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Alferd Packer killer?

DigiTrad:
THE BALLAD OF ALFRED PACKER (Waste Not, Want Not)


Related thread:
TUNE REQ: Alfred/Alferd Packer (8)


Rog Peek 02 May 07 - 05:10 PM
katlaughing 02 May 07 - 05:14 PM
Bob Hitchcock 02 May 07 - 05:14 PM
Jeri 02 May 07 - 05:28 PM
Jeri 02 May 07 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Rev 02 May 07 - 06:07 PM
katlaughing 02 May 07 - 07:57 PM
Susan A-R 02 May 07 - 09:18 PM
Uncle Phil 02 May 07 - 10:39 PM
katlaughing 03 May 07 - 12:59 AM
GUEST,Rog Peek (at work) 03 May 07 - 08:21 AM
Cool Beans 03 May 07 - 01:00 PM
open mike 03 May 07 - 03:16 PM
katlaughing 03 May 07 - 03:36 PM
Dave'sWife 03 May 07 - 03:51 PM
katlaughing 03 May 07 - 03:53 PM
Rog Peek 03 May 07 - 04:12 PM
Rog Peek 03 May 07 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Scoville at scanner 03 May 07 - 04:51 PM
Artful Codger 03 May 07 - 05:51 PM
katlaughing 03 May 07 - 06:00 PM
Artful Codger 03 May 07 - 06:18 PM
katlaughing 04 May 07 - 12:31 AM
Rog Peek 04 May 07 - 04:49 AM
fretless 04 May 07 - 09:25 AM
mack/misophist 04 May 07 - 10:25 AM
Rog Peek 04 May 07 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Johnmc 04 May 07 - 11:51 AM
Rog Peek 04 May 07 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Scoville 04 May 07 - 08:51 PM
katlaughing 04 May 07 - 10:19 PM
Abby Sale 04 May 07 - 10:23 PM
katlaughing 04 May 07 - 10:48 PM
GUEST,Scoville at Dad's 04 May 07 - 11:20 PM
Melani 05 May 07 - 03:04 AM
Dave'sWife 09 Oct 07 - 08:50 PM
GUEST 20 May 15 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,# 20 May 15 - 05:11 PM
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Subject: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Rog Peek
Date: 02 May 07 - 05:10 PM

Did Alferd Packer kill his companions before he ate them?


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 May 07 - 05:14 PM

Who knows? He was the only "witness." You can read over 12 chapters about it, including detailed info of his confession, etc. by clicking HERE. IT also discusses whether is it Alfred or Alferd.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Bob Hitchcock
Date: 02 May 07 - 05:14 PM

I am not sure if he did or not, but one piece of Washington D.C. folklore is that some years ago the Department of the Interior ran a contest to name their new cafeteria. The winner was "The Alfred Packer Memorial Cafeteria", until at the last minute someone pointed out who he was. Needless to say it is now called something else.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Jeri
Date: 02 May 07 - 05:28 PM

My guess is he did, because otherwise they probably would have complained too much.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Jeri
Date: 02 May 07 - 05:32 PM

Oops, my bad. You meant the emphasis on 'did he kill...' and not whether he did it before, during or after he ate them. I have absolutely no idea.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 02 May 07 - 06:07 PM

The dining hall at the University of Colorado actually IS called The Alfred Packer Memorial Dining Hall"


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 May 07 - 07:57 PM

And has been for many a years!**bg**


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 02 May 07 - 09:18 PM

We used to have an Alferd Packer day at The College of Wooster every May. It was quite a day!! Isn't there also a legend that the judge handling the case said "there were only 5 Deomcrats in the State of Colorado and you ate 3 of them" Something like that anyway.

Quite a guy.

My nephew is headed out to C.O.W. and I was hoping to get him an Alferd Tee shirt, but alas they are not available at the campus bookstore. I'd love to know if they still even celebrate the day.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 02 May 07 - 10:39 PM

And then there's the pride of Lawrence, Kansas, the Alfred Packer Memorial String Band.
http://www.alferdpackerband.com/

- Phil


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 07 - 12:59 AM

Of course, they still do a lot in Colorado, Susan. (Nice to *see* you!) There is a fellow here at the local museum who has written a new book on him, supposedly with new research, etc. I've not read and have been a bit put off by the writer, so...:-)

Never heard the Democrat thing. By that time there should have been a lot of Democrats as there were a lot of settlers from the South who were Democrats like my ancestors. I know Colorado had been mostly Democrat when my parents were growing up and as well as when I grew up here.

Here is what was supposedly said:

During the trial, the judge supposedly said from Wiki:

    "Damn you, Alferd Packer! There were seven Dimmycrats in Hinsdale County and you ate five of them!"

An alternate version of the judge's outburst is

    "Packer, you depraved Republican son of a bitch! There were only five Democrats in Hinsdale County and you ate them all!"

The actual sentencing statement, of course, was a little more in character for an educated state judge:

    "Close your ears to the blandishments of hope. Listen not to the flattering promises of life, but prepare for the dread certainty of death."[4]


Ah, well, it all makes for a good read!


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: GUEST,Rog Peek (at work)
Date: 03 May 07 - 08:21 AM

In the sleeve notes to 'PHIL OCHS The Broadside Tapes Part 1', (which incidentally were written by Paul Kaplan who himself recorded a song he'd written about Phil, which I am currently trying to get a copy of), there is an article from The N.Y.Post 1977 about Alferd Packer and a plaque honouring him which was placed in The Agricuture Departmentr's cafeteria. The plaque had been removed, presumably because someone complained that it was in bad taste, (oops, sorry for the pun!)and "a bunch of Packer Buffs were stewing over it!" (not my pun!). The Agriculture Secretary was quoted as saying that when the judge passed sentence on Alferd Packer he had said "There was only six Democrats in all of Minsdale County. and you, you man eating son of a bitch, you ate five of them. - I sentence you to hang by the neck until you're dead, dead, dead, as a warning against further reducing the Democratic population in this county." (Exagerated maybe, but my favourite version).

The article goes on to say that members of the Colorado chapter of 'The Friends of Alferd Packer',whose membership card carries a picture of Alferd and the caption "I never met a meal I didn't like!" were protesting the sign's removal.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 03 May 07 - 01:00 PM

Actually, Alferd is stil alive. And he's hungry...


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: open mike
Date: 03 May 07 - 03:16 PM

music topic..
on the page that kat refers to there is an excert from a song:

In the Colorado Rockies
Where the snow is deep and cold
And a man afoot can starve to death
Unless he's brave and bold

Oh Alfred Packer
You'll surely go to hell
While all the others starved to death
You dined a bit too well

---from The Ballad of Alfred Packer

it is not credited...does anyone know the source?


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 07 - 03:36 PM

Here's the rest of it in the DT.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 03 May 07 - 03:51 PM

There was an archeological excavation of the campsite and as I recall, the conclusion was that all of the victims whose remains were found were killed by blows to the head which doesn't quite match up with his story. lemme see if wikipedia says anything about this:

Hmm, the do talk about it, but only with regards to whether or not cannabilism could be determined. here is the link. it's a good article with a photo too!

Alferd Packer at Wikipedia

As for Alferd or Alfred - that's a toss up. He signed it both ways at different parts of his life. I believe that most common reference is to "Alferd""


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 07 - 03:53 PM

As far as I know it is the Alfred E. Packer cafeteria and that is the only version I grew up hearing about in Colorado.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Rog Peek
Date: 03 May 07 - 04:12 PM

Katlaughing
You are probably right, apparently his name is Alfred on all official documents.

One explanation is that he had a tatoo which included his name and in which the tattooist spelled it Alferd. It's said that Alfred took a liking to it and adopted it as his name.

I've just discovered some background to the 'Agricultue dept. cafeteria' story on this link: http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alferd_Packer


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Rog Peek
Date: 03 May 07 - 04:15 PM

Damn, I missed a :
Another try:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alferd_Packer


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: GUEST,Scoville at scanner
Date: 03 May 07 - 04:51 PM

The Forney Transportation Museum in Denver, before it moved to its new building, had a life-sized Packer diorama in the basement. There were several stalls containing old cars and then one in the corner with an old plaster mannequin of Packer surrounded by bones. I seem to recall a spine draped over a tree. Somebody had a weird sense of humor.

I assume that this particular attraction was not recreated when the museum relocated, but I haven't been back lately to find out.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 03 May 07 - 05:51 PM

They were considering a name change to The Soylent Green Eatery, weren't they? :-}

Reminds me of a line from Prairie Home Companion (I think): Life is nature's way of keeping meat fresh.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 07 - 06:00 PM

LOL!

Rog Peek, I am sorry if I seemed a little short about it. I didn't mean to be, just remembering old stuff. Never had heard the "Alferd" variation until this thread.:-)

Scoville, they had a rather chilling display at a museum in Central City back in the 70's. Don't know if they still do or not. It was in the cellar of the jail where there were small cells about 4 feet by 5 feet, carved out of dirt. No windows, no ventilation except what might come through the bars on the small doors of each cell. We hiked down the steps and tried to imagine what it must've been like. We didn't have to imagine too much. There in one lighted cell was an animated figure on hands and knees, dressed in prison stripes, rocking back and forth as though he was trying to climb through a hole he'd been carving in the dirt. If I remember rightly, there was a jail dog hanging onto his britches, dragging him back with each back and forth movement. It was meant to be humorous, but it just left me with a chilled feeling of how awful humans can be to one another. It wasn't like the "frontier justice" I'd grown up with where one was either hanged or shot.:-)


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 03 May 07 - 06:18 PM

Or dragged behind a truck. Or stoned. Or burned on a cross. Yep, them was the good old days...


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 May 07 - 12:31 AM

That's NOT what I meant. I was referring to it in an historical context, i.e. late 1800's.

Besides that people have been dragged behind a truck, etc. in most recent times, so there's no "good old days" about those particular horrible deeds.

Personally, I find it all abhorrent and have worked on human rights issues for years and years.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Rog Peek
Date: 04 May 07 - 04:49 AM

Katelaughing
Certainly no offence taken, thanks for your contribution.
and Dave's Wife, Sorry, you'd already posted Wikipedia link, I missed it!

Just as an aside, I see there are two Alferd Packer cookbooks:

The Alferd Packer High Protein Cookbook
The Alferd Packer Wilderness Cookbook

I shudder to think what dishes are being prepared in these two publications.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: fretless
Date: 04 May 07 - 09:25 AM

And then there's the movie, Cannibal the Musical, made by Trey Parker in the days before South Park.

I first read the DC story cited by Bob above back in the mid-70s. It was cited in an article in the NY Post, or perhaps the Daily News, so it had to be true.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 04 May 07 - 10:25 AM

Just to add more than any one wants to know... Alferd got his tattoo when he joined the Union army. He was soon invalided out because he had epilepsy, however. It would be interesting to know if it was the same form of epilepsy van Gough is supposed to have had.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Rog Peek
Date: 04 May 07 - 10:26 AM

.....AND The Movie DEVOURED The Legend of Alferd Packer.

DEVOURED


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: GUEST,Johnmc
Date: 04 May 07 - 11:51 AM

This intriguing thread reminds me of our own Sawney Bean from Ayrshire.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Rog Peek
Date: 04 May 07 - 03:24 PM

Johnmc

No comparison:
Alferd did it out of necessity.
Sawney and his clan did it for a pastime!


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: GUEST,Scoville
Date: 04 May 07 - 08:51 PM

Kat--Either I've forgotten that or it had been removed by the time I lived in Colorado, because I went to Central City and visited the jail a whole lot when I was a kid there in the 1980's. Dang.

Rog Peek--I've got the Donner Party Cookbook. It's just wild game recipes, though.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 May 07 - 10:19 PM

Well, heck, yer jist a youngster then!**BG** Wish I'd taken pictures!

I tried looking it up online and all I found was an arts affair held in the same building as the "jail (museum)" but no info on the actual museum.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 04 May 07 - 10:23 PM

Hmmm. One of Mudcat's finest resources (ahem!) provides excellent info: Clicky


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 May 07 - 10:48 PM

Thanks, Abby. Wish you'd start the Happy threads, again.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: GUEST,Scoville at Dad's
Date: 04 May 07 - 11:20 PM

Yeah, I'm a kid. Relatively. (I feel like a kid; does that count?)


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Melani
Date: 05 May 07 - 03:04 AM

When I first heard the story of Alferd Packer, it was as a short story in an English class. We were supposed to critique it, and I said it was just too unbelievable, only to find that it was actually a true story.

The snack shop at the Tahoe-Donner Cross-Country Ski Area was long called the Donner Party Cafe, but they apparently got tired of being asked what was in the hamburgers, and changed it to the Alder Creek Cafe--less obvious, that's where the Donner Party camped out. And we are convinced that there is a rule in the Tahoe-Donner Homeowners Association that every cabin there must contain a copy of "Ordeal by Hunger."


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 08:50 PM

Melani - Ordeal By Hunger is a pretty fascinating book although the current scholarship discounts most of the more lurid details in the book. I picked up my copy of that book in Truckee when my Husband and I were on our first holiday togheter as a couple. We'd only been dating a few months and we wound up being asked to drive two fully grown great danes in a van to Lake Tahoe from los Angeles. Man - the drive was so long we were joking about having to eat the dogs!

Aynway - this was in 1994 and I recall seeing a lot of less than tasteful (!) references to the Donner party on eatery signs.

One of those good for you cable channels, possibly National geographic, featured an hour long program on the archeological results of the Donner's camp site which was quite some distance from the main site at the Lake - and the consensus was there was no evidence of cannibalism based on the bone bits and organic remains. One of the descendants was there and expressed relief but I'm not really sure why.

Here in the USA, the Donnor party members have not been historically stigmatized the way Alferd packert was. None of them stood trial for any crimes and even though it was clearly george Donner's decisions that doomed them to that horrible winter in the Sierras, few people today now that aspect of the story. The Donner Party incident is treated as necessary 'Contigency Cannabilism" whearas Packerd was considered during his life to be a shifty murderer and current archeology seems to bear that out.

Anyway - I was just looking at old threads and saw the mention of the book (which i still have) and it jogged me memory about the TV program.


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 May 15 - 04:59 PM

The Ballad of Alferd Packer refers to at least two songs, one by Phil Ochs and the other by Jack Guinn with help from Katie Lee and Ed McCurdy. Jack was a reporter for the Denver Post and Katie Lee and Ed McCurdy were appearing at the Exodus, a well known Denver folk club in the 60s when the song was written. The whole story is in Katie Lee's book "10,000 Goddam Cattle". The lyrics posted on the Mudcat site are the ones to the Guinn/Lee/McCurdy song.

Ed Stabler


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Subject: RE: Alferd Packer killer?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 20 May 15 - 05:11 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKYuJneq_sE

That is Phil's song on YouTube. The lyrics are easily available with the use of Mr Google (if they are not presently in the DT).


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