A white woman from Mississippi whose 1955 accusation against a black teenager Emmett Till led to his murder has died.
Carolyn Bryant Donham’s death at age 88 closes a chapter on one of the most infamous lynchings in US history.
Prosecutors sought charges against her for the killing of Till, 14, up until the year before her death.
Last year they failed to convince a grand jury that she should be put on trial for kidnapping and manslaughter.
A statement from the Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley Institute said that they “wish mercy on her soul, even as we regret that she never took responsibility for her role” in Till’s murder.
“While the world saw the horrors of racism in Emmett’s murder, the real consequences of hatred, what the world will never see now is remorse or responsibility for his death.”
The Chicago boy was visiting family when he entered a store in Money, Mississippi, where Donham, then 21, worked.
Donham accused him of making improper advances and harassing her while she was alone in the shop.
Her husband and brother-in-law kidnapped the boy at gunpoint, tortured him and tossed his battered body into a river.
At Till’s funeral, his mother Mamie Till Mobley insisted on an open coffin so everyone could see what had been done to him. Published photos of his brutalised remains shocked the nation.
The two kidnappers – Roy Bryant and JW Milam – were arrested over the murder, but were quickly acquitted by an all-white jury.
They later admitted to the killing in a magazine interview, but could not be re-tried under US law. Both are now dead. (BBC)