The defense team in the 1955 trial had questioned whether the body was that of Till.

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Although initially local newspapers and law enforcement officials decried the violence against Till and called for justice, they responded to national criticism by defending Mississippians, temporarily giving support to the killers.

In September 1955, Bryant and Milam were acquitted by an all-white jury of Till's kidnapping and murder.

Mamie Carthan was born in Tallahatchie County, where the average income per white household in 1949 was $690 ($6,755 in 2013 dollars).

For black families, the figure was $462 ($4,523 in 2013 dollars).

Till's body was returned to Chicago where his mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket.

"The open-coffin funeral held by Mamie Till Bradley exposed the world to more than her son Emmett Till's bloated, mutilated body.They took him away and beat and mutilated him before shooting him in the head and sinking his body in the Tallahatchie River.Three days later, Till's body was discovered and retrieved from the river.He spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the white married proprietor of a small grocery store there.Although what happened at the store is a matter of dispute, Till was accused of flirting with or whistling at Bryant.Decades later, Bryant disclosed that, in 1955, she had fabricated testimony that Till made verbal or physical advances towards her in the store.