The Relentless Persecution of Carolyn Bryant
Bobo or Bo, as he was called by his family, arrived in Mississippi on August 20, 1955, after a long train ride from Chicago. His uncle lived on a farm just under three miles from Money and sharecropped. It was late August and the cotton fields were coming ripe. Bobo picked a little cotton – 25 pounds – for the first time in his life, but he turned out to be a bust as a cotton picker and his uncle let him go back to the house. He’d only been to Mississippi twice before, the first time as a baby and the second when he was nine. He spent his time with his Mississippi cousins and neighboring teenagers when they weren’t in the fields. Mrs. Mobley related in her book that the family picked cotton in the morning, weighed in at lunch, then picked again until four PM when they weighed in again then went to the house and were free until morning. He was described as a stocky youth who looked older than his fourteen years. He was five foot four or five and weighed 150-160 pounds. Some called him fat. Moses Wright testified that “he looked like a man.” Carolyn Bryant said she took him to be in his late teens or early twenties when he came in her store. In her testimony she referred to him as “a man.”
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There are conflicting accounts about a girl, a white girl. Contemporary accounts claim he had a picture of a white girl in his wallet and was showing it around and claiming she was his girlfriend. (His mother later claimed the picture came with the wallet and was of actress Hedy Lamar.) He also claimed he was having sex with her. Later, one of his cousins claimed he had a picture of his integrated class, which is odd since he supposedly went to an all-black school. The explanation is that he went to a summer school and there were some white kids in the class. In 2018 a Chicago woman named Joan Brody told a friend she had known Emmett Till in elementary school and they decided she was the girl in the picture. She was twelve at the time (which would have made her a seventh grader) and Emmett was thirteen. Although she wasn’t Till’s classmate at school, they attended a brief summer class and sat side by side. She was allegedly the only white girl in the class. She denied having sex with him, however. She also said she couldn’t believe he would have told his cousins he had. However, the girl in the photo probably was someone else.
Investigative journalist William Bradford Huie wrote both an article for Look magazine about Bobo’s murder and an expanded account of how he came to investigate the case and some of his actions while researching. After meeting with Milam, Bryant and Mrs. Bryant, he flew to Chicago and talked to Till’s family and friends, including his cousins from Mississippi – and his mother. Preacher Wright and some of his family left Mississippi right after the trial and settled in Argo. They talked candidly. Milam had told Huie Till actually had not one but three pictures of girls in his wallet, one of which he claimed to be his girlfriend. His wallet fell out of his pants and he looked to see what he had and saw the pictures. He also claimed he was having sex with her – he taunted Milam, telling him she “liked it.” Milam told Huie and his attorney, John Whitten, that he became enraged at Till’s taunts and decided to kill him. He’d bragged about the girl to the Mississippi Negroes but the cousins thought he was just bragging, although they told Huie he was “getting close.” They knew where his girlfriend, or the girl he claimed as his girlfriend, lived and took Huie by the house. Huie saw the girl in the yard. So there evidently really was a white girl. Whether it was Joan Brody or someone else remains unclear but it was probably not her. The girl was probably someone he knew in Argo since his cousins knew where she lived. His grandmother lived there and he had lived there off and on. Even after he and his mother moved to South Side Chicago, he often took a streetcar to Argo, a predominantly white community, to see people he knew.
Emmett Till may have been telling the truth. Sex between white girls and black boys in Chicago was not uncommon. It’s not at all impossible for Bobo to have been having sex with a white girl in Chicago regardless of the scoffing by his mother and others who always passed it off with “he was only fourteen!” (Young teenage boys DO have sex! There is an article in today’s New York Post about a case in Tomball, Texas of a teenager who started having sex with his teacher shortly after he turned thirteen and continued having sex with her for the next three years.) They said Till had had sex and that he had sex during his Mississippi visit. He wasn’t a virgin. Although his cousins didn’t believe he had sex with the white girl, it’s possible he had. Black boys having sex with white girls was not uncommon in Chicago and other Northern cities in the 1950s. After all, unless she made it up as later claimed by his relatives, Bobo told Carolyn Bryant that he’d “f----d a lot of white women.”
Although some of them later recanted, contemporary accounts relate that Bobo’s cousins didn’t believe his stories about having sex with white girls. Neither did other blacks around Money that Till bragged to. One Wednesday evening, August 24, they drove into Money to hang out for a while after having picked cotton. They were on their way to a “joot” – a juke joint – but it hadn’t opened yet so they went to Money to hang out until it did. There were checkerboards in front of the stores – including Bryant’s Grocery which was one of three stores in the community. A group of young blacks, perhaps as many as a dozen, were hanging out in front of the stores when they arrived. Some were a little tired of Bobo’s boasting. Bobo was making one of his claims about having sex with white girls when one of the crowd called him on it. “There’s a pretty white girl in that store over there. Go over and ask her for a date.”
Regardless of whether he was dared or not, Bobo went in Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market. He either went in the store by himself or went in with someone else who left him alone in the store. His cousins acknowledge that he was inside alone with Mrs. Bryant for at least a minute. They stayed outside to watch. A lot can happen in a minute. Evidently, something did.
This is Carolyn Bryant’s testimony in her husband’s murder trial. The judge ordered the jury out of the room then refused to allow it to be admitted as evidence:
NOTE –The so-called “n-word” appears in the transcript. Following is her testimony. I removed the challenges from the prosecution for the sake of brevity. The prosecution did not want the jury to hear an account of what had happened four days before Emmett Till’s abduction.
MRS. ROY BRYANT,
A witness introduced for and on behalf of the defendants,
being first duly sworn, upon her oath testified as follows:
DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. CARLTON (attorney for Bryant and Milam):
Q What is your name, please, ma’am?
A Mrs. Roy Bryant.
Q You are the wife of one of the defendants in this case, the defendant Roy Bryant, is that right?
A Yes, Sir.
Q How old are you, Mrs. Bryant?
A Twenty one.
Q And how tall are you?
A Five feet, two inches.
Q How much do you weigh, Mrs. Bryant?
A One hundred and three pounds.
Q Do you have any children?
Q What are those children’s names?
A Roy Bryant, Jr., and Thomas Lamar Bryant.
Q And they are both boys, I believe?
Q What is Roy Jr’s age?
A He is three.
Q And how old is Thomas Lamar?
Q How old is your husband, Mrs. Bryant?
A Twenty four.
Q When were you all married?
A April 25th, 1951.
Q Did Roy serve in the Armed Forces?
Q When did he enlist in the Armed Forces?
SMITH: We object, Your Honor. That is incompetent, immaterial and irrelevant.
THE COURT: The objection is overruled.
Q When did he enlist in the Armed Forces?
A In June of 1950.
Q That was about ten months, I believe, before you married?
Q How long did he stay in the service?
A Three years.
Q Did he get out in about June of 1953 then?
Q Now Mrs. Bryant, I direct your attention to Wednesday night, on the 24th day of August, on that evening, who was in the store with you?
The prosecution objected. There (was) a discourse between the attorneys and the judge, who instructed the jury to leave the courtroom. The judge then allowed her testimony to continue.
Q Mrs. Bryant, on Wednesday evening or Wednesday night, the 24th day of August, 1955, did anyone — who was in the store with you that night?
A No one.
Q You were alone in the store at the time?
Q Was there anyone in the living quarters at the rear of the store?
Q Who was back there?
A Mrs. Milam and her two children and also our two children.
Q Did any incident occur in that store on that evening which made an impression on you?
Q And what time of the evening was that?
A About eight o’clock.
Q Was that before or after dark?
A After dark.
Q Just tell the Court what happened there at that time, please, ma’am.
A This nigger man came in the store and he stopped there at the candy case.
Q And in the store, where is the candy case located?
A At the front of the store.
Q And on which side is it?
A It is on the left side as you go in.
Q And that is the first counter there, is that right?
A Yes, Sir.
Q Now, is the store, with reference to that candy counter, is there anything back of the candy counter towards the wall of the store?
Q Is there any place to walk there or anything of that sort?
A Yes, an aisle.
Q When this negro man came in the store, where were you in the store?
A I was farther back in the store, behind the counter.
Q Where were you in the store when this man came in?
A I was farther back behind the counter.
Q Were you on the same side or on the other side?
A The same side.
Q And when he came in, I believe you said he stopped in front of the candy counter, is that right?
Q And what did you do then?
A I walked up to the candy counter.
Q And what transpired up there at the candy counter?
A I asked him what he wanted.
Q And did he tell you?
Q Do you know what it was he asked for?
Q And did you then get the merchandise for him?
A Yes. I got it and put it on top of the candy case.
Q And what did you do then?
A I held my hand out for his money.
Q Which hand did you hold out?
A My right hand.
Q Will you show the Court how you held your hand out?
A I held out my hand like this (demonstrating by holding out her hand).
Q Which hand was that?
A My right hand.
Q And will you show the Court how you did that?
A Like this (demonstrating by holding out her hand).
Q And did he give you the money?
Q What did he do?
A He caught my hand.
Q Will you show the Court just how he grasped your hand?
A Like this (demonstrating with her hand).
Q By what you have shown us, he held your hand by grasping all the fingers in the palm of his hand, is that it?
Q And was that a strong grip or a light grip that he had when he held your hand?
A A strong grip.
Q And will you show the Court what you did? How did you get loose?
A Well, I just jerked it loose, like this (demonstrating).
Q It was about that difficult to get loose, was it?
Q And it was with that much difficulty that you got your hand loose?
Q Just what did he say when he grabbed your hand?
A He said, “How about a date, baby?”
Q When you freed yourself, what happened then?
A I turned around and started back to the back of the store.
Q You did what?
A I turned to get to the back of the store.
Q Did you do anything further then?
A Yes. He came on down that way and he caught me at the cash register.
Q You say he caught you?
Q How did he catch you?
A Well, he put his left hand on my waist, and he put his other hand over on the other side.
Q How were you going down along the counter there? Did he approach you from the front, or from the rear or how?
A From the side.
Q Now, Mrs. Bryant, will you stand up and put my hands just where he grasped you? Will you show the Court and jury?
A It was like this (demonstrating by putting Mr. Carlton’s hands on her body).
Q He grabbed you like that, did he?
Q In other words, with his left arm around your back?
Q And his left hand on your left hip?
Q And he had his right hand on your right hip?
Q Did he say anything to you then at the time he grabbed you there by the cash register?
Q What did he say?
A He said, “What’s the matter, baby? Can’t you take it?
Q He said, “What’s the matter, baby? Can’t you take it?”
Q Did you then try to free yourself?
Q Was it difficult? Did you succeed in freeing yourself?
Q Did he say anything further to you at that time?
Q What did he say?
A He said, “You needn’t be afraid of me.”
Q And did he then use language that you don’t use?
Q Can you tell the Court just what that word begins with, what letter it begins with?
A The witness did not answer verbally, but shook her head negatively.)
Q In other words, it is an unprintable word?
Q Did he say anything after that one unprintable word?
Q And what was that?
A Well, he said — well — “With white women before.”
Q When you were able to free yourself from him, what did you do then?
A Then this other nigger came in the store and got him by the arm.
Q And what happened then?
A And then he told him to come on and let’s go.
Q Did he leave the store willingly or unwillingly?
Q How did the other negro get out of the store then? How did they leave?
A He had him by the arm and led him out.
Q Were there any white men in the store at the time this occurred?
Q Were there any other negro men in the store at the time?
Q Were there any other persons outside the store?
Q Were they white men or colored men?
Q Were there a number of them out there? How many of them were out there?
A Oh, about eight or nine.
Q When he went out the door, did he say anything further after he had made these obscene remarks?
A Yes. He turned around and said, “Good-by.”
Q And when he got out the door, what did you do?
A I called to Mrs. Milam to watch me and then I ran out the door to go to the car.
Q Which car did you go to?
A Mrs. Milam’s.
Q What did you go to the car for?
A For my pistol.
Q Where was your pistol in the car?
A Under the seat.
Q It was under which seat?
A The driver’s seat.
Q As you went out the door and went to the car, did you see this man again?
Q Where was he then? Where was he standing?
A He was standing by one of the posts on the front porch.
Q Your store has a front porch to it?
Q And these posts are on the front porch?
Q Did he say or do anything at that time?
A He whistled and then came out in the road.
Q Can you give a sound something like the whistle that he made there? Was it something like this? (Mr.
Carlton demonstrated by giving two low whistles.)
Q When you got your pistol, Mrs. Bryant, where was this boy then? Or I should say where was this man?
A When I turned around, he was getting in a car down the road.
Q Did you rush back in the store then?
Q Had you ever seen that man before?
Q Have you ever seen him since?
Q Tell us what size man he was. Describe about how tall he was.
A He was about five feet, six inches tall.
Q And that is about four inches taller than you are, is that right?
Q And how much would you say that he weighed?
A Around one hundred and fifty pounds.
Q Did he walk with any defect?
Q Did he have any speech defect?
Q Did you have any trouble understanding him?
Q What sort of impression did this occurance make on you?
A I was just scared to death.
Q Mrs. Bryant, do you generally know the negroes in that community around Money?
Q What kind of store is it that you run there?
A It is just a general store.
Q Are most of your customers negroes or white people?
A Most of them are negroes.
Q And of course, you come in contact with most of the negroes around there in that way?
Q And you know most of them around there, do you?
Q And was this man one of those?
Q Did he talk with a southern or northern brogue?
A The northern brogue.
Q Did you have any difficulty understanding him?
Q Did you have any white men anywhere around there to protect you that night?
Q Was your husband out of town?
Q Do you know where he was?
A He was in Brownsville.
Q What was his purpose in being away from home then?
A He had carried a load of shrimp there.
Q Where had he started out with that load of shrimp?
A From New Orleans.
Q When did you expect him home?
A I didn’t know.
Q What was the reason for Mrs. Milam and the children being there with you?
A So that I wouldn’t be alone.
1. CARLTON: Now, we submit, Your Honor, that the testimony here is competent on the basis of the testimony which was introduced by the State to show that there was some talk in Money, and to remove from the minds of the jury the impression that nothing but talk had occurred there.
THE COURT: The Court has already ruled, and it is the opinion of the Court that this evidence is not admissible.
(The jury returned to the courtroom, and the proceedings
continued with the jury present.)
Till apologists claim that Mrs. Bryant “lied” in her testimony because she had talked to one of her husband’s attorneys previously and hadn’t mentioned that he had laid his hands on her or his words about his sexual experiences with white women. This is simple to explain. First, they base this claim on a “statement” she allegedly gave that was later found in Huie’s notes. This was probably not a sworn statement; it was not a statement to law enforcement but to an attorney and was not a deposition. Second, what people tell an attorney and what they later testify to in court are often different. There is also another explanation – Carolyn Bryant had been severely traumatized by the experience and she simply didn’t want to talk about it. She hadn’t wanted her husband to know what had happened because she feared he would do something to Till. Now he was in jail awaiting trial for his murder. Those who claim she “lied” are merely voicing their own opinion and point to the difference in the two statements as “proof.” They cannot explain why she felt threatened and ran outside to get the pistol.
Although the complete memoir has not been published, excerpts have. This is Mrs. Donham’s current account of the incident:
The FBI report on the 2004-2006 investigation is heavily redacted and does not give the names of people who were then living, but there is one account that seems to relate that Juanita Milam later claimed she didn’t believe Carolyn’s story and thought she might have made it up in order to convince her husband not to go off and leave her alone in the store. However, this doesn’t make sense because Roy was on trial for murder when she testified. She claimed she thought she was in Greenwood and wasn’t baby-sitting Carolyn’s kids. She WAS in Greenwood that weekend when the abduction occurred. She did not make a statement at the trial. More than likely, Mrs. Milam’s memory was confused since the event had occurred a half-century earlier. The investigation was in 2004-2006. By that time Carolyn and Roy Bryant had been divorced for a quarter century. Whether or not she and Juanita remained in contact is unknown. Juanita passed away in 2014. Her husband, J.W. Milam, died in 1980.
Carolyn followed the two boys out the door. She ran to her brother-in-law’s car and reached in and got the pistol out from under the front seat. At some point Bobo let out a “wolf whistle.” His cousins definitely believed it was aimed at the white woman. One of them saw that she had the pistol and shouted, “Come on, we got to get out of here!” They eventually ended up at Preacher Wright’s place, at least some of them did. Wright was told or somehow learned what happened although not in detail. He wanted Bobo to catch the next train headed north. Bobo himself reportedly was frightened and wanted to go home but Wright’s wife, his grandmother’s sister, convinced him to stay. She said it would all blow over. Just what they knew is not known. They may have only known about the whistle since there were no witnesses in the store to hear what was said. One of the older cousins told Huie he ran inside when he saw Bobo put his hands on Mrs. Bryant and pulled him out of the store. This may have been Maurice Wright, who was sixteen at the time.
Carolyn told her sister-in-law Juanita what had happened but they agreed not to tell her husband when he came by to escort them home later. Roy Bryant, Carolyn’s husband, was off on a trip in a truck hauling shrimp to Texas and wouldn’t be back until Saturday. Even though the two women remained silent, word started getting around. There were other people on the streets who saw and heard the wolf whistle and saw Carolyn come running out of the store to get the gun. It seems to have been circulating only among the black population because J.W. Milam, Juanita’s husband, wasn’t aware of it. Had any whites known about the incident, he surely would have been informed.
From all indications, Roy found out about the incident before he went home, probably from one of the colored men who worked for his brother. Blacks claimed there was a “Judas nigger” who told Bryant. Some believed it was Maurice Wright but his family denied that it was him. Maurice became estranged from his family and died an alcoholic. He talked to Carolyn about it. Just how much she told him is unknown as is how much he had already been told. When he learned what happened, he knew he had to do something or he’d be a laughingstock for not taking some kind of action against the person who had insulted his wife. He decided his only option was to whip the Chicago Negro to avoid losing the respect of his black customers. Later that night he called J.W. and told him he needed him to do something for him but J.W. said he was busy. He explained what had happened and J.W. said he’d be over as soon as he closed the store where he was working sometime after midnight. Sometime around 2 AM they showed up at Preacher Wright’s house. Wright knew why they were there. Bryant identified himself and said they were there to talk to the boy from Chicago who had “done the talking” down at Money. There was no mention of a whistle. Reporters and blacks later claimed Till died “because he whistled at a white woman.”
Wright said he’d get him. He took them to where Bobo was sleeping with his cousins. He was in bed with Simeon Wright, Preacher’s 12-year-old son. Wright begged Milam not to take the boy, he said “he ain’t got good sense” and didn’t know what he was doing. Wright’s wife offered to pay for any damages. Milam told her to go back to bed. Wright would later testify that a third man waited on the porch and that he thought he was colored. After they took the boy outside, Wright claimed they heard them ask someone “Is this him?” and a voice responded that it was. He claimed the voice was “lighter than a man’s” which has led to much speculation that Carolyn Bryant was with them and somehow culpable in the kidnapping. After they left, Wright waited around for some time trying to decide what to do. He finally drove somewhere and filled his car up with gas. He eventually went to his brother-in-law and told him; the brother-in-law took him to the sheriff. One of the boys visiting from Chicago went to a white neighbor and called his mother, who notified Mamie, who went by Mamie Bradley. They called the Chicago police, who started calling Mississippi sheriffs.
Was Emmett Till not right in the head? Wright did not mention making the comment in the trial but J.W. Milam claimed he said it. There is a distinct possibility that he was not. He was born in a breech birth, with his butt coming out first, and his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. It’s possible he was brain-damaged. The doctors apparently thought he was. They told Mrs. Till (Mamie) her baby had problems and would probably have to be institutionalized for life.
Somebody, probably Moses Wright, swore out a warrant for Roy Bryant and possibly J.W. Milam for kidnapping. Evidently a warrant was also sworn out for Carolyn Bryant but never served. In her memoir, Mrs. Till-Mosely, as she later identified herself, said the sheriff told her they had Bryant and Milam and were looking for Carolyn Bryant. Roy Bryant was arrested at the store on Sunday afternoon based on what Preacher Wright told the sheriff and carried to jail. Milam was not arrested at the time but he came to the jail later and turned himself in. The two men were charged with kidnapping but were never indicted. Bryant admitted that they took the boy from Wright’s but he said they had taken him to the store and showed him to Carolyn. She said it wasn’t him and they set him free. But Bobo hadn’t been seen since so they kept them in jail until a grand jury could meet. Everything changed when a fisherman spotted some feet sticking out of the water in the Tallahatchie River the following Wednesday. The body was badly swollen from having been in the river for three days but Moses Wright thought it was Emmett Till mainly because of a ring that was found on the body. The ring has the initials “L.T.” inscribed inside. Emmett’s mother later said the ring was the only thing the Army sent her from her estranged husband’s effects. The kidnapping was now a murder.
Because the body was found in Tallahatchie County, jurisdiction switched to there from LeFlore County where Money is located and where Preacher Wright lived. An 18-man grand jury indicted Bryant and Milam for murder. They were tried a month later in Sumner, the county seat of Tallahatchie County – and were acquitted. Although the outcome was never in doubt, the prosecution had no witnesses to the murder and all evidence was circumstantial. The sheriff who saw the body said it was unidentifiable. A local embalmer said the body had been in the water at least ten days. The black press went ballistic, and the furor was joined by other media. Bobo’s mother had called the black media in to see the boy’s battered face before the funeral. They accused the authorities in Mississippi, perhaps with some justification, of looking the other way. They claimed a white man would never be convicted of murdering a black in Mississippi. Some ranted that Bobo’s father had died fighting for freedom in Europe and his son could not find justice in racist Mississippi. Headlines claimed that Bobo had been murdered for “wolf whistling at a white woman” and the killers had been found not guilty.
 Some accounts claim he’d been there three times, the second time as a toddler.
 I have some problems with Mrs. Mosley’s account. My family raised cotton and I picked cotton each fall. We couldn’t start picking until the dew was off – wet cotton causes problems at the gin – and didn’t get to the field until mid-morning. She also claimed they were paid $2.00 per hundred-weight. I don’t know about Mississippi, but where I came from, cotton pickers were paid a nickel a pound, which amounts to $5.00 a hundred.
 In those days composite pictures were made of elementary school classes but they were not wallet-size. If Emmett Till had one, he wasn’t carrying it around in his wallet unless he’d folded it.
 I have a copy of Huie’s book Wolf Whistle and Other Stories – I did not pay $400 for it! The book is becoming rare.
 His mother indicated that he went to Argo nearly every weekend.
 Actually, his mother told Huie when he asked her if Bobo had been having sex that he was of the age when boys discover sex and if he had, he certainly wasn’t going to tell her. Mamie Till-Mobley would make no mention of having talked to Huie in her memoir. She only mentions that she mounted a – unsuccessful – lawsuit against Huie and Look for “defaming” Emmett Till.
 In Huie’s account, he gives her height at five feet even.
 This places their marriage at the end of the 1951 school year, when she was seventeen. Accounts claim she “dropped out” of high school. Schools in the South got out in May then went back in July for the next year, then got out again in September for six weeks for “cotton-picking.”
 The so-called “N-word” was not considered a slur in the South in the 1950s. It was in common use by blacks as well as whites.
 Woke journalist Jerry Mitchell, who has written numerous articles claiming Carolyn lied, W.B Huie lied and so forth, claims that he asked Agent Killinger, the agent who investigated claims against her, says the person referred to was Juanita Milam.
 Roy and Carolyn Bryant remained married for twenty years after the Till incident. They divorced in 1975. Till’s mother claimed in her memoir that J.W. Milam and Juanita Milam were also divorced but there is no record of a divorce and her obituary mentioned him as her husband.
 His mother, who wasn’t there, later claimed it might not have been a wolf whistle at all but just a whistle. She said he sometimes whistled, she had taught him to whistle when he was having trouble with a word. Some of his relatives later claimed he was whistling at a checker move (which makes no sense at all since they said Carolyn Bryant had got her gun out of Juanita Milam’s car.)
 Simeon Wright was twelve years old at the time of the incident. He made his claim a half-century later when he wrote a book about himself. He accompanied some of his relatives to Mississippi and talked to an FBI agent. Whether he actually went in the store or his memory is faulty will never be known.
 Although there were later questions about who identified Till, it was obviously his uncle.
 Simeon Wright later claimed that his father told him the voice was a woman.
 In Huie’s account, Preacher Wright and his wife went to her brother’s home. Her brother, Crosby Smith, went to the sheriff’s office in Greenwood.
 It’s claimed that the sheriff didn’t want to arrest her because she was a mother.
 There are a lot of things in her memoir that don’t ring true. Roy was at home in his bed in the back of the store sleeping when the sheriff came by. Whether his wife was there or not is unclear. She may have been running the store. She claimed that Bobo’s remains only had two remaining teeth but a 2005 autopsy seems to indicate that only one tooth was missing. I say “seems” because much has been redacted in the report.
 Some accounts claim Bobo’s mother identified the body; it was actually Moses Wright. After identification, the body was embalmed and shipped to Chicago where Mamie Till-Mobley, as she later identified herself, insisted on an open-casket funeral even though Mississippi officials had directed that it remained closed.
 In reality, the state of Mississippi had charged Bryant and Milam with murder after they were indicted by a grand jury. They were tried but acquitted.
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