Web Site Hit Counter

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Emmett Till's historical casket discarded, decaying

July 11, 2009
By Becky Schlikerman, Staff Writer
Chicago Sun-times

The lynching victim's historic glass-topped casket was found this week discarded and decaying among garbage in a storage shack at Burr Oak Cemetery.

The bronze-colored casket, which displayed the Chicago teen's beaten body before his 1955 funeral, had been infested by possums, Cook County sheriff's department spokesman Steve Patterson said.

"I did view the casket and it is appalling to see the condition in which it has been allowed to decay," Till's cousin Ollie Gordon said Friday.

Till was originally buried in that casket but when his body was exhumed in 2005 by the FBI, he was reburied in a different casket.

The original one was supposed to be used in a memorial for Till - a historical figure in the Civil Rights movement.

Till was abducted from his uncle's home in the tiny Mississippi Delta community of Money on Aug. 28, 1955, reportedly for whistling at a white woman at a grocery store.

Emmett Till
The murder of Emmett Till
Emmett Till Murder

His mutilated body was found by fishermen three days later in the Tallahatchie River.
It was unrecognizable, and his mother was only able to identify the teenager because she recognized a ring on his finger.

His mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, had her son's body returned to Chicago for an open-casket funeral. "It plays a part in Civil Rights as when they had the funeral," Gordon said of the casket.

She said the family will try to restore the casket and donate it to a black history museum.

Authorities have said Till's grave at Burr Oak appears undisturbed.

No comments: