Woman who accused black teen Emmett Till before he was lynched says she didn’t want him dead

Carolyn Bryant Donham claimed in an unpublished memoir that she was unaware of what might happen to Till after she accused him of whistling at her (Pictures: AP)

The white woman who accused black teenager Emmett Till of making improper advances, spurring his lynching in Mississippi in 1955, has denied identifying him to his killers or wanting him murdered.

In her unpublished memoir, Carolyn Bryant Donham wrote that she was unaware of what would happen to Till, who was 14 at the time he was brutally kidnapped, Ki**ed and thrown into a river.

Donham was 21-years-old at the time of Till’s killing. The now 87-year-old’s upcoming memoir, ‘I am More Than a Wolf Whistle,’ which was obtained by the Associated Press, offers the most extensive account of the incident to date.

The 99-page manuscript was only made public following the recent discovery of an .

In the memoir, Donham wrote that she tried to help Till once he was located by her husband and brother-in-law, who had brought him to her for identification in the middle of the night.

Donham reportedly denied that the boy was Till because she didn’t want the men to hurt him.

‘I did not wish Emmett any harm and could not stop harm from coming to him, since I didn’t know what was planned for him,’ Donham said in the manuscript, which was compiled by her daughter-in-law. ‘I tried to protect him by telling Roy that “He’s not the one. That’s not him. Please take him home.”‘

Till, who was kidnapped from his family’s home at gunpoint, identified himself to the men.

Donham said that she ‘always felt like a victim as well as Emmett’ and ‘paid dearly with an altered life’ for what had happened to him.

‘I have always prayed that God would bless Emmett’s family. I am truly sorry for the pain his family was caused,’ she says at the end of the manuscript.

Donham’s husband at the time, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother JW Milam were acquitted of murder charges but later confessed to the killing in a magazine interview.

The AP obtained the memoir from a historian at Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting.

Deborah Watts, a cousin of Till who runs the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, stressed the unserved warrant and memoir confessions implicated Donham.

‘I truly believe these developments cannot be ignored by the authorities in Mississippi,’ she said.

The US Department of Justice closed an investigation into Donham’s involvement in the killing in December.

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