In a new book named ‘The Blood of Emmett Till‘ out next week, author Timothy Tyson reveals that he engaged in a conversation with Carolyn Bryant Donham back in 2002 about Emmett’s death. She is the woman who accused Emmett of whistling at her back in 1955.
As a result, a group of white men burst into the home of 14-year-old Emmett Till, kidnapped him, tortured, mutilated and shot him and dumped him in the Tallahatchie River. This year, long after his murderers were found Not Guilty and the passing of Emmett’s mother, Donham has something to confess.
“I made it up.”
Much to Tyson’s surprise, the now elderly woman (who has been married twice since her relatives slaughtered the teenage boy) had this to say when she was asked about she had accused him of doing to her.
That part’s not true.
Yes, the 82-year old now claims that the incident in which she claimed saw Till make lewd remarks towards her and threatened her safety was a lie.
Vanity Fair adds:
As for the rest of what happened that evening in the country store, she said she couldn’t remember. She reflective in Timothy Tyson’s presence, wistfully volunteering, “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him.”
She also admitted she “felt tender sorrow,” Tyson would note, “for Mamie Till-Mobley”—Emmett Till’s mother, who died in 2003 after a lifetime spent crusading for civil rights. (She had bravely insisted that her son’s casket remain open at his funeral in order to show America what had been done to him.) “When Carolyn herself [later] lost one of her sons, she thought about the grief that Mamie must have felt and grieved all the more.”