New Alferd Packer Papers

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My favorite legend about the Packer trial, unfortunately not true, was that the outraged judge said at the sentencing, "There was seven demmicrats in Hinsdale County and you up and ate five of them."
I went to CU in Boulder when the eatery in the University Memorial Center was called the Packer Grill, featuring the redoubtable sandwich offering, the "Packer Snacker".

Yes its a hilarious legend for sure.

You should set the record straight on the spelling of his name. Are there any documents that show it as "Alferd"? It appears in these letters that he signed his name as Alfred, the Civil War enlistment register has Alfred written, the Supreme Court Case records have Alfred, and his headstone has Alfred.

I propose that you change the title of the collection to reflect his given name and the name he went by. There is no proof that the story of the supposed misspelled tattoo is true. It's bad enough to be known forever as a cannibal but then to have a silly misspelling stick with you forever?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Actually there are a few documents that do show his name spelled as Alferd. In fact, some of them are signed by Packer himself. He is known to have gone by both names during his lifetime as well.

Actually, I like Alferd. He looks like an Alferd to me...We need to pull his birth certificate to settle the dust. ahem...

In reply to by Jerry Olson CU 1963 (not verified)

I believe there were no Birth Certificates before 1913. My paternal Grandfather was born in 1912. He did not get a Birth Certificate until it was necessary, in 1931.

His headstone reads "Alfred". Also in old directories from his final years he is listed as "Alfred". It is believed he appeared to juxtapose the "e" and the "r" when signing his name due to a lack of education though I wonder if it might be due to hard to read handwriting. The story behind his becoming "Alferd" is that a typesetter mixed the "e" and the "r" setting a newspaper story during his trial. I think his parents named him "Alfred" but "Alferd" has become iconic, probably because it fits the legend.

In reply to by Michelle M. Gershon (not verified)

Look at his hand-written letters. I think he was fairly well educated.

Didn't a university re-excuvate the butchering site and find that he was attacked by one in the party with a gun & was really thought "innocent" after the excuvation?

Hi Linda,

Yes, that is true. An archaeological excavation was conducted, however the idea that Packer killed in self defense is only theory and not a consensus fact. Truth remains that Packer lied, stole his comrades belongings and money, spent his stolen rewards frivolously, and did not come to the self defense conclusion until he had changed his story multiple times. He also said nothing about the deaths of the men until he was confronted by men who recognized the rifle he was carrying around as stolen.

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