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Carolyn Bryant Donham: What happened when 60 Minutes tried to interview her in 2004

2004: The Murder of Emmett Till
2004: The Murder of Emmett Till 25:45

Carolyn Bryant Donham, the White woman whose accusation set off Emmett Till's lynching, has died at the age of 88, the coroner for the Parish of Calcasieu in Louisiana confirmed. 

Donham died late Tuesday night in her home in Westlake, Louisiana, coroner Terry Welke confirmed in a fact-of-death letter. 

At the time of Till's 1955 lynching, Donham — then 21 and named Carolyn Bryant — lived in Mississippi. She accused 14-year-old Till of making improper advances on her. Till was killed by Donham's then-husband Roy Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam. They were acquitted by an all-White jury. 

Donham was never arrested, though an FBI arrest warrant, which identified her as "Mrs. Roy Bryant," was drafted. She was never charged. The case was brought up years later, but in 2022 a grand jury declined to indict Donham. 

Donham was divorced in 1979. She remarried and moved several times, all but disappearing from public view until 60 Minutes' Ed Bradley found her in 2004, living in Greenville, Mississippi. 

Bradley knocked on the door, but she wouldn't answer. Moments later, her son arrived. He said his mother wouldn't talk, and he wouldn't either. 

Later that day, Bradley called the house, but no one would discuss the Till case. 

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