Murders Around Mississippi

Newest information on Mississippi murders involving African Americans and/or Mississippi politicians and leaders. SYNDICATE SUSAN'S ARTICLES on your site! Fast, Easy & Free! (El Movimiento por los Derechos Civiles en Estados Unidos)

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Young Emmett Till

After two days of exposure, the internal tissue of a lifeless body begins to decay, turning into gases and liquids. If exposed to water the process of decomposition occurs approximately four times faster.

So when they pulled the lifeless body of a young black teenager from the Tallahatchie River during the August heat back in 1955, only an initialed silver ring on his finger made identification possible.

Emmett Till had been stripped naked, pistol-whipped, shot through the head with a .45-caliber Colt automatic and barb-wired to a seventy-four-pound cotton gin fan before he was dumped into twenty feet of the muddy Tallahatchie River. Neither the killing nor the murder site generated much surprise. “That river’s loaded with niggers,” one old white man quipped to reporters.

Fourteen-year-old Till, once physically afflicted by polio, was kidnapped shortly after midnight on the twenty-fourth of August from his uncle’s home in the small cotton town of Money, Mississippi, “a dusty crossroads settlement too obscure to merit a turn-off sign on the main highway.” He was driven away to a weathered plantation shed in neighboring Sunflower County, where at least two white men tortured and mutilated him. A witness heard his screams for hours until the two men finally put an end to Till’s short life.

What the young boy said to a white woman clerking at the small family grocery in Money will never be known. But Emmett Till’s death became a civil rights milestone, setting off a chain reaction that would forever change the way we think and talk about race in this country.

(Excerpt from "Where Rebels Roost, Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited,"

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