Proposed Emmett Till Museum Lost in Burr Oak Scandal
(Chicago Sun Times) — While sorting through old records in the Burr Oak cemetery office, employees found a handful of old brochures asking for donations to the “Emmett Till Historical Museum and Mausoleum.” Former manager Carolyn Towns, sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for dismembering a corpse and theft, wanted to build a museum on the grounds where Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, are buried. That’s what she promised Mrs. Mobley. “We have so much history here, and we want to highlight all the prominent African Americans buried at the cemetery,” Towns said in 2004. But Towns’ arrest two years ago halted any plans she made to build a museum for Till and his mother in the historic black cemetery near Alsip. It wasn’t clear during the Cook County sheriff’s investigation at the cemetery how much money Towns ever collected for any Emmett Till memorial.