‘Colorado Life’ Magazine Honoring Museum of the West Curator
A Grand Junction man is being honored for helping to solve the legendary "Colorado Cannibal" murder case. Colorado Life magazine is honoring David Bailey, Curator of History at the Museum of the West.
Alfred Packer, known as the "Colorado Cannibal," was thought to be guilty of five counts of murder and five counts of cannibalism.
In 1874, Packer and five other prospectors decided to journey through the San Juan Mountains on their way to find gold. Due to extreme snowfall, the men soon were trapped near Lake City, Colo. They quickly ran out of food and according to Packer began to die one by one. Packer admitted that in order for him to survive, he did eat the flesh of the other men. But, he claimed he did NOT murder them (except for Shannon Bell in self-defense).
There have been several versions of what happened on the fateful trip, usually told by Packer himself. Eventually, after escaping and hiding out in Wyoming, in 1883 he was found guilty on one count of murder. The Colorado Supreme Court overturned that decision. Packer did receive another trial in Gunnison, however this time he was charged with five counts voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 40 years.
He was paroled in 1901, diagnosed with Bright's Disease.
However, in 2000, Grand Junction resident David Bailey, discovered that it is possible that Packer may not have been guilty. Working with a team from Colorado Mesa University went full CSI to uncover some remarkable news.
The story of Alfred Packer is quite amazing. You really should read all the details at any of the links provided.