Goatview Farm - The Saint Report www.goatview.com


April 13
Alfred/Alferd Packer

The most compelling, if not the most important, event that has ever happened on an April 13th occurred in 1883 when Alferd* Packer was convicted of cannibalism--the only person ever to be convicted of that crime in the United States. Sadly, the trial was not televised.

During the proceedings, the judge is reported to have addressed Mr. Packer, saying "There were only seven Democrats in this county and you, you bastard, you ate five of them!"

The details of the crime will have to wait for another edition of the Saint Report, but Mr. Packer apparently was a prospector who left Bingham Canyon, Utah, in November of 1873 with five other prospectors. In the spring of 1874, Mr. Packer emerged from the trail alone.

As an aside to this, it should be noted that Colorado University at Boulder has a student dining hall named the Alferd Packer Grill. Because the veracity of the Saint Reports should never be compromised, I verified this one. It is true.

*Apparently Mr. Packer was really named Alfred but was only semi-literate and spelled his own name as Alferd.


April 13 is the feast day for Saint Ursus of Aosta (invoked against kidney disease and faintness), and several others.

Birthdays today include Thomas Jefferson (1743), Madalyn Murray O'Hair (listed as both 1909 and 1919...God only knows why), Samuel Becket (1906), Eudora Welty (1909), and last but not least...Alfred Butts, the man who invented "Scrabble" (1899).

Onward to April 14
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© Marilyn Jones 1999-2008