The federal government has reopened its investigation into the heartless murder of Emmett Till.
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.” The government hasn’t specified if any new charges will be added, or if the prosecution will bring a case to anyone involved.
Emmett Till was 14 years old when he visited family in the Mississippi Delta during the summer of 1955. While at a local store, Till was said to have either whistled at a white woman named Carolyn Bryant Donham, grabbed her and made crude sexual comments. Days later, the teen was kidnapped from him bedroom and beaten by white men. His mutilated body was later found tied to a cotton gin with barbed wire in a river.
Mamie Till, Emmett’s mother brought national attention to her son’s murder by having an open casket at the funeral showcasing his mangled body. Emmett’s death has been sighted as a catalyst for the civil rights movement. A Mississippi jury acquitted the two men responsible for his murder, and then a while later they confessed to the killing in a magazine. The two men have since died.
Donham, however, is still alive and admitted she lied about her encounter with Emmet. In a book published by historian Timothy B. Tyson, Bryant said she’s fuzzy on the details.
“Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Donham said.