Colorado

Cannibal dies of “senility – trouble and worry”

April 23, 1907
Colorado
Famed cannibal Alfred Packer dies at the age of 64 of “senility – trouble & worry”

Alfred Packer (also known as “Alferd” after seeing a dyslexic tattoo artist misspell the name which Packer found humorous) and 5 fellow gold prospectors became snowed-in while prospecting in the Rockies. Packer claimed he tried to find help but became lost. Upon returning to camp, he discovered one of the other prospectors, Shannon Wilson Bell, roasting human meat. Bell then allegedly rushed Packer with a hatchet, forcing Packer to shoot Bell. In an effort to survive, Packer then ate the flesh of his companions until April 6, 1874 when he returned from the mountain alone. He confessed to cannibalism 2 days later.

During his trial, the judge reportedly exclaimed “Packer, you depraved Republican son of a bitch! There were only five Democrats in Hinsdale County and you ate them all!” though this is largely considered fictitious. Packer escaped from jail in August 1874 and moved to Wyoming where he was apprehended and sentenced to death in 1883, though his death sentence was reversed in 1886 to 40 years in prison. In 1901 he was pardoned by the governor of Colorado and died in 1907. Packer was rumored to have been a vegetarian in his later years.

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