In August of 1955, Emmett Louise Till, a 14 year-old African-American boy went missing after a trip to Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market in Money, Mississippi.
His body, severely beaten beyond recognition, shot in the head, had a large metal fan tied to his neck with barbed wire, and was thrown into the Tallahatchie River.
His crime, according to Carolyn Bryant Donham, was that Till whistled at her and groped her. He was abducted and killed by Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam as payback.
Both Bryant and Milam were brought to trial, but were acquitted by an all-white jury, according to the FBI.
But after all these years, Carolyn Bryant Donham recently recanted her story to an author, and now Congressman Bennie Thompson is calling for the case to be reopened.
“Her confession has raised questions by many of my constituents as to whether Donham violated the law and if the opportunity exists for legal action to be taken against her,” Thompson wrote to Assistant Attorney General Thomas Wheeler.
“Carolyn Bryant Donham’s false statement holds liability for the death of Emmett Louise Till,” Thompson continued. “I urge you to investigate the recent statements.”
The statute of limitations for federal prosecution, which is five years, has long passed. But the possibility of prosecution is still alive an well from the Mississippi legal system.