Emmet Till and The Panama Papers

Photo AP.

By David J. Herzig

Yesterday (July 25) would have been Emmet Till’s 75th birthday.  Since high school I have been fascinated by his story and the impact he had on the Civil Rights movement. For those who don’t know, Mr. Till was born and lived in Chicago.  While visiting his relatives in Mississippi in 1955, at the age of 14, he was killed for allegedly flirting with a white women.  His killers (although an all white jury acquitted both men they both admitted to the killings in this Look Magazine article) were the husband of the woman, Roy Bryant and his half-brother J. W. Milam.

The death of Mr. Till is often credited with a mobilizing factor in the Civil Rights Movement.  For those interested, here is an excellent PBS documentary on the topic.

Thankfully, it did not take long to justify a post on a tax blog about a Civil Rights hero.  The son of one of Mr. Till’s killers name seems to show up in the Panama Papers.  According to the Clarion Ledger, “Harvey T. Milam of Ocean Springs, whose father, J.W., shot Till in 1955, appears in” the Panama Papers.  Apparently, Harvey had quite a scheme involving using off-shore insurance companies.  I may actually have to do some digging around to find out more about the alleged scheme.