Blogs > Liberty and Power > My Meeting With the FBI

Oct 18, 2004 10:58 pm

My Meeting With the FBI

My wife (and co-author) Linda Royster Beito and I met for about an hour and a half yesterday with an FBI agent who is investigating the Emmett Till murder case. Till was killed nearly fifty years ago. The alleged murderers were two white brothers J.W. Milam and and Roy Bryant who were later acquitted. I have to run to a conference so I'll be brief.

The agent seemed a pleasant enough fellow and appears to be well informed about the case. He has questioned many of the people mentioned as possible suspects and witnesses. He had read our article at the History News Network which discussed our investigation over several years as part of our upcoming biography of Dr. T.R.M. Howard.

We were the first researchers in decades to question two key figures about the case, Henry Lee Loggins (an employee of J.W. Milam) and Willie Reed. Reed testified that he had seen Milam and four white men and three black males (including Till) in a pickup truck which pulled into an equipment shed near Drew, Mississippi shortly after the kidnapping. Reed then heard noise that sounded like a beating and human cries. We also interviewed Till's mother, Mamie Till Mobley. We later told filmmaker Keith Beauchamp about Loggins who then interviewed him for his documentary.

The agent said that the DOJ has not put him under any time limit. He said nothing to change our view (as expressed in the History News Network piece) that the mystery will probably never solved although I think he is making a sincere effort.

He said that 60 Minutes will probably air a piece on Sunday which will apparently stress the role of possible role of Roy Bryant's wife, Carolyn Bryant. I wonder if it will also stress the alleged involvement of black suspects. If so, will it call for their prosecution? I will blog more on this later.

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Shirl Baymore - 6/2/2005

Emmett Till was killed about a month before I was born. I only read the record of his killing in detail a couple years ago, although I have always heard it spoken on, usually in a very hushed, almost fearful tone among the older women in our family.
It is clear that Emmett's killer were lower than animals. It is also clear that Carolyn was an insecure women who would use any opportunity to get her pig of a husband's attention. I wonder when her son became 14, did she at any point point her self in Mamie's shoes. Probably not, I am sure she did not consider Emmett to be human.
What a shameful lost. The town (the jury) are just as much to blame. They let these two brothers, these two killers go free. Those involved in that decision are just as guilty.

Oh yes, there were black people involved. Maybe, but I am sure those involved were scared for thier own lives, as weak as they may seem. If they were involved, it was out of fear for their lives, as well as the lives of their families.