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1930s & Earlier / Alferd G Packer - Cannibal
The only person in American history to be convicted of cannibalism was Alferd (sometimes written 'Alfred') G. Packer. Packer, a Civil War veteran, was one of 21 prospectors who intended to try their luck in the Colorado gold fields. The group got to Provo, Utah in February 1874. Against the advice of the locals, Packer and five others decided to continue their trek across the Rocky Mountains in the dead of winter. They quickly got lost and ran out of provisions. Packer was the only survivor. Two months later Packer was seen by other members of the original prospectors' group who didn't believe his story that his companions never returned from a search for food. Packer eventually confessed to cannibalism, escaped custody twice, but was found in Wyoming in 1883. Packer was sentenced to 40 years in jail. He was paroled by Colorado's governor in 1901 and died six years later at age 65. In 1968, as a gag, students at the University of Colorado at Boulder voted to name their school cafeteria the Alferd G. Packer Memorial Grill. It bears the slogan, 'Have a friend for lunch!' A statue of Packer was erected on campus in 1982.