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The Curious Case of Colorado Cannibal Alferd Packer

Presented by Dr. Erin Baxter

  • Curator of Archaeology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

More about the lecture

In the winter of 1874, mining prospector Alferd Packer and five companions tried to cross the southern Rocky Mountains. Only Packer lived. The bodies of his companions were soon found and firestorm of controversy ensued. Packer told different accounts of their deaths and the press went wild over talk of betrayal, murder and cannibalism. Even after he was convicted and served 18 years the controversy persisted. Was Packer a cannibal? Was he a murderer? Did the political climate influence his trial? This is a 21st century take on Alferd Packer that will include an analysis of historical information and new archaeological data and experimental archaeology to the tell and re-tell story of the Colorado Cannibal.

About the presenter

Dr. Erin Baxter, is Curator of Archaeology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and likes steak.

Free For Everyone

Our virtual lectures are a part of our Outreach and Education efforts. They are free to our Members and the General Public.  Recorded lectures are posted on YouTube and on the event page after the event occurs.

For questions about the event or how to register, please contact Susan Bowdoin ( or Sarah Webber (