variety of what the now-82-year-old had to say about that fateful incident below:

In a new book, The Blood of Emmett Till (Simon & Schuster), Timothy Tyson, a Duke University senior research scholar, reveals that Carolyn—in 2007, at age 72—confessed that she had fabricated the most sensational part of her testimony. “That part’s not true,” she told Tyson, about her claim that Till had made verbal and physical advances on her. As for the rest of what happened that evening in the country store, she said she couldn’t remember. (Carolyn is now 82, and her current whereabouts have been kept secret by her family.)

Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, died in 2003, so she’ll never learn of the revelation.

Jay Z and Will Smith are currently working on an Emmett Till miniseries for HBO that will retell his tragic story.

Photo Credit: Mamie Till-Mobley / Fair Use