140 years later, infamous Colorado cannibal Alferd Packer's legend lives on
Alrerd Packer: Colorado's cannibal
Colorado State Historian Dr. Bill has studied just about everything that relates to Colorado. There still are some stories that still intrigue him and just about everyone else in the state. One of those stories is the tale of Alferd Packer.
"That's our legend," Convery says. "A story of Colorado, of survival, of crime, of deceit, and redemption in a way."
Packer joined a group of prospectors in the winter of 1874. Despite warnings, they continued their journey into the San Juan Mountains in the dead of winter. The men were lost four months.
The following spring, Packer emerged from the mountains alone.
"He told a story of wandering off and getting lost and being separated from his companions," says Convery.
Suspicion grew as Packer came out of the mountains with more money and looking very well-fed. Still, he maintained that the other five men in his group had simply gotten lost.
"That story held up until the summer of 1874, when a group of reporters and illustrators from Harpers Weekly Magazine stumbled across the campsite at the last Packer party," Convery explains.