Carolyn Bryant Donham, White Woman Who Claimed Emmett Till ‘Whistled’ At Her, Dies at 88

Carolyn Bryant Donham, White Woman Who Claimed Emmett Till ‘Whistled’ At Her, Dies at 88

Carolyn Bryant Donham is dead. The 88-year-old white woman was responsible for the lynching death of Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi after she accused the 14-year-old child of harassment in the summer of 1955. 

According to Mississippi Today, Donham died after battling cancer and receiving end-of-life hospice care in her last days.

Devery Anderson, the author of Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement stated that all hope is lost for those who wanted her prosecuted. 

“She was the last remaining person who had any involvement,” he said. “Now, that can’t happen.”

His perspective is that her death may cause some people to feel as though justice was never served. 

“Some others were clinging to hope she might still talk or tell the truth… Now it’s over.”

Till’s family, including cousin Wheeler Parker, extended condolences to the woman’s family.

“We don’t have any ill will or animosity toward her,” Parker said, adding that the 14-year-old victim’s mother, Mamie Till Mobleyforgave those involved in her son’s killing.

BLACK ENTERPRISE reported in February that a family member of Till filed a lawsuit demanding the Leflore County (MS) sheriff present a warrant for Donham’s arrest for her role in the teen’s murder.

In 2022, an unpublished memoir by Donham claimed she tried to protect the young boy from her husband and brother-in-law, who kidnapped the boy in the middle of the night, beat him, and killed him

Reportedly, she told her husband Till wasn’t the one who had allegedly whistled at her, encouraging the men to take him back home. A Mississippi grand jury declined to indict Donham on any charges in 2007.

According to a fact-of-death letter from the Calcasieu Parish Coroner, CNN reported that Donham died Tuesday in Westlake, Louisiana  

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