Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Even in death, no rest for lynching victim Till

The Associated Press: Even in death, no rest for lynching victim Till
CHICAGO (AP) — When his mother put the battered body of 14-year-old Emmett Till in the ground more than 50 years ago, it was supposed to be the end of a sad saga for the boy whose lynching became a rallying point for the civil rights movement.

But even in death, Till cannot rest. Four years after his body was exhumed as part of an investigation, his original glass-topped casket has been found in a rusty shed at a suburban cemetery where workers are accused of digging up and dumping hundreds of bodies in a scheme to resell the burial plots.

The casket, which was seen by mourners around the world in 1955, was surrounded by garbage and old headstones. When authorities opened it, a family of possums scampered out.

"There is no rest for Emmett," Ollie Gordon, a cousin, said Monday. "It was turmoil when they exhumed his body, and now we are put in turmoil because we might have to exhume again."

Till's current grave site does not appear to be among those disturbed at Burr Oak Cemetery, the historic black burial ground south of Chicago where authorities have charged a manager and three gravediggers with the gruesome reburial scheme. The manager is also suspected of pocketing donations she elicited for a Till memorial museum, though she has not been charged in connection with those allegations....

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