Emmit Till’s Accuser Dies at 88


Makayla Comoza, Reporter

Caryolyn Bryant Donham was 88 at the time of her death. She had cancer and passed on august 27th 2023 while in hospice care on a Tuesday night. If you are unaware of who this women is, she was involved with Emmit Till’s murder.  She accused that 14 year old boy of whistling at her. Her husband and brother in law kidnapped, tortured, and killed Emmit. Her husband and brother in law were acquitted of all charges by an all white jury. Unfortunately, this woman and her family was never held accountable for what they did, the problem with Caryolyn’s involvement was that her story seemed to change in court and around the town. At first, she said he only whistled at her and that it made her very uncomfortable, then she said he cat called her, then it was he touched her inappropriately, then that she couldn’t fully recall what occurred that day or her full interaction with Emmit till that day. She went into hiding when people started to see through her lies and twisted stories and when prosecutors wanted to put Caryolyn on trial a judge denied it saying Caryolyn went through “enough trauma” already and that they shouldn’t bother a mother and her family.

While Caryolyn and her family lived out their days in seclusion and hiding and safety, Emmit tills family was suffering his mother especially. At Emmit’s funeral his mother didn’t want them fixing up his body and she wanted it to be an open casket so that everyone can see what Caryolyn, and her family did to her son. Her only son, her only child and the only child she ever had. Emmit’s death was so heartbreaking there are photographs of his mother Mamie till breaking down Traumatized, and Heartbroken over the loss of her only child. There was never any justice for her son though Mrs. Till kept trying spreading the word that her son did not deserve to die, and he didn’t deserve what happened to him. She passed January 6, 2003, she never had any other children and never moved on she always advocated for her son and never let them cover up what happened to her son.

Though Caryolyn didn’t physically have any part in Emmit tills abuse and torture and unfortunate death, she had a major role in what happened to him and in my own personal opinion she should have been jailed alongside her husband and brother in law. In one of her journals she wrote about how she didn’t think it would go as far as it has and that “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him” Though it was far too late for her to feel sympathy for Emmit, she never admitted to lying or having any part of Emmit’s murder. She never took accountability for what she did and due to that Emmit and his family never got justice.

The image is not Caryolyn but Emmit Till and his mother Mamie till.