Published on: Friday, July 1, 2022

Carolyn Bryant Donham, a white woman who reportedly lied about being grabbed and that accusations led to the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till, could still be arrested 67 years after the brutal killing (article available here).

A search team with the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation found an unserved arrest warrant dated August 28, 1955, charging Carolyn Bryant Donham in Till’s kidnapping, according to a report by the Associated Press on June 29.

An affidavit found with the warrant stated that the three individuals did "willfully, unlawfully and feloniously and without lawful authority, forcibly seize and confine and kidnap Emmitt Lewis Tell." (Emmett's first and last names are misspelled on the document, along with his middle name, Louis.)

Donham, then 21, alleged Till whistled at her, made lewd comments and grabbed her waist in a family store in Money, Mississippi.

The warrant was found in a file folder in a box in the Leflore County Circuit courthouse, the same county where Till was murdered. According to reports by the Greenwood Commonwealth newspaper in Greenwood, Mississippi, the then-sheriff of Leflore County would not arrest Donham in 1955, who was married to one of Till’s assailants, Roy Bryant, because she was caring for two young children.

Till's battered body was weighed down by a cotton-gin fan and was found several days later.

His face was left unrecognizable. But, at his funeral service in Chicago, Till's mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, insisted that her son have an open casket to show the brutality and horror of what her son endured.

The two white men who committed the crime were acquitted, but in a 1956 article in Look magazine, they confessed to the murder.