The Department of Justice’s Efforts to Investigate and Prosecute Unsolved Civil Rights Era Homicides

Notifying Families

In the years since the passage of the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, the FBI has completed its work on most of the investigations it has opened and has submitted them to the Department for review.  The Department’s review is ongoing.  Unfortunately, it has become apparent during this process that due to legal and evidentiary impediments, it is unlikely that any remaining cases will be prosecuted. 

In an effort to bring some sense of closure to the victims’ family members, the Department writes letters to the next of kin when those individuals can be identified.  We also make every effort to have FBI agents hand-deliver these letters to known family members.

The FBI has devoted considerable resources to locating the next of kin for the victims, successfully locating family members for more than 75% of the 126 victims.  The FBI is continuing its efforts to locate victims’ family members.

List of cold case closing memoranda

Updated July 28, 2017

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