Government reopens probe of Emmett Till slaying

Emmett Till (left) | Photo: NBC

The federal government has reopened its investigation into the slaying of Emmett Till, the black teenager whose brutal killing in Mississippi shocked the world and helped inspire the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.

Posted: Jul 12, 2018 5:38 AM
Updated: Jul 12, 2018 4:09 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on the renewed investigation into the killing of Emmett Till (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

A federal official says the renewed investigation of the killing of Emmett Till was prompted by a book published last year that includes a key figure's acknowledgement that she lied about the case.

A federal official familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that information published in the 2017 book led federal investigators to re-examine the case. The official wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

The renewed investigation was first revealed in a recent federal report, which didn't specify what new information investigators were acting on.

The 2017 book "The Blood of Emmett Till" by Timothy B. Tyson quotes a white woman, Carolyn Donham, as saying during a 2008 interview that she wasn't truthful when she testified that Till grabbed her, whistled and made sexual advances at a Mississippi store in 1955.

— Associated Press writer Mike Balsamo contributed

___

3:15 p.m.

The author of a book that included new revelations about the killing of Emmett Till says he shared all of his research materials with the FBI last year.

Timothy Tyson said at a news conference Thursday that he was contacted by the FBI several weeks after his book came out in January 2017. He says he assumes his book helped prompt the renewed investigation of the black teen's brutal slaying.

The Duke University scholar says he shared materials including recordings of 2008 interviews with a white woman, Carolyn Donham, acknowledging that she wasn't truthful when she testified that Till made sexual advances at a Mississippi store in 1955.

It was revealed this week that federal investigators have reopened its investigation of the crime that helped build momentum for the civil rights movement.

___

12:30 p.m.

A potential witness in the slaying of black teenager Emmett Till says he's talked with law enforcement about the case in recent months.

Till's cousin, Wheeler Parker, said Thursday he's "pretty sure" an investigator asked him about what happened in a Mississippi store the day Till whistled at a white woman before his slaying in 1955.

Parker is 79 and the conversation occurred months ago, and he says he has a hard time remembering details. But Parker says the discussion likely occurred after the release of a book that raised questions about the Till case last year. The book says the woman acknowledged she wasn't truthful when she testified that the 14-year-old Till grabbed her.

Parker says the Justice Department hasn't told Till's family anything about the reopened investigation. He says they're waiting to get information just like everyone else.

___

12:20 p.m.

A legal expert says it's unclear what new charges could result from a renewed investigation into the slaying of Emmett Till more than 60 years ago.

University of Mississippi law professor Tucker Carrington says conspiracy or murder charges could be filed if anyone still alive is shown to have been involved.

But he says too much time likely has passed to prosecute anyone for other crimes, such as lying to investigators or in court.

Two white men were previously tried on murder charges and acquitted by all-white juries, but they're both dead.

The Justice Department has told Congress it reopened an investigation of Till's slaying after receiving "new information." Authorities haven't said what that may be, but the move followed the release last year of a book about the case.

___

11:30 a.m.

A Mississippi prosecutor isn't saying whether federal authorities have given him any new information since they reopened an investigation into the slaying of Emmett Till in 1955.

District Attorney Dewayne Richardson declined comment Thursday on any role he might have in the case. But he says it's always open until everyone involved has died.

Two white men were tried and acquitted by all-white juries after Till's brutal slaying 63 years ago. The 1955 trial was held in Tallahatchie County, which isn't in Richardson's district.

Richardson says it's not unusual for district attorneys to cooperate across district lines or for state and federal prosecutors to help local prosecutors. He says if a case were to move forward, he and the other district attorney could decide who would prosecute it.

___

5 a.m.

The federal government has reopened its investigation into the slaying of Emmett Till, the black teenager whose brutal 1955 killing in Mississippi shocked the world.

A Justice Department report to Congress says the agency is reinvestigating Till's slaying after receiving what it calls "new information."

The report doesn't indicate what the new information might be. But it was issued in March following the publication last year of "The Blood of Emmett Till."

The book says a white woman acknowledged she wasn't truthful when she testified that the 14-year-old Till grabbed her and whistled at her in a store in 1955.

Two white men were acquitted in Till's lynching, but later confessed.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 479326

Reported Deaths: 9353
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32779484
Hinds30924582
DeSoto30319353
Jackson23542341
Rankin21235366
Lee14803219
Madison14120271
Jones13327223
Forrest13078236
Lauderdale11501303
Lowndes10377176
Lamar10163130
Pearl River9008217
Lafayette8193137
Hancock7404111
Oktibbeha6909122
Washington6900150
Monroe6459159
Neshoba6441201
Warren6387163
Pontotoc623093
Panola6203125
Bolivar6072144
Marshall6068121
Union571386
Pike5574135
Alcorn533289
Lincoln5283131
George466072
Scott454796
Leflore4444140
Prentiss443377
Tippah442180
Itawamba441599
Adams4376116
Tate4327101
Simpson4313112
Wayne430766
Copiah429587
Yazoo419686
Covington413292
Sunflower4123104
Marion4073104
Leake395486
Coahoma391098
Newton367274
Grenada3543104
Stone350359
Tishomingo333288
Attala324286
Jasper313162
Winston303091
Clay294173
Chickasaw286265
Clarke279890
Calhoun263940
Holmes261387
Smith248048
Yalobusha219647
Tallahatchie217550
Walthall209958
Greene206845
Lawrence205732
Perry198553
Amite197651
Webster195042
Noxubee177739
Montgomery171654
Jefferson Davis167442
Carroll161437
Tunica150834
Benton141533
Kemper138039
Claiborne126134
Choctaw126026
Humphreys125937
Franklin116328
Quitman103426
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson87333
Sharkey62320
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 778549

Reported Deaths: 13665
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1105871747
Mobile704651206
Madison49152610
Baldwin35946479
Shelby35796302
Tuscaloosa33410532
Montgomery32906672
Lee22231216
Calhoun20791397
Morgan19605326
Etowah18837449
Marshall17465272
Houston16452368
St. Clair15233293
Limestone14376182
Cullman14348246
Elmore14241256
Lauderdale13298278
Talladega12699230
DeKalb12036233
Walker10430323
Autauga9568133
Blount9555152
Jackson9235146
Coffee8728169
Colbert8426179
Dale8410170
Escambia6526114
Tallapoosa6501172
Covington6396163
Chilton6293141
Russell598555
Franklin5719100
Chambers5315133
Marion4734115
Dallas4665182
Clarke457076
Pike456294
Geneva4315116
Winston417192
Lawrence4086108
Bibb401680
Barbour341968
Marengo323183
Butler314988
Monroe314652
Pickens300470
Randolph299955
Henry298356
Hale289383
Cherokee284652
Fayette275672
Washington244848
Crenshaw235168
Clay225163
Macon217657
Cleburne217149
Lamar192140
Conecuh179646
Lowndes170158
Coosa166432
Wilcox155736
Bullock147742
Perry136036
Sumter124136
Greene120142
Choctaw72826
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 57°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 55°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 52°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 52°
Fall has started off exactly as you would have anticipated and it looks like we should have a number of dry days still ahead, but this isn’t a permanent switch, because heat is pegged to return.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather