Carolyn Bryant Donham Dies at 88;  Words Doomed Emmett Until

Emmet Till, known to friends and family as Bobo, arrived in Mississippi by train on Saturday, August 20, or Sunday, August 21, 1955—accounts differ as to the exact date. On the 21st, he settled at his great uncle, Moses Wright, near Money.

On Wednesday night, August 24, Till drove with a group of local black teenagers to the Bryants store. Among them were 18-year-old Ruth Crawford, who years later spoke of being able to see Till through a glass shop window around the clock, and Simeon Wright, Till's 12-year-old cousin.

Until going to the store for a small item, most likely two cents worth of gum.

Mr. Bryant, who moonlights as a truck driver, is out of town hauling a load of shrimp from New Orleans to Texas. Mrs Bryant was manning the counter; he testified in court that his sister-in-law Juanita Milam, JW's wife, was at the residence, caring for son Bryant and his own two children.

In general, Till was alone with Mrs. Bryant wasn't more than a minute before one of his friends – in Simeon Wright's recollection, it was him – concerned that Emmett wouldn't know how to act around white Southern women, went to get him.

“While I was in the shop, Bobo didn't do anything inappropriate,” recalls Mr. Wright in “Simeon's Story,” his 2010 memoir about the case. “Bobo didn't ask her out or call her ‘honey.' There was no lewd conversation between them.”