Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Colorado Cannibal (& Me)


This bottle which (one presumes) once contained medicinal brandy is my family's connection to celebrated Colorado Cannibal Alferd Packer. D.S. Hoffman was my great-great-grandfather and, at the time of the so-called Al Packer Massacre, was a physician at the remote mountain town of Lake City, where trail-guide Al Packer would later be tried for the murder of the five members of a prospecting expedition that came to a gory end near Lake San Cristobal. It's really quite a long story so I'll give you the post-card summary right up front:



Souvenir shops in the lovely town of Lake City are crammed with Al Packer momentos and post cards such as this one showing the massacre site.


Here's my own photo of the memorials plaque.


And backed up a bit to show some of the surrounding territory.


And here's Lake San Cristobal. I slept at the lodge there, once.



Here's a couple of pics of an Al Packer wax exhibit in Denver. I kind of doubt it's still around since I haven't seen any recent images.


This seems to be from the Denver Courthouse but I don't really know. The following are from an old souvenir booklet I bought as a kid, followed by a couple of movie trailers for fun:







As you can see, quite a legend has been built up around the incident. In case you didn't notice, that's South Park creator Trey Parker as Alferd Packer in Cannibal: The Musical. And though Ravenous was probably inspired as much by Indian legend as Al Packer, Robert Carlyle's character is clearly modeled after Packer. There is quite a lot of information about Al Packer (and what became of him) online, as well as images, songs, recipes and what have you. Here's the Wiki just to get you started on the whole fascinating story.

2 comments:

Tim said...

Good stuff.

Steve said...

Thanks! Been saving this one.