No one has been convicted in the 1955 abduction, torture and killing of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi.
The United States Justice Department has said it is ending a reopened investigation into the 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi.
Till was abducted, tortured and killed while visiting the state from his home in Chicago. His mother’s decision to have an open-casket funeral showing her son’s mutilated body helped to galvanise the US civil rights movement. No one has been convicted of the killing.
The Justice Department had most recently reopened the investigation in 2018, a year after a 2017 book quoted Carolyn Bryant Donham as saying she lied when she claimed that 14-year-old Till grabbed her, whistled and made sexual advances while she was working in a store in the small community of Money.
“In closing this matter without prosecution, the government does not take the position that the state court testimony the woman gave in 1955 was truthful or accurate,” the Justice Department said in a statement on Monday.
“There remains considerable doubt as to the credibility of her version of events, which is contradicted by others who were with Till at the time, including the account of a living witness.”
Days after Till was killed, his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River, where he had been tossed after he was shot and weighted down with a cotton gin fan.
Two white men, Roy Bryant and his half-brother JW Milam were tried on murder charges about a month after Till was killed, but an all-white Mississippi jury acquitted them.
Months later, they confessed in a paid interview with Look magazine. Bryant was married to Donham in 1955. Bryant died in 1994 and Milam died in 1981.