Emmett Till was a 14 year old African American kid, born and raised in Chicago, went down towards Money Miss. to visit some relatives. One day he walked into a county store to buy a stick of gum. There he did something to a white woman behind the counter: he wolf whistled.
The Kidnapping | August 1955
Roy Bryant, husband of the woman behind the counter, and J.W. Milam struck at night. The two men hustled young Till out of bed, and drifted him into the dark Delta. There they commenced their malicious plans of beating, torturing and ultimately shooting the young boy in the head. The two then dumped his lifeless body into the Tallahatchie River.
Arrest | August 1955
Several days after the beatings and death of Emmett Till, his body surfaced from the waters. Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were arrested and charged for the murder of Emmett Till.
The Body | September 1955
Emmett Till's body was transferred to his home town in Chicago where his identity was yet to be found. His mother, Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, had confirmed it was her son. The only thing to identify him was his ring.
The Open Casket | September 1955
Mamie Till-Mobley's then did something that would change history: She demanded for an open casket at his funeral. She had wanted everyone to know what had happened to her son. The image of his lynched face would later spark the civil rights movement.
Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were set on trial. The judge was eminently fair, refusing to allow race to become an issue in the proceedings. They stopped to have a soda pop in order to stretch things out and "make it look good." Shortly thereafter, the two men were immune from further prosecution and were set free.
The Trial | September 1955
Interview | 24 January 1956
A few months after Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were on trial, they commenced an interview with a journalist, William Bradford Huie, who worked for the Look Magazine. The killers proudly confessed everything.