Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case by Chris Crowe

Bibliographic Citation: Crowe, Chris. Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case. New York: Phyllis Fogelman Books, 2003. 128p. ISBN: 978-0-   8037-2804-2.

Awards/Selection Lists:

YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2004

Author’s Website:


Chris Crowe’s Getting Away With Murder, tells the story of fourteen-year-old Emmett’s Till’s kidnapping, murder, and the trial of his killers that followed.

Personal Reaction:

Born in Chicago, Illinois fourteen-year-old Emmett Till was somewhat removed from the racist tension that existed in Mississippi and in other Southern states. When he left to visit his great uncle, Mose Wright in Money, Mississippi the summer of 1955, his mother tried to pound into him the reality of Southern customs. However, when Emmett allegedly whistled at and made rude comments to a white woman on August 24, 1955, he “crossed a Jim Crow boundary he never really understood” (Crowe, 2003, p.49). When the woman’s husband and brother in law learned of Emmett’s indiscretion, they decided to teach him the ultimate lesson. Emmett was later kidnapped, severely beaten, and killed.

The story of the Emmett Till case is a disturbing one, and Crowe’s account of it is unflinching. Including the photo of Emmett’s mutilated body that was published in the newspaper The Chicago Defender, Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case is often difficult to read. However, Crowe’s book finally gives a voice to a boy whose murder is seldom discussed. It wasn’t until I was a college student that I heard the name Emmett Till, and even then it was only in a passing comment made by one of my English Literature professors. The fact that I had to research his case on my own to discover the story behind the name is both sad and shameful. Emmett Till’s murder was a terribly significant moment in the American Civil Rights Movement, and it deserves more attention.

Front Matter:

TOC, Acknowledgments, Introduction

Back Matter:

Time Line, Bibliography, Additional Resources on the Emmett Till Case, For Further Reading

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