The North American mineral rushes of the 19th Century saw hundreds of thousands flock to mountains and mines across the continent in search of fame and fortune, from panning for gold to working long, dangerous shifts down poorly run mines, entire industries exploded overnight, sucking in workers from around the world. During the San Juan Silver Rush of the 1870s, one of these workers was a young man named Alfred Packer, an epileptic, military cast-off, who drifted across America looking for his passport to a new life. He had lived a reasonably anonymous existence, until one fateful expedition saw him wind up almost starving to death, only surviving by eating his fellow party members, a surprisingly common occurrence in the Old West.

Keller, David (2015) The Story of Camp Douglas: Chicago’s Forgotten Civil War Prison. The History Press, UK

Schechter, Harold (2015) Man-Eater: The Saga of Alfred G. Packer, American Cannibal. Head of Zeus, London, UK.

Brown, Robert Leaman (1965) An Empire of Silver: A History of the San Juan Silver Rush. Caldwell, Idaho, USA.

Randolph, John A. (1874) A Colorado Tragedy. Harper’s Weekly, Sunday 17th October, 1874. New York City, USA

The Cincinnati Enquirer (1874) Revelation of a Horrible Crime – Sequel to a Recent Cannibalistic Sensation! The Cincinnati Enquirer, 9th September, 1874. p.1. USA

The Abingdon Virginian (1874) A Horrible Diet. The Abingdon Virgianian, 25th September, 1874. p.1. USA 

El Paso Herald (1901) Packer Released. El Paso Herald, 8th January, 1901. p.1. USA

The Herald (1989) Scientists Uncover Skull Bone. 19 July, 1989. p.22, USA.

The Orlando Sentinel (1989) Cannibal. 23 July, 1989, p.12, USA.

Christensen, Mike (1989) Final Word: Packer Guilty as Sin. The Daily Sentinal, 13 October, 1989, p.1. USA.

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