Carolyn Bryant Donham, Emmett Till's Accuser, Passes Away At 88

Carolyn Bryant Donham, Emmett Till’s Accuser, Passes Away At 88

Nearly 68 years after her accusation resulted in the lynching of Emmett TillCarolyn Bryant Donham passed away at 88 years old.

According to Mississippi Today, the news was confirmed by Megan LeBoeuf — chief investigator for the Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s Office. She reportedly had cancer and was receiving hospice care when she died.

The Update Is Described As A “Wound”: “Justice Was Never Done”

In response to this news, Emmett Till’s cousin, Rev. Wheeler Parker Jr., reportedly sends condolences to Donham’s family. Parker Jr. most recently recounted the night Till was lynched.

RELATED: 83-Year-Old Recalls Night That Emmett Till Was Kidnapped & Murdered: ‘He Had No Idea What Was About To Happen’

Although Donham’s accusation of Till accosting her led to his death, Parker Jr. says the family doesn’t hold “any ill will.”

“We don’t have any ill will or animosity toward her.”

As for Devery Anderson, who wrote a book on how the case influenced the civil rights movement, Carolyn’s death marks the end of the “hope that she could be prosecuted,” Mississippi Today reports.

“It’s going to be a wound, because justice was never done. Some others were clinging to hope she might still talk or tell the truth… Now it’s over.”

Another author, Davis Houck, reportedly expressed similar sentiments. Specifically, he notes that Carolyn “was never arrested or indicted for her role” in one of the “most infamous lynchings.”

“Despite efforts from the Department of Justice, the FBI, local prosecutors in Mississippi and private citizens. She was never arrested or indicted for her role in one of the 20th century’s most infamous lynchings, this despite the fact that Leflore County Sheriff George Smith had issued a warrant for her arrest days after Till had gone missing from his great aunt and uncle’s home in Money, Mississippi.”

Calls To Prosecute Carolyn Bryant Donham Fell On Deaf Ears

We should also add that there have recently been calls to prosecute Donham for her role in Till’s death.

Just last year, protestors stormed a senior living facility in Raleigh, North Carolina, searching for the woman.

Back in February, Patricia Sterling — another one of Emmett’s cousins — filed a federal lawsuit demanding that the Leflore County Sheriff’s Office serve a 1955 arrest warrest against Carolyn. This development came about after an unserved warrant was uncovered a year prior.

While Carolyn Bryant Donham was never indicted, her story has now come to an end. However, the case remains a harrowing reminder of racial violence in the United States.


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