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Submitted: 2/19/14 • Approved: 2/19/14 • Last Updated: 3/23/17 • R36776-G36776-S3
This tablet erected
in Memory of
who were murdered on this spot
early in the year 1874
the mineral resources
of the San Juan Country
These five men were allegedly killed and eaten by a sixth member of the party, Alferd Packer, between February and April 1874 and buried here. Packer was later convicted and sentenced to death, but his sentence was later changed to 40 years in prison. Packer was released on parole in January 1901.
Recent forensic studies of the scene and a pistol found nearby indicates a possibility that Bell killed the other four and Packer killed Bell in self-defense as he always claimed. It is however, only a possibility and the truth will probably never be known. Packer was an admitted cannibal. They were in a terrible snow storm and completely without food. So Packer became one of several cannibals in old west history.
Contributed on 2/19/14 by tomtodd
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Record #: 36776