The white woman from Mississippi whose accusations in 1955 that a 14-year-old black boy from Chicago had made verbal and physical advances toward her caused him to be brutally murdered admitted half a century later that she lied.

Emmitt Till’s murder was a catalyst for 20th century civil rights movement, and a Vanity Fair article reveals that in 2007, Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman whose husband was one of two men that murdered Till, admitted to Duke University senior research scholar Timothy Tyson “that she had fabricated the most sensational part of her testimony.”

“That part’s not true,” she told Tyson, about her claim that Till had made verbal and physical advances on her. As for the rest of what happened that evening in the country store, she said she couldn’t remember. (Carolyn is now 82, and her current whereabouts have been kept secret by her family.)

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