Editorial Roundup: Mississippi

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2023-09-06 17:12:06  • 3 mins

Greenwood Commonwealth. September 1, 2023.

Editorial: A Tall Tale From Timothy Tyson?

When the U.S. Justice Department in late 2021 closed for the second and probably final time its investigation into the death of Emmett Till, it suggested that historian Timothy Tyson had put federal investigators and those who continued to push for a prosecution on a wild goose chase.

The impetus for that probe was Tysons claim that he of all the journalists, historians and filmmakers who have been absorbed by the 1955 lynching of Till and the mystery of what role Carolyn Bryant Donham had played in it had been fortunate enough to be there when she partially fessed up.

Tyson revealed that bombshell in his 2017 book, The Blood of Emmett Till, for which he became an overnight celebrity and apparently made a tidy sum.

The problem was, however, that the revelation, which Tyson kept mostly to himself for almost a decade, could not be corroborated, even by the author himself.

He had no tape recording of Donhams alleged admission that she had lied on the stand at the trial in which Tills abductors and killers including her husband at the time were acquitted by an all-white, all-male jury for the racist murder. He gave federal investigators multiple accounts of how such an inexplicable omission occurred. His explanation of why he never came back to the topic in what he did record of their conversations also seemed implausible. His hand-written notes of the confession are much more clipped than what he quoted Donham as saying in his book. Plus the relative of Donhams who sat in on Tysons interviews with the elderly woman, now deceased, said there was no recanting.

Continue read on usnews.com

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