Unserved 1955 warrant for white woman accused in Emmett Till’s kidnapping discoveredJune 30, 2022
An all-white jury acquitted Emmett’s accused killers, half-brothers J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, of murdering the child after testimony from Roy’s wife Carolyn was included in the court record. Vanity Fair profiled author Timothy Tyson’s effort to track Carolyn down years after her testimony. She reportedly was working at a store Emmett visited for bubble gum when he is said to have whistled at Carolyn. One of the defense attorneys on the case told the court that while Carolyn was unable to utter the “unprintable” word Emmett had used, “he said [he had]” done something “with white women before.”
“I was just scared to death,” Carolyn offered the court.
Carolyn told Tyson at the age of 72 years old that she made up the most salacious part of her testimony. “That part’s not true,” she said of “verbal and physical advances” she earlier claimed that Emmett made on her.
True or not, Emmett Till of Chicago was kidnapped the night of Aug. 28 at the home of a relative he was visiting in Mississippi. He was then brutally murdered and dumped in the Tallahatchie River, according to the Library of Congress.
Mamie Till-Mobley allowed a Jet Magazine photographer to take photos of her son’s mutilated body his funeral. “Let the people see what they did to my boy,” she said after viewing her child’s body.
Mamie Till-Mobley didn’t live to see a president sign federal legislation making lynching illegal. She died on Jan. 6, 2003 of a heart ailment at 81 years old, The Washington Post reported.
Warning: This video contains disturbing footage and accounts of the killing of Emmett Till.
Teri Watts told the Associated Press the discovery of the warrant naming Carolyn should constitute new evidence. “This is what the state of Mississippi needs to go ahead,” she said.
Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks told the news wire this is the first time he’s known about a warrant, but that he will get with the district attorney to get their opinion on it.
Ronald Rychlak, a professor of law at the University of Mississippi, told the Associated Press even if the sheriff wanted to serve the warrant, they “go stale” after a certain amount of time. Still, the document could push forward the Till family’s effort to get a new trial. “If you went in front of a judge you could say, ‘Once upon a time a judge determined there was probable cause, and much more information is available today,’” Rychlak said.