Carolyn Bryant Donham, Woman Who Claimed That Emmett Till Whistled At Her, Dead At 88


The woman who accused 14-year-old Emmett Till of whistling at her, resulting in her husband killing Till, has died.

On Thursday, the Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, coroner’s office confirmed the death of 88-year-old Carolyn Bryant Donham. She had been in hospice as she had been suffering from cancer.

In 1955, Dohnam accused Till of whistling at her, but it was never validated. The supposed action made her husband and brother-in-law abduct Till, beat him, and fatally shoot him in the head.

When Till’s remains were discovered, it was found that he was attacked so badly that no one could recognize him. At his funeral, 50,000 people were in attendance where his mother chose to keep his casket open. She stated, “Let the world see what they did to my boy.”

A jury later acquitted Donham’s husband and brother-in-law. However, many years following that, they admitted to the crime.

Donham never faced any charges related to the killing. A unserved arrest warrant from 1955 was discovered in the basement of an old courthouse, last year, but a grand jury chose not pursue any charges against her.

The Civil Rights movement of the 50s centered a great deal around the murder of the 14-year-old and was even the storyline of the movie, “Till.”


  1. Ok, not to sound rude or this respectful. Why did they feel she was important enough to post her passing? Justice was never a factor in this case. The truth came out and nobody paid for it but Mr. Till and his loved ones.

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